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When you hear that phrase “your inner child”, I am pretty sure they mean something about finding wonder in butterflies and joy in simple things. You know, how a 3 year old will entertain themselves for hours with a cardboard box, that sort of thing.
Well, I have decided to quit fighting my inner child. I am 46 years old now, the mother of 3 adult and 1 nearly adult children. Apparently as a 46 year old mother of 4 I am required to be Mature, Sophisticated and stuff like that. Humor is supposed to be…y’know…Smart, wry, dry, and definitely should not involve bodily functions.
However, my inner child…is not 3 years old and finds wonder in butterflies and joy in cardboard boxes, except when I know something needs to be shipped somewhere and it’s just the right size. Unfortunately my inner child is male and 14 years old. Fart scenes in movies absolutely make me howl. Tears roll down my face and will giggle about it all day long. YouTube…may God richly bless the inventor of YouTube. Thanks to YouTube I can watch all my favorite movie scenes, over and over until I am incapacitated and breathless. Then I can introduce them to my children, who also howl and become breathless. Then my much more mentally mature husband will roll his eyes and mutter something about “I knew she was like this when I married her”
I know I am not the only middle aged woman like this. Right? Right?
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Children, that is. When they’re little, you can’t really call them practical or useful, not *really*, except for entertainment value or personal affirmation. I mean, what makes you feel better about yourself than some small person squealing and holding their arms out to you? But for Real Use, a toddler isn’t much good at emptying the dishwasher or helping you decide which shoes to wear with your new dress. They’ll always go for the red ones.
However, when they get older, the Personal Affirmation part kind of goes by the wayside. I mean, what makes you feel more stupid than some tall person groaning and rolling their eyes at your choice of shoes (red? are you serious?) or obvious ignorance about how to download an mp3 files? what the heck is an mp3 file anyway? Is it like a nailfile? or a 45 record?
However, they do eventually outgrow the groans and eye rolling, once they figure out that *you’re* the one who determines the quality of their food and holds the purse strings. Once you become their sole source of income (Mom,do you have any jobs I can do for the price of a pack of cigarettes? Why yes, I do. If you’ll do this job that a normal person would do for $50, I’ll pay you enough to buy a pack of cigarettes. Such is the pull of addiction, folks,) they soon figure out that it is best to not roll their eyes.
I have an adult child living at home. He’s in college, but still has a good bit of free time on his hand. He is also quite skilled with computer related stuff. Now that I have this fancypants sewing machine, that is supposed to be able to intferace with my computer, I need his skills. And he needs my good graces. Sometime, maybe today or maybe this weekend, he and I are going to sit down and figure out how to make the machine and my computer talk to each other. I found a forum that supposedly explains all this stuff, but it’s kind of over my head. So in exchange for his expertise, I am going to help him figure out how to interpret female body language so he can get a date.
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I haven’t died, not even a little bit. Ok maybe a little bit. Let’s say the couch is really comfortable right now.
I’ve also been kind of busy with a new toy. Newish, anyway. It’s this Pfaff thing. Peaches asked me to figure out how to do the embroidery on it, then figure out how to make it interface with my computer so I can use someone else’s embroidery software. The idea is that I’ll learn how to do then embroidery, then she’ll turn it all into dresses to sell in a shop she knows of in Charleston (how…Chic! or something) and then we’ll both make some money,which is always nice.
This is not a direction I ever considered. I don’t DO embroidery, and I certainly don’t do dresses for little girls. I love to sew, but it’s more like architecture than embellishment. I make adults things, structured and tailored and as far from French Hand Sewn Heirloom Children’s Couture that she makes as an analogy something something…Ok, my clothing is to furniture as hers is to jewelry…does that make sense? I don’t know…but it’s a different direction, that’s for sure.
I have, however, figured out how to to the embroidery programs that came with the machine and Woah, that’s FUN. Now I’m wanting to BUY EVERY COLOR OF THREAD and MAKE THINGS. Butterflies and flowers and monograms. And MY OWN STUFF. Surely, if Kathy at Custom Keepsakes can do it, I can. totally different stuff,of course. My style leans in a completely other direction…but I can see doing tone-on-tone borders and making really interesting edges on the linings of coats, that sort of thing. I want to make a skirt for Loaner Girl with embroidered somethings at the bottom that scatter their way toward the waistband. Stars? Butterflies? I don’t know…but first I must BUY ALL THE THREADS!!
Before any of that happens, the thing needs to come in. It’s the 9pin/USB adapter that will allow my computer to interface with the sewing machine so they can talk to each other. This is where Peaches ground to a halt, and why she thinks I’m some kind of computer genius, even though I am NOT, but I have a couple of them in the household who are kind of enthralled with the sewing machine because it has a touchscreen and makes tootling noises. At least it doesn’t talk. That would be annoying. Unless it had Sam Elliot’s or Mike Rowe’s voice. Then it would totally be FINE.
resolved fixed and replaced with another situation.
When you have as many adult children as I do, who are still young enough to do something stupid, you never really get to the point where everyone is chugging along happily, you just replace one crisis with another one. But that’s ok. no one died, no one is sick (other than Will’s nasty cold, for which I fixed him 6 pints of garlicky chicken soup and ordered him to eat 1 pint a day until he felt better), no one is homeless or starving. In the grand scheme of things, we’re all doing pretty good.
So I’ve been thinking. Yes, I do think once in a while. In the wee hours of this morning, while I was asleep, a friend wrote a very interesting blog post about classism and while yes, she curses like a Friday Night Stevedore, she makes a few excellent points. That is, poor whites (especially Southerners) are an acceptable target for ridicule and contempt. I’m white, Southern, and have been poor. I’ve lived in a 30 year old housetrailer at the edge of a peanut patch, and endured the polite yet pointed remarks from other women, when upon finding out where and how I lived, would say things like “oh. Well. Come see me sometime.” That’s Southern White Woman’s version of “oh I don’t think I want to see you, and I certainly don’t want to spend time in a (delicate shudder) 30year old housetrailer” I wanted to shout at them “IT’S NOT CONTAGIOUS!”
Oh, and Renegade Evolution, who wrote that post? She *is* a friend. Not just a “she writes an interesting blog I follow from time to time”. She’s a friend because she’s honest and not afraid to tell it like it is, and I respect that. And yes,we’ve met in (as she calls it) “meatspace” or (as I call it) Real Life.
The thing is, this whole idea of classism, it’s so easy to fall into, isn’t it. “I’m not one of THOSE”(…people who shop at Walmart or Goodwill.) or “well, I’m educated so I know better”(…than what?). Now, she’s talking about classism within feminism in her post. Uh Boy is it ever there. Makes me queasy, in fact. I’m talking about good old Southern White Woman Classism. I don’t know feminism much, other than what I read (and laugh at) in bloglandia. But I certainly do know SWWC. The Housetrailer Years, the Tiny Old Farmhouse years taught me much about “Who’s Your People” classism, the kind that you see in very small Southern towns, inbred and old.
When I was 9 we moved from Illinois to a small Georgia town, and I had the apparent misfortune of sharing a last name with a (shudder…you’re one of THEM) not very well respected family, the kind that had a Family Compound (you know,a cluster of housetrailers around an old farm house, fenced in with big dogs and trigger happy adults), and I learned really quickly how important your name was, and it went downhill from there. The other people whohad the same last name? They were nice, not very wealthy, old clothes and the boy who was in my class sometimes didn’t smell so good. The girl, a cousin of the boy, got the hell out of Dodge as soon as she graduated. I moved my senior year, to a town who didn’t have anyone with that last name, and escaped the stigma. However, the residue of being treated like “Poor White Trash” because of a nonexistent affiliation stuck with me.
When we married, we didn’t have
much any money. A good day was when there was $3 in the checking account the day before payday. A bad one was when we had to use a credit card to buy milk. Thank God for WIC, which provided infant formula and baby food. That experience taught me to understand how and why people need public assistance like WIC and food stamps. Sometimes you just don’t have the money. It’s not a character flaw.
Then we moved into the housetrailer at the edge of a peanut patch. It was down a dirt road (called Mud Road, isn’t that clever). I kept it clean and tidy. It was spacially adequate, and pleasantly situated with a couple of giant oak trees. But it was a housetrailer, and I never had a visitor. As soon as I’d say “turn off the paved road” they’d start looking panicked, and when I’d say “it’s the old white housetrailer” the panic turned into a look like they’d gotten a whiff of a dead animal, and they’d smoothly say “oh,well…next time you’re in town come by for a visit”. This taught me that living is a housetrailer isn’t a character flaw, sometimes it’s all you can afford. Not having nice furniture, not owning a new car or a house in a fine neighborhood or being able to eat out all the time or wearing new clothes from Dillards, these are not character flaws.
Yes, sometimes people spend their money differently from the way I do. Sometimes they’d rather have a $400 tattoo than spend it at Dillard’s on clothes. As ong as it’s not a swastika, I’m ok with that. There’s a spot I’d like to spend $400 for a tattoo, but have yet to locate $400 that isn’t claimed already. Sometimes I’ll see an old housetrailer with a $60,000 custom bass boat parked behind it. I reckon the people in the house love to fish, maybe someone won the boat in a tournament. Who am I to look down on them for that? I once lived in a 30 year old housetrailer and had a 2 year old minivan with payments that were bigger than the rent we paid on the trailer. I reckon my priorities were not so good?
The thing is, classism is there and it’s such an integral part of our culture that no one even sees it. Racism is evil. People who are blatant racists are vilified and rightfully so. Classism is funny, let’s mock the dumb uneducated redneck hicks who don’t know any better than to put blowers on their 1980 Monte Carlos and roar up and down the road. Never mind that uneducated redneck hick with the Monte Carlo had a heart big enough to give my rebellious child a home, when he was running away. Let’s make fun of the old guy with the house and yard full of broken down appliances,never mind he is a safe haven for teenaged boys, gives them a meal and a ride home, and is mentoring rebellious boys in the Gospel so when they get tired or the rebellion they have something meaningful to consider.
Thank God for people like these. who don’t really care what wealthier people, the ones with The Good Family Name and the house in The Right Neighborhood think about them.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
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Summer Seven: An Off-The-Top-Of-My-Head List of Summer Happenings…
1.June- I don’t remember anything from June!
2. July-fancypants vacation to Kentucky planned, then cancelled! oh wait, that happened the end of June…
3. Consolation trip to Atlanta involved amazing food and the discovery of a fabulous fabric store
4.Investigation and trial runs of a couple of fancypants sewing machines, with no decision being made
5.Aquisition of a puppy, tragic death of that puppy, then near immediate aquisition of his half brother (who hasn’t yet died)
6.Discovery of Panera Bread’s dozen-and-a-half bagel deal, and that they’ll give you another one for free.
7.um……uh….(thinking)Oh I know! I made a lovely dress of ivory eyelet, and have gotten lots of compliments on it!
Now that Summer is Officially Over, there are no more excuses for slackery. As long as it’s between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it is easy to put things off. “Oh, it will just get messy again tomorrow” and “someone will only spill something there, no point in cleaning.”
But now? Labor Day has a different meaning for this housewife. It’s a kickoff, a reinvigoration, a banishment of slackitude and laziness. The weekly schedule is reinstituted, and that includes time on the computer.
I spend way too much time,being sucked in by stuff like StumbleUpon and that whole “hey, this looks interesting” and ‘oo what’s that all about?” The internet has made it far, far too easy to
waste time research ideas.
I did the same thing when I was a kid, in the library. Projects and reports were inevitably late, tho VERY well researched,because I’d get started on a pile of books in the library, but in the process of looking for those books, would find something else (OO! Shiny!) that was even more captivating than Jungian psychology or the life cycle of the blue fruit fly, and off on a tangent I’d go.
I still do that, and the internet makes it SO EASY.
But now that Labor Day is here, so is my annual attempt at Self Discipline. It goes like this: get up at 6, check email while Terry’s in the shower, then NO COMPUTER UNTIL MORNING COFFEE BREAK (usually around 9:30). When the coffee cup is empty, get back to work, and NO COMPUTER UNTIL AFTERNOON COFFEE BREAK (usually around 2). When cup is empty, etc etc. and NO COMPUTER AFTER TERRY GETS HOME. Amazing how much can get done around the house when you’re not looking up stuff that has no relevence to you life AT ALL but still manages to be very interesting (jellyfish. I love jellyfish. They’re fascinating. how can something that looks like that even be ALIVE).
So I keep notes. A little spiral bound notebook follows me around the house and when something crosses my mind (sea slugs! Have you ever looked at them? They look like flamenco dancers! Gorgeous!) it will go into the book, and during my breaks, as long as nothing more important comes up (grilled chicken sandwiches with aioli! Need to marinate! Ciabatta rolls!) I will look it up and become More Informed.
Ok, last sip of coffe, time to wind this down. Next up: Work in the studio! Terry made me a most excellent set of shelves,nice and tall, and completely empty at the moment. That won’t last long!
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Auburn University Fight Song played on a whistle pop
love me some Auburn Football. However, today’s game, the first one of the season, was against Utah State School of Law and Cosmetology and until the last minute of the game, THEY were winning!
What the HECK?
Auburn’s supposed to be the National Champions and if they keep doing that the media joes will be all like they always are and it irritates me SO MUCH!
“it was just a fluke” and “sure they won the national championship game but the Oregon Ducks were clearly the better team” and stuff like that. how annoying.
So I’ll make some excuses.
Practically the entire starting lineup graduated. Only 6 people who started last year are on this year’s team. The team is young and inexperienced. Ok so Auburn might have a less than stellar year, but it’s not because last year was a fluke. Last year happened because the team was experienced and mature. Next year? Next year. The team will be experienced and mature.
I predict this year will be underwhelming. Next year, however, will be something to sing about.
This is Aubie, the Auburn University Mascot, BEST IN THE WORLD