I’m home. I had a good weekend.
I won’t try and describe it all chronologically, but here were some of my experiences/thoughts/observations on everything.
No matter how many times I go there, I always enjoy visiting Delray Beach. My parents (and many of their siblings) both grew up there, and there are parts of the city that just have that whole vintage feel to them. In fact, there was a corner drugstore that looked very similar to the café from Back to the Future, and I wanted to walk in and yell, “HEY, MCFLY!” But seriously, it’s really cool to just drive around looking at old buildings, or buildings that are no longer there, or that have been replaced with new ones, and listen to them saying, “Oh, and do you remember yada yada yada?” The whole time I wished I’d had a video camera with me, so I could make a documentary on it all. That would be so nifty.
Heard some bizarre family stories I didn’t know about. Considering writing a book. Actually, I’d been giving that some thought after my meeting with the FSCJ teacher (whose story I still have not written). She was telling me how much of her book is based on her ancestors, and I was thinking how I’d like to do that. And then Aunt Dianne was showing us old, yellowed pictures that she’d scanned into her computer, of all these different ancestors, and it was all really appealing to my sense of creativity (perhaps I’ll dream something up).
There was one point on the train when my mom put her head down on my shoulder so she could take a nap. And now I must explain the “Lucius!” story, for those who haven’t heard it and won’t have a clue what I’m talking about if they don’t.
Cort, Nicole, and I were staying overnight at another aunt’s house in Orlando. We didn’t have our wands with us at the time (in fact, I don’t think we had wands at all then), and it was really hot, and the air conditioner wouldn’t come back on. So we were trying to do this snazzy (but bogus) little hand motion and cast a spell on the a/c to make it activate again. We were yelling out all kinds of spells, and none of them were working. So then we started yelling out things that weren’t spells and were just random words. (“Wand!” “Arithmancy!” “Cockroach cluster!”) It wasn’t until Cort yelled, “LUCIUS!” that the a/c finally heeded our pleas and turned back on.
So now, of course, “Lucius” is like the generic spell. If we don’t know the real spell for something, we just Lucius it. If we are without our wands, we do the ridiculous hand motion and hope that Lucius works (although we have tried other spells with the silly hand motion, too—it just seems like Lucius is the most common).
Back to the train. So my mom put her head on my shoulder. This was fine with me, but I was wearing my Gryffindor sweater, so I felt a warning was in order.
“It’s cool,” I said, “just don’t drool on my sweater, because I don’t have my wand on me, and Lucius isn’t powerful enough to get rid of it.”
We both laughed, neither of us mentioning the fact that Lucius, when timed just right, can turn on air conditioners, change stoplights to green, or deter people from our line at work, among other things. It still can’t pick up drool off clothing, especially when no wand is available.
We played Scene It. I was the only one who had played it before, but I think it may become another family favorite (even though I floored everybody—floored them). They kept saying how I’m going to be the next Suzanne (Suzanne being the eldest of the aunts, and the best with trivia—everyone always wants to be on her team when we play Trivial Pursuit, a family tradition). I basked in the praise and glory; I didn’t bother to remind them of the fact that I was the only one who had played the game before, and I chose not to point out that, apart from movies, I really don’t know anything at all.
We went into a bird store, where I couldn’t help but think of, as we were walking through rows of cages where birds were staring and squawking, The Birds, and, weirdly, Jurassic Park. The whole dinosaurs coming from birds thing. Ever since I first learned that (which was actually before Jurassic Park), birds have seemed more dinosaur-like to me. I don’t know exactly what it is. Their feet, I suppose, and their eyes. I think the eyes more than anything. I just…I don’t know, if I think about it too hard, it’s a bit creepy.
But oddly, I really like birds and I want one. I shall probably never get one, but it’s fun to think about. They’re pretty and cute and funny and just cool.
This morning, we went into John G’s, a restaurant that has been in the same place for I think 40 years, something like that. (The name of it, of course, reminded me of Memento, which leads to a point I wanted to make a little while ago: “So much of what I see reminds me of something I’ve read in a book, when…shouldn’t it be the other way around?” – Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail. There. I can’t even make a good point about my referring everything in life to a movie or a book or a TV show without doing it.)
It was a really good restaurant, and I had never been there, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But it was in the rich section of town, and I feel like we were completely surrounded by people who live in mansions, and it was just an odd feeling. And then later we went to the mansion-people’s mall to walk around. And, as Cort said when we were walking around the Town Center, it just reminded me of Rodeo Drive. And I was dreadfully uncomfortable. I felt like everybody I looked at was thinking, “What the hell are they doing here? They couldn’t afford anything here. They don’t belong here.”
You guys know about my prejudice against members of the “Snob Squad”, as Debbie so aptly refers to them in Shameless, but I feel like it’s getting worse. Because now it’s not just a grade school thing; no one is bullying me for being the poor kid anymore. Now I’m projecting it outward, into everyday life. And it’s really messing with me.
I guess I also have this thing where I always suspect people are talking about me. I mean, I know while I’m having the thought that I’m being completely ridiculous and there is only a very slim chance, if any, that people actually are talking about me behind my back, but I always wonder. It doesn’t matter where I am. And it’s not often a problem; I’ve solved it for the most part—I just choose not to care. I mean, it really doesn’t bother me nowadays what people think of me (although that doesn’t change the fact that secretly, deep down, part of me still believes they are talking about me). But today it did. I felt completely paranoid being in that stupid mall. I kept saying, “Look, what difference does it make, it’s just money, and most of these people are complete snobs anyway, and who needs them? And now you’re just as bad—if not worse than them, because who’s the one who’s standing here making judgments about everyone? You are! …But money is a very powerful thing….” And I was just totally flipping out. It was completely uncharacteristic! But I think my little prejudice here is starting to be a big problem.
We walked into this one store just full of artistic décor for homes and stuff, and the moment we walked in, I knew (however founded or unfounded it was) that woman behind the counter was looking down her nose at us and thinking, “What are they doing in here?” She was polite; she at least greeted us and said to feel free to look around. But while Mom and Aunt Dianne walked around marveling at the items, I walked around marveling at the prices. I don’t think there was anything in that store that cost anything under $300.
Okay, well…I was going to say more on that, but it’s almost 2:30 now and I have class in the morning. I’m going to bed. More later.