Saturday, January 26, 2008

A season for everything

HOORAY, the sun is out today! Thank you, merciful heavens!

For the past 3-4 days, Austinites have been sinking into a soggy, weather-induced depression. At least, this Austinite has. Cold, drizzly weather = no go. I do not want to go outside. I do not want to take walks. I do not even want to go to the grocery store, nay, drive to the grocery store, because it would involve freezing in my car for 2-3 minutes while the heater stubbornly warms up. And I love the grocery store.

Anyway, today, Hyde Park is totally Mayberry because it's all pretty outside. Neighbors happily doing yard work. Children laughing. Me, walking to the gym! This week I have been driving, even though the gym is literally up the street, because it has been so unbelievably nasty.

One of my favorite weekend rituals is lunching by myself at Whole Foods after a long work-out. Somebody tell me, is there a happier place in Austin than Whole foods? The one place where hippies and khaki-slacked, Oprah-watching moms can co-exist? Sure it's overpriced, but then, you're sort of paying for the experience along with your food. Abundant free samples of gelato and coffee. A juice and wheatgrass bar. Pretty pretty gems of artisanal chocolate truffles. If I die and go to heaven, I hope Whole Foods is waiting for me.

Also unique to Whole Foods: it is pretty much always busy. There are no off-hours here. If you are, like me, addicted to both a) salad bars and b) eavesdropping on strangers, this place is the closest you will come to paradise in your waking lifetime.

So, after rounding up a ginormous salad, I'm enjoying my Morrocan glazed carrot-something-or-other and discreetly listening to this conversation two frat-ish guys are conducting next to me. One says to the other, "yeah, she said she was nervous..." -at which point I began to tune out, knowing exactly where this conversation was going. But I kept on: "dude, she was nervous. To sing. In front of me. Even though she said she was good. I was like 'well then what it the problem' and she was like 'I don't know I'm nervous' and I was like 'well you need to get over yourself'" -blah blah blah.

It wasn't that enthralling of an exchange, until I began to envision the scenario. And I found I could totally relate to the girl in question.

Before you get any ideas, I am decidedly not a singer. The only time I sing is during karaoke, I am usually drunk, and it's only Fergie. Why Fergie? Because Fergie likes to spell more than sing:

"G-L-A-M, O-R, O-U-S yeah"


"I'm the F to the E-R, G-I to the E, ain't no otha lady put it down like me."

Now that it's 2008, I should probably find a new karaoke artist.

But, anyway, even when I'm drunk and spelling, opening your mouth and putting forth tones in a "musical" way is always a vulnerable act. Always. It comes from inside of you.

Imagine how this guy would have felt if he said to his girlfriend, in confidence, "you know, I'm a pretty good dancer for a white guy." And in response, she pressed her finger down on a stereo and said, "ok. GO." I bet he would have felt pretty put-on-the-spot.

See, singing, dancing, and sex are all bodily acts that require a lot of confidence and a lot of practice. And, context. You can't (re: shouldn't) just up and do the act anywhere. You don't dance at the DMV. You don't have sex at Texaco (ew). And you certainly don't have to sing just because someone commands you to do so. Honey, he is not the boss of you.

Anyway, back to those three things: maybe they are what make Austin so damn cool. There are plenty of people in this town - be they band members, fire dancers, or tantric yogis - proficient in at least one of the above areas.

And sometimes, Lord help us - all three.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Whole Foods too!