Behaving Badly

Anne Lamott was born to be a writer because she thinks and speaks in quotable soundbites. You can enjoy her writing without being in agreement. I find weighing myself a worthy daily ritual, affirming that I am still all there. But Lamott wishes she “had thrown out the bathroom scale at age 16.” She said: “Weighing yourself every morning is like waking up and asking Dick Cheney to validate your sense of inner worth.” Lamott writes frankly about her difficult childhood with a troubled mother. My childhood was not difficult enough to make me a gifted writer. Even if it had been, I do not know if I would have been able to write unflattering truths about people I know well. I flirt with it but lines exist. If your pain is deep enough, perhaps the lines become easier to cross. Megan Stack says that if you worry too much about what people will think, “it compromises your ability to write anything.” Anne Lamott laid the burden on the people you write about. Her take was that they should have behaved better if they wanted you to write more nicely about them. My take is that I wish people around me behaved worse so I could become famous.

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