My children tell me all the time and it is true — I am picky.
Usually the kids say it this way, “I can’t believe you grew up in a trailer. You are so picky.”
What they mean, of course, is that for someone who grew up on a beer budget I have cultivated an appetite for champagne. (Actually, I haven’t had that much champagne but I did on the beach in Da Nang a few years back and it was indeed a memorable evening. I didn’t sleep for 48 hours.)
Of course, the other embedded assumption in the remarks my children make about me is that people who grow up lacking ought to be satisfied with anything they get. It’s a common attitude of those who have toward those who don’t have. It’s the sort of thing we tell ourselves while visiting parts of Africa, India, or Haiti, or any other place where children beg. “Yeah, but they are so happy.”
My kids aren’t being mean. They are usually saying it because they are teasing me, or frustrated with me because I’m picky about two things:
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve slept in many an unusual place — cars, couches, canvas tents. And eaten many odd things — gator tails, church potluck casserole, elephant fish and other meats of unknown origin from muddy rivers. I can and do squat and pee in wide open spaces, tobacco fields, and among the trees of rubber plantations.
So while I enjoy the indulgences of staying at luxury hotels (There is a beautiful one in Da Nang if you are headed that way) I have spent my fair share of time sleeping at low-budget motels.
I always carry a sleeping bag in my car because given the state of some hotels, at least the uncleanliness in my car is wholly mine.
I bring all that up because our president and his challenger are busily preparing for Wednesday when the first of the debates gets underway.
The news reports have said that Obama and Romney have at alternate times holed up in resorts preparing for the debates. Obama is said to be with some top campaign officials at a resort in Nevada, which seems like an awfully poor choice if you ask me. Do you really want to spend time preparing for a hotly-contested race in the state known for gambling?
And, well, listen Romney, Romney, Romney, really?
If you want us to forget about that 47 percent remark you made before all those $50,000-a-plate-patrons of yours, then I think you really ought to talk to some of the 47 percenters you dismissed so casually because the truth is, Mr. Romney, you need to spend some time working a real job — say as a Batista at Starbucks or a elementary school teacher, or changing oil at Jiffy Lube, if you ever hope to gain back any credibility with America’s middle-class.
Oh. What’s that you say?
There is no middle-class in America any more?
You may have a point there.
I am one of those swing voters. You know. An Indie Girl.
While I prefer luxury bedding and glass of good vino, I can toss back a tequila and sleep peacefully on unforgiving ground.
I have tired to do that thing my mama taught me — don’t get above your raising.
My children might think I got above my raising. I am picky after all. But I’m picky because I know the difference between the haves and the have nots that Lorraine Hansberry spoke so elegantly about in that play of hers — A Raisin in the Sun.
You both might want to spend sometime reading that play in preparation of the debates. Maybe hole up in a Budget Inn and watch it on You Tube.