Saturday, March 11, 2006

Today's accidental sort of semi-rant

Pete asked on his way out if I wanted anything from the grocery. I did. I told him to get me a carton of Whoppers.

I think I mentioned the studio has been a busy place. I've turned a blind eye to new ideas, and put my head down to make the pieces I’ve already seen. It’s how the work gets done.

The work is getting done.

My hands look a bit like I’ve taken up cat juggling. I assure you I have not, unless you count Gurtie here on my lap as a really slow motion toss.

There’s no time for a vacation, or even much of a break, so the only substitute really, is a carton of Whoppers, a glass of milk and some REZ. Because, I’ve learned, getting into the zone works like a charm to ease tension. I must check into that one. See what’s known about how that works, exactly.

I offered some Whoppers to Orion, who took the carton, shook out a couple he then handed to me and walked away with the rest. I think he said "thanks" as he rounded the corner.

The What-What?? Was what my mouth said.

In my head, I flashed back to a recent moment in Walmart, that retail Hell, number 666 in the endless strip-mall every town is morphing into before our eyes.
Walmart sells paints and brushes. Walmart sells stains and sandpaper. Walmart even sells Dremmel.

Walmart sells these things cheap. Cheep. Walmart is five minutes away. My tiny soul grows ever blacker.

Ben went along with me. We got separated, which can be a big deal in Walmart. I was about to call him on his cell when I spotted him, gazing at a huge display of plastic Easter eggs. You know, the kind I’ve ranted about before. The kind many a well-meaning grandparent fills with money.

Easter is a religious holiday, celebrated by Christians for the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, after his death by crucifixion at the hands of the Romans.

It was weird enough when I was a little girl and there were baby chickens for sale at stores, with their downy baby feathers dyed blue or pink or orange or some other unnatural color. When I woke up on Easter mornings with a chocolate rabbit or egg that didn’t nearly compensate for having to wear a hat and a stiff new dress and go to church for hours.

So I stood and marveled with Ben. There were camouflage eggs, pink camouflage eggs, Spiderman eggs, Superman eggs, Dora the Explorer eggs…it went on for aisles. And there were baskets too…

Tell me, what does a fat kid running around his grandparent’s back yard looking for money-filled Spiderman eggs to stuff into his Darth Vader basket know about Easter?
Likely, nothing. He’s high on Peeps and getting a rash from his new Sunday chinos, already planning to raid his sister’s Barbie basket for Reeses cups and dreaming of what he can spend his change on. At Walmart, of course.

I can’t take it.

So, Orion and I have a talk. We laugh and giggle and settle down in front of the Playstation. We each have a glass of milk and put the candy between us, for sharing.

We talked about sharing and decided that we share because, like most kindnesses, it makes the most sense. It’s logical. Period.

Imagine there’s no Easter Bunny.
Imagine there’s no Walmart.

Is it easy? Should we try?


Robert/ GuardianAlien said...

Some days I have to imagine there *isn't* so many things that there is not enough of my brain left to function properly!

And Whoppers are my very very very very favorite candy ever since I was a tiny person and sharing them with my great grand mother. I may have to sneak some into the movies this afternoon.

So, you got my brain going on the religion thing AGAIN but also quite a happy reminder of my sweet Granny. At least it's not 4AM and if I don't go back to sleep it's no big deal. And I always appreciate a mental visit with my Granny.

I'm listening to Don't Know much about Mythology on my ipod and it reinforces, like a big rusty nail to the frontal lobe, my personal warped ideas about religion. Some times I just burst out laughing ...Jerry Falwell & the guy with the funny hat indeed! I am sure Kenneth Davis intended any discussion his work(s) may prompt to be enlightened with mutual respect and not to cause fits of laughter, but what can you do.

Next is Don't Know Much About the Bible. And maybe I will read that thing again too. If you hold the words "ancient", "Sumeria", "Mesopotamia" and "myths" in your mind and filter the words through them it is sometimes an interesting yarn. And if I laugh alot, it is supposed to be the best medicine.

P.S Sorry if I offend.

vandaluna said...

Hmm...the chicks and eggs go back before christianity. You knew that, right? Easter predates christianity, but the christians took over the pagan holiday to ease the pagans into assimilation with christianity. Chicks, eggs and rabbits are symbols of rebirth and renewal and that is what Easter is about, spring and all.

WalMart. I do not shop there. That is quite a feat in podunkville. There is virtually no where else to shop. I require little the Walmart has to offer anyway. Toilet paper. They don't sell Aveda Sap Moss shampoo, the Boars Head lunch meats I like, clothing I like. They do have one of the only fabric stores in town aside from Joanns. But they have cut waaay back on that. brings great joy and it brings people closer. It blesses the giver and the receiver. (Hmm...the quality of mercy from shakespeare). I don't want to eat lunch alone, I ask someone if I can treat them. I get companionship and conversation for a few pieces of grungy paper.

Derek Ash said...

I shop at Wal-Mart.

I used to be a Toy Dept. Manager for Wal-Mart. This was the Christmas that Furbies had just first come out, so I had a lot of people swearing at me over the telephone. I quit because I hated working there. But... I don't agonize over the fact that I shop there. I know that Wal-Mart isn't a nice place. I KNOW THIS.

But we live in an imperfect world. And I know that is no excuse to shrug my shoulders and say "oh well," but I really have to pick and choose my battles. I live such a compromised live at this point that I take pleasure where I can, save money where I can, and try to be a good person in the spaces in between.

My daughter wanted a bag of Spiderman Easter eggs, and a bag of My Little Pony eggs, and she asked me to ask the Easter Bunny to use them when he hides her eggs this year. I think this year, instead of jelly-beans or spare change, she'll get little fotune-cookie-style messages, because she's just now learning to read, and the messages will make her happy. Just like the jellybeans and spare change and littletoys used to. I don't bother to explain to her that Jesus died, crucified on a giant easter egg, and was resurrected to save the human race, because I don't personally believe in any of that. I also know that Easter predated Christianity and was actually done in worship of Eostre and fertility, and the coming of spring, and all that... and don't care, because I don't believe any of that either. What I believe is that my daughter is five, and she thinks that a man-sized rabbit is going to hide Spiderman eggs all over our house come April... and that makes me happy, even if our country is full of sheep and we are all going to die and go to hell and get beaten with frozen fish for all of eternity.
And that's all I care about Easter.

But then, I'm a big jerk, and I practice hard at it.

We didn't buy any of the camouflage eggs because we knew once we hid them, there'd be no finding them again.

Lisa-- I'm sorry you are so completely swamped. I wish you had one of those Staples Easy Buttons.
Until they really invent those, hang in there, and know we are all rooting for you, because, otherwise, we wouldn't come here and read this nonsensical babbling every day. :)

Carl V. Anderson said...

If there was ever a physical personification of the term "necessary evil" it is Walmart. I hate that store with the kind of passion one reserves for political or religious discussions...and yet I too unfortunately find myself there when the need becomes desperate enough. As much as I loathe the place I don't have loads of disposable cash to pay the higher prices for things elsewhere. I find that one of the few times in my life that I feel consistently homicidal is at Walmart...that alone indicates my feelings about the store.

Speaking of Easter candy, have you noticed how the Peeps makers have finally realized that there is money to be made year round? My wife is addicted to those dyed, sugar-coated monstrosities. They are out year round now. This past year alone I have purchased Halloween peeps, Thanksgiving peeps, Christmas peeps, and Valentines' peeps. They are everywhere and for the most part still take on some form of a living creature so that you can have that carnivore satisfaction when you eat them. Ugh! Not something I like....course I don't like Whoppers either, I'm a Milk Dud man!

vandaluna said...

PEEPS!! Oooh, my grandmother used to hoard them! Me? I don't eat much candy other than the occasional piece of chocolate (sugar actually leaves a really nasty taste in my mouth) but back to PEEPS! The childling wants to microwave the little things! Not too long ago we roasted them over the grill! What a wonderful feeling of cooking the little critters.

Yeah, Ravyn and I were discussing our favorite candies this morning...if I were to eat candies. Gummy bears, I forgot to mention licorice all sorts, goobers, caramels. Ravyn mentioned something about you needing a malted milkshake.