Last month, I requested some vacation time in September because Seattle was the realest possible scenario, and just in case, I wanted to give myself time to fly in and search for a job and/or apartment. It seems we’ve found the apartment house and I’m still working on a job (six callbacks and one interview in one month, which is vastly preferable to the last time I was unemployed in St. Louis, where it took me seven months to find a part time job at my old company) so I don’t have to fly there, but there’s still some shit to do, and some of that involves checking out parts of St. Louis for the last time.
Yesterday, Graham and I went to the Zoo. We wanted to see the new sea lion exhibit, which is terrific and I recommend it to everyone. Then we finally sold my old wedding and engagement rings (for not a lot, but it’s a few tanks of gas for free and that’s more valuable than was my entire marriage), picked up some cupcakes from Sweet Divine (salted caramel ohmygooooood), and hit up Food Truck Friday at Tower Grove Park (Seoul Taco, y u no have shorter lines?).
At some point while we walked around the Zoo, Graham mentioned something he’d seen on that show where rednecks capture wild pigs in Texas. I don’t interrupt him often, but this time, I said “WAIT. How is it okay for you to watch some show about hillbillies rolling around after pigs, but I can’t watch an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo without you pretending to pass out from disgust?”
Okay, fine. I watched an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I watched two episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, actually, and while it’s nothing I’d recommend, it was an exceedingly effective way of narcoticizing my brain and shutting off that stress reflex that causes me to grind my teeth for hours, thus causing head and neck pain for something like three days at a time. Like I told Graham and everyone at work who made fun of me, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo shuts off my brain, and sometimes, I need that.
I’m not sure what it would be like to watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo as someone who actually gives a fuck about learning something from the experience. I don’t know if that’s possible. I guess that if you were from a certain part of the world where you’d had zero exposure to people like the Boo Boos (read: not Amur-kuh, unless you are Mitt Romney), you could approach the show as a sociology lesson. I’m not sure what you’d learn from it other than “some people are gross,” but I believe that everyone should want to learn as much and be as intelligent as possible, regardless of their upbringing (read: Mitt Romney vs. anyone who lives next to the train tracks on the outskirts of Macon, GA).
I’ve been thinking about this since yesterday, because apparently there was something on Facebook about how I called someone’s kid an asshole (nope), and how I think I’m so much smarter and better than everyone else even though I grew up in the same shit neighborhood with the same shit people, and clearly this would never have happened if I’d had kids, which is apparently the only thing worth doing with your life if you stay in the Midwest.
Which is one of the reasons why I’m not staying in the Midwest, as well as the reason why I’m not really bummed about one person’s mental breakdown over something that didn’t happen, nor am I bummed about being “deleted” from their life (as if I was really a part of it to begin with) or the lives of people like them (ahem, the commenters on this rant, most of whom have never used an apostrophe). I’m a little annoyed that dishonest passive-aggressiveness on Facebook is now referred to as a high road, but mostly because I find it absurd, but I’m not bummed.
I also find it absurd that background is supposed to dictate intelligence, or, as my friend Jen said, that growing up with a lot of poor, dumb people means you’re expected to toe that party line for the rest of your life, because not aligning yourself with that kind of mentality means you’ve betrayed the side, and thinking you could be smarter than that is somehow putting on airs. If this were the case, you wouldn’t be reading this, because I’d be an alcoholic mother of four living on a couch with a guy who cheats on me, 30-years-old and crying to others about my life but still threatening beatdowns over the Internet because science is hard.
Years ago, I wondered what it would be like to live in a place where I wasn’t expected to be a married baby factory by the age of 25, or where I could use big words without people I’ve known since childhood making a face, or even just surround myself with people who aren’t still emotionally violent lunatics with antiquated views of friendship and normalcy. Always agree. Stay simple. Stay fertile. Don’t piss us off.
Eventually, I got tired of wondering what it would be like to live in a place like that and decided to live in a place like that. While there are some amazing people here and I am sad to leave them (I thought about naming them here but the list would be too long and would probably turn into an ordered count of who could fit into some smuggling luggage and who wouldn’t, which is weird but you should know that Angelica brought it up first), overall, I’ve been needing to get the hell out of Dodge for some time now, and I could not be happier that I’m finally doing it.
(Unrelated: people keep finding this blog by Googling “tattoos of Nicolas Cage.” In case this entry turns up another hit, WHAT IN THE BALLS IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE.)
My co-workers have CANCELLED MEETINGS to get a good spot in the Seoul Taco line.
And again, one group of dumbdumb bitches doesn’t determine what the entire city thinks. Most of my girlfriends are just now saying, “Shit, I guess I should make up my mind before I run out of eggs.”
I didn’t even GET to get some Seoul Taco, BUT I think that the Wandering Pig from the Guerrilla Truck must be just as awesome. OH, and there were TWO gyro trucks, one of which has an airbrushed, half-naked Zeus making googly eyes at customers while he shaves a leg of lamb.
As always, I find your posts absolutely refreshing….and validating. Trust me…there is just NOTHING to be gained by resigning oneself to the self-defeating St. Louis mentality, downshifting your dreams, and just settling. It’s a crying shame what has happened to that city. I love the old-world architecture and the ambience and the food and the quirky neighborhoods and a whole lot of other stuff, not the least of which is dirt-cheap housing…but….BUT…you nailed it on the head….it’s an oppressive nowheresville for anybody with an edge, a vision, an alternative viewpoint, questions, higher self-expectations, and the audacity NOT to be a married breeder. Plus, there just aren’t any jobs there if you aspire to do something besides work at QuikTrip.
It’s just a shame. I mean, I kind of always knew it would happen, at least with a lot of the people I grew up with, but it’s a shame that so few of them are able to even acknowledge that something exists outside of that mentality.
And the few who can are the ones I love so fiercely, and wish I could fit into luggage to smuggle into Seattle when I move.
Anybody worth a damn in your STL life will want to visit you in Seattle. Who knows, you might end up paving the way for your otherwise less courageous friends to pull up stakes (or I guess in STL that would be “pork steaks”) and move out there, too. ErinEph the Catalyst.
I feel like I need to add that I landed my dream job (which happens to recruit brilliant people from all over the world, and where I create things that are seen nationally), live in an art loft full of creative, “alternative” people, walk to work, and being a “married breeder” isn’t a priority for anyone I choose to spend time with. I live in St. Louis and I’m living a life I never fucking dreamed I could have. So forgive me if I take issue with this comment.
And before you assume, I have left before (Europe) and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to move elsewhere. Your life is what you make it, no matter where you are. I’m thrilled that Erin is creating the life that she wants and going where she wants to go. But please don’t insult my aspirations, abilities or mentality because you didn’t find what you wanted here.
Whoa. Shit got real. I’m glad for you Erin! I took a trip to Seattle and loved it. I’m sure you’ll be happy there! Forget all the stupid shit about St. Louis and remember the good. We have a lot in this city that sucks….but a lot that rocks too.
Top searches on my blog relate to dwarf tossing & vagina Skittles. But I’m insufferably pedantic.