Wayne Michael Reich

Writing ∙ Photography ∙ Art

Meow Mix (Much Ego over Nothing.)

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden
Hello Blogiteers!

Today’s blog is about Ego, and how too much of it can be a bad thing, especially when you let it win out over common sense and possible career opportunities.

As regular readers are well aware of, I’m all about the networking- its pretty much an open secret in the PAC that I’ll show up to the opening of a box of cookies, if there’s even the slightest chance to press the flesh and spread my message of retooling the scene for the betterment of all.

However, despite this penchant for endless self-promotion, I also strongly believe in the notion of an organized and committed Arts community working as a whole, and that’s where my rant starts- with the annual artistic gathering of the PAC, the yearly group show known as Chaos Theory.

Curated by fellow Artist Randy Slack, the latest incarnation of this always kick-ass exhibition is in it’s 13th year, and features over 60 artists from all the disparate genres of our local art scene. To draw an analogy, it’s the Super Bowl for PHX creatives, kicking off the Winter Arts season in a big way, and this year was no exception to that particular rule.

Normally, this affair comes and goes with a large modicum of goodwill, partially due to the after parties being legendary, the art being incredible, and just having the mere thought of talking non-stop shop to the PAC Tribe happily ensconced under one roof makes a Chatty Cathy like myself positively dippy.

But this year’s event contained something new within the standard mix- an air of scandal, courtesy of painter Suzanne “Meow Meow” Falk’s tissue-thin ego, delivered in the manner of a bitchy Andre Serrano. Falk has openly been rumored to be the resident Drama Queen of the PAC for some time now, and her innate capacity for focused self absorption is something that even this Artbitch can’t touch on his best day.

And by way of an addendum, I think referring to yourself as “Meow Meow” with a straight face when you’re way past the age of fourteen is sort of absurd, but hey- maybe that’s just because I never had a really cool nickname when I was in High School, and I’m all like, bitter and stuff.

However, when it comes to her pride, I think this time she’s really outdone herself, and that is no small task where the PAC’s very own version of a crazy (yet artsy) cat lady is concerned. Even before I penned this latest screed, the Interweb was simply abuzz with the talk of it all, stirred on by the Phoenix New Times article recounting Suzy’s latest “shoot thyself in foot” fiasco.

[ NSFW Link: http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/jackalope/2012/10/suzanne_falk_randy_slack_chaos_theory_13.php]

Penned by my best buddy Claire Lawton, this latest tale of faux manufactured outrage chronicles a one-sided tiff (of sorts) between CT’s curator/host Randy Slack and Suzy over the unforeseen exclusion of her submitted painting wryly titled: “ In Heaven everything is fine.” The 7” x 5” painting depicts a group of young men masturbating in a formation commonly referred to as a “circle jerk”, something that fittingly describes Ms. Falks’ overreaction to being excised from the show.

Most Creatives in her unenviable position would have gone one of two ways; either they’d race back to their studio and grab a suitable backup piece to maintain a slot in the show, or they would have politely bowed out, attended the event anyway, and quietly grumbled to their friends about the unfairness of no one recognizing their obvious genius over clandestine drinks in the parking lot.

You know. Like a true professional. But that’s not Falk’s style.

Suzy’s immediate response to Slack’s curatorial edict was to pull a move that twelve year old girls employ when they catch their BFF with the cute boy that they have a crush on- that is, to whine like a wounded kitten to anyone who’ll listen.

I quote from the PNT article:

“Falk went home and posted on her Facebook page: “my painting for chaos theory was refused — i need time to choose my words for exactly what i want to say.” She blocked Randy Slack, and in 24 hours, more than 175 comments from the art community poured in. Accusations of homophobia and hypocrisy were common, but the main discussion turned to censorship.”

Normally, this would be a puzzling show of immaturity for a mid-career Artist, and even if one were to play the role of devil’s advocate, her reaction still strikes strange, unless, like the Artbitch, you were once unwillingly drawn into her self-created drama sphere.
Oh yes, I gots me a story regarding Suzy, and it’s a doozy.
Awesome… I just channeled my inner Dr. Seuss, and I wasn’t even wearing my magic hat. More on my experience in a bit, but lets get back on track.

I myself have never submitted for CT, so I’m not sure if there’s a clearly defined Prospectus or not regarding the show, but I do know that at worst, this still strikes as an issue of miscommunication.

For his part, Slack seems way more genuine in his remorse that this situation has blown up the way that it has, and he’s definitely been more diplomatic in regards to addressing the issue. When I first chatted him up, he was stunningly complimentary about Falk, despite the heat being thrown his way via the NT forums and related article.

Personally, I think by her actively boycotting the show Suzy blew a huge opportunity to regroup in the way a true professional should easily be able to do, but in the end, a group show is at best, a benevolent dictatorship. There’s only room for one leader, one unified vision. Think of it this way- just because you’ve been invited to the party doesn’t mean that you have a hall pass to act like a boorish jerk.

Honestly. How hard would it have really been for her to just suck it up and take it on the chin? It’s not the end of days just because someone doesn’t like what you’re doing, unless your Ego is so fragile that you constantly need for it to be stoked just to be able to get through the day.

Considering that Falk isn’t known for doing edgy or sexually explicit work, I originally wondered why she created such a reprehensibly dreary attempt at being provocative, devoid of any actual personal connection to the subject material, and with a detachment of style far below her worst work.

Note: I didn’t say she isn’t talented, I just happen to believe that this particular piece isn’t up to her usual standards, and when viewed against her previous body of work, it’s glaringly obvious. 

I’m also not smacking her down for trying to shake up her style either- branching out is essential for an Artist’s growth, and as a rule, it would be a cold day in Hell before I mocked a fellow Creative for attempting to do so, even if that attempt results in colossal failure.

Oh, would you look at that?

Apparently, it’s freezingin Hades today… and me without a sweater.
However, there’s no time for ghost-skin, as my dear departed Oma would say- I need to explain why I’m breaking my long held rule in regards to this particular Artist, and this particular situation.
When I first heard about this brouhaha [before reading the NT article] I was all ready to put on my old Captain Indignant costume and weigh in on the supposed issue at hand, that being the Censoring of a fellow Artist- HOW DARE THEY?!?!? ARG, ARG, RANT, RANT!!
But… this was Suzy we were talking about, and given the hindsight of my personal experience with her, I decided a little research was in order first.
You know… to be sure I didn’t insert my entire thigh into my mouth the way I did with Kara Roschi?
Granted, while I truly love spouting off about things that vex me, I also try to make sure that I have a leg to stand on when I do start erupting ala Vesuvius style. It does keep things trouble-free, you know. Plus, I still get invited to all the cool parties, and that’s really what counts.
Despite Suzy’s very public assertion that what upset her was Slack’s decision, it’s clearly evident from the NT article he’s not the one that she’s really mad at- no, the wrath of Falk was undoubtedly crafted for the personage of NT’s resident art critic Kathleen Vanesian, in regards to her review of Suzy’s submission the year before.

When it comes to critics, it’s always been my deeply held certainty that most critics are a lot like Ticks- they only feed when they draw blood, so they endeavor to do it as much as possible.

Believe me, I amsympathetic to the receiving of a bad review, since being an Artist myself, I can swear that nothing hurts worse than to have some two-bit critic for a third rate tabloid rake you across the coals for your work. It’s akin to having someone hollow you out like a chocolate Easter Bunny with a razor-studded egg beater, and then proceeding to bite your head off in public, a messy and agonizingly slow, process.

It’s never happened to me of course, but that’s what I’ve been told. (Rolls eyes.)

So, what terrible, appalling, dreadful, and simply inexcusable thing had Mrs. Vanesian said in reference to Suzy and her work? Well, as you can imagine, it was simply dripping with the kind of venom and ichors that can only form inside a critic’s misshapen and pustule ridden mouth.

Once again, from the article: “While Suzanne Meow Meow Falk’s The Defenders of Sweet Dreams displays the artist’s usual mastery of her medium, I just wish she would venture out of her comfort zone and mix a little acid with the sweetness of her nostalgic still-lifes.”

Um… wait a minute… that fairly innocuous statement was “it”?

Where’s the critical snarkiness, the soul-crushing disdain for someone’s feelings, the arrogant self-righteousness of the archetypal critic? Given NT’s normal battery-acid and hot wax approach in regards to the local Arts Community, this evaluation comes off almost like a hug.
In the grand overview of it all, if this is the worst that an Artists’ critique can get, tie me to the wall and call me a bad girl. For my part, I don’t see anything in that review that would cause me to jump off into the deep end, gnashing my teeth and vowing revenge, but then again, I’ve also never been one of those who’s paid any attention to what the nonentities say about me or my career.

Whenever my work has been criticized, I’ve always looked at the source from which it emanates and at what’s been said, before I decide on a course of action, which usually involves the uttering of several crude jokes at the expense of their mother, and blowing off what’s being alleged.

Don’t misunderstand, I normally loathe critics, as I’ve always felt that they’re legless men who teach classes in running, but this could hardly count as the worst review that Falk has ever gotten, and her reaction to this irrelevant piece of journalistic fluff was just pure egocentricity at it’s best.

One of her fans recently opined to me that in regards to her career, she’s shot herself so many times in the feet, it’s astounding that she’s not walking on her kneecaps. She might be a name, but she could be an industry if she’d just get over herself, was clearly the point they were trying to make.
Yet again, I do get it- you’ve worked hard, and someone you consider a lightweight academic comes along and in your opinion, misses the point. Heck, I’d be annoyed too, but not like this. 
The act of lashing out, burning your bridges and damaging hard-won relationships has never been my first go-to choice when I’ve felt the need to defend what at worst, amounts to a minor slight regarding my artistic abilities.
No matter what, you need to remain professional at all times, even if things go south.
when you work in a market as small as Phoenix.

We don’t have the luxury of a consistent and thriving Patron base, nor do we have a large pool of professionally run galleries to choose from unless you factor in Scottsdale, of course. The majority of the spaces that do exist are, by and large, run as hobbyist enterprises, and if you don’t believe me, just see how many are open when it’s not First or Third Friday.

Real businesses have business hours and are based on an economic model to remain both solvent and relevant, and that is so not the PAC’s approach, much to the detriment of our community as a whole. Factor in amateurish tantrums like Falk’s on top of the PAC’s half-ass approach to business, and you can see why the scene (overall) has very few dedicated collectors.

In regards to Kathleen Vanesian and her supposed “influence” on the PAC and it’s stable of talent, I will simply say this: look who she writes for- the Pennysaver with Porn. Hardly worth getting upset about, yet I constantly hear my fellow Creatives bitch about this or that concerning her writing, while usually griping about how they’re being ignored by her.

While I comprehend that all ink is good ink, as my art teachers used to say, it only counts if it’s delivered by someone if truth be told, with serious chops. Personally, I don’t find her controversial, I find her to be something much worse: average. 

The only time I’ve responded to one of her reviews was when she wrote a rather blunt hatchet piece on Fausto Fernandez, and that was only on the NT forums, not within the confines of this blog.

Since I’ve never met her, I cannot possibly give you a sense of what kind of person she is, but writing about Art and stirring the pot is her job, and that she does do pretty well. Whether you agree with what she writes or not, it seems ridiculous to devote any energy defending yourself against someone who can’t affect you or your career one way or another.

I’ve been working here since 1991, have never had any of my shows reviewed by the NT, and yet- I still have a busy career, so obviously she (and they) don’t carry that much weight in deference to buoying or sinking the livelihood of Phoenix based Artists.

In essence, she’s seemingly incapable of damaging the forward momentum of the truly talented, so why in the heck would Falk give a damn about currying the favor of someone who works for a non-entity where the reviews are tucked in-between strip club and car stereo ads?

Easy answer. Ego. No more, no less. As I stated earlier, I’m not saying she isn’t talented… but she’s not exactly the second coming of Michelangelo either, so let’s keep it in perspective, shall we?
Suzy’s own words: so this year, I wanted to be a little campy, to call out some of the misogyny I’ve seen in other pieces in the show — I wanted to kick the box a little.”
For my part, I’ve never really considered a circle jerk “campy”, but hey… different strokes for different folks, as they say.
No pun intended.

However… didn’t she originally state that her piece was a reaction to a critique of the show written by
 NT’s critic Kathleen Vanesian? If this is true, at what point did she decide that rampant misogyny was a problem she had to finally address? 

In all the years she’s been part of the show, I have never heard her mention once that this was a concern.

While I do agree that a double standard exists in relation to the display of male vs. female nudity, it’s also a fact that Slack rejected another painting by a male artist depicting a female nude- an act which I think sort of negates the accusation of ingrained misogyny, and as far as the homophobic slur, I have to laugh at the ludicrousness behind it.

One could cite the statistic that male nudes traditionally don’t sell as well, and while I’m not sure what the market for paintings of masturbating men is, I’d hazard a guess that it’s a very small specialty niche. The foremost buyers of my female images are gay lawyers, so you do the math on what’s considered socially and artistically acceptable among the paying clientele.

Keep in mind, we’re not talking about a nude marble sculpture, or a study done in charcoal, or even a modern woman’s take on male eroticism via molded body parts. It’s an ugly and listless painting showing a bunch of guys wanking off themselves and the others around them.

At best, it’s a weak attempt by a conventional artist to shake off the sugar coating that her career has accumulated over the years, much in the same vein that America’s sweetheart, Meg Ryan tried to do some years ago when she thought that taking her top off and getting collagen injections in her lips was the means to so called “darker and meatier” film roles.

Not surprisingly, it backfired. People don’t like drastic change.

When you’re well known and recognized for storybook imagery, you can’t take a 180 degree turn into the darker aspects of the human psyche without looking like you’re trying too hard, and when it gets right down to it, CT is all about being seen by the right people, so Falk’s melt down and subsequent boycott of the show could be seen as an unwise move on many levels.

Sure, there’s been a load of free publicity, but will it be of use to her career? I really don’t think so, and I base my opinion on the following:

Engaging in a very public fight with a gallery and it’s curator is not the exactly the best approach for ramping up your career when you take into account that several thousand potential Patrons filter through this annual event, and no other venue in this town gives an Artist that much invaluable exposure, so cutting yourself off from such a important source seems like career suicide, especially in a city where the pond of buyers is the size of a puddle.

If I ran a gallery and heard about an Artist engaging in this kind of behavior, I’d be exceptionally wary in my dealings with them, possibly to the point of refusing to deal with them at all.  While personal relationships are important, the bottom line will always be what’s best for business, and asinine ego stroking doesn’t help ease the red ink.

Typically, high maintenance comes with high problems.
And that stalls careers.

By helping to foster unsubstantiated charges of misogyny and homophobia at Slack, it defames all those who are involved with this show. Many people work hard (some for months) to make this event come together with no definite reward save for the knowledge that a difficult job was well done.

To add insult to injury, Falk’s juvenile boycotting of the show gives credence to the theory that she considers herself above her peers, something that I, for my part, find highly insulting to those of us who approach our craft with an utmost sense of professionalism and maturity.

More frustrating is that even though many of the people that I talked to thought her behavior was disrespectful and unprofessional, they were still defending her actions, citing her talent as if it were some sort of golden ticket for acting like an ass.

A related aside…

This past week beforeI even had written anything solid regarding the situation surrounding CT 13, I heard from a few (6) of Suzy’s supporters, most of whom were all up in arms that I would dare even think to besmirch the character of their favorite painter of stuffed rabbits and dragonflies.

One shining gem in particular, a part-time local furniture maker and full-time bald guy who goes by the name of “Mike Mikowski” posted several overly aggro comments on my FB page chastising me for having the audacity to possess my own POV on my own page.

Apparently, I’m supposed to only post pictures of kittens and links to videos of adorable babies laughing… who knew? I guess when he “friended” me, he only noticed my truly sexy avatar and somehow overlooked the fact that I tend to be rather blunt and speak my mind quite frequently.

I guess in some way that’s my bad, but in my defense, most ignorant cretins don’t come with a warning label affixed to their heads. And Lord knows, he’s got the room to display one dead center.
The following exchange happened after I updated my FB page status to:is working on a new blog regarding Chaos and the Whiner- should be fun!!and serious hilarity immediately followed.
If anything could highlight the hypersensitive and hypocritical vibe that sometime comfortably co-exists within the PAC, this would be it.

Mike Mikowski: let it rest already

WMR: Um, no. somebody need to address her unprofessional behavior, and take her out to the metaphorical woodshed. Behavior like this hurts us all, and makes promoting the good twice as difficult. She asked for the attention, I’m going to see she gets it.
This isn’t the first time she’s taken to the web to pick a fight while hiding behind others, nor will it be the last, I’m afraid. Being part of this community doesn’t mean shutting up and condoning behavior that would make a six year old look like a jackass- having talent isn’t a hall pass for unprofessional and childish reactions to what at best- amounts to a miscommunication.

Thanks for stating your opinion, I do respect it, but I will be addressing this regardless.

WMR: Also I might ask: why do we put up with her crap in the first place? Would you appreciate having a show you were involved with painted with baseless charges?

I’d think not.

And its high time someone called her out on her drama. If I get heat for it- great. At least everyone will know where I stand, and that’s okay so far as I’m concerned. I’m part of the river in this town, so I’m allowed to have an opinion, and whether I address it publicly or privately is my business, I think.

Mike Mikowski: That’s your opinion. When did you suddenly get the power to play behavior police? Far as I can tell, this doesn’t even have anything to do with you. I think, just a guess, this will probably not work out well for you.
[You’re right. Because we all know how my feud with New Times just destroyed my reputation and career, so obviously I have a lot to fear from Mistress Meow Mix and her kibble crusaders .]
WMR: Wow. A person I hardly know being a hypocrite and telling me what to do. If you have such an issue with little old me, come say it to my face when I’m out and about. Odds are you won’t, but I’m a betting man. I don’t fear the Falk fan base either, so have at it.
I can also assume you condone her public outburst? Because that’s how a mid career artist should handle her business, right? IN PUBLIC and by leveling slurs at the space, curator, and participating artists by association?
Mike Mikowski: wow, so much hate and anger, maybe a little bit of envy.  
I for one don’t need that shit on my facebook page.
WMR: Last time I checked, this was my page and my opinion rules here. I noticed you didn’t answer the question posed, but you got an answer anyway. I don’t envy anyone, I’m too busy working my side of the road, and I don’t need my pals to fight for me.

To answer your “who made me the Behavior Police?” I say this: the same people that told you that you could be rude in my yard. My opinion is my own, and you’re allowed to disagree, but I’ll be damned if someone I’ve never met talks to me as if we’re best friends.

Unfriend me? Oh dear God no! Who ever would I talk to?
Oh, that’s right- my actual friends.

Best energies- you need them way more than I.

God, I just love truly civilizeddebate, don’t you? I’d also like to point out that as of this writing, he still hasn’t un-friended me, nor has he answered me back, so I guess we’re still really the bestest of buddies… for now, anyway.

And even though I stated that I respected his difference of opinion, he still plowed ahead and acted like a three year old- I was honestly waiting for him to say “I’m rubber, you’re glue, blah, blah, blah.” But this is the kind of stance that I’ve been running into when this topic comes up for discussion- it’s either complete antagonism or absolute avoidance.
Pretending that there is no problem or getting pissed off because someone is able to prove that there is, runs totally counterproductive to common sense. One of her supporters who emailed me claimed (very nicely) that she was embarrassed by the whole thing and just wanted it swept under the rug, and never wanted her lash-out to blow up the way that it did.

Fair enough. We all make mistakes- even I will freely admit that, and I’m usually intractable when it comes to letting improper behavior and it’s consequences slide. Honestly, I did think of going easy and letting the whole thing fade off after reading their Email, but you know me, I just gotta keep digging when I think I’m on to something.

And as usual, when you’re looking for inconsistencies, you’ll find them. If Falk’s loyalist is to be believed, Suzy never wanted this to happen.
So… posting her complaint on the Internet, deliberately blocking Randy, answering the numerous individual queries on her FB page personally, granting an interview and providing an image to New Times for publication, posting links to the NT article on her Tumblr page, posting a mocking meme of Randy on the same site, and closing the article with a sales pitch (Falk says that the piece is currently hanging in her studio, that interested buyers can seek her out personally) was something she never wanted to happen.

That’s an awful lot of premeditated steps for an accident, don’t ya think?
No, the more you pick this apart, it starts to look less likely that Suzy was truly ticked off at Slack’s curatorial decision, and seemingly more that she wanted to enact her bitch-slap using CT 13 as her personal conduit and she got blocked from doing so- without any deliberate malice on his part, I tend to believe.
Some free advice for Ms. Falk. If you have an issue with anyone who works at the New Times, just do what I did- make an appointment, show up with free cookies, and talk logically. They just hate that.

And if you manage to hit all the right notes, you may also have the pleasure of being escorted out of the building by a fifty year old woman who will sing a song she wrote especially for you, while she dances ala Fosse style. 

That alone is worth the trip, and until you’ve seen Amy Silverman in full performance mode, you have no concept of what talent really isn’t.

I’ve always believed that if you have a score to settle, you take it to the source of the problem- you don’t subcontract the hit, nor do you use other people’s platforms to exact your revenge, especially when the so called slight you’re avenging isn’t worth getting upset about in the first place.

In my opinion, this are a few lessons here that we all can learn from:
– Communication is key, learn how to do it clearly and maturely.
– Rejection is always a possibility. Not everyone will love you or your work. Accept it.
– Settle PROFESSIONAL disputes in a professional manner. The Internet is not your Mommy.
In other words: act like the adult you claim to be.
Gah. I’m done with this, I think. But before I go, I did promise you a story regarding Ms. Falk’s inherent unbalance, and I am a man of my word, so I will end our time together with this charming little tale from a few years back.
My day gig is framing art for many of the Valley’s top artists, galleries and interior designers out in the wilds of Scottsdale- in fact, Suzy’s mom is actually one of my shop’s past clients, as is Suzy’s current employer, The Scottsdale Artists School.

Suzy had a group show and needed to get a painting re-stretched and framed in time, and I offered to do it as a professional courtesy. So all goes well in that arena, and my GF Ashley and I wind up attending the show, mainly to see Matt Dickson’s work, of which I’m a big fan of.

During the show, we get to meet her then boyfriend, who overall- seemed like a nice cat. It was very nice, except for the fact that she came off as a little high strung about the vibe of the show. Because we live in the age of social media, both Ashley and I received FB friend requests from both of them.

I accepted for business reasons- since Suzy is one of the known Artists in town, I thought it would be good to at least be on a colleague to colleague level with her, and because of that, Ashley agreed to accept even though she didn’t know either of them.

And really neither did I, to be quite honest. This was strictly a business decision. At this time, I had maybe accumulated half an hours worth of actual conservation with her, and that over the last five years. So it’s not like we’ve ever been real friends, you know?

So flash forward a few weeks, and it comes to light that the boyfriend and Suzy had broken up, over a situation I will not divulge here, and Suzy apparently took it very hard. Once again, she turned to FaceBook to advertise what should have been a private matter.

She started posting continual and exponentially disturbing status updates ranging from the threatening to the bizarre, where she railed violently one moment and was contrite the next.

All in all, some truly insane public behavior, culminating in the proclamation of an ultimatum. To paraphrase: “It’s either him or me.” for my girlfriend who didn’t know either of them, and found Suzy’s behavior highly disquieting, it was an easy choice.
Un-friend both of them.

But it wasn’t that simple, as we both found out. Within 72 hours, Suzy discovered the fact that Ashley had dropped her, and the messages began… to me, strangely enough. Starting with a tone of almost frantic whininess, she wanted to know why “Ash” had done such a cruel and heartless thing.

[Perhaps it’s because her name is “Ashley”, not “Ash”- but I seriously doubt that’s the reason.]

Surprisingly, I am not my GF’s keeper nor am I her mouthpiece, and I told Suzy so. Now, most rational people would have taken that as a hint, but not our Suzy. 
The messages intensified, bordering on the accusatory that I didn’t understand her pain, to which I replied with how my ex-fiancé and I had broken up under almost the exact same circumstances, and advised her not to disburse energy being angry over something she could not control or change.

Did I mention that I have a God given talent for hitting the “crazy as fuck” button in people? Good, because that info will come in real handy in about a minute or so.

The next message that I received (and the last one I actually read) had Suzy comparing herself to a blind, mewling kitten who was huddled in the corner, defenseless against the world. 

Now, I don’t want to seem callous here, but give me a break.

I’m not a grief counselor, nor were my GF and I her friends. And thanks to FB, she already had access to group therapy, albeit an unwilling one. When she realized that Ashley wasn’t going to get back to her, she then dropped me and blocked both of us.

Once again, we breathed a sigh of relief thinking the drama was over, but just like a bad 80’s horror flick involving summer camps and teenagers, there was one more surprise hiding in the closet. There followed two phone calls, neither of which I answered, instead I pushed them to my voice mail, so I could listen to them later.
When I did, they could be charitably described as rambling, at best. We deleted the messages and finally Suzy, from our lives. Later after I had relayed this story to a few of my friends, I discovered that some of them had gone through an oddly similar experience, the implication that this is par for the course in her relationships with people who don’t want to buy what she’s selling.

And with that, we come full circle, and to the end of our tale. 

Sadly, History does tend to repeat itself, and like most things comprised of pure bubblegum, I’m sure she’ll be stuck underfoot again real soon. Only time will tell whether she learns anything from this, but I definitely have.
I’ve learned that when it comes to being mature, maybe I shouldn’t expect talent and name recognition to be the yardstick.

“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” – Denis Waitley