As I drove around looking for a parking spot for my weekly hipster coffeeshop stop (while Violet is at play practice nearby) I wondered whether I would use some of my freetime to write about my current melancholy.
I walked into the coffeeshop, and what should be playing but Lou Reed singing “Pale Blue Eyes,” one of my ultimate melancholy songs. It wa a sign from the Velvet Underground, if not from God, that I should go right ahead.
Have you ever been in this situation? You have a couple of different groups of friends — let’s say you’re in high school or college — and the groups don’t really connect. In truth, the groups don’t like each other much, but you’ve always been a bit of a fence straddler, a little bit country, a little bit rock’n’roll. The hard part is when one group starts in some of that typical group behavior, cutting down something about the other group (they’re a bunch of squares, or a bunch of rich snobs, whatever), forgetting that you have an affiliation with that group (you’re president of National Honor Society, you’re not exactly poor, etc.). If you call that to their attention, they might say something like, “Oh, honey, of course we don’t mean you!”
So — this is how I feel as a liberal Catholic homeschooler. I feel a little weird at my secular homeschool group at times, like at a moms night out when after a few drinks people aren’t as careful to parse their words about “The Church” and “Christians” and the tone turns sarcastic and superior. (Obviously these are people I like and enjoy being with, or I wouldn’t even bother about it.) But I haven’t looked into Christian homeschool groups — I’m uncomfortable with the rhetoric. Online there have been some Catholic and Christian blogs that I have moved away from because of generalities about “liberals” and how they want to make the US one big socialist orgy and take everyone’s money away and give it to welfare queens driving Cadillacs.
In part, I feel driven away from this kind of talk because I just can’t deal with the fuzzy logic and the emotion masquerading as information. It’s not that I feel I have to agree or keep quiet; I can’t figure out how to participate on those terms.
But the other part is that sad “Where are my people?” feeling. I guess that’s why I have taken to blogging. It’s not that I have found a haven of liberal Catholic homeschoolers just like me (although I have found many many lovely Catholic homeschoolers whose politics and theological bent I really don’t know, which is fine), but I have a place to connect with others who seem to know what the straddling is all about.
I think I’d better turn to a Midsummer Night’s Dream now. Our Shakespeare’s birthday party is next week, and I need to hand out parts!