Saturday, July 23, 2005

Running Thoughts

I just got back from taking Lola for a walk/run around Lake Nokomis which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from my home, and also the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. As I was walking, I began contemplating my life…where I am and how I got here. I decided that I’m rather lucky, and have pretty much what is considered “The American Dream.” I own a nice home, have a great job, and have wonderful friends and an awesome family. I am very fortunate.
When I arrived at the lake I decided to walk counter clockwise instead of clockwise which I normally do. I realize that I’ve become too “predictable” and this disturbs me.

I immediately realize how different things seem by just going in a different direction. I begin taking notice of the people who are sharing the path with me. Some are running, some are walking, some are on the bike path on their bikes, and a few are on rollerblades. I notice a guy running wearing a red shirt with “S.O.S.” printed on the front, which immediately has me singing ABBA in my head. I hate him.

Everyone is pretty much the same and no one sparks any real interest until I see a family approaching. There were two young pre-teenage girls on rollerblades, they were pretty and had a different look about them. They were smiling and laughing, doing pretty much what young girls do. Behind them were a boy and a girl on small bikes with training wheels, both had dark hair and were racing each other with smiles on their faces. I listened as their laughter danced across the bike path, which made me smile. Following them were whom I assume to be their parents. The mother was wearing a hijab,and the father was dressed in a red athletic pants suit with a visor. Just when I noticed them a rather large military plane flew overhead causing the woman to flinch. She stopped her bike and looked up in the air. Her husband came to her side and put his arm around her. As I looked back the children were carrying on with their fun, not noticing the large airplane, which I assume brought back some kind of memories for their parents.

I then realized that this is a different day, and a different age. What their children are experiencing now is most probably the reason why they moved to American in the first place, to escape supposed oppression, and to give their children a childhood and future full of hope and potential. I thought of the soldiers who are over fighting in Iraq who have been sent to do whatever it really is they were sent to do there and it makes me proud. It helps me to understand how lucky I am and how lucky those children are to be on that bike path on Lake Nokomis with their whole lives ahead of them, and more importantly, their family behind them, because that’s what “The American Dream” is all about.

I continued my trek, and I began to run. As I ran I approached an elderly couple with their shorts cranked so far up their asses it made me snicker. They were sweet and when I passed them they said a friendly “Hello” I replied likewise. I felt bad for snickering about their shorts.

Onward and forward I resumed and came across a small group of guys playing frisbee. They made some sort of male mating call and said something along the lines of “Hey, wanna join us.” I politely declined and kept running. I imagined a conversation in which I told them that my husband was a powerful corporate attorney in downtown Minneapolis and that I was a housewife who sat around the pool all day eating bon bons and drinking martinis. I immediately envisioned myself as Nicole Kidman in The Stepford Wives, and then when Lola practically yanked me off the path in hot pursuit of a squirrel I came back to reality. I felt bad for wanting for a moment to be different from who I actually am.

I slowed down to get a drink of water and cool Lola’s feet when I noticed the beach. I see a woman sitting in a chair who is very pregnant. For a brief moment I think of how fun it would be to be pregnant and have a baby. I then hear a blood-curdling scream and look to my right where there is a child throwing a temper tantrum because she doesn’t want to leave the swings. I curse myself for thinking I want to have a child right now and try to say 10 hail Mary’s which fails because I am not Catholic and don’t know where to begin.

A little ways down the path I see a woman and her son. The woman is dressed in sporty Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren tennis shoes, and a pair of Gucci sunglasses. Her son is dressed in a black Anthrax t-shirt, baggy jeans with chains coming from both pockets and has more piercings in his face than Jude Law has mistresses. His hair is dyed three shades of purple and has enough hair product to accommodate every drag queen in the tri-state area. Despite their obvious social differences, they were laughing and joking with each other and it was beautiful.

There were so many other things I noticed, like an eight year old on a bicycle talking on a cell phone. And the fat couple that was making out in the middle of the grass while lying on a blanket. I was somehow intrigued and repulsed at the same time. It was like watching Gili, only more tolerable. Oh, and I can’t forget the guy with the horrible comb-over and his wife whose perfume permeated all the way across the street into my lungs which made me cough with disgust.

Anyway, so I guess my point to this blog is this…. well, I really don’t have a point. In fact I don’t know why I kept on writing. I should’ve stopped with the whole “American Dream Thing,” given everyone a nice warm fuzzy, and called it a night, but I didn’t and I guess I’m OK with that. So I leave it at this: Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you can get something out of my random written babble, whether it is a laugh or a lesson. Thanks for reading…


Steph said...

What I got out of it was a sad realization that I DO know all the words to the Hail Mary thing! I gotta get a life! :)

Subcomandante Bob said...

Nice blog.

Sandra said...

That blog had a LOVELY point - there are so many different and interesting people out there: some are nice, some are weird, some are happier than others...and after really observing them for an hour or so, you didn't see anyone you wanted to trade places with. So life is good. Even close?

**To really top off our already splendid lives, we should have a girls bon bon and martini party sometime.

darianj said...

Simple pleasures are the best.
Nice Blog.

madman said...

I got a laugh and a lesson. Thnk you.

madison's favorite son said...

recognizing your predictabilty is the first step toward change. give it time to unfold.

BetelGeuse said...

Thought provoking, nice post, thanks.

mikey said...

you don't think you had a point? hm. you totally had me. i figured that you were reminding everybody to stop and look at everything from a different perspective.

but that part about the family ducking when a military plane flew overhead? i took that different. i thought they might be worried that they'll be rounded up and put in a concentration camp, given all the anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. right now.

Charlie Mc said...

Great post! :)

Jenni said...

Steph, you don't need a life...you need a puppy! Wait, you already have one...nevermind.

Subcommandate Bob: Thanks. Nice, er...a, headgear.

Sandra: I'm in! Marinis and bob bons is quite possibly the most facbulous idea I've head in quite some time. Good call.

Darian: You hit the nail on the head. And also the ones that stick with you and form who you are.

Madman: Because that's what it should all be about...right?

Madison: You're such a therapist. I suppose now you expect the $99.95 back that you owe me for sincere blog guidance...damnit!

Betegeuse: Thought provoking...I hope I didn't strain a brain muscle or anything ;) And Thank You!

Mikey: I suppose you're right. I guess maybe I did have a point. And lets hope that those people don't feel that way. They truly were a lovely family.

I guess I don't see the anti-muslim sentiment as much, maybe it's becuase I choose not to. We've all been there, from one perspective or another, like when some of my family came over from Germany during WWII. Do you think they were welcome? Probably not, and some of them even hid a few persecuted Jews in their homes. But people fail to look past that and just equated German with Nazi...it's truly sad.

Charlie: Thanks :)

mikey said...

it's all in the timing. i was here before i came to your blog. there seems to be a bit of anti-Muslim sentiment there.

and i dunno how to say this w/o sounding either condescending or (vastly) understating the point, but... your family? helping to save persecuted jews? cool.

neal gardner said...

great blog.

although my surroundings are (and have been) quite different from yours (a new yorker now living in los angeles), and it often feels as if i live in a country different than the folks not on either coast, i really, really, really love to read/hear stories like yours. despite our trappings, it's these base commonalities which make life so amazing.

there is great merit in not only writing about but also appreciating memoirs. eyewitness accounts of the day's events are invaluable when you realize that human emotion is so timeless and history so predictably cyclical.

again, great blog.

mikey: why would you assume they would be worried about being rounded up in a concentration camp? again, i guess it's a perception thing. i live in a very ethnically diverse community and no one is terribly worried about concentration camps popping up. the ACLU, as well as global organizations like Amnesty Intl , UNICEF and others would not allow them to crop up in the US. i'll tell you one thing... i'm still jumpy from sept 11th (i still flinch from seeing/hearing low-flying planes, cloudless skies and cars backfiring). when large things have blown up near you as a result of airplanes, you tend to be a bit skittish about airplanes.

Rob Lowe said...

It was nice walking with you.

mikey said...

Neil: like I said before, I can tell that there's a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. There are tons of people who refuse to believe that there is such a thing as a "peaceful" Muslim.

As for Amnesty Intl. and those other groups you listed? They can't do shit. Please. They can't even get Rumsfeld in trouble for torturing people in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay; what makes you think they can control what happens in the U.S.?

Jenni said...

Mikey: Thanks, and no need to explain...I understand!

Neal: I understand where you're coming from, even though I wasn't there, in New York City for Sept. 11, I think each and every person in this country who has any sort of human understanding is sympathetic to what happened that day. Shit, my eyes still swell with tears whenever I hear the national anthem...it's part pride and part sadness for what took place.
And taking account of human emotion is one of my strong parts, I am afterall, a pisces.

Rob Lowe: My pleasure.

slopmaster said...


Your post really got me involved in what you were saying. they way you told it was perfect. You're a good writer.