Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly Ivins was Rude to Me

I won't say how because the incident was so trivial that describing it might make you rise up and put a dictionary in the mail. But it hurt my feelings and made me feel disrespected and thus my first thoughts on hearing of her death were: Molly Ivins is wise, funny, Shrub annointer, plant (as in Shrub) killer, stylishly funny, obliquely wise, sui generis, sexy in print even, funny post mortem (I don't mean after she's dead but funny when you thought later about what she'd written and the "get" finally happens), wise post mortem (see preceding) and did I say sexy in the way a smart woman is always sexy, particularly when she's smarter than you but sly about it.

Oh, and she was rude to me once (probably with reason and only from a distance). And that was actually the first thing I thought when I heard that she was dead.

After that incident, I still treasured her, admired her, praised her as much as ever, but I no longer liked her in that irrational way you like writers who seem to be having a personal conversation with you. You come to think of them as personal friends, and you assume they are liking you back, which cannot be the case given the way this they-write/you-read thing works.

Makes me think about some people who used to be friends and who somehow aren't anymore. Now, in some instances I understand why this has happened and Good Riddance, Asshole.

But in a couple cases I realize that maybe I was rude to these people without really meaning to be -- you're showing off in a group; you make a joke -- and could have understood that rudeness at the time and perhaps should have. And, you know, darn it! I miss them.

Molly Ivins leaves a great and wonderful legacy. Much will be written about her in the days to come, and I doubt she will be overpraised, no matter how high the praise piles up.

But let's talk about what will be written because of her, in this case two or three snail-mail letters of apology in which I will only guess at what I may need to apologize for but will anyway because life is short, my friend, which insight is not great writing but is pretty damn good thinking.

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