My parents and I immigrated to the United States in the 1970s, in the late spring, when I was ten years old, and by that summer the novelty of New York had worn off and I was supremely bored.
I wasn’t the teenage-bored yet, of course, where boredom melds into ennui, but I was bored becauseI had fuckall to do and no one to do it with. Because crystal meth
hadn’t been invented yet, I decided to sew my own beach bag. I’d thrown some gingham material together and for my pièce de résistance I thought it would be fun to embroider the word BEACH. Look, I’d like to see what kind of catchy slogans you’d come up with if you’d grown up under the influence of Karl Marx Avenue instead of Madison Avenue. A slightly different take on Mad Men if you ask me. Affiliate link, by the way. I’m learning.
Anyway. I told my Mama my embroidering plan and she froze.
“Beach?” She said.
“Beach,” I said.
“Is that the thing with sand or rude word for dog woman?”
“I think it’s the sand one.”
“Are you sure?”
I was ten! Ripped from my motherland! I wasn’t sure of a thing!
“No,” I confessed.
“Better not risk then,” Mama warned me. And I agreed.
Because the possibility of humiliation of embroidering THAT OTHER WORD was too much.
And it gave me pause. I didn’t embroider a damn thing on my beach bag rather than risk embroidering the wrong thing.
Fortunately, today’s youngsters are not as restrained as I was.
They are more confident in their assholness.
At my subway stop, I saw a poster for a local newscast, annotated.
and the co-anchor:
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the illiterate. Some of my favorite people were illiterate. But if you’re an illiterate moron, maybe not take it upon yourself to write comments in public places.
And it reminded me of this. Enjoy.
One year ago ...
- Candy Farm - 2013