Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fun with Celtic Festivals, Crushing-Against-Type, and the Deep Significance of Drugstore Jewelry

      The Good Typist's Super-Secret, Most Inappropriate Crush--The Wicked Tinkers Drummer. Kieth Jones!

Fun with Celtic Festivals, Crushing-Against-Type, and the Deep Significance of Drugstore Jewelry

I have been too (happily) overwhelmed with adjusting to a new job to blog a heck of a lot these last two weeks, but today I took a little break, and Mr. Typist and I drove out to Enumclaw to enjoy the 2011 Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering. It’s sort of akin to a Renn Fair, but it has dance contests, lots of music, actual Highland Games competitions, like the Caber Toss, and….The Winked Tinkers! Don’t tell Mr. Typist, but I have a super-secret, totally-against-my-usual-geek-type crush on drummer Keith Jones, who oozes a sort of wild, man-of-the-Moors,“Woman-I-will-strangle-ye-dinner-with-me-own-two-hands” sexuality. Plus long hair. Plus, he is what certain period novels would call “corpulent”, and I am quite attracted to chubby men, mainly because it makes feel like they wouldn’t judge me for eating a giant cheeseburger with fries, tartar sauce, and a beer…Oh, and  guess what?? He smiled at me as walked past him on the stage while he putting away his stuff! I mean, I smiled first, but I was too shy to do anything but look away when he smiled back….hmm….cheeseburgers and Scottish Moors…

 Anyway, right…my husband…Mr. Typist…and I, try to make it out to this event every year. He loves the Massing of the Pipes and Drums, and while I have to admit that the first time he told me about it, I was horrified, when I actually saw it, it was so amazing, I teared up a little. And I have, every single time I’ve seen it since. It’s very overwhelming to watch in person. I’ve included some video here, but it’s crappy and cut short due to a rain torrent, and it doesn’t really give you the full sense of glory that you feel when you really witness this event in person. Something about it just fills me with what I can only describe as patriotism, but it’s not a sense of patriotism related to any country in particular--more of a general sense of pride and “we’re in this together-ness” that always make me choke back tears.

In these days of constant short-cuts and marketing hoodwinks and lies and sloppiness and general lack of expectation, there is something inspiring about watching a group of over 50 pipe bands from all over the Northwest dress up proudly in their uniforms, stand up straight, and march in unison, playing their hearts out on one of the most difficult instruments you can master. This to me says, “Some things are still worth doing right, and doing impeccably.” This is what makes me believe in art. Art makes us aspire to be better, more impeccable people. And why not? What’s wrong with taking a little pride in the best that we can be as human beings? Why let ourselves off the hook all time, when we could be reaching for real beauty, real transcendence?

On a somewhat unrelated note, Mr. Typist has been all over me lately like alien on face for buying cheap jewelry from the accessory rack at Bartell’s. He got huge brownie points today by telling me that I have “delicate” fingers, even though I know for a fact that I have huge, gnarled sausage fingers, made even more gnarled and sausage-like from my years as a massage therapist. (He also insists that I have dainty feet and should wear heels all the time, even though I am 5’9” and can wear up to up a size 11W shoe.) But I am hopelessly attracted to huge, gaudy, artsy, hand-made Gypsy-type jewelry. I can’t help it. I would feel absurd wearing some damned, tiny, delicate Tiffany pendant, and I would rather kill myself than sport something as femmy as a “diamond tennis bracelet”.  

We comprised. Today, I bought two hand-made necklaces that were crafted from dyed heather stems. (Don't worry--I looked. It was all sustainably-harvested.) He got to see me buy something besides plastic, and I got my “unique, hand-made” requirement fulfilled. But the whole incident did make me think about the connection between women, adornment, our sense of worth, and the role marketing has in all of this. I will blog more about this later, but for now this chubby-fingered, cheap-jewelry-loving, clunky-footed, inappropriate-crush-havin’ girl needs her beauty sleep. Peace, out!

--Kristen McHenry

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