Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hold On Tight

You gotta admire a grown man who can make an entire music video while holding his who-who. I’m talking about Kanye in the video for Homecoming. Chris Martin has his own, um, quirks—have you ever seen him live? When he plays the piano, he really gets up close and personal. With the piano, that is.
What is it about boys and their extras? Sitting in the Kindergarten classroom with my daughter, I noticed 3 boys hanging out together around the blocks. All holding their “handles”. Not talking about it, not yanking, just building towers and hanging on. I’m wondering if it’s a fascination or a fear for them. Is it such an incredible thing, that they have this hidden appendage, or are they afraid that if they let go, it will fall off? I’m looking for someone with that sort of item to weigh in here. Having never been a man, having never had a pocket in my undies, I’m wondering why it is that there’s a common theme to men relaxing. Is it an invitation of some sort?
I’ve seen a few women who are hangers-on, too. They’re the same ones who are likely to use their girls as a storage facility. Me, personally, I can’t get away with that. I stick so much as a nickel in my bra and people wonder why I have the image of Thomas Jefferson embossed on my shirt. I put my hankies in my purse and I don’t grab myself. First, I’m likely to miss. Second, it’s not a comfortable thing for my hands to be doing. Third, I’m usually lugging kids around so my hands are kept pretty busy without checking to make sure Los Tetones are in place.
And, speaking of the Grand Tetons, why in the world did we keep that name? What, we let a bunch of lonely old men walk around making up hilarious names, and in our wisdom we say, “Great. Write it on the map. How do you spell it again?” Big Boobs Mountains. I bet the French are still laughing about that one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kanye and I Go Home

Have you heard it? It makes me weep. I have it on now: Kanye West and Chris Martin crooning “Homecoming.” You can Youtube it if you want to emote with me.
I could tell you that it reminds me of my teenage years, growing up in Cabrini Green, wishing I could afford to do more than window shop while the Oprah-ites walked around L.S.D. in Manolos. Actually, I grew up in a rather affluent part of an affluent suburb that boasts a mall the size of Delaware and an Ikea. Not exactly good for my gangsta image. In fact, I’d never heard Chicago referred to as “Cha-city” until Hal, also very pale but not from Chicago, emailed the song. I did spend time downtown, but like a vampire I left as soon as it began getting light. And always in a car. Well, almost always. Once, I got out of a friend’s car at an intersection and began walking home because he kept using a no-no word. At least, I think I was headed home. Don’t worry. He apologized by the next intersection, which saved me a minimum of 29 miles.
True Confessions time: I did not live in the Chicagoland area for long. 2 ½ years. But they were formative years. I fell in love for the first time, graduated from High School, learned to drive. I also joined PETA and wrote letters to free Nelson Mandela, for which I am STILL waiting for a thank you card.
I sometimes think I’m from Spain. I spent some time there and fell in love again, this time with a whole culture. You gotta respect women who can walk on cobblestone streets for miles wearing handmade Italian heels. I wore tennis shoes, because I’m American and I can, but there’s something appealing about dressing from Vogue to walk around the block.
Other times, I feel like a Bostonian. I’m comfortable without people in my business. I enjoy the anonymity, the vaguely irritable nature of the people who, underneath that exterior, have enough spit and vinegar to stick it out in a climate that scares most beach babes. I’m happy in sweaters, especially when those sweaters come from organic farms, handknit by a local artisan. ‘Course, at those prices, you can only have one.
I never felt like I belonged in Houston. How does one belong there? I had a friend I love dearly, a home I wish I could have brought with me, and an HOA that regularly sent me nasty letters—all the things that make a suburban housewife’s life exciting. But, after one evacuation and the births of my 2 youngest, I still didn’t feel bad about leaving for good.
And here? I love here. I can do all the things I love, with people I love, and I see myself sending down roots that, I hope, will hold us here.
So, what about you? Where are you from?