Who knew?

20 12 2007

While standing in a group of friends last Friday afternoon and discussing weekend plans I told them that I was going to the San Francisco Symphony to which one of my friends promptly laughed, rolled her eyes and said, “Nathaniel, you are so white!”.  Really?  Who knew?  She went on to explain what made me so white.  “You listen to jazz, country, and rock.  You wear sweaters and shop at Banana Republic, J Crew and the like.  I mean, my God, you’re going to the symphony! How could anyone be whiter than you?”  Now this is something that I’ve never spent a great deal of time thinking about.  I’ve got better things to do (like wash my car in the rain, change my new guitar strings, etc.) with my time than to dwell on what makes me who I am.  In fact I do like all of the things listed above and there’s more.  I play golf, I snow ski, I drive an SUV (not doing my part for the environment with my V8 am I), I don’t fish or hunt though.  I think that what this woman was saying was that I am way down on the scale of “cool points”.  Who knew that “being white” was such a terrible stigma to carry around in your life?  I certainly didn’t and certainly don’t care if someone thinks that I’m not that cool because “I’m white”.  You see the fact is is that I like who and what I am.  I truly enjoy wearing my Mr. Rodgers sweaters.  They’re warm and they keep me from having to wear a jacket.  Plus, where I live it is imperative that you layer as it is cold in the morning, warms up considerably in the afternoon and then goes back to being cold at night.  I love good music and if that includes jazz, rock and country and the occasional symphonic field trip, so be it.  I absolutely abhor music that is all electronic and canned.  If it is live and has drums I’ll listen to just about anything.  Besides, jazz musicians play some of the most complicated, complex music that is alive.  So sue me if I think that Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennet, Bobby Darin and Louis Armstrong are some of the greatest singers ever. Has my Caucasian ancestry ruined me?  I think not. 

This, in a way, is what is wrong with society.  We just don’t let people be who and what they want without slamming them into some sort of box.  Our society preaches “individuality” but have you been to the mall or some other sort of public place and seen all the clones walking around?  I really didn’t want this piece to come off as one of those terrible preachy rants about society but I’m afraid that this is a soapbox of mine.  What I really want to do is to ask everyone to just stop.  Look around, life’s to short to try and pretend to be something that you are not.  Stop doing stuff that you don’t enjoy just to “fit in”.  Find out what makes you tick and then get out and do it.  Don’t live your life inside someones perception of what they think that you should be.  Be yourself. 

My friend Ryan Dean wrote about the “game table” a few weeks ago on his blog.   You should check it out.  It is a much more eloquent version of what I’ve tried to do. 

Well, I’ve got to get back to being white.  Hold on while I crank up my smooth jazz and adjust my sweater.  Whew, that’s better.  I think I hear the dreaded Banana Republic calling.  No wait that was the golf course.  Oooops, sorry, it was the country music channel!!  Who knew huh?




3 responses

20 12 2007

Preach it, brother.

There’s nothing wrong with some Dean Martin, Michael Buble, and Johnny Cash. There’s nothing rock with rockin’ the sweater vest. There’s nothing WRONG with being a tried-and-true grade-A cracker.

Sweater vest has to be argyle though. Gotta love Johnny! Live @ Folsom is one of the greatest albums ever!

22 12 2007
Cheryl S.

Nathaniel, great post. I agree with you. It’s a happier life to such be yourself.

22 12 2007
Cheryl S.

(oops). It’s a happier life to (just) be yourself. LOL

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