Nov 16, 2007

I've Been Eating Rice Again.

Jade's blog entry today got me thinking. First, whoever wrote the Nerd Handbook is dead on right and could've been living in my head. Secondly, how helpful it would have been if my parents had been able to understand this stuff.

From that second point, I made one of those leaps to greater self-understanding that only occurs once in a while. John and I were talking about my parents and how they always go to bed at the same time. John asked whether it had always been that way. As I was thinking back, a random memory came a'calling that really made me understand something about myself.

When I was in grad school, I often worked late in the photo labs because I'm most creative at night. I'd come home (I lived at home during grad school - NOT recommended to anyone) and, because I hadn't had supper, made myself a big bowl of rice because I was too lazy/tired/indifferent to make an actual meal and wanted something hot because, well, it was Upstate NY in the winter. I sat down at the TV in the backroom with my big bowl of rice to watch the 11 pm rerun of Scarecrow & Mrs. King on Lifetime. Apparently, my mother got up to go to the bathroom and heard me. She came in and you'd've thought I'd stolen the last can of beans from the soup shelter... no, more like the last can of beans out of the hands of someone who hadn't eaten in a week. She raised such a ruckus, she woke my father. He said something understandable, like "what is going on here?!" and she replies, "She's eating a big bowl of rice!!!" as if she'd been saying "she's murdering the neighbors!" or "she's fucking the dog!" For God's sake, it was a bowl of fucking rice; it wasn't like I'd suddenly decided to cook the sirloin from the freezer of something.

At any rate, in recalling this, I suddenly realized why I am so cynical. I figured it was just a Gen X thing and, to an extent, of course, it is but this was really groundbreaking for me. Of course you're going to be cynical if, no matter what you do, even the most innocent thing could get you in trouble because the rules keep shifting. John compared it to living under a miniature communist totalitarianism - the point is not what the rules are but that the authority owns you.

I wish for you all a big bowl of uncontested rice this evening.

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4 Comments:

Blogger LauraJ said...

my skin crawled while reading your mother's reaction to you eating a bowl of rice. it really reminded me of my mother. cynical describes her to a "T"! Now I must wash her years of cynicism off of me because I am lathered in it like lotion.
Keep eating rice....no one is watching and there are no rice police around!

9:36 AM  
Blogger smileymamaT said...

Wow. That was nuts. I was lucky in the sense that my mom was mostly like "Do what you want, but just let me know where you are" kinda thing. Although due to circumstances beyond our control we were really poor my teen years...we ate a lot of spagetti and rice with meals...my mom, for her faults, was still a source of comfort. No rice issues....
well, at least you can see with clear eyes this background, which is a good thing when moving forward!
And sorry to hear about the paralegal situation, that's a difficult necessity...

11:31 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

I think your mom and my mom should get together and go bowling. :)

John's comment about the communist totalitarianism is absolutely the best way to describe my parents. And I never realized the contradictions in their rules until I was dating Dan... but here is an example of their logic.
Curfew is 10:00, because we want to be sure you are home safe by 10:00.
(Alright - that's reasonable)
That means you need to be in the door by 9:55. If you are home at 10:00 or later, you are late.
(hu?)
So I arrive home at 9:45, stick my head in the door to say "I'm home! I'm just going to sit out front and talk for a few minutes..." wave to my folks who clearly see me and acknowledge that I am indeed home - save and sound - and I proceed to sit on our own front porch talking until 10:30.
I walk in the door and am yelled at for being late. The argument...
"But I was home at 9:45, you saw me!"
"It doesn't matter! You weren't IN THE DOOR by ten!"
"I told you I was home at 9:45, I opened the door and waved! I was right on the front porch!"
"No, you need to be IN THE DOOR BY TEN!"

12:59 PM  
Anonymous gina said...

ew for eating rice...not even with butter? EW!! I woulda went for Cream of Wheat or my personal fav Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. God, do I miss that!
I came by to wish you a happy TG and ask for an update on the subject we are not blogging about...AND to cyber tweak my sweeties cheeks! I just LOVE that photo!!! Don't bother to visit, I am on a blog sabbatical, till I get a Pelikan...

5:16 PM  

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