Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back to my roots

I go to my father's house. Back to my roots. I realize I've been trying to be someone else. I always think I should keep my house less cluttered. My father's house is more cluttered than mine. I always think I should cook more. My father cooks less than I do.

So many things he has around his house are the same things I have in my house. I did not grow up living with my father. Many of the things we both do now are things we did not do in the past. These are not habits that I learned from him. There are a few exceptions, things I first saw at his house and then decided to buy for myself, but for the most part, these are habits we have both evolved separately, in parallel.

We both have the same brand of soy milk. We have the same brand of canned salmon. Not only do we both have frozen vegetables in our freezer, we have the same kinds of vegetables and the same brand. We both have oatmeal, and both keep in the oatmeal a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Some years back, I started using protein powder, and the next time I visited my father, I found he was using the same brand of protein powder. Never before that time had I known him to use protein powder. And now neither of us uses it. We both have seltzer, apples, natural peanut butter, and the same brand and flavor of instant soup. We both take various medications and supplements which we keep together in a box -- my box is on the counter, his is on the table. We both have bookshelves full of books that have bookmarks in them. We both have TVs that we don't use because we don't pay for cable so the TVs don't receive any channels. There are some exceptions. I don't eat mammals or birds; he does. I eat whole eggs; he eats egg whites. He eats a lot of mayonnaise; I don't like mayonnaise.

My grandmother recently told me a story. She said that after my parents divorced, before my mother married her second husband, she was dating a man who was looking for a Quaker bride he could take back to California. After the man met the family, he confided to my mother's grandfather that he was not going to propose to her. He said she would not fit in in California because she did not know her wines and cheeses.

I don't know my wines and cheeses. I don't keep a fancy house and serve fancy meals. When I'm out in the world, I feel that somehow that there's some way that humans are supposed to be that I can't quite be. But when I'm with my family, I feel like I'm in a world where I'm a regular person.

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