Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2: I'm On My Time with Everyone

This September marked the twentieth anniversary of Nirvana's In Utero.  I remember the album coming out.  At the time I had an overnight shift as a DJ at a public radio station.  When In Utero arrived at the station I was convinced that Nirvana was only getting better with time. I'd been a fan of theirs since Nevermind, but In Utero was so raw, the lyrics almost painfully open.  I thought it was brilliant, and I still do.

The spring after its release, I also became convinced that it was one long suicide note.  When Kurt Cobain died, and I went back and listened to the album, I remember thinking, how could we all not have known.  It was so obvious.  Some of the best songs they ever did, All Apologies, Dumb, Pennroyal Tea, Rape Me, they're all on In Utero.  And if you listen to the lyrics, you'll hear the pain, physical and emotional, the alienation, and the sense that he had lost himself somewhere along the way.

A friend of mine, who's a brilliant corporate lawyer, was being recognized last month for her accomplishments and her contributions to the community.  She and about a dozen other women were being honored at a dinner and fundraiser downtown.  Because it was also a fundraiser, she was given a table to fill with guests.  Of course, we were there so we could be with her when she was being recognized.  But the organization wanted us to bid on auction items too.

I don't go to these things often (quite rarely, actually), but when I do I feel incredibly out of place.  These are functions intended for people like my friend.  Not just successful in their field, but people who can afford to drop thousands of dollars on auction items for charity.  Even when I worked full time I never could have afforded it.  You don't expect to get rich working for a non-profit.  And while I feel like I contribute to my community and try to make it a better place, it's tough being the SAHM at a table full of lawyers, vice-presidents, and salespeople.  It makes me feel like I'm back in high school trying to fit in with the girls at the table.  Trying to make them think that I'm interesting.  It makes me itchy.

Driving solo in the car is always nice because it rarely happens anymore.  When it does, I tend to grab something I love to play at top volume.  That night I grabbed In Utero.  It had been a while, and when the first lines of Serve the Servants started up, I knew I had made the right choice.  Feeling out of place, going somewhere I felt like I didn't belong- it matched the music perfectly.  Maybe that sounds a little pathetic coming from a grown woman and mother of two kids.  And most of the time I'm pretty confident and proud of what I do.  But every so often the insecurity I felt at fifteen rises up.  It did that night, and I was glad to have In Utero with me, reminding me that not everyone feels like they fit in all the time.  And that's ok.  And sometimes, it's even better on the outside.

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