I’ve decided that in a city (or perhaps just in Marta-world, which can be topsy-turvy at times), things don’t work out the way you expect. Cases in point:
1. Days when it’s 40 F feel a lot chillier than ones when it’s 20 F. When it’s properly chilly I dress for it, but I’m at heart a southern girl who likes shirtsleeves so if I think I can do without the layers I’ll try to.
2. I lost my debit card last week and while I’m waiting for the replacement I got a temporary ATM card from the bank. Meaning I can’t do anything that requires a credit card – I can get money out of an ATM machine but no Amazon purchases or anything. You’d think this should be a hindrance, but working with cash means I have it on hand for the many cash-only local stores in my neighborhood. (This is the Bronx; I can get foodstuffs from every corner of the world and periodicals in nearly every language, but not unless I have hard currency to purchase it with.) So I’ve been probably buying more stuff I actually need this week than I regularly do.
3. When I carry a coat I don’t usually carry a bookbag. This is to minimize the pockets I might put something in, and avoid that panicked feeling of whether I left my keys some place. But by the end of the day this means I’m carrying more shopping bags since I have no bookbag to put little purchases in. Ergo: even more places to misplace my keys.
4. I am pacifist to the core, and I’m not that big of a Katy Perry fan, but I’m totally digging Part of Me for some reason I can’t quite nail down. Perhaps I shouldn’t try.
5. I hear people kvetching (yes, I am a white Protestant, and I use Yiddish regularly) about online relationships quite a lot lately. How they are shallow and how they keep us from really putting ourselves out there and having deep friendships. But I have moved around every few years for the last decade, slowly building up the alphabet soup that follows my name. My online friendships are the ones I have taken with me. And they know much more about me (and are more supportive, both in their time and affections) than people who I live much closer to, geographically).
Also: FB means I “see” family and high school friends and even the next door neighbor more than I would otherwise. It also gives me access to a community of people who have my interests and intellectual drive more than you get even in a grad school oasis. So I’m labeling this less an irony than pure balderdash.
6. New York is cold and atomistic if you trust TV. But I live in the Bronx, specifically Little Italy. This is the land of a thousand villages, and I know my neighbors even better than I did when I lived in actual small towns. It’s something about all those folks living so close together, plus waiting for the bus together.
7. Three decades and counting after video purportedly killed the radio star, XFM and Spotify are still with us. MTV, however, seems to have gotten out of the music business entirely.
And, since it’s Advent, I’ve been thinking of a few theological ironies. I keep meaning to lay them out but never getting around to it.
On the Christian telling of history, God was really God of the Jews before the Christian story. Then God takes on a particular form – a Jewish form, no less – and somehow comes out God of the whole world. And then we Christians insist on turning Christianity into another tribal religion, with more focus on us/them than ever before. What’s more it’s a tribe where there’s always doubt if you’re a member of the “us,” and it tends to cut across family lines even. Add to that the fact that the whole purpose of the incarnation was supposed to be the forgiveness of sins, but we seem more focused on the effects of sins than I think you would be if you didn’t have to prove you were part of the “us” group. I’m not convinced it’s quite an irony, but there is some seriously messed-up stuff going on in how the incarnation affected us humans.
That’s enough from me.