In case I haven’t made it incredibly clear that I am such a hybrid of a Jersey-Scandinavian girl (I agree it is too much to combine) I went to the Bergen County Ikea to meet four cars filled with family to celebrate my sister’s birthday today.
When my youngest bounded into my bed this morning and asked where we were celebrating her aunt’s birthday, which coincides with Norway’s May 17th celebration of their independence (think born on the 4th of July Norway style) and I told her Ikea…she laughed like, “What? This makes no sense? These nutty adults are insane!” and repeated back to me “Ikea? What?”
This child has such an incredible amount of natural logic, you can not explain senseless ideas into her. I like to think that I am the squishy toy dinosaur that if you place in water, when it becomes a hundred times its original size, that size is my daughter. She kept asking me Why? Why Ikea? I told her that when she grows up and understands how people live really far away from each other, they meet in the middle to eat Swedish meatballs. Especially on the day Norway gained its independence from Sweden.
Not only was I at an Ikea cafeteria for five hours today, while I was there I got an email newsletter from Lefse Time, and we concurred, sweet Lord above, I really am one hell of a first generation Norwegian-American.
While there, I talked to my brother-in-law about MQA for a little while and told him my dilemma about posting a story on Mary Richardson, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. estranged wife, that I wrote the day before she died, which was yesterday. (When I told my friend Bob about it last night at a PTA meeting, how it was so weird that I wrote something about someone so obscure and then they died the next day, he said in perfect flat dry delivery, “You killed her.”) I told my brother-in-law I have been warned to not write about all the rich and powerful people I have met in my life and all their stories I carry beautiful ugly details of. And that I don’t really see what can happen to me if I tell true tales of the 1%. Who reads MQA anyway, certainly not anyone that, that bobblehead Nancy Kissenger knows? He said I needed a mentor or a role-model to guide me. I thought I need a lawyer, because I should be able to say whatever I want. I paid a heavy price for all of this freedom.
I have nobody that keeps me quiet. No parents or family, no husband’s job, no job that I need to shut my mouth at myself, none of that…that would keep me quiet. I can say and write whatever I want. Can’t I?
I didn’t start MQA to write. I never kept a journal, I never wrote anything down, ever. Me writing stories on this site is like I’m standing on a stage nervously cracking jokes to stall the audience until the main act appears. I’m looking stage left waiting for a giant cane to pull me safely off stage. This project is about having parties for books I want to eat like soup or roundtables to talk about uncomfortable topics that I am curious about or interviewing a priest or a morbidly obese person just to ask “Why are you so fat?” But that requires a whole lot of organizing and I, as one person who is lost thinking most of the time can’t possibly have enough parties to produce enough material for consistent postings to a blog. So I figured I’d better just start sharing some stories in-between parties.
Along with never writing before, I never followed blogs before either or had any interest in them. Lo and behold, Mad Question Asking is a blog where I mostly write.
We left Ikea and I spent the drive home thinking about how funny the PTA meeting was the night before because a “county” PTA representative was there. She kept interrupting the meeting to throw her county weight around and ended the night with a speech about how important the PTA is and said these exact words, “The PTA touches children and it is really important to touch children.” I laughed so hard, and thanked the universe for giving me the foresight to attend a meeting where a speech was made with those words in that combination and spoken by such a self-important woman. I also thought about how I didn’t add any of the songs from The Kinks Arthur to my mix tape yesterday and that was a shame but I could never pick just one or two from that record. Mostly I thought about freedom and how I know that the cost for freedom can be so high, especially when it feels like you are in a two foot by two foot room with four doors and no matter which door you open you will hurt someone you love or who loves you or if you say something honest, you’ll have to suffer the consquences. I feel grateful I don’t carry that burden anymore but have a deep understanding and sincere compassion for those who do.
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