tuzemi: (Default)
[personal profile] tuzemi
I've called it "Kroger's" my entire life even though it's really Kroger without the s. Maybe for the same reason my mom sometimes pronounces "wash" as "warsh" or when I'm stressed I say "cain't" instead of "can't". My third grade teacher was from New York and was the first person in my life to correct me about using the word "ain't". But anyway, last night after sunset we went to the local Kroger and walked the whole store, picking up bread for me and wine and noodles for her. It was the first time we've done so since moving to Michigan. We used to do it a lot more in Texas when I was in school. The Kroger there was adjacent to a Half Price Books, and we would hit "Ooks" as we called it (the 'B' in the sign was broken for a couple weeks once) and then Kroger and walk the teeny distance back to our duplex. It was our little ritual to get out and chat, and it was really nice.

Speaking of Michigan, one of the engineers I used to work with will be here this week to interview with my company, even my same unit. I'm really excited and hopes he does well enough to get an offer, it would be nice to have someone else I know up here. Before I left Texas I had pushed him to apply, and within the company I spoke well of him when they asked. This is my first time to really go for broke on a recommendation, but I feel that with how they work here he could get up and running with the pack as well or better than most others they could ask for. If he gets it, that would bring us up to three people who used to work at the old site who now work here.

And still speaking of Michigan, my new license just came in. That leaves us just one driver's license and one car title registration away from being formally severed from Texas. I spent nearly all of yesterday afternoon organizing our books -- we have six bookcases and they were quite full of stuff from the last seven years of collecting. I got one large pile ready for donation to the local library, but it was a weird mental/emotional process to go through sorting some of the things leftover from my childhood. Like three picture albums including my old baby pictures, and my first full-size bible. These things make me sad/angry/guilty now. I put the bible in a pile of things to be destroyed/shredded along with some confidential training stuff from my old company (I'm not required to honor their confidentiality, but it's the ethical thing to do so I stick with it).

I don't yet fully understand why pictures of my own childhood make me sad. In most of them I'm smiling and seem bubbly, at least up until I started elementary school. When I lived it, it didn't feel too bad, but I think I was basically depressed by age six and never really got out of that until age 25. I used to feel so keenly out-of-place and like an outsider looking in, yet also trapped. There was this one relative who liked to grab onto an arm or leg and not let go; I think everyone in my family thought it was a game but it freaking terrified me and I would get a full fight-or-flight response. I'm now thinking that that response might not have been typical for most kids at age 5-ish. I also see other details in the pictures: our crappy brown almost-shag carpet, old toys that you would see in antique store today, the clothes of the late 70's and early 80's. We were in all honesty a family others would label poor white trash. It's one thing to kind of joke about it in high school without fully feeling the punch, but now being older I do feel it.

I wonder sometimes if this is just a regular part of growing up or if it is instead like a de-conversion story similar to those who not only left the city of their birth behind, they also left behind their family, childhood friends, and entire psychological landscape? I remember in junior high wondering how one would calculate things like trajectory, and I scoured the library and didn't have a clue where to even start looking for that answer; I don't think anyone in my family or friends could have even named the discipline that had the answers. Now 22 years later I have at least six different books with that answer. If I was meant to be someone who really likes science, why did I have to grow up with so many people who basically hate math and science? Yet within my family they tried: we went to a few school events promoting science, they supported me in a "gifted" program that had regular trips to the library. When the real moment came to let me run off to college at age 16, they worked hard to get me there.

But I still look at those pictures and they make me sad more than anything else. I'm hanging onto them for a little longer so that my wife can see them if she wants, but I think in a few months they're going to go away for good.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-14 06:04 pm (UTC)
iris: (Default)
From: [personal profile] iris
.. I always thought it was Kroger's, too. Hmm.

Most of my pictures of me as a kid, I was smiling, too. It's never -that- bad when you're living it. I think only as you're looking back, do you realize how bad it was.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-15 02:45 am (UTC)
brisus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brisus
Everyone here says "Krogers" too. LOL Not much you! I'm guilty. :P

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-20 05:16 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
And there's also "Meijer's" which has the same issue.

Looking back on childhood, one makes the connections that weren't there while a child. Often those connections are disturbing.

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