Tuesday, October 27, 2009

people and their surprises

  • We were in the parking lot at the McHugh Trail trailhead, waiting for Autumn and Nic to arrive, and out of the woods came several punk / goth young people, just coming back to their car after a walk. All black clothing, chains draped about, interesting hair dos, including one mohawk, and so on. Jason thought to himself, "Those kids are just the type to be sporting swords." Just then, the driver went around to the trunk and pulled out an actual sword and sheath. Like it was nothing. Like he was pulling out an extra blanket or jumper cables. He carried it around to the driver's side, got in, and they pulled away. As they drove past our car, we saw a flag waiving on their hood - a pirate flag. Now that's just plain fun. Oh, what we'd give to be a fly in their back window. And we started wondering what sub-culture(s) Zoralee is going to be part of throughout her life. What people groups will she connect with? I hope it's some ones we haven't thought of, because I like surprises an awful lot.

  • Ahead of me in line at the grocery store the other day was a short, white or white/hispanic kid with baggy pants and a ginormous sweatshirt, lop-sided cap, and a beautiful, tall black girlfriend. He totally fit the look of a gansta or gansta wanna be. Or just a person who listens to a lot of rap music. Look, I don't know about these things, but I think you know the subculture I'm trying to describe. A general tendency toward toughness, having lived the hard life. So it surprised me when, as he paid, he was gracious and polite to the slow checke. And when he took his change out of the machine, he immediately dropped it into the charity bucket.

  • I met a woman last week, a friend of a friend, who had just gotten out of an arm cast. She described how difficult it had been for those months to write, yes, to do common household tasks, yes, but particularly, to fix her hair. I was intrigued by this. She elaborated. For nearly 30 years, she'd lived in Texas, where hair is evidently a super big deal, so it bothered her to not be able to fluff it up and style it in a particular way daily. It stuck with me, that organizing the strands of dead keratin cells hanging off of one's head would be deemed so vital that to not be able to do it properly would cause a person great angst. I know it's not just Texans; they may take it farther than some of our countryfolk. But isn't the idea fascinating? We humans are so interesting.

Have you been surprised by people these days? Or heck, by yourself?


Rachel Clear said...

It really knocks me out when people surprise me like this too, especially when the surprises are good.

I must say, Cam is one of the more polite people I know and he listens to a fairly solid diet of rap. I wonder if there's a correlation between politeness and rap. Hmmm....

Christi said...

I have been surprised by fifth graders lately. I was kinda nervous to sub in a fifth grade classroom at first, but now I love it. They really aren't as old as we think they are.