Okay, so: my mother has this friend, “Curly.” Nobody else in the family has ever met Curly, but we love her anyway, because she writes the most insane Christmas letter in the history of the winter holidays—three single-spaced, seven-point-fonted pages of monomaniacal commitment to The Dread Lord Overshare. Not one detail is omitted from Curly’s annual review: carpool-schedule adjustments, subtle shifts in ambient humidity, cavity repair, the circumstances under which her husband left the family and moved into an apartment in a neighboring town…no, seriously! She put that shteez in the Christmas letter—cheerily, as befitted the season; I distinctly recall a handful of smilies after the phrase “couples counseling”—and then she described the apartment. And if you think she didn’t top herself the next year, think again. Let’s just say the word “fistula” figured heavily in the proceedings.
You’ve already read the title of the entry, so you know where I’m going with this, but if Curly’s Christmas letter could take human form, it would clearly take the form of Jennifer Jason Leigh—too real, too much information, horrifying and awesome, candy canes and gangrene, utterly authentic and utterly uncomfortable. And my reaction to Curly and to Leigh is the same: That I kind of wish they could turn it down, or off, just once, but at the same time, I have to admire their dedication. I don’t want to subscribe to The Diverticulitis Gazette, particularly, but Curly keeps sending it out, and I keep reading it. Leigh, same thing; “watch borderline personality decompensate over course of two hours” isn’t on my to-do list anywhere, but I can’t un-know what it looks like now.