Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Part Trailer Trash?

I had a boss once, an extremely fiesty, headstrong, intelligent woman from Texas, who said that you should always be proud of where you are from.

Proud. Of. Where. You. Are. From. Well, easy for her to say, she's from Texas. Aren't they all that way there? What happens when you're not so proud? I spent years, years, not being very proud. I spent many years in denial actually. Or maybe it was avoidance? In any case, it ain't been easy. But now I'm forty. And I'm finally proud of where I'm from.

But what do you do when you finally accept that you’re part trailer trash? I mean, being from Chicago is a place you can be proud to be from. But part trailer trash? How does anyone get a handle on that? and even become proud? Hard to guess it might happen at your grandma's funeral.

I mean, I've always known that I love Velveeta, and that I’d take Miracle Whip over regular mayonnaise any day, but that doesn't make you trailer trash. Does it?

I mean, I know I grew up eating Twinkies and thinking that canned fruit cocktail in light syrup was a fruit. And I was shocked to one day in college actually taste a real pea, one that doesn’t come from a can. But that’s just food, right? It doesn’t make you trailer trash. Does it?

No, it doesn’t. But when you attend your grandma’s wake and realize that there are three, yes three, separate but still part of your own flesh and blood family members hosting tailgate parties in the parking lot of the funeral home and serving Bud Light (or Old Style or whatever) out of a can, and that most of the actual wake takes place in said parking lot? And that you love it? That you are so honestly thrilled to be part of said family that you want to leave your wholesome existence and move back?

Then yes, you can finally admit that you are part, just part, trailer trash.

And proud of it, dang it.


Jen M. said...

When I was in first grade, my best friend and I would make bologna, velveeta and white bread sandwiches (w/ MiracleWhip,'natch) and head down to her basement to watch Brady Bunch.

I lived for those damn sandwiches. said...

I just about spewed my coffee all over the computer! Are we related? I swear that sounds like my family!