Thursday, September 30, 2010

I don't consider myself a political person...


And I don't like being around people who also aren't very political, but pretend they are to be in style. (I say this with all respect for President Obama, but I felt like many members of my generation expressed their enthusiasm for him during the election because it was the cool thing to do.)

But, yesterday, I was told that I was too political and that I force my very liberal politics onto other people and let politics get in the way of friendships.

(I am going to pause for a moment and let Matthew Lapierre, who is reading this right now, stop laughing.)


I was told these things in a very odd exchange, which started all because I told somebody that I am not suspicious of Muslim-Americans since 9/11...and that demonizing them in any way is the same thing that Americans did to Japanese-Americans during World War II.

This person I was talking to said that they can think whatever they want, and that, "It's the same thing I told you right now that I don't support gay marriage...even if it meant I was what? It has nothing to do with you."


Did they really just say, "Even if that meant I was what?"

Prejudice is a "so what" kind of topic?



What decade is this? What generation are we from? Aren't we supposed to be much more open-minded than our parents and grandparents? Aren't we supposed to learn from previous generations' mistakes, that ignorance, hate and bigotry is bad?

And back-up a little more.

Did they really just say that something that involves about 10 percent of the population and many, many of my close friends had nothing to do with me?

I told this person just that.

And they accused me of forcing my liberal politics down her throat...

I told this person that wanting my friends to have equal rights had nothing to do with politics.

It's just that simple and clear-cut to me.

I must say, this was the first narrow-minded, ignorant person I have come across in a very long time...and instead of being frustrated, I am going to realize just how lucky I am that I can say that.

Thank you, New York City theatre community, which I am so proud to be a part of, and that accepts and celebrates all different kinds of people.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yesterday, I passed a little boy in the street...

...he was on a bicycle. He looked a little older than my 5-year-old little cousin.

We made eye contact, and then he flashed me the peace sign.

I smiled and gave him one back.

And on September 11th, 9 years eyes welled with tears as we went in our opposite directions.

I thought about how that little boy wasn't alive in 2001. He will have no memories, no "where were you?" answer...he'll never know what the world was like before September 11th.

And as he gave me that peace sign, I was filled with a lot of hope for the world...

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I still think about her...

...a day or two after the World Trade Center was destroyed, the Today Show was interviewing a young woman.

Both her boyfriend and her brother had been working in the Twin Towers that day and there was no sign of either one of them.

She was young. She probably hadn't slept in two days. She was talking very fast, and even trying to joke around with Katie Couric, telling her that not too long ago, her boyfriend asked who Katie Couric was and, "Who doesn't know who Katie Couric is???"

I realized that there was no difference between her and me and my friends...except that she had two of the most important guys in her life in those buildings that day.

I didn't know this girl, but for some reason, I thought about her for a long time after the attacks. She put a face to this tragedy. I thought about the thousands of other people out there just like her. Everybody had a story. Everybody lost somebody they loved very much.

I still think about her, especially today. I hope she found strength in the weeks and years that followed that day. I hope she's okay.

Diana Rissetto

We've seen evil...

The other night, my friend asked me if I wanted to check-out the new Holocaust documentary which was being shown in a movie theatre...definitely not a light film for a date night. We talked about our mutual interest in Holocaust films and books...he's the grandson of survivors, and I'm a Catholic girl.

We both said how the only movies that really "scare" us are Holocaust movies. I said that I can never watch or read anything Holocaust-related movies or books any time near bedtime because it guarantees less sleep than I usually get. He said that it scares him because it really happened...and it happened to his family...

We watched the movie and the faces on the screen haunted me for the rest of the night.

How can this happen? How can people be so evil, so brainwashed? How can people do that to other people? I have always been so in love with the styles of the 1940's. Sometimes when I watch Holocaust movies, I feel so guilty for feeling that way...for "loving" this era when such horror was going on in other countries. Americans never realize how lucky they are.

And then something happens in our own backyard.

Right now, I'm watching MSNBC air 9/11: How it Happened....the coverage from the dark, horrible day minute-by-minute.

The building my family and I live in for most of my childhood can be seen in some of the footage. I always felt really safe in that building.

I think after September 11th, none of us will ever really feel safe ever again.

I know there is still evil in this world, and people are still brainwashed, and people do still do reprehensible things to other people...because we saw it with our own eyes on that day.

Never, never forgot...

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"You never gave up hope..."

And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe... it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is... just... moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope. He's Just Not That Into You (the movie)

I got sucked-into reading my journals from ten years ago today.

Actual journals...handwritten notebooks with thoughtful quotes on each page. I used to write in them like mad.

Once I started going through them, I couldn't stop.

I kept thinking, "Wow, you were so naive/young/innocent/unjaded."

(However, at the same time, I had also quite lived a lot. I honestly think that losing a parent during your teen years cancels out a lot of otherwise innocence and unjadeded-ness one might have. Even though I was really innocent and young, I was also old for my years, with a certain seriousness you get when you've gone through such a hardship. My teen years weren't as simple as most of my friends'.)

One thing I was most certainly naive about, however, was the idea of falling in my mind, it was supposed to be just like it was in novels and movies and, in my own little world, also like it was back in, I thought I fell in love for the first time when I was a freshman in college. I would later compare the moment when I first saw that person to the scene in Big Fish when he first sees his wife and popcorn freezes in the air. I still remember that exact moment, and that guy will always have a place in my heart.

I WAS Drew Barrymore/Meg Ryan after all, and everything would work out for me just like it always did for them.

I have always been idealistic, hopelessly romantic and, to an extreme fault...very very (very) sensitive. I was actually talking to the same friend from my previous Billy Joel entry recently and he asked me why I had this undeniable insecure streak. I reminded him of that time I wrote that letter pouring out my heart to a boy in the 9th grade. He laughed at me and told the entire school. (Or, what felt like the entire school.) I told him that left an imprint on me...I never quite got over it, and I'll still hear that kid's name and cringe.

My friend told me he didn't remember.

I guess that shows that you never attract as much attention as you think you do.

You would have thought that experience would have taught me a lesson...not to be so open with my emotions and to always assume the worst and be on guard, knowing that getting hurt is always a very strong possibility...but it really didn't...and hasn't...

Although this might counteract with my previous, "I joke around too much" entry...for the most part, I completely wear my heart on my sleeve.

I am really open with my feelings, and often break the cardinal rule my mother tried to drill into me when I was younger...("Never put anything in writing." I can't help it. I'm a writer. I put everything in writing. It has been and will always be the way I am most comfortable expressing myself.)

If I had to go back, I probably still WOULD have written that letter pouring-out my heart in the 9th grade...because how is pouring-out your heart ever a bad thing? I don't think it ever could be. It's always okay to just be 100% yourself and tell people how you feel...and when you are finally telling that stuff to the right person, well, then...everything else was just for practice.

"...and the beauty is when you realize someone could be looking for a someone like you..." -The Light in the Piazza

Diana Rissetto