Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Frontier Life

When I was in second grade at Jane Hite Elementary, I used to pretend I was blind like Mary on Little House on the Prairie. I didn't think about the possibility of offending anyone, I just closed my eyes, stuck out my hand and used the grooves on the concrete block walls to find my way. Mary was the oldest sister and so was I, so I felt very connected to her. I wanted to experience her dark but 100 percent virtuous world, and that's also why I forced my little sister Claire to play school every afternoon once Mary became a teacher on our favorite show. Claire wasn't thrilled by this activity, but it was a lot better than too much Nintendo and she did learn to read at an early age.

The reason I bring this up is because my routines carry a lot of Little House overtones these days. I think of the frontier life when I'm carrying my laundry down ice-covered stairs to the basement, and when I'm pulling on double layers of socks before bed. I feel like Ma when I'm opening my oven to let the extra warmth from cooking into my apartment, and I shake my head like Pa as I review my utility bills and try to think of ways to supplement my household income. Winter is harsh. I really don't know how they did it without space heaters.

Ahem. Sorry for the abrupt signoff, but I have to get back to my regularly scheduled programming: a blend of American Idol and the Democratic debate on MSNBC. Could prime time be more patriotic?

P.S. Breaking news from Chicago: Dirty Dancing has been made into a Broadway musical which apparently will open right here where I live in September. Can you believe it?!?! Many hoorays.

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