My mother is half German, one quarter Swiss and one quarter Bohemian. And aside from a rampant, swarthy eyebrow, those crazy gypsy roots have given me… (sigh) Just about nothing.
For the most part, I'm okay with that. But every once in awhile, I really wish I had a little more of a bohemian edge to me. Just every once in awhile I'd like to be able to sit in a darkly lit coffee shop, sipping organic espresso, wearing something that looks truly ridiculous but is still cool (because it was hand-woven by the grandmother of an Ecuadoran freedom fighter who was executed by a death squad of jack-booted thugs and died in my arms, breathing out his last wish – that I take this poncho back to America so that some part of his grandmother could at least touch freedom), and opining in detached, world-weary tones about the collective works of Franz Kafka or David Sedaris or whoever it is that's really cool and not a phony.
But that will never be me. First off, I don't even like coffee. But it's more than that. I'll never be tragically hip because I'm too conservative in my politics, too aesthetically unaware in my fashion sense and too slothful in my reading habits.
I have a degree in government, and the closest I ever came to "politically active" in college was driving into town when Bob Dole came to the St. Cloud Holiday Inn. (Actually, I'm not even sure I drove. I think my car was broken down at the time.)
The only time I was ever "fashion-forward" was my senior year in high school. Moving from a big school to a small one, I was at the vanguard of the boxer rebellion. And I was the first to wear indoor soccer shoes to class.
I think the biggest part of my problem is plain old apathy. It takes work to be quirky. And I just don't have enough want-to in me. There are just these passing whims. That's not, however, to say that I am and will always be a blind conformist. (That takes work too. Keeping up with all the trends I'm supposed to follow? Come on. That's not me either.)
I guess I'll just be who I am. I'll embrace the eighth of myself that actually IS bohemian. And I'll sleep well in the knowledge that, while my percentage isn't high enough to get me free tickets to the poetry slam, it IS high enough to get me a cut if they ever open up a casino in Greenwich Village.