emma b. says

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I played squash today, yes I did. In Marin. With a trainer. I am becoming unrecognizable to myself. Prior to playing squash, in Marin, I killed time at a mall with piped in music. I didn't know if I should laugh, cry or barf, or do all three.

It was the piped music. I loathe piped music for the very same reason that I loathe Disneyland, the quintessence of the manufactured experience for your enjoyment.

I languished in the sun, counting the rail thin Marin ladies in matching jeans, artfully frayed pushing blondied babies while yapping into cell phones, mind you I was yapping into my cell phone as well, but I was the lone rebel, I was brazenly smoking. And I had on no lip gloss. I don't wear lip gloss, but everyone in Marin seems to. I like lip stick. Though this whole casual office environment has made me increasingly lazy, I am likely to show up soon in my jimjams and braless with hair asunder.

My reverse snobbery is nothing new of course. And it dovetails neatly with the NYTime series on perceptions of class. By rights I am they and they are me, given what I come from and what I have.

But the years after my marriage dissolved and I had to own up to the debt that I had incurred taught me an invaluable lesson of the tenousness of money. Easy come, too easily gone and really fucking hard to get back. The years of poverty where pride prevented cadging from my parents, where it came down to dinner (ha! rather some sort of nourishment) or cigarettes and the cigarettes won out. I was poor, baby, but I was thin! (oh that's just embarassing, Emma, and you sound like a jackass) It took four years to get back, and some good fortune that not everyone gets, and a long lesson in humility and a strong dose of hubris, and the solid knowledge of just how far a little kindness will stretch, and the incalcuable value of true friendships and family, and the fickleness of fairweather friends, and the bottom feeders who will blithley bleed you dry.

That and money, that distinctly impolite subject, makes your lip curl a little. Money. A dollar here and a dollar here, the difference between cobbling together your rent late and eating the untouchable ramen noodles for weeks on end and drinking rose in the South of France despite the ever-waning value of American currency. Or doing with both with equal parts panache and restraint. Unfortch, restraint is not one of my strong suits, if my heart were to rule my wallet it would be as unruly as my hair.

So where does that put me on the socio-economic scale, the girl with the unruly hair peering down her nose at the uniform prevalence of $250 dollar jeans and the big rocks and the version of the 1994 Anniston, am I such a snob or am I in a slow puce burn of envy, am I very decidedly insecure and compensating for my percieved inadequacies, oh whatever, I could chase my own tail for a millenia.

I need to go dancing, it's been too long.


Post a Comment

<< Home