Thursday, January 14

I'm Changing My Name To Bambi and Moving to the Woods

Once, a pretty long time ago now, one of my sisters told me a joke. No, it wasn't only that time that she told a joke, but you know what I mean. Grammar is an evil taskmistress. Now, I don't remember the whole joke (don't you hate it when people say that? Don't they know how to tell a joke?), but I remember the basic punchline, and I remember she thought it was really funny. As a youngest sister with an unacknowleged idolatry for those older, I proceeded to tell it ad nauseum, laughing loudly at the end, just like she did. (As I read this, I'm thinking it must have been a LONG time ago). For the most part, people just looked at me blankly.

Note to smart asses out there: No, that doesn't always happen when I tell jokes, even though I don't really tell jokes all that often--I tell stories, and they usually go over pretty well, unless I'm kidding myself, which is entirely possible.

Occasionally, after a pregnant pause, they'd say "I don't get it". And then I'd explain. Which, as you know, is pretty much like the crawling-on-your-belly-in-the-slime of jokedom.

The joke concerned one Fifi LaRue (occupation unnamed though implied), who introduced her parents, Mr. & Mrs. LaRue. That's it. Yeah, that's it. The whole thing. Are you laughing yet? Yeah, I didn't think so. No, I'm not gonna explain it to you.

Factoid: It turns out that there are nearly 10,000 people in the United States with the last name LaRue, which means "the street" (get it?). That pretty much shoots the whole thing to hell, even if you got it in the first place, which frankly, would make you an outlier, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Now, none of that is what I wanted to talk about, but was simply what they call, in my line of work, "the lead-in". Oh. Wait. Not in my line of work. But in somebody's, I'm sure. I'm referring to the title of this post in which (if you read it) I announce that I'm changing my name to Bambi. Now there are a subset of you gentle readers who, for lack of a better expression, have your minds in the gutter. You saw that title, and you thought I was ditching the glamorous life of blog-writing, consulting, responsible parenting, and all-round child development geek to take up the womanly art of stripping. If you know me in person, I'm sure it's something you've considered suggesting to me as a career choice, but you've just been too shy to mention it. That's okay.

(Wait, I have to catch my breath. It's winter, I have rhinitis, and I cough whenever I laugh too hard)

Maybe, to you, it comes with the name. You know, like Ms. Fifi there. Well, get over yourself, I am talking about the movie. Yeah, the deer one. Specifically, I am talking about a line: "I'll do it because you want to but not because you tell me to."

I guess what I'm really trying to say is: That's me. Obnoxious, right? Aw, go ahead, I've heard it all before. Sticks and stones, all that nonsense.

See, the thing is, I'm not really one for expectations. Or rules. Or authority. Or pressure. Or being supervised or watched. You get the idea. No (since you asked), it hasn't worked out all that well. But a leopard doesn't change its spots [apologies to Kipling]. And the thing is (True Confessions....ooh), I'm not like one of those normal people who dislike authority. Nope. Such things tend to stop me dead in my tracks. It's a little like that famous line of Groucho Marx about not wanting to belong to any club that would have me as a member. Kinda.

It's not exactly a source of pride (except when it is). Admittedly, it can really screw things up. And it has. Most importantly (and most unfortunately), it even happens when the feedback is positive. If it carries expectations, I'm out. Now, before you panic, don't get me wrong. I'm highly responsible and dependable, even though it sounds paradoxical in this context. I'm loyal, capable of tremendous commitment. Maybe it's just that no one could possibly have higher expectations of me than I do (or so I'm told). Or maybe not. I just like to set my expectations myself, that's really all.

The reason I mention this here is that, as some of you know, I was writing a daily blog for quite awhile. And then I stopped (for reasons not unrelated to this post). And then, just a couple of weeks ago, I came back. I'm glad to be back. And I started getting the kindest emails and comments, reminding me that people like my writing and are glad the blog is up and going again. You'd think this would be affirming. Encouraging. Well, sure. Instead, I couldn't write. And if I tell you this, you'll all stop telling me this stuff because I've just told you that it stops me, but it's also what sustains me. Hey, I told you it was messed up.

I'm gonna figure it out.

So that's why I'm sayin'....I'm changing my name to Bambi and moving to the woods. If they have wifi there (gawd, I hope so), I'll let you know how it's going.




I just found out that the line is not from Bambi at all, but rather from Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Oh. I've always heard it in Thumper's voice. I guess I should stop that. I mean, I understand where I got confused. Bambi is about a baby deer [insert visual and auditory image of children singing as they skip through the Alps dressed in drapery] that is traumatically separated from his mother and all the cute little animals that accompany him (even though I always think he's a her, just goes to show you how unnecessary that whole gender thing is) on his romps through the forest, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is about an older woman who lives in an upside down house surrounded by neighborhood children and who provides parents with magical cures for their childrens' obnoxious (but perfectly developmentally appropriate--I told you I was a child development geek, I can't help it) behaviors. See? It's practically like the same story! And it wasn't a rabbit that said it, it was a bird. A parrot. Both animals! See?

Shoot. Never mind, then.

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