Filed under: Barrels of Fun, Books, Music, My Experience with Existence | Tags: A Softer World, Animal Rights, childhood, daughters, Everything Is Illuminated, feminism, Hardee's, Jonathan Safran Foer, moms, mothers, mp3, Padma Lakshmi, Sad Robots EP, sex, Stars, video
I’ll say, stretching is underrated. Stretch your arms way above your head, arch your back, twist around a bit. You’ll see what I mean. You might also yawn after, and then you will have to thank me.
Do you realize how profound a mother’s influence can be? I was just reminded of a couple of girls (three, actually) I knew back in early high school whose moms got on their backs about their need to lose weight, to look a certain way, to wear certain clothes, to never forget makeup, and to retain certain ladylike hobbies. All three of these girls are still pretty young, still in high school, but they’ve turned out to be Christian conservative girls with good posture. They are beauty pageant daughters. They don’t really enter beauty pageants, but I would not be surprised if they all attended Cotillion in middle school. White, upper-middle class Southern belle dancing. But in my humble opinion, these girls look fine the way they are.
Ma mère influenced me a good deal, too, and still attempts to reform my no-makeup, bad-posture ways. And she can make me feel so self-conscious when she comments on my clothes or my hair or my skin or my eyebrows. Sometimes it makes me not want to leave the house. And she says that I absolutely cannot get piercings, except my ears if I want them, which I don’t. But she allowed me certain liberties while growing up, maybe because I wasn’t an only child or even an only daughter, but one of three. I was allowed to do whatever I wanted within reason, no sports, no girly activities like Cotillion, probably because it was too expensive and we were from the north. My childhood consisted of making art, reading religiously, biking, playing outside, and writing.
The summer before I turned twelve, I spent all day reading every day for several weeks, and my mother grew concerned after a while. She prohibited me from reading so much, but that’s the only time I can really recall that she stepped in. I don’t remember how successful she was at that one. Also, she hates the Shins because they remind her too much of the Beach Boys and doesn’t let me listen to them when she’s in earshot. And she always used to say that she hoped that I did not listen to music about kids killing their parents. Like I would.
Oh, “Jack Killed Mom” um…shit. That doesn’t count!
Looking back, I’m glad she allowed me those liberties because even if I would look so much better if she were so strict about my appearance, she allowed me to develop into my own person, if somewhat reluctantly. My mom let go of me at a certain point and allowed me to take control of everything from my hair to my eyebrows to my clothing to my music to my hobbies. The only thing she will not let me control is body hair that is normally shaved. The thing is that she doesn’t ever see my nether region, so she doesn’t know what’s going on.
Speaking of, here is one of the greatest scenes from one of the greatest chapters in all of the books I have read. It is Everything Is Illuminated. I guess I will only put some of it.
My grandfather and the Gypsy girl knew none of this as they made love for the last time, as he touched her face and fingered the soft underside of her chin, as he paid her the attention received by a sculptor’s wife. Like this? he asked. She brushed her eyelashes against his chest. She moved her butterfly kiss across his torso and up his neck to where his left earlobe connected to his jaw. Like this? she asked. He pulled her blue blouse over her head, he undid her bead necklaces, he licked her smooth and sweaty armpits and ran his finger from her neck to her navel. He drew circles around her caramel areolas with his tongue. Like this? he asked. She nodded and craned her head back. He flicked her nipples with his tongue, and knew that it was all so completely wrong, everything, from the moment of his birth to this, everything was coming out the wrong way–not the opposite, but worse: close.
I can’t tell you how much of a funk I was in when I finished that book. Right now, I feel out-typed, like I have been silkscreening my thoughts onto the internet for too long. I can’t quite think straight. I think that I just need vast amounts of sleep.
Between now and when I go to sleep, you should listen to some Stars. I only obtained Sad Robots EP a few months ago, but ever since then, I am constantly listening to those six songs, minus “Going, Going, Gone [Live]” because it generally gives me a headache and reminds me of an alarm clock.
Undertow | Stars
“Undertow” is a warm blanket on a cold night, an umbrella on a rainy day, and a bicycle on a sunny afternoon. It is my crutch. My favourite aspect of this song is that everything that is in the background is quiet. So it’s really a tranquil song. The breakdown near the end comes in at a close second place.
14 Forever | Stars
Not like I’d like to be fourteen forever for real because I seriously hated being fourteen, but the feeling is so good. You have to understand. You know the tenderness that comes along with a first relationship, a first love. I guess I don’t want to be left alone.
While we’re talking about being a teenager (“14 Forever”), I would like to mention the Hardee’s commercial which uses blatant meat pornography. This is pretty much a double blow to me because while I could maybe handle some gorgeous woman sucking off a cucumber, it’s just disgusting to see her eating out a huge burger. It’s not even the meat that really gets me, though. It’s the pornography.
I’m a reasonable girl. I can handle sex. But I don’t think it’s appropriate. I can’t quite wrap my mind around backup information as to why I can’t watch this commercial without thinking about a high-definition, high-budget porno. You watch it, and it’s self-evident and shocking. But it’s also advertising something that is despicable. And the most interesting thing about this whole deal is that Padma Lakshmi, the model, used to be a vegetarian. This is flipping a huge bird to the cause.
I don’t know. You watch it and tell me what you think.
Just, I guess my probelm his that it’s sexual, sure, but it’s not sexy. And it’s not doing anything to help the feminist front or the animal rights front. It’s attacking both in one go.
Also, I just realized just how much I miss my mom, and how even if I was seventeen and had a nightmare and woke up screaming and sweaty because of a thunderstorm, she would let me sleep in her bed. Even though I was just home recently, in March, I feel like I’m going nowhere. I’m also so frustrated that I’m letting my grades suffer because of some inner crisis. I also miss Lewisburg as a whole. I miss Babygirl so much it hurts sometimes. I miss Ali and Carol kidnapping me. I miss Shannon coming into our house and eating our food and making up characters and gossipping. I miss Aunt Peggy coming in and getting ice from the icemaker. I miss making friendship bracelets without shoes on. I miss biking around the neighborhood at eleven at night and crying so hard because I was so frustrated and I felt so helpless and alone, and then sitting in the back yard feeling dead, empty, and far from hungry and looking up at the stars.
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