Today is a very special day for 3D-WAC. We sent out eVites to our very first show on May 11th, click here for details. And, our Authentic Expressionist today happens to be from one of my Jewousins, Doreen Orion, Author of Queen of the Road, Blogger of “What do you want from me?!” Essayist/Humorist, Psychiatrist, and, and, and the most Jewable Queen on the throne.
I read Doreen’s book Queen of the Road, which is kind of how we got to know each other. Wait – first came blogdating, then came the bookcourting and now, I believe we’re an official e-family. Anywhoodle, while feasting on QOTR, her prose fell onto the floor more times than I can count. I was all twisted up in tears and fits of laughter. She is that funny, that clever and that brilliant, as you will see when you scroll down…
Please welcome, Dame, sorry, Queen Doreen Orion. Why, yes, I am crazy about my Queenie!
Tell me about you: Your name, pseudonym, where you’re from and what your read is about?
I’m Doreen Orion, but you may call me Queen Doreen. Just don’t touch me.
I wasn’t always royal, despite my husband’s fondness for referring to me a as Princess from the Island of Long. However, a few years ago, I did accept a coronation of sorts to Queen of the Long Narrow Aisle when he suddenly announced his desire to “chuck it all” and live in a converted bus for a year. Of course I demanded to know, “Why can’t you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?” (So, OK. Maybe I was a bit princess-y. What do you want from me?) We’re both psychiatrists, but he’s obviously a much better shrink, as my travel memoir, QUEEN OF THE ROAD : The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband and a Bus with a Will of Its Own was published last summer by Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House. (Did I mention it’s already into 6th printing?) I also blog about our adventures (along with sundry medicinal musings) as well as, unfortunately, tweet.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Honestly, it’s not something I really think about. True, in general, I try not to think too much. In fact, that’s why, despite living in Boulder, Colorado (whose motto is “Nestled Between the Mountains and Reality”), I refuse to do yoga, even though it’s required by City Charter. Really, what is the point in putting that much effort into doing something just to think about nothing, when I’m already so adept at thinking about nothing without making any effort at all?
So, rather than going on and on avoiding a question I have no answer for, I’ll put an end to this now, by resorting to a patented shrink-tactic : What does being a woman mean to you?
Have you, are you, or will you reinvent yourself and, of course, what does reinventing yourself mean to you?
Prior to leaving on the “bus thing,” the only reinvention I anticipated caused me to ensure my passenger seat was double-wide, both to accommodate two cats on my lap, but also the bus butt I planned to grow, thus proving to my husband that living one’s dreams can have its nightmarish aspects.
I really hadn’t expected our travels to reinvent me in any other way (nor did I think I needed to be reinvented), but they were so life-changing, that upon our return, I was the one who suggested instead of selling the bus, we fix up the house and sell it instead. (You do realize when I say, “we,” I hardly mean the Royal We, right? Ie my husband is doing all the actual work.)
Prior to the bus thing, my life was comfortable and I was quite content – that’s why I didn’t want to go in the first place. But now, looking back, I realize there was a certain lack of spark. When you’re young and just starting out, there’s the constant stimulation of school or learning a new job. Then, once you get to where you want to be in life, and you finally have a chance to breathe, it’s not uncommon to wonder, “Is this all there is? Is this what I worked so hard for?” Having a mobile life with all its adventures and misadventures (fire, armed robbery, finding ourselves in a nudist RV park, to name just a few), was challenging and stimulating in a way I hadn’t experienced for years.
The bus thing was also the first time in my life I did something this unselfish, ie “give up” a year of my life, just because someone I love said he needed me to. But, spending 24/7 in 340 square feet with my husband, a 60 lb. dog and two cats who hated each other, we both found we were happier than we’d ever been. People often say that spending time with those they love is the most important thing to them, but they don’t always live that way. I know my husband and I were guilty of that, as well – spending more time and energy supporting a lifestyle than each other.
That’s why I dedicate my book to anyone searching for his or her inner bus. I hope our tale of living our dreams and refusing to settle inspires others to do the same. Now, as a reinvented Royal, I’m looking forward to our mobile and downsized life. (Please note: I decided to downsize before it became popular. Such a trendsetter.)