My Beautiful Wickedness

Things I’m learning
February 17, 2008, 1:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

1. There are a lot of different ways to be happy in life, possibly exceeding by one or two the number of ways there are to be sad. 

2. Sometimes, you can wind up friends with people with whom you have almost nothing in common. The Dance Moms being a case in point in my own life — you couldn’t get a set of people who are less like me. They are mostly socially and politically conservative women who enjoy shopping and get excited by new mascara packaging, who watch cable TV news and are really following what’s happening to Britney Spears with genuine interest, who are mystified that I’m excited because I might have a chance to go to Ghana (which one of them derides as “a country with bugs in it.”) They have never lived out of the confines of Albany County. They look at me totally blankly when I tell them that I’m going to be starting a book project on race and prison labor in the Early Republic. And yet, we talk at least four hours a week about the dumb stuff that goes on in our lives and we laugh about our family crises and we’re even (due to our daughters’ dance team) going to be taking a couple of days of a “girls only” beach vacation together. Over time, you build up layers of experience with each other that makes a common ground of care where none existed before. They were really happy when I told them I’d gotten tenure and we’re going out to dinner on Friday to celebrate.

3. I’ve over-invested in my job at the expense of my life. When this big news hit and I really didn’t have anyone here that I thought would care, I have to admit it was sort of a shock but on reflection, it’s not much of a surprise. I’ve lived here for six years now and I have been to three movies total. I have hired one babysitter for one night. Excluding faculty search dinners (which are supposed to be nice, to flatter the candidate), I have been to only one really nice restaurant since I got here. I rarely go to plays, concerts, or dance events if they aren’t being hosted at the campus. I have no physician, no dentist, no gynecologist, no hairdresser, no shop that I’m a regular at to make me feel a part of a place. I work and I raise my kid and that’s about all I have time for. All the fun stuff I do, like go to art museums or explore book stores or any of the stuff that makes me feel sparkly, that’s all stuff I do elsewhere once I’ve left Albany. Here, I just keep my shit together and work, waiting to go somewhere else and live a little. I’ve got to figure out how to change that — it’s not like I’m living somewhere that nothing happens, as there are events I’d be interested in happening all the time. I just have to get myself (and probably, my husband and kid, because that is how I roll) off the couch. So, some goals:

I’ll go to one of the following events: Chris Thile, 2/17; Trinity Dance, 2/24; Marshall Crenshaw — 2/29; Taming of the Shrew at Capital Rep 3/9.


4 Comments so far
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If we could get over our differences, we’d find we’re more alike than we think.

One of these days I’m going to let myself get closer to people.

Comment by sistasmiff

That’s a difficult thing…worth it though

Comment by imfunny2

Good for you for making the effort to get out more. With your schedule, it can’t be easy.

Comment by listie

Oh, oh, oh…can I be your research assistant? I’m almost qualified to teach high school social studies…and I LOVE history…

Comment by patti

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