Friday, November 13, 2009

People Have Their Preferences

Like so many other people, I spent a large portion of my childhood watching Swiss Family Robinson, reading Walter Farley books, and building Robin Hood pirate fort dude ranches out of Legos.

Now this is important, because my goal was not necessarily to build Robin Hood pirate fort dude ranches, but my Lego options were limited to just that. Eldorado Fortress. Google it. It's one thing to play with Legos, but it's a different situation entirely when you're playing Eldorado Fucking Fortress. And I was mixing it with the stable and the Sherwood Forest shit (I totally don't remember its name but the Lego men were all Robin Hoody and lived in a fucking tree and they had a vine they used to swing across the two inch river).

Are you aware that my Eldorado Fortress had a horse trainer? Totally. She was a young woman with brown Lego hair who snuck into Eldorado on a rowboat under the guise of a punk soldier after getting shipwrecked on a nearby island, where wild ponies and merry men ran free. True story. And after earning the respect of the most honored horsemen within the mighty ocean fortress she revealed herself to be - ah ha! A girl! And her boyfriend was Robin Hood! And then they took over the Eldorado Fortress and made it their private sea fort, and lived in days of relaxation and wonder, exploring the neighboring island, building extravagant treehouses and befriending all of the wild ponies, and their children grew up to be presidents because they were raised with the perfect blend of freedom and regulation!

Seriously, did you know about all the shit going down at Eldorado Fortress?

So I decided, officially, that childhood interests are destructive. Watching Swiss Family Robinson is horrible for young girls, because I still want that. Robin Hood isn't real and Fritz isn't real and the Black Stallion isn't real, and no one steals from the rich and rides zebras in the Kentucky Derby and throws coconut bombs at angry Asian pirates. Horseshit.

And then I read this back to myself, this list of things that I identified with as a child that completely influenced my behavior and interests as an adult. Not like, OMG robinhoodpirateponies yar or anything like that, but the mindset, the characters' perceptions and goals and how they related to each other - I wanted to be on the fringe, forced to prove myself in some way because extreme circumstances demanded it for my survival. Obviously, that never happened.

Then again, why couldn't it happen? Why sit around and wait for it to happen? Why shouldn't I just live like it is happening, right now? I'm not saying I should dress up like a naval officer and sneak into a sea fort and tell people I'm Robin Hood's girlfriend, but that character - I wanted to be her. So, I should try to be like her.

And then I made a list of characteristics that defined her, the girl I wanted to be, and I realized that I basically am her already but outside of the circumstances of my fantasy, and that's kind of neat.

AND THEN, my sister sent me this article, saying, "I feel like this interview with Umberto Eco justifies your whole life. Particularly this quote: 'I like lists for the same reason other people like football or pedophilia. People have their preferences.'"

This is the first time she has ever shown any interest in my life without antagonistic ridicule. I nearly cried.

...

15 comments:

Jacob said...

I like this post. I'm not sure I can explain why, but you ramble in a way that is more entertaining than confusing.

Rassles said...

Thanks, Jacob.

AND: I got a raise today.

THIS IS THE BEST FRIDAY THE 13TH EVER. IMA GET DRUNK.

Erin said...

God, I liked ALL the exact same stuff as you. Shit, I watched the Black Stallion last week.

Your sister is just jealous because you have a fun brain.

hereinfranklin said...

Reasons this post is fantastic:

1. Men in tights
2. Ponies
3. Pirates
4. I'm not even smart enough to read an interview with Umberto Eco, much less The Name of the Rose.
5. Ponies

renalfailure said...

So this should make you more comfortable about your trip to Mexico. You have your preferences, and they are to sit in the resort and drink your face off on the beach like you're the Queen of El Dorado. Which you are.

nursemyra said...

Lists are Lego for the Brain

Ellie said...

Fuck. What's with this weird virtual synchronicity? I've been dabbling in 'fantasies' too. Sadly in my case, sometimes childhood bleeds into adulthood. (I suppose that can be a good thing. Sometimes). x

Le Meems said...

My life was one big Trixie Belden mystery. I can remember trying to whistle like a Bobcat for fucking ever one summer at my grandparents house. You know in between practing round offs like Mary Lou Retton and Nadya Comeneci & pretending to Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Chris said...

Dude, I LOVED the Swiss Family Robinson. But the book, because I'm way too old for the TV show. Also, the Mr. Magoo version of Count of Monte Cristo (look it up.)

I can't wait to see my picture.

daisyfae said...

we're pretty much locked down - character and value-wise - by the time we're ten. i'm the same person, just with bigger tits.

this thought made raising my kids easier. once they got past ten? i swore like a motherfucking sailor, started drinking in front of them and basically didn't have to pretend to be a good person any more...

Stillie said...

As a kid, you don't really know why you want your life a certain way. I think it's awesome that you were able to discern what about that appealed to you, and that you've surpassed it! And the sister part? Gravy.

Sid said...

LOL! Just read LeMeems comment. The Nadya Comeneci thing I can relate to. The lego set sadly not.

Anyway as a child I was constantly making up stories in my head. Guess nothing much has changed.

Kono said...

Umberto is always entertaining, i don't remember a thing from childhood, maybe cuz i don't think mine's never stopped, maybe not like in a Peter Pan way but in the fact that in most adults i see the faces of the dead and when i look in the mirror i don't want to see that... on second thought i think my biggest problem as a kid was if i wanted to be Luke or Han and then Boba Fett came along and threw a monkey wrench in all of it. hmmm.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

Congrats on your raise!!! All of your hard work and blog neglect paid off.

Also- I haven't changed my preferences much since I was a kid. I played with boys. My first kiss was on a downed tree branch over a seasonal creek with a boy I'd met the previous year. I was almost 5. He was a year older. We're still friends. Sooooo little has changed for me.

Blues said...

Congrats on the raise. you kick ass.

Hey - I knew there was some cultivated way to explain why I like your lists.

By the way, I am amazed at your memory of your childhood. I don´t remember anything.