Rocking the modern age

We’ve settled into a 1970s suburbia type deal. But not the radical ’70s with wife-swapping, key parties and bales of sweet bud getting smoked up to the chords of “Norwegian Wood.” Nope, more of the white-washed (as in all-caucasion, or in our case half-caucasion) sunshine of the Brady Bunch or maybe late “My Three Sons,” when the boys got sideburns.

In today’s episode I rode my bike around to yard sales and came back with four wheels to recover my treasure.

By the way, a spring Saturday with my bike as perfect transportation is the most retro, regressive I ever feel. Rolling by perfect little lawns, cruising from cul de sac to strip mall on two wheels is how I spent a hefty chunk of childhood to young adulthood. My bike took me to the now lost in vapors now nameless boy encounter, the older boy who got my phone number and knew my name, but I didn’t recognize. The one who stole a kiss that was met with a clenched jaw of surprise and non-acquiesence. My bike took me to the colonial era graveyard, where older kids from near my neighborhood hung out, and I smoked both my first cigarette and joint.

My bike blazed me home in time for dinner, furious pedaling, to avoid the wrath of Pat when adventures like those above were afoot.


In M.’s imagination, influenced by American TV and the American dream of a white picket fence in the suburbs, our bikes are sissy-barred and banana-seated Schwinn Stingrays, just like Bobby Brady’s. (Only, M. didn’t really watch the Brady Bunch, and in the actual 70s, my child inside a full-grown body was too gargantuan for one. I got a pink, ladies Huffy 3-speed instead.)

Making our 1970s fantasy life in our 1950s house in our beach town that time forget in some ways, we need the right kind of furnishing. For the patio, some kickass (as the owners of the yard sale described their offerings in their ad), no doubt knock-off chrome mesh chairs. I’m digging the Eames-esque Eiffel base. And, better yet, at $10 for all four, the weather can rain and burn down, and I ain’t weeping. All weather, all modern.

For my happiest of move-in to our new home Craig’s List score of October, the fully working and loving it Singer sewing machine desk, I still needed an appropriate chair. Slapping another $5 down over the $10 for the chrome chair, I got this little baby from the same woman. The seat was actually vinyl with a gash in it. Within about 15 minutes, I stretched some fabric over the vinyl and sent some staples flying through my gun and onto rocking like-newness.



The extra joy of that checkered flag is I recycled another souvenir shirt. When M. and I went to the, I think now defunct, San Jose Grand Prix, I bought myself a vaguely slutty winning flag tank top worthy of a car chick enjoying a Coors Light in the grandstand. Now I’ll be sitting on it.

Tomorrow, it’s onto a coastal brunch, no doubt surrounded by families in their Christ-has-risen finest. Dear Lord, please hear my plea, seat us away from the children. Oh Lord, the children.

All week, I’ve been humming a little Patti Smith to myself. “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.”

If he died for yours, I wish you a joyous holiday tomorrow. If you are a heathen like me, I also with you a joyous day, just less dramatic-like, what without any resurrecting.

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