Saturday, August 15, 2009

Welcome to hell, here's your mood crystal.

Living at home is nice, in the "I don't have to pay rent" sort of way. Less nice in the "horrifying flashback to high school way."

Some things have changed in the last 7 years. Dad's taken up gardening. The Nobody Family menagerie has shrunk a little, and the population has changed significantly (more dog, less goat). New furniture. New paint. You know, the usual stuff.

Oh, and my Irish Catholic Raving Republican Mother's turned into an aspiring hippy.

I'm not totally certain what brought this one on, though I suspect it is the onset of senility. Even four years ago, she was scoffing at the idea of buying organic goat cheese. Normally, free-wheeling daisy frolicking is more my dad's speed. He's the family recycler/former surfer/hitchhiking aficionado. Mom's job is to be the uptight, studious, party-pooper. This is my mother who, upon walking the dogs through a rather "open minded" neighborhood in our hometown commented that the bleary-eyed Rastafarian on the porch had a "very nice vase."

Mom's birthday was last week, and Dad got her a Joni Mitchell CD. My normally staid mother has been wandering around the house tuneless belting out snatches of "Ladies of the Canyon" and spinning around in the kitchen reflecting on the sheer musical genius of Ms. Mitchell.

In retrospect, I almost wish I hadn't brought her over to the goat cheese side. I hate Joni Mitchell.

Then, last night, there was a concert on our college town campus. We grabbed Indian food for take out, and headed over. Showing that she's not totally "hip" yet, she referred to the gathering of college students and free-spirited middle-aged Lexus drivers members as a "rock concert." I breathed a silent prayer of thanks that I still sort of recognized this person.

That's when she picked up the hula hoop.

Two hours later, my mother was swaying in the crowd. The crowd had evolved into a weird aging yuppy mosh-pit (imagine if Styx fans were forced to dance at a Peter Paul and Mary concert and you'll have a rough approximation of the effect). The crowd of undulating hippies cheered on the band, lead by "Mary, known as Starchild! Love for my people!" I was experiencing the symptoms of late-stage patchouli poisoning, and a nice girl in mukluks and a fake fur skirt was teaching Mom how to spin a hula hoop on her neck.

Watching your parents grow up is weird, and kind of hilarious. And I still don't like Joni Mitchell.


23 said...

Joni Mitchell is the absolute worst. I mean, seriously, the worst.

In it to my eyeballs said...

I now have pictures of your Mom swaying and hula-hooping in my head. Funny.

Here's the question: If your mom started out Raving-Republican but ended your vacation with swaying and patchouli, and mine rocked the 70s for all she was worth but is now never happier than when doing the Charleston in a twin-set and pearls, what kind of parents remain above the influence of late-stage conversions?

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson