This is not so much a problem as a blessing, but sometimes I think my parents would be great hippies without the sex, drugs and politics. Like, my mom is obsessed with the thrift store near our house. (Think less Buffalo Exchange, more The Bins) Sometimes she takes an hour-long bus ride to travel the three miles to get there. Sure, the rest of us buy a lot of second-hand things too, but we feel kind of dirty about it. If my mom had her way, she’d go every day to touch every new thing rolling in.
Once she bought some socks for $0.27. Granted, she limits herself to new items with the tag on when she buys footwear, but these socks are an unsightly gray color with a weird leaf motif. It wasn’t until after we got home that I realized the leaves were of the psychotropic kind.
“How do you say marijuana in Chinese?” I asked. She brushed me off and continued making dinner.
“Aren’t you embarrassed to wear them?”
“I’ll just wear them when I wear green, so they match.”
I don’t know if it’s because they’ve moved to America where there’s no concept of saving face, but there are a lot of things my parents just don’t give a fuck about anymore. They have a mellow, disconnected view of life that is kind of refreshing. Call it what you will–DIY, bohemian, cheap. Our old house was filled with amateur sculptures, picture frames and clocks my dad built. The sun room (which he also cobbled together) was filled with my half-assed paintings and unruly plants. Behind that, a vegetable garden, chicken coop and ancient swingset took up the backyard.
At the time our noisy chickens were just another reason to hide my family life from friends, but I miss them now. A lot of my friends and/or their parents have started raising chickens lately, making me miss our old space. One of our family friends even bought twelve acres of farmland and are reverting to the simple life. On the other hand, our current yard is crammed with succulents and a few vegetables, leaving no room for chickens, which means no fresh eggs either.
I’d love to live in our old place again. Maybe it’s because the older I get, the less I care about everything. And that people have more leeway to be quirky when they reach a certain age. Maybe the Bay Area makes things easier too. Where else do pot socks command respect? Now that’s liberating.