When my brother was learning how to drive, he was uncharacteristically reckless. Fortunately also wreckless, but apparently he breezed through stop signs, didn't look, and in general gave our mom lots of near heart attacks. One piece of advice she dispensed in this adventure was, "Never accelerate towards a red light."
For some reason, I really took that to heart from my seat in the back by those huge sliding minivan doors. No matter how far away I am, if I see a red light I'll eventually hit, I'm off the accelerator. Great story, Pam. I know. But listen.
The other day I took it completely out of context and let it stand for life in general. Never accelerate towards a red light. Don't put any more energy into it it, let yourself ride on what you've already done. You may have to actively stop soon enough anyway. Or coast until it's a green and hit it from there. But as long as a red's in front of you, don't bother going faster. It doesn't make any sense.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
New Year time (+a month, oof) is Numbered List time. In no particular order, as usual:
1. October's trip to Richmond featured a trial of red lipstick in a tiny vintage boutique. I tried on Marilyn's favorite! Then I mostly forgot about it, until I was feeling crazy one day and bought one from the cosmetics section of the Wegmans. Lacking the sex symbol prowess behind it; still moderately life-changing. What was more significantly, and adorably, life-changing, however, was the fact that somewhere along the line and without my noticing it was apparently already a thing, and seventy percent of the follows at Lindy Focus were wearing red lipstick and thirty-five percent of the leads had a darling red kiss left on their cheek.
2. People need to stop yelling at people who are running to, in fact, run. They further need to stop calling these people Forrest. I'm going to start yelling at people who are walking to, in fact, walk. I'm also going to call them names of other people who have walked in the past.
3. New Year's Eve dinner, Thai takeout from a place which didn't make my favorite (and only, but shh) Thai dish. Handfuls of fortune cookies were shoveled into the bag; two of mine were the following:
1. Impose not a bigger burden on others than you would like to bear.
2. If you want it, take it.
I know. I know. But then! Another little cookie bag -- without a cookie inside. Sealed! and everything! Completely empty! A little pouch of air! I really want it to mean something about, like, fortune and nothingness that I can say but I'm not sure what wise-sounding phrase to put next to it. Just, have that image. Ponder it gently.
4. Speaking of meaning, just two posts below I was convinced my cat and I would make a dream team duo of unstoppable cuddles and self-advocacy. She had other ideas, and those ideas include excessive meowing for no discernible reason, leaping out of my arms if held longer than a moment, swiping at me when I walk by, and batting or clawing and knocking around everything that's smaller than she is. Unfortunately for me and my strewn accessories, all my jewelry is smaller than she is. Well Pam don't strew your accessories then. Easier said than done, Judgey McJudgerson. These activities she enjoys so are less than ideal after long days at work etc. I'm going to be a terrible mother. Is she happy here? What does a happy cat even look like? Guys don't send me pictures of squee kittens I'll just be sadder that mine isn't rolling in barrels of delight.
5. So I don't mean for this to be a trite I'm-a-lindy-hopper-and-I-hate-west-coast paragraph. I mean for this to be a reasoning, an exploring; indeed, an apology to an entire art form. The Boston Tea Party, a west coast swing event where lindy hoppers take a backseat, is coming up, and Mobtown is adding west coast swing (WCS) to its array of classes and dances. And I have a visceral knee-jerk reaction of repulsion to the dance that seems unfair. It's a dance, right? I'm a dancer! I should like dances! I'm an artist! Those are artists! And it's still swing! It's related, in the scheme of things, to my beloved lindy, it's a partner dance, etc. The best WCS dancers are just as talented as the best lindy hoppers, just in a different way! Their moves are sharp and can be ridiculously impressive like in that video everyone was sharing a while ago. But, okay. Everything about it, oh my goodness. Follows are in pants and heels and those tops that look like tablecloths and their long hair is still down. I hate all of those things. They dance to pop music, which always feels ugh. The dance itself involves a significant amount of body rolls and it just looks like someone took 90s clubbing and made it partnered. But I think the main reason I avoid it with such a passion it is that they aren't my people. I can have a person who's my people, who also does west coast, but WCS dancers as a whole aren't my people. The boys aren't engineers or programmers. The girls aren't adorably quirky and approachable. There's a feeling I think we all share, that we can move to any city and feel at home in their scene. The music and the dress and the employment seem tangential but there's an essence of understanding or fitting in. Not the devastation of not fitting in in middle school, but the actual, deserved, appreciated not-fitting-in. If you do x, sometimes you plain old don't understand y. And it's hard to go where you don't understand, let alone where you're not understood.