The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
You may know Amanda Palmer as a music artist who plays the piano and sings about all sorts of things in life. You may know her as Neil Gaiman’s wife. If you didn’t know who she was, that’s who she is, but there’s more to Amanda that being a recording artist and wife.
Amanda grew up in a house with a mother who was a computer programmer, which was actually a novelty during Amanda’s childhood. Female programmers were few and far between. Amanda learned how to play the piano. She made friends with a neighbor man. This friendship ultimately lasted her entire life. She started touring and she started making CDs.
Along the way, she had to learn how to ask people for help. Sometimes she needed a place to sleep, or supplies for a concert, or money to put out a new CD, or a keyboard, or props, or just whatever. Amanda learned that if you asked, people were generally willing to help, or to provide.
Later on, Amanda struck up a friendship with Neil Gaiman, of all things. There were a strange mutual attraction, which lasted through a relationship or two, but ultimately Neil and Amanda ended up together, despite their age difference of sixteen years. There were several periods of time that Amanda needed money to pay her employees and Neil offered to help, but Amanda felt weird about it. Meanwhile, her friend Anthony, the neighbor man, was going through cancer treatments, which turned Amanda’s life upside down. Amanda didn’t know why she was having such a hard time taking money from Neil, but she did learn how to accept help when she needed it.
What I liked
I like this idea of asking. Just put it out there. Ask the universe for something and see what happens. I know it can be very difficult to ask for help or ask people anything, for that matter, but sometimes it’s better if we do. I feel like this is a lesson I could take to heart a little more.
I like Amanda. I knew of her through my boyfriend, who listens to her music. I had no idea who she was. I loosely remembered that Neil Gaiman had gotten married, but didn’t equate his wife’s name with anybody in particular. I admire Neil. It stands to reason that anybody Neil associates with is pretty neat.
What I didn’t like
I get where Amanda is coming from with the money thing, although, I think for different reasons than Amanda has. Amanda doesn’t like having her husband give her money for things because she considers herself independent and a feminist; I don’t like taking money from people because I’m afraid they’re going to hold it over my head as a power move. That’s one of the things that sucks about having been in a mentally abusive relationship–it’s difficult to trust people afterwards, even though you want to. You’re scared that every person is going to behave that way.
Maybe one day I can be ok with taking money from people too, just like Amanda.
Can you guys share my site with all your friends and tell them how awesome I am? I thought I’d ask.
Do you find you have trouble asking people for things?
Would you like to be friends with Neil Gaiman?