‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

cultural exile is nice this time of year

I am a firm believer in the "you get what you ask for" school of thought.

Before you start hurling produce at me, I will admit quite frankly that you get a lot of other stuff, too. This cannot be denied. So maybe the thought should be "if you want something, you should ask for it."

I mention this now because when I moved back to Cape Cod I was concerned about sending myself into some kind of cultural exile. At the time, you could not even get an espresso in my town (which is practically immoral).

To make matters worse, I was moving here from Denver, where I attended gallery openings, subscribed to opera and ballet, frequented live music venues and practically lived at the Denver Center Theater thanks to a friend who worked in the mailroom but didn't like theater and gave me all his comps. I also went to arthouse movies because they were in historic movie theaters and they made me feel all smartish.

And then I moved to a fishing town. Which is great, don't get me wrong. Driving through town and seeing boats all wrapped in plastic for the winter is mind-boggling to someone raised in the mountains. There are stacks of lobster traps in the yard of the commercial fisherman next door and I can't think of hardscaping I'd rather look at (unless its a teahouse. I like teahouses).

The biggest problem was that I wanted both the lobster traps and the city culture: Edgy theater; foreign films; art that doesn't match the couch (more on this later as it seems I've become a couch-art matching housewife); Moroccan food delivered to my door and a community of like-minded people. That last one is the zinger because if you have a community, eventually someone learns to make Moroccan food.

Anyway, I just now realized I have everything I thought I was leaving behind. This month WHAT (which I've had a crush on since moving here) is starting Cinema WHAT and showing dozens of movies that will make me feel smartish and less like a couch-matching housewife.

I have been missing that smartish feeling. The whole time I've been here, I've been looking for things that give me that smartish feeling. I asked for it, relentlessly.

Now I find that there's art and film and food and poetry and music and espresso, right here in my back yard. I have no idea what to ask for next, but I better make it good.

What are you asking for? What makes you feel smartish?

12 comments:

Zip n Tizzy said...

It's interesting isn't it, how desirous we are as human beings?
I love being a SAHM and the thought of leaving that in reality makes me sad. However, I have struggled with my role the whole time I've been in it (and before since I put myself through school by taking care of other peoples children.)
I would say what I long for is a job, but just like you, I would like to have both worlds, so I'm looking for ways to do that from home. That would make me feel smartish. That and keeping my house in order, since everything in my life happens here.

Cheryl said...

Two words for you (three if you count the conjunction): Newburyport or Portsmouth. You coulda had it all in either place. But then you wouldn't be bi-coastal and where's the fun in that?

I don't ask for things and mostly I feel stupidish. My most smartish skill is my ability to read an actual paper map and successfully get from point A to point B. Technology has made even this a lost art. *sigh*

How appropriate: endiseti is my word. *ouch*

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Ummmm . . . sleep?

Ambley said...

What makes me feel smartish is when I get it together a little bit. If I'm able to be organized or think ahead or anticipate, OR if I'm able to fit something in that I'm proud of, be it cooking more or doing something artsy or working in my garden or visiting with friends or giving back in some way, I feel pretty clever.

I also like art house films and such; they're probably on the back burner a little bit for awhile. Hopefully my favorite theater (old and also wonderful) will survive until I have a little more free time....

just making my way said...

I would like to be doing more cultural-y things. I was in a big city for a seminar on Thursday and thought, Man - I miss being in a city occasionally. I'd still prefer to live in the waterfront town, but a little more culture would make me feel smartish.

Bella said...

i feel smartish when i am actually able to get my children to do things without threats or bribes.

i also like to finish my cup of tea without having to reheat it a dozen times.

i miss travel. that made me feel smartish.

Greg said...

Honestly, Opera Nights gave me back a bit of that sense of Smartishness. So thanks.

I had a lot of that stuff in the Adirondacks, too, though it was almost always a longish drive through the woods. Glad to hear about WHATCinema. Sounds like fun.

I'll confess I don't know much about Moroccan food, so please keep me in the loop about that coming to town.

Jett Superior said...

I fell into the art-matching-couch trap for a little bit. An eensy little bit.

What would make me feel smartish: being able to create full time and having enough people appreciate my output to want to help me buy things like laundry detergent and the occasional white pizza.

Also, a muscle car would make me feel smartish in that all-american redneckily awesome sort of way.

Patty said...

Wow your post totally summed up exactly how I feel, I want the quiet countryside cottage with the endless backyard but also the tiny studio apartment in the heart of a bustling city, maybe some day.

Velma said...

I have veered dangerously close to art-matching housewife these last few years, and I (unfortunately) live closer to the bridge and thus farther away from the cool stuff where you are. Mostly I feel like a dope, but what makes me feel smartish right now is actually being able to follow most of the article about Dr. Mike Burry and his investing strategy in this month's "Vanity Fair." A nice change from the weekly tutoring group, where the 4th graders routinely school me in math.

(Hey! My word is "plato!" He was kinda smartish, too.)

Cindy said...

Sometimes it is amazing to discover what is in your own backyard. As long as it isn't chiggers, ticks and fleas!

Tiny Dancer said...

There is something about being a stay at home mother of smaller children that made me feel a little less smartish. Now that my youngest is almost out of college (May!!!) I feel a whole lot smarter. Not more productive, but smarter! Getting to read all her papers AND understand them makes me feel pretty smart. (and blessed that she asks me to read them).