Bitching About Home.
Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2003 @ 2:06 p.m.
Okay, I've put all the book stuff on this page here, which is also listed in the menu bar to the right. Remember, if you recommend a book for me to read, you're also supposed to agree to read one of my excellent, mostly-non-literature, selections. If you're selection isn't on the list yet, it's because I haven't updated it or because you suggested a book by Billie Letts, Ayn Rand or Henry James.
Update on my body: most of it feels better, except my arm, which hurts like hell. Maybe I did fracture something? At what point should I see a doctor? I hate going to the doctor.
Screw it, I just made a doctor appointment for this afternoon, which means this is going to be a short entry. Or it means I'm going to write a long entry and not get much work done.
Home Sweet Whatever.
I have lived in Richmond my entire life (as has my husband) and I'm finally, at 31, accepting my homebody status. I really like the idea of being a nomad, but every time we talk about moving, we can't decide where to go. We like a little bit of winter, but not too much. We like the east coast. We like bike trails. We like a low cost of living. We like a lack of traffic. We like being near our families (mostly) and friends. Where should we go? We have everything we want right here.
However, it would be really nice to live somewhere where everyone doesn't know what I looked like when I was fifteen, you know? It would be nice to go to an event without running into an ex-boyfriend every. single. time. In Richmond, history isn't in the past. History is alive and follows you around and occasionally sticks out a foot and trips you if you try to shake it off. People here remember every damn thing and you're never going to be allowed to forget.
Remember that bar? Remember what happened that night in 1992 when you got drunk? Remember that park? That's where that thing with what's-his-name happened. Remember? Look, there's your elementary school! Remember? Look, there's your grade-school bully, all grown up. Remember? Hey, look, there's that girl you used to be friends with when you were little, but who now pretends she doesn't know you even though you work in the same building. Remember?
Damn. Every day is like that. Memories here do not die. History does not die. But, on the other hand, how many people can say they're still friends with someone they met in pre-school? How many can claim to have (unwittingly), at 12 years old, had a crush on their future husband? Only me, man.
A few weeks ago, K and I went to an art opening and I had a conversation with a woman who's about my mother's age. She proclaimed herself relieved that her children had escaped the evil clutches of Richmond and had gone on to do wonderful and amazing things with their lives. She openly pitied Kenny and I for staying.
Then she wished she and her husband had moved years ago, because she hated the attitudes and snotty people who lived here. Right after saying this, she mentioned that she and her husband belonged to the Country Club of Virginia, the most insanely old-school, snooty establishment in town. Dude, what? Ha! I think maybe that's part of her problem right there. Hell, when Virginia got it's first black governor, he had to get special permission to get a membership there. Please.
So anyway, I'm basically listening to this woman telling me that I'm a huge loser for staying in Loserville instead of tromping off to see the world and maybe cure cancer on the way. But, you know, I like it here and it took me nearly 31 years to realize it. My neighborhood is home. I live in the historic district (where I also grew up) and it's really the only part of town where you can walk to everything.
I live in a funky old house (with insanely cheap rent) that's within walking distance of locally-owned shops, a movie theater, a post office, a drug store, a college, a couple of museums, three grocery stores and tons of great, locally run restaurants. I know my way around it blindfolded and I feel comfortable walking, biking and driving it. Anywhere I go I'm bound to run into someone I know, which is usually cool, but sometimes sucks. (Like when you're drunk-shopping and run into your friend's parents. Oops?)
Maybe all this comfort is bad, though? Maybe it's making me soft and scared to make a change? But damn, I've always been scared of change! that's a character thing, not a location thing. If K and I could come up with a great place to move to or one of us got a swell job in another city, off we'd go, scared or not. I'm open to the idea! But here's the thing: I know if I do move, I'll come back. This is my home, like it or not, and I've got roots. Okay then.
Links unrelated to anything I just wrote.
Ha, a reality show called Celebrity Temps is in the works. Unless Gwyneth Paltrow is going to switch places with me, I'm not watching it.
I don't have time to write about what I thought about Manor House, so here's a review from the Washington Post.