As usual, I got into a bit of a scrap with some fellow who went to my high school, though I don’t know as we ever met fifty or so years ago.
I was calling stupid people slugs, and he was intent upon proving that he was no such thing. Which begged, literally begged the question, of why he thought I was speaking of him. The irony is so delicious, only the truly stupid would miss it. I guess he did, for he left the conversation in a huff with the usual, “you have too much time on your hands” which is supposed in some distant corner of the world to be an insult of sorts, but of course my response is, “well, actually I have just exactly the right amount of time on my hands, which is all of it, since I’m smart enough to organize my life in such a way that I control what I do almost all the time.” Or, I could have said, “yeah?” Either one suffices.
Anyway, I thought to lighten the atmosphere by a general meme, about all sorts of fairly unimportant questions which generate, or so I hoped, some conversation. Things like, what’s would you do differently if you could start over in life? or, What’s your most prized possession? Or what are you reading? You know, small talkin’ stuff that passes for what people who really don’t know each other call conversation.
Course it doesn’t work on some at all. I find the uber conservative right to be largely incapable of letting anything roll of their Christian backs. They hold a grudge. I guess they would tell you that Jesus told them to. I never read anywhere where he said that, but they are constantly amazing me with the things they pull out of their bible about Jesus, such as that he hated minimum wage legislation, and was against governments carrying for their citizens. My favorite was a statement that Jesus was for the 2nd Amendment. A jaw-dropping moment if there ever was one.
Anyway, (my favorite segue ), my little graduating class of 1968 is particularly priggish I think. We were a frightfully cliquish set of groups, totally barely 100 or so, and basically people that couldn’t stand each other then, still can’t. But interesting, some of the nicest people I think of today from that class are people I didn’t know at all back then. The clique thing, of course. As one has come to expect, the super popular people from then, are mostly dickish today. We knew they would be. The world after all, was not the least bit impressed with them as individuals, they only shined as members of the “in group” of student government/ cheerleader/athlete/pretty faces, in that small setting. They do glory though in their reminiscing of the only glory days they apparently ever knew. A bit like Brick reliving the glory days through his bottle, or Maggie telling him, “I don’t live with you. We occupy the same cage.”
We maintain a wary truce most of the time, by agreeing to not talk to each other directly. “Like” the innocuous entry, about nothing of value, and avoid each other the rest of the time. I find it funny mostly. A friend suggested that the deepest pain comes when we are young and vulnerable. People in our later ages can’t hurt us as deeply. We have grown a depth of skin to ward off their arrows. He could be right.
A life well lived is the best revenge they say, and I think that might be true.
Someone I read wrote an interesting piece about urban living. I started thinking about that. I’ve lived in cities, and in suburbs, and in the real country. Each has their good points, each their bad. But I think it has more to do with age. The city is for the young, least it was for me. Fast, brutal, unforgiving. The country. Idealistic, pure, honest. Suburbia? Where do you place that baby? Wisteria Lane? Baby carriages and SUV’s? Neat lawns. Deceptive, rigid, and a masquerade? Yeah, can be. All depends on at what point in your life you find yourself there.
I have hated suburbia, and I’ve loved it. I love it now. I have always loved urban as long as you live in the part not in need of renewal. Country? What’s not to like, but be the fact that weather becomes your parent? You have to be physically fit and fairly youthful to contend with a half mile that needs plowing to get to the store ya know?
I’m damned blessed. And I do know it. I was paddling around this morning, as I said. Thought of plenty of shit while Elton John talked about Rocket Man, and Freddy Mercury wailed about having killed a man. Here I am, floating around in a very nice pool, that costs me about $.50 a visit for an hour, getting my upscale “exercise” with a bunch of middle-aged folks like myself. My husband, is at Wal-Mart buying dog food and coconut milk and various other sundries that are cheaper than at the “other” grocery story I go to on Wednesday. My housekeeper is cleaning the house. I’ve got the sauce already cooked for today’s meal, beef enchiladas with ranchero sauce, with mexican rice and ranch beans.
If that doesn’t scream privilege and blessing I don’t know what does. So here I sit, writing, and I’m going to do some more reading and some beading and then later join my husband for an evening watching TV and chatting about thirty-two things that might range from the theory of time, to how best to get Frida to stop screaming every time I put her on a leash. We’ll all settle in to relax and chat and snack, and comment on this or that as the evening wends its way to bedtime. We’ll all settle into our beds, the dogs in theirs and we in ours, and we’ll all soon fall sweetly into sleep until we get up and do some more stuff, that pleases us and seldom imposes any undo burden.
I’ll bob around the pool, and Parker will cook (Philly steak sandwiches this week), and I’ll learn hopefully a few more things I didn’t know before, and we’ll laugh at so many things along the way, and the dogs will bounce and lavish us with kisses, and ya know, damn I am one lucky woman.
But I will still scratch my head that there are actual breathing humans in this country who think health care is a privilege, who think that evolution isn’t true, that deny climate change, and who manage to still walk and talk without a single brain cell in their vacuous braincases. And I will be alternatively angry and pitying and finally stoic if I can, that I can only speak truth, and the rest is not up to me.
Is your world similarly insane?
(A world where there is a Mittens, and a Huck, and a Bushite all in the same race? AND a libertarian loon? Oh it’s gonna be a fun one kiddies, a fun one indeed.)