Standing around the barbecue this evening, I said something that caused me to think that maybe I have been too long removed from living in the city. Having spent most of my adult life in one urban landscape or another, I have always thought of myself as relatively sophisticated, or street wise if you will. One of the cardinal rules of this urban wisdom is that you don’t ever want to be perceived as being or sounding un-ironic. Sounding like a hick. Cynical speech rhythms and a subliminal shrug of the shoulders characterize this attitude bred in the city that to this point in my life I have spoken as a first language.
“Hey honey, when I pull the burgers off can you wrap mine up all special like you done before?” As soon as the words left my mouth, Michelle slowly turned to face me and I had that same strange feeling you get when in a foreign country, you ask for what you think means “Can I please have a glass of water” and the thought goes through your mind that what you really asked the waiter was if his wife had ever had the clap. “Wrapped up all special… Barney? Do I look like fuckin’ Aunt Bea?” Outed! Exposed by my own wife as a hayseed.
A few years ago such an accusation would have cut to the quick. Part of the beauty of being too long in the country is that I just don’t care about such things any longer. I don’t think I’ll ever be a “real” country boy, but I’m trying.