Open Space

Hi—it’s me again. I know. I’m as shocked as you are that they want me to keep writing. Given my recent nuptials to XXL, it was definitely time to send Single Space to the bone yard. It was a good run and will be missed, but hey—even drinking great wine every night, night after night, can get old. Anyhow, my friends here at the Old Town Crier tell me that there are folks who actually read my stuff and like it (whoever you are—Dad?—thanks!). Over the years, I’ve invited (and begged) readers to write in with comments and/or ideas. A few nice people took me up on it—always a great surprise to know someone has been reading—or better yet—related to something you wrote. One guy even asked for relationship advice which made me laugh. “Ugh, Daryl—there’s a reason I’ve been writing a singles column for a decade…” Of course, like any celebrity who opens themselves up to the ever-so-critical public, I’ve had my share of detractors. I felt like a Kardashian when ‘Ed’ bypassed my AOL address and went straight to the publishers with his critique and name calling. I had written a column about my experience at Old Town’s scandalous lingerie shop, La Tache, and Ed referred to me as a [sounds like bore]. I had crossed the line; Ed was incensed. I was ecstatic to know that someone was actually reading my stuff and was impassioned enough to respond! I had done what every writer dreams of and studies about in Writing 101—I had elicited emotion!

So I’ve been asked to continue writing, but they didn’t tell me what to write about. Single Space, the sequel? I’m thinking, “what would Carrie do?” When the Sex and the City series ended, they came back with the movie, but it was all about Carrie and Big’s Big Day. Finally—after all those trials and tribulations, they were going to start their ‘happily ever after,’ but the jerk stood her up. Well that won’t work. So I’m once again sitting in front of my laptop, cup of coffee in hand, staring at a lot of white space wondering what I could possibly write about that would impassion the Ed’s of the world. XXL put his foot down when I suggested chronicling our relationship and let’s face it, how many columns could I possibly stretch out of date night, conversations about dishwasher maintenance and/or the occasion riff over leaving dirty laundry on the floor. I reserve the right, however, to raise important relationship questions through this medium such as: if Spouse A cooks, is Spouse B obligated to do the clean up? So, where does that leave us? Besides the obvious choice, ‘Double Space’—too easy—I toyed with a few other ideas such as Outdoor Space, but I’ve killed off way too many plants to be a reliable resource on that subject matter—I’ll leave that to my fellow columnist, Rosemary, who is doing an excellent job of dispensing gardening tips. Fishing Space, but XXL is the fisherman in the family, and my buddy Steve is already covering that beat. Zen Space? I do like yoga, but doubt I could write more than two paragraphs on the subject. You see where this is going. After a few brainstorming sessions, three loads of laundry, and four cups of coffee, I got nothing but a lot of bad ideas…Crazy Space, Free Space, Cramped Space, Outer Space, Melrose Place. Oh – I LOVED Melrose Place! Wasn’t that a spinoff from Knots Landing? No—wait Knots Landing was a spinoff from Dallas. Who shot JR? Funny, they’re doing 2.0 versions of all these classics now. Anyone remember Rich Man, Poor Man with Peter Strauss and Nick Nolte? Loved Nick Nolte. Ah—yes. My first bad boy crush. OK, so laundry, coffee and TV trivia aside, I’m 1000 words into a column about nothing. Jerry Seinfeld was able to create a sitcom empire on the premise of nothing so maybe I’m onto something.

I’m kind of partial to the nothingness in white space. It’s the blank canvas where it all begins. It’s where creativity is born. The ideas and opportunities are endless…the sky’s the limit. I thought about White Space as the name for a new column – not in reference to the color of anyone’s skin because that’s not how I roll so don’t be inviting me to any special Senate subcommittee meetings, but then I thought maybe Open Space would be better. White space or blank space can be intimidating whereas Open Space seems like a kind invitation from a good friend. Open Space is full of opportunities and possibilities. It’s got legs. Of course, I’m open for suggestions. Ed?

Written by: Lori Welch Brown

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