Mmm’kay… now that the drama of the past few days has passed, it’s time to get back to “work”. I know not everyone considers what I do “work”, but what do they know? Maybe I’m just one of those people whose true worth won’t be known until after I’m dead. 😉
It’s just after 9:00 AM, here in the land of Beer, Brats, and Broetchen. I’ve already gotten a few things done. I washed the sheets, cleaned Noyzi’s food and water bowls and refilled the water, did some more work on migrating and organizing my massive music collection to the newer computer, and paid a bill. And now I’m sitting here wondering if I want to upset my stomach by thinking about the news of the world.
I know I haven’t been writing as much about current events lately, but trust me, I’ve been watching what’s going on. I suppose it depresses me too much to comment on the epic political shitshow that is projected for 2024. I hate the idea of DeSantis or Trump in the White House. I’m not overly excited about another four years with Biden, either, mainly because he is so elderly and people say such awful things about him. I know it probably wouldn’t be any different with another candidate in power, but at least someone younger and more dynamic would seem more like a fair target. I have respect for Joe Biden. He truly inherited a circus when he entered the White House. It can’t be easy cleaning up Donald Trump’s messes… especially give his penchant for Big Macs and Whoppers.
I was never a fan of politics. Today’s political scene is especially heartbreaking to me, when I see idiots like Lauren Boebert holding court. I’m not proud of it, but whenever I hear her speak, I have a tendency to hurl insults at the TV. I respond to her much like I respond to hearing Trump speak. It’s safe to say that I despise her, and her ilk. But I didn’t used to be anti-conservative at all. In fact, for well over half my life, I identified as a Republican. Not anymore.
This morning, as Bill and I were having breakfast, we talked a bit more about what went down over the past few days. I wrote down my honest and candid thoughts in my blog, as if I were writing in a diary. I upset someone in my family, who in fairness, upset me first. It’s regrettable when people are negatively impacted by the things I do. However, I think I can glean some good stuff from my posts… and if I can, I’ll bet others can, too.
For instance, yesterday I wrote about the “Bless your heart” mentality so prevalent in the South, and how it leads to excessive bullshitting. Some years ago, I remember hearing an interesting metaphor about the different types of people one encounters in life. I don’t remember exactly where I heard this concept, but it’s stuck with me. And, forgive me, but I’ve also written about this previously. In the interest of full disclosure, here’s a link.
Some people are like “peaches”. They are soft, fleshy, fuzzy, and sweet on the outside. They look and smell delicious, and they attract everyone with their mainstream appeal. But, deep down, they have hearts of stone. I picture the stereotypical mean Queen Bee bitch who’s all “honey lippin'” sweetness and light to everyone to their faces, but then stabs them in the back. I think some southern people are kind of like this by nature– or by virtue of that whole “Bless your heart” mentality that we have down there. Be “nice”, no matter what… even if you’re being profoundly disingenuous.
Other people are more like coconuts. They have rough, tough, hard outer shells that are abrasive to the touch. They aren’t easy to crack, nor are they easy to enjoy, but beneath that rough exterior, there’s exotic sweetness that can be very refreshing. I picture the weird, grouchy, eccentric old lady on the corner who is a wonderful, sensitive artist or talented musician… or tells wonderful, vivid stories to enchanted children. The lady who collects homeless cats or dogs and lovingly cares for them as she screams at people to get off her lawn might be more of a “coconut”. I think of certain northern folks as coconuts– the people who are very gruff in the subway station as they help you validate your ticket.
And then there are people who are just plain nuts, like me… 😉 Crunchy, salty, and occasionally oily, maybe? I don’t know. Or maybe I’m more like a crab… or a lobster, like Leon, the lucky crustacean who was rescued from a grocery store by an enterprising YouTuber who makes educational videos about him.
I like peaches, and I like coconuts and nuts in moderation… I’m not a fan of eating crabs, although it’s fun to catch them in rivers. It’s probably fun to catch them from certain sexual partners, too, but the aftermath isn’t much fun. I suppose I could say that I enjoy people who resemble those types, too. I have some friends who are like peaches, and a few who are like coconuts. Having a hard “stone pit like” heart doesn’t always mean someone is inherently evil. And being sweet and fluffy on the inside doesn’t always a person is easy to love, once you break the shell.
I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in Gloucester, Virginia, which is a small, conservative, southern town in Virginia. I didn’t like Gloucester when we first moved there. Even though I was born in Hampton, which isn’t that far away from there, moving to Gloucester in 1980 was a big culture shock to me. It took a long time for me to appreciate Gloucester. I don’t think I ever really liked it when I lived there, although I did eventually fit in better, and other kids finally stopped bullying me. Now that I’m an adult, I appreciate it a whole lot more. Not enough to move back there, mind you… but more than I did when I was a child. It is a beautiful place with really good people… many of whom are very religious and politically conservative, and like to catch and eat crabs.
Unlike my sisters, I had the experience of mostly growing up in one town. I lived in Gloucester from the age of eight until I went to college at age 18. Then I boomeranged there back a couple of times before I finally left for good at age 27. Like it or not, that place had a huge effect on me. Even today, there are still a lot of people there who know me. One of them left me a comment on my link to yesterday’s post. She and I have probably known each other since 1981 or so… Her mom and my dad used to sing duets in church. We are the same age, and graduated in the same class. She also went to Longwood for awhile, although she didn’t graduate from there.
My old friend had kind words for me yesterday, which I really appreciated. Another friend also had kind words, even though we have never met offline. I think both of those ladies, who are living in the South, might understand the whole “bless your heart” thing… where you are expected to be nice, even if it means being dishonest. The weird thing is, I was always proud of being southern… but now, I feel divorced from the culture.
In fact, I feel divorced from my family, too. It would be easy for me to blow off what happened the other day, with my cousin’s wife. But it’s not the first online altercation I’ve had with people in my family, and I’m feeling pretty estranged now… like, most of them are now strangers and don’t care about me. It makes me glad there’s an ocean between us… even though there are lots of times when I wish I could live in my own country. I don’t know when, or even if, we’re going to move back there. Situations like this make staying abroad more appealing. I don’t want to fly eight hours on a plane to go home to people who are shitty to me because of petty Facebook dramas. But, like I wrote yesterday, most of them don’t understand me anyway… and seem unwilling to try. The bright side is, I don’t feel guilty when I plan lavish Nordic vacations instead of not having gone home to see my mom for the past 8 years. Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing my mom. She’s got common sense, and a sense of humor.
A couple of years ago, Bill and I met a German woman at a Christmas market. It turned out she had lived in the United States for some time, working for Seagrams in Tennessee. We traded a couple of stories about our experiences living in different countries from our origins. She looked at us with empathy and said, “The United States will never be the same for you again. You have now become Europeanized.”
She’s right. I don’t see the USA the way I did when I was younger. I don’t see “home” in the same way, either. Germany’s not quite “home”, but it’s been where I’ve lived for over half my marriage. I don’t even speak the language, but it’s become a familiar and comfortable place to me… and in many ways, it’s more welcoming than home is. At least here, no one knows that much about me, or where I came from. And no one cares that much, either, except they usually do want to know what state we’re from. Germans, by and large, seem to love Florida… but I’m sure it’s strictly because of the beaches and beautiful (hot and sunny) weather. If they had to live there under Ron DeSantis and religious wackos, I suspect a lot of them would hate the place.
Well, it’s now getting close to 11:30 AM. My work on this post has been interrupted a few times by music migration breaks. I think I’ll end this entry and get on with the other activities of the day. Noyzi needs a walk, and my guitar is calling me for a quick practice session. Hopefully, I won’t alienate anyone with today’s musings… but if I do alienate anyone, I suspect they’ll just shitcan me without a second thought, too. Oh well.