Monday, October 02, 2006

Here be Hippogriffs and the Freewheeling Spirit

As you may or may not recall, the Drunken Housewife went on a bit of an Ayun Halliday trip this summer, after old friend Kim II nagged the Drunken H. into reading "The Big Rumpus" and then Ayun responded to my slagging her here for calling a vagina a "bukiluki." That trip was about how Kim II and I saw ourselves in "The Big Rumpus" and could relate so much that we felt ripped off (especially if "we" means "Kim II") that we hadn't written it ourselves and gotten it published. Yes, we are urban! We like to see people flying their freak flag! We have filthy houses! And we breastfeed like frigging dairy cows! Etc.., etc... In summary, "The Big Rumpus", c'est nous. The Ayun Halliday Trip wrapped up when I interviewed Ayun as part of her virtual book tour for "Mama Lama Ding Dong" (which is what "The Big Rumpus" calls itself when it is in the U.K.).

It turns out that many of the bloggers who read and reviewed Ayun's book could not relate to it. In particular, they couldn't relate to Ms. Halliday's big city lifestyle. Shlepping the baby past crack addicts, shudder. I relate just fine (once my friend Joyce and I were at the playground across from Joyce's house when a park attendant found a little baggie of crack). Some other mothers perceive that Ayun looks down on suburban mommies; I don't perceive Ayun as a snob, but there is always the city mouse/country mouse clash.

I'm from rural Maine, from the absolute sticks myself, with parents who both grew up on farms, so I get both sides of this. I have never lived in a suburb, though: I've either been in the absolute, far out sticks or in a large city (with the exception of two years during which I lived on military bases in the Philippines). The town I grew up in was so small that it had no traffic lights or sidewalks or grocery store. As a little kid, I puzzled over what a "block" was. I had one of those fill-in-the-blank, write-a-book-about-yourself deals and it had something in there about blocks, and it absolutely stymied me. I had never seen a city block and couldn't figure out what it was. (Before you conclude from this that I must have been mentally deficient, I think I was six or seven at the time, and I was more familiar with dairy farms than with inner cities).

Anyhow, I ended up reading one of the more suburban blogs from the virtual book tour, (or perhaps it's more fair to call this one a rural blog with a bloc of suburban readers), Here Be Hippogriffs. I can't relate so much to Julia's life (her blog largely chronicles her epic and terrifying struggles with fertility, as she has had, I think, eleven miscarriages caused by genetic issues and one alarmingly genius-like child). When I read her stuff, I want to sit her down at a table, give her a box of tissues and a strong cocktail, and then hand her a ton of advice, but then again, the title of her blog is not "Advice Sought From Drunken People, Please." The point though, is that she can write beautifully. Here she is, arguing with her husband (whom evidently she once bit on the leg during an argument):

"This morning I said, "GODDAMNIT! The next pair of underpants that fails to make it into the dirty clothes hamper, cast or no cast, I am going to batter, fry and stuff down your fucking throat." And then I said some things and he said some things and then I told him I would like to pound him into unconciousness with his own crutch and he said he wished I would, if only to get a blessed release from the irritant of my conversation and I said, hmm, good one, and he said, thank you, and then there we were, sweethearts still."

That's positively Wodehousian, and that's about the highest praise I can give.

A very different blog indeed is Freewheeling Spirit, which is often bicycling-themed but which departed into a four-part series on Why Freewheeling Is A Vegetarian recently. No one EVER asks the Drunken Housewife why she is a vegetarian or how she became one, and I'm wondering why (probably because I have a million and one pets and they can connect the dots all by themselves and conclude that the Drunken Housewife is a crazy animal lady who'll be eaten by her cats one day). I always love it when someone other than me is a big ol' vegetarian and is more vegetarian acting than me (it made my whole day when a friend of mine got a lot of mutual friends of ours in a tizzy when she sent out a vegan rant once). So, anyhow, these two blogs have brought me reading pleasure the last few days.


Anonymous said...

Haus Frau Ignore Sober husband, go down to Kragens, get one of those tools for taking the valve stem out of the tire. When she goes of the deep end flatten her tire, then be the hero, fixing it.

Anonymous said...
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the Drunken Housewife said...

Pathetically enough, Silliyak, I'd probably just call my old husbnd on my celphone and he'd end up the hero of the piece. Undoubtedly he would also figure out that I'd fiddled with the valve stem and publicly humiliate me by telling the story ad nauseam.

Freewheel said...

Do you get asked whether you include chicken in your vegetarian diet? I get that one a lot for some reason.

Thank you for the honorable mention. You got me started on the vegetarian rant with your preschool story.

the Drunken Housewife said...

No, no one ever asks me questions about my vegetarianism, but I do get handed a fair amount of crap about my kids. That has lessened as they got a bit older and are so clearly fabulous in all developmental regards. In fact, it was always asinine, as they are both such models of health. They've never been on antibiotics (the only prescription meds they've ever needed were topical meds for thrush as newborns). They're both tall, energetic, bright kids who are living proof that people have no physical need to eat meat for health.

Freewheel said...

I once subscribed to the VRG-parents listserv. There was a thread on there in which parents offered one anecdote after another about the health and well-being of their vegetarian kids. In addition, our kids' pediatrician (who is not vegetarian) has told us that a vegetarian diet is healthy for kids.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Our pediatrician has no issues with it, either. Likewise, my obstetricians had no concerns... but when I was pregnant, people started telling me how I should be eating meat, ugh.

I do get remarks about the kids from other parents from time to time. Here's a quote from a parent at our current preschool: "I think most of us were more open to a vegetarian diet before we became parents and we realized how important it is to feed our kids meat." I've stumbled into a little carnivorous enclave there.

Ashish Lohorung Rai said...

hey if i am right you are vegeterian.I am too vegeterian and love animals. you can see me on my blog site. i am alone fighting for animal rights for past 3 years. thoug it is not possible but i think it will make a little bit less.