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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Oh, You Just Know Everything, Don't You?

What’s with everything changing all the time? Roads are detoured, U.S. currency looks different from day to day, my pants are inexplicably shrunken in the wash…

Could we all just sit still for a moment?!

Remember when nothing seemed to change? When green was your favorite color, when you knew that there was no way that you would ever get fat or get seriously hurt, when you knew things for a certainty because they always had been that way?

The older I get – and the more I think about things – the more convinced I become that knowledge is relative, that nothing can be known for sure, and that few things under the control of humans can be “known”.

For example, when I was little, gambling was wrong. Everyone “knew” this. I specifically remember a movie, some movie, where the police came in, raiding a poker game. I had wanted to know why they couldn’t play cards, and my parents explained to me that playing for/with money was wrong, that it was illegal, and that people who gambled were criminals. My father continued on with a speech on organized crime, prohibition, and the Kennedys, but I had already stopped listening.

But gambling illegal? Not true anymore! Gambling is okay now, have you heard? The lottery’s on the TV. There are by-the-hour daycares in casinos. Vegas is actively promoting itself as a family destination. There’s water parks and shows and buffets and hookers. Something for everyone!

Full disclosure here: I’ve only been to Vegas once. Got dreadfully lost in an unfortunate I’ll-Be-Over-Here-While-You’re-In-The-Bathroom Fiasco that netted me two hours of 3:00 a.m. fear, two marriage proposals I suspect were not sincere, one lewd proposition that I suspect was, and a stern yelling-at from the people I was eventually reunited with. I do have to say, however, that through all the trauma I was surprised by the number of people in the casinos with strollers and small children, even at 3:00 in the morning. Ding! Ding! Ding! Daddy, can I have another roll of quarters for the slots?

What does that mean, when something that used to be wrong is now right?

For instance, it used to be okay to smoke cigarettes. Everywhere. In theaters. In airplanes. In hospitals. In courthouses. In bars! I kind of miss that, the smoking-in-the-bar thing, as beer and cigarettes are truly the Fred and Ginger of the night-out dance, but that’s okay, too. Because of the smoking ban, it’s no longer necessary to wash everything that had anything to do with the smoky night before.

What’s my point? That what is okay changes from year to year, from place to place. Some changes, like fashion, are within our control – grown women with bows in their hair? Crocs? Neon-blue bras under sheer white tops? As we say in Minnesota, well, that's interesting.

And other changes, like the profane/highly entertaining cell phone conversations one sometimes overhears on the bus, are more nebulous. When did people become okay with airing their dirty laundry in public?

But I guess that’s the nature of change, isn’t it? One minute you know exactly what you’re doing, and the next minute, despite your high school education, you can’t remember the old name for Myanmar or what used to stand on that corner before they tore it down to make way for the condos.

Change. You just can’t keep up.

12 comments:

joeh said...

Ain't it the truth.

I find myself with the annoying need to tell everyone what someplace "Used to be."

"See that laundrymat? Used to be a pizza joint."

"That Chevy dealer, I remember when it was a tennis club."
It is amazing how much stuff changes and how little most people care. I wonder why I never get invited places.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Change. The only absolute guarantee in life. ...and no, not necessarily for the best. Gambling made legal cuz the govt making it legal needs all those folks indebted to the buzz... sigh. I hear ya gal. Just gotta rock and roll with it. Chin up. YAM xx

Delores said...

I learned long ago not to get too attached to people, things, opinions, places.....just roll with the punches and embrace the future.

Eva Gallant said...

Amen to that!

ThreeOldKeys said...

yeah. and back in the day ... we didn't have to identify the pasta or the sushi dish to prove we weren't a robot.

Jocelyn said...

You just reminded me that I once received a lewd proposal in Reno.

I was 12.

I went back to the motel and finished A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN instead of sucking his d***.

That was the right decision, yes?

Gigi said...

Change is rarely easy but it happens often. Sometimes for the worse but sometimes, for the better.

Watson said...

Sometimes I yearn for the good old days when I was a teen-ager and knew Everything

River said...

And have you noticed the older you get, the faster things change? Things used to change once in a while, now it seems every week something is different.

Catalyst said...

I once received an invitation to "party" in Las Vegas. I laughed out loud. That was probably the wrong reaction.

jenny_o said...

I can hardly keep going, never mind keep up. Maybe that's why old people get crochety. As I get old, my understanding of crochetiness increases.

You, Pearl, are still young enough to change and revel in it. Do that.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I know, that you know, that I know exactly what you mean about some changes just not being welcome and how much I totally agree with you on this.
But I have a question ... you mean ...all the marriage proposals we get walking back through the casino are Not Sincere ????