Friday, October 21, 2005

So I'm different - wanna make something of it!?

I went to the suburban crack den in Valparaiso last night - yes, I crossed the threshold into Barnes & Noble. I avoid going there as much as possible, but just because you're sober doesn't mean you're not still a bibliophile. Sigh.

Anyway, I went to B&N last night because I was looking for a 'Dummies' book on html. I thought I would get a little adventurous here in the Shark Tank and get rid of that excrutiatingly painful orange bar across the top. I spent many hours yesterday in the process of trial and error and finally received assistance from a friend's husband, Alim. He's the quintessential 'Chandler Bing' - everybody knows he has a good job, but nobody quite understands exactly what it is that he does except that it involves computers. Since I figured that calling him every five minutes to get the code for each different colour probably wasn't going to cut it for too long, I decided to pony up the cash and get a book. Hence, I ended up in the crack den (where I got a nice 'doityourself' web page book for $9.95 thank you very much. well, I might have also spent an additional $20 on books that I have no use for, but if you want to hear them, I have a million excuses for my behaviour).

So, this post really has nothing to do with B&N and everything to do with the fact that on the way home last night I drove past a 'Pumpkin Lot' over on the near west side of Chicago. This really isn't anything new as I must have driven past 3 or 4 pumpkin lots yesterday as I was tooling around the city. For some reason, however, the lot over on North Ave. right where you get on the Kennedy Expy. made me think of one of those stories that the fam has never tired of telling and re-telling (over and over and over (and over!)) again. Apparently I was about 2 or 3 and my mum, who was a very interactive kind of mum, engaged in the following conversation with me (it's not quite the same here on the blog because you can't get the added value of her imitation of my wee tot voice:

Mommy: So Rocky, where do eggs come from?

Tiny Me: uh...chickens?

Mommy: Good! And where does milk come from?

Tiny Me: uh...cows!

Mommy: Very good!! And do you know where bacon comes from?

Tiny Me: uhm...uhm...the A & P?

(for you younger readers, the "A & P" was The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and it was our local grocery store back then.)

Where do urban kids think the pumpkins in the pumpkin lot come from? Maybe they think that pumpkins grow on trees or even on bushes? This question was burning in my head (yeah, I probably do need medication for obsessive compulsiveness - and again, you wanna make something of it?) so I called my mom right then and there, remembering the above story. Moms know most everything, right? Who better to ask about the plight of these poor kids that would never have the joy of riding the wagon out to the fields at dusk to pick their pumpkins off the vine.

She was silent for a moment, and then she said that it probably had never occurred to kids to even wonder. I reminded her about the bacon from the A&P (which - oh joy - prompted ANOTHER retelling (complete with imitations of Tiny Me) of the story).

She was again momentarily quiet and then in total seriousness she remarked, "you always were a little different."

Different? DIFFERENT? What the heck does that mean!? Nice ma, I'm different. With my feathers ruffled, I shot back that if I'm different it's because she was the one teaching me (who asks a kid where bacon comes from? C'mon!!) The hilarity of the situation seeped into the conversation, though, and we ended the call in gales of giggles about how I was (and still am) a high maintenance child and that she must have done something really really juicy in a past life to get me as a daughter in this one.

I'll bet there is some little girl out there in the city thinking that those pumpkins come from some factory over on the south side. I only hope she has a good mom like mine that nurtures her curiosity and helps her embrace being 'different' too.

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