Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bright Lights and Big City surprises

Inspired by this post from Bou.....
When I was 15, I was in the Distributive Education Clubs of America, otherwise known as DECA. Why DECA you ask? Well, I was not athletic, or competitive,(my Father proving this after coaching every sports team I was on from 12-14) so sports were out. I wasn't exactly cheerleader material either, so that was out, I hated foreign languages, absolutely no propensity to learn languages, no debate team, or quiz bowl team, no FFA for me either.

The fantastic thing about DECA, lots of trips out of town, and out of state. A great motivator for me, stuck in a little town in the Midwest. You see, we went on vacation a lot when I was girl, however...there was not much variety. The vacations were centered around my Fathers serious hobby of fishing. So we spent most of our vacations on a lake, or in a cabin, in Nebraska, Minnesota, or Missouri. These fishing trips were fun for me, I liked swimming and reading and sitting in the sun, and even the fishing. However I had never been to a big city.

The only thing I knew about big cities was what I saw on television or in the movies. Because of that, I thought my view of big city life, was skewed. I knew there just had to be more to big cities, than the life I saw in the the movie Taxi Driver and the like. I was sure that there was more to big city life than pornographers, hookers, drug dealers, pimps, and police.

When I was 15, I had made it through the state DECA competition in the category of fashion merchandising. Regional Competitions would be in Minneapolis. I was thilled, to be headed to such a "big city". I think I was going through my punk rock phase at this time, and I was soooo excited I would be heading to a big city where I could wear a Mohawk with no second glances. So I saved the $200.00 from my job at the hospital, and headed North with the rest of the team on the school bus. Between competitions, museums, outings with the team.....There were record stores, and clothing stores; filled with things SO many outrageous consumables, I would never be able to find them in my sleepy cowtown. I bought records and t-shirts, and wondered the streets alone during the day. I even got to see my first transvestite at a McDonalds, dressed to the hilt, Adams apple and all. I couldn't take my eyes off of the transvestite through my meal. Staring is bad manners, but I knew this was something I would never see in my hometown McDonalds EVER.

I did follow my parents advice, and stayed in the hotel as soon as it got dark. And from the quiet recesses of my hotel, off of Hennipin Ave. I could see Prince's nightclub, and watched lines of people waiting to get in. Just hoping to catch a glimpse of Prince, or Morris Day. There is also club CC right down the street, and I could see Mohawks and boots and I remember wishing I was of drinking age, or just looked older so I could see Husker Du perform. Instead I sat awake all night sitting in the hotel room window...Wishing. Looking down at the streets, watching my first hookers, and junkies, homeless people......All night. I remember glancing at the clock at 3:00am, and wondering when the city slept, because it still looked wide awake.

So I sat all night watching outside my window, thinking, maybe I will move here someday, and it will be nothing like Mary Tyler Moore moving to this city......

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