Monthly Archives: February 2011

Crazy Socks

I’m 1/64 Native American. Lily-white as I appear to be, my great-great-great-great-great-great (I believe it’s just the six greats, give or take a great) grandmother was full-blooded Snohomish Indian, back when they still called her “Indian” anyway. Again, to look at me – and be blinded by the white, almost holy glare – you might find yourself skeptical. Honestly, I doubt I’d have believed it if the lineage hadn’t been so well documented.

I’m not a percentage “Indian” enough to be accepted into a tribe, or apply for an ethnicity-based scholarship, or even enough to really appreciate dream catchers (I make sour faces at most beige, feathered and fringed art) but I do think it qualifies me to have a Native American name. And if that’s true, I’d like to be known as “Crazy Socks”.

My husband buys me crazy socks. He always has. And we’ve been together long enough that some of the amusing socks he’d gifted me with in the beginning of our relationship are now on their last…feet. Each eccentric pair represents a novelty I would never have purchased for myself. But I love them, all of them. It reminds me of his influence on me.

Things I considered too silly, too geeky or wholly uncool before him are, these days, not. He encourages my inner-child to lighten up, and in doing so I have more fun in life. I smile and laugh so much more. I make corny jokes and do dorky dances. And I now feel sorry for those who don’t. Those who are too hard, or too reserved, or too distinguished, or too aloofly cool to – at least from time to time – not give such an uptight shit about being any or all of those things.

Not that I’m entirely uninhibited. My husband will always be a bigger dork than me. And I will continue to occasionally shake my head when he grabs his right ankle, puts his left hand behind his head, and breaks it down in the middle of a crowded nightclub à la Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. While he’s doing the Carlton Dance I will still turn to a friend and dryly state, “I have sex with him.”

But I love it. I do. I love his free spirit, sense of humor, inner-clown and the trickle-down goofonomics it has on me. I love my life with him and all the crazy, crazy socks it brings.

Dating Myself

Sifting through the journals I’ve kept since I was a teenager, I wondered if teenage girls even do that anymore. Or do they just blog instead? Probably. God knows the security/privacy settings you can set your blog to beat the snot out of thin, cheap, metal locks most vulnerable to snooping mothers armed with bobby pins. I can’t tell you how my times I got busted by listing the details of my juvenile-deviant plans in a diary, and then hiding that diary poorly. “Tonight I’m going to jump out my bedroom window and take the 10 PM bus to Seattle to sneak into an underage nightclub – that I’m underage for – and be offered numerous illegal substances while I make out with a boy and have no idea how to get back home. Being fifteen is great!” And this is why I was grounded most of my adolescence.

And as many journals as I have, I’ve thrown an equal number away. A lot of the time I just can’t stomach reading how deaf, dumb and blind I was. I find myself yelling at the yellowed pages of my diary the way someone watching a horror movie might try, in vain, to warn the hapless, half-naked girl that’s about to get messed the frack up. “Don’t go in there, you stupid bitch! That fool has a machete AND a chainsaw!” There were many metaphorical fools with emotional machetes and psychological chainsaws, and I was an extremely stupid bitch – in the literal sense. It’s hard to read. It’s why I second-guess my various forays into the blogosphere, and it’s why I much prefer writing my memoirs. My hindsight is positively lasik!

But, what isn’t uncomfortable to read, what’s actually fascinating to revisit, are the day planners. I’ve kept almost every day planner I’ve owned since 1992! And, without being conscious of it, I’ve gifted myself with nearly two decades worth of little time capsules. A receipt for renting my apartment in 2004 ($525.00), an old business card from the hot Hispanic boss I had a secret crush on, doodles from jr. high buddies, random trinkets, how little I once paid for car insurance – the minutia of your everyday gone by. The things you forget.

Exploring these remnants felt like an archaeological dig through my own life. I noticed appointments I had casually jotted down that later became important events: the morning I visited my grandmother in the hospital for the last time, the day I found out I was pregnant, the night I met “the one”. But what struck me most were the names, phone numbers and addresses that didn’t make it into subsequent datebooks. In each edition some names drop off, new names appear. I looked for a long time at the names of the people I regret falling out with, and longer at the names of those that died. But it didn’t bring me sadness (like the damn journals), only gentle reflection. These snapshots of my years spent on planet Earth, they are absolute treasures.

I still keep private, hand-written journals (always thinking I’m not a “stupid bitch” anymore) but I stopped using daily planners in 2008. And, suddenly, I’m very upset with myself for that. I think I’ll be buying a new one immediately!