Marti's Theory

Archive for January 2013

So there I was, watching this:

SNL Cold Opening 1/26/13

and laughing my ass of when something occurred to me.  (Go watch it, then come back)

Martin Luther King Jr has been my personal hero since I was a teenager.  I considered him a true patriot, but I kind of kept it to myself for a decade or so because it sounded odd, like I was a little white chick striving for political correctness points or something.

Fast forward about forty years with a paltry smattering of a few new heroes and we come up upon the newest – Barack Obama, who is largely perceived as African American.  But this time around, it feels like those who appreciate him can do so in a totally color blind kind of way.  That’s just a small little insight, but an insight nonetheless.  Of course he may not be the best example for us Hawaii guys, as we tend to see him as a local boy above all else. PS to mainland friends: that’s the ultimate compliment.

Watching that clip was fun in a way which hasn’t been that open and un-self conscious since the Pryor/Carlin days.  Those of you who are as ancient as I am might get what I mean.  For those of you who weren’t around back then, what I mean is – in the early to mid 70s, it really seemed like we were at least socially over our black/white racial divide.  But then we rolled backwards.  Never understood why.  But anyway…

It seems we’ve rolled forward again and I hope that mindset sticks around a little longer this time.  And I know that at least 50% of you do, too.

So there I was, leaving Costco after a pretty great day.  I worked, I saw my kid, I had a wonderful massage from Denise LaBarre, took myself on a planned pre-birthday shopping spree and was feeling pretty good about life, my place on the planet, the new year and most everything else.

While pushing my cart towards the parking lot, I heard some noise and turned to see a trash can lid rolling around on the ground while a scraggly old dude quickly went through the can. I’m not sure whether he was looking for food or HI-5 recyclables, but I could tell he was trying to complete the search before getting chased away.

I wonder if he’s looking for food, I thought to myself.  Surveying my cart, I found mostly canned goods.  Do people who have to scavenge trash cans have can openers?  I had a great day and would have been happy to hand him a can of soup, if it had been a practical thing to do.

About that time I noticed my $5.00 roasted Costco chicken. I had a big container of tortilla soup in my fridge and knew that tossing some of the chicken in it would be great.  You know what I should do, I thought, I should just hand him this chicken and keep going.  I mean, really.  I have a lot.  Why not?  I thought about this as I pushed my cart towards where I thought I might have parked.  (I never remember).  The entire way I continued the internal discussion.  Maybe when I took my cart back, he’d still be there.  Or when I left, I could drive past the entrance and see if he was still there.  Why didn’t I just give him the damn chicken?

By this time, I was getting rather obsessive about it, I know.  I drove slowly past the entrance and predictably, he was nowhere in sight.

This post isn’t about chickens or scraggly old dudes.  It’s about the kind of person who would simply, reflexively, instinctively hand a roast chicken to someone who didn’t have food and never think twice about it – before, during or after.  It’s about the realization that I am not quite her.  But I want to be.