Saturday, May 30, 2009

unglamourous girl

the last time i was in bellingham, a crazy (or maybe just eccentric) middle-aged lady told me as i was getting off bus: you stood out like light, you know, . . . like light. that was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. i'll be hard-pressed to find another compliment as intrinsic as that. once again, i am baffled by how much life can change in a matter of mere months. once again i left the land of high-arched hippie boys, and am dreaming up my next plan of action in suburbia. my mornings are not unlike elementary school. i wake up, i pack my lunch, i get on the bus. but instead of taking me to highland terrace, my bus takes me to a small, unassuming office in the broderick building in pioneer square. then i ride the elevator up to the fifth floor, take a right, a left, and another right, and sit down and power up my shiny new laptop. i am once again gainfully employed. this time, at a small human rights nonprofit. i even work more than 40 hours a week. and i enjoy it more than my fixed 40 hours at pyramid communications, and a lot more than my 37.5 hours at the law firm. i've been feeling good. but i've also been feeling a bizarre urge to move to everett. everett, i know! but i've had this consistent, low-grade craving to live around working class people for a while now. construction workers. waitresses. that kind of thing. having gone to college, i've found myself folded into this pocket of "professionals" from relatively privileged households. but my roots are entrenched in the working class. my mother was a waitress for twenty years. my grandfather was sheet metal worker. my great-grandmother was a housekeeper. my great-great grandparents owned a vegetable stand in italy. i'm not trying to glamorize what it means to be poor. i don't think there's anything intrinsically noble about not having money. i'm also not trying to villanize what it means to have money. but i think there is something noble about being able to enjoy simple pleasures. like actual simple pleasures, not $15 yoga classes or a $80 cashmere scarves recommended by real simple magazine. i've noticed that the more yuppified people become, the less simple their simple pleasures become. they turn into de-stressers or distractions from their fast-paced, deadline-driven lifestyles, instead of pleasures to be savored for their own sake. i mean, i want to live comfortably. i want to be able to buy $22 lobster macaroni and cheese from purple once or twice a year. i want to have money to travel. heck, i want to buy every dress that has graced the store windows of anthropologie. but i want to be able to recognize these things for what they are: splurges, luxuries, pure decadence. i don't want to be fooled into thinking something's simple because it's peasant-chic. so i guess that's why i've been eyeing that old mining city just a bit due north. i feel like it could remind me that the pocket of professionals i'm surrounded by, is just that; a pocket. most people in the world put on their unglamourous clothes, work their unglamourous jobs, and come home to an unglamourous beer. and i'm not a very glamourous girl.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog