Do you know any Fancy Pants People? In case you are wildly uninformed, are reading this post as your first visit to The Creamery, or are just totally over-estimating your hostess, Whimsy, let me put to rest that I am not a Fancy Pants. (I am also not Fancy, in any way whatsoever, though I do enjoy an occasional stinky cheese.)
I have been found eating take-out in a Styrofoam container. I watch football with the Chip (even though I’m constantly asking what they’re doing on screen, or meandering throughout the room with various magazines in hand, or trying to talk to Chip about something TOTALLY unrelated to football, thereby garnering myself the occasional Hairy Eyeball). I have purchased a box of Twinkies within the last 6 months (it was a weak and hungry moment in the grocery store, what can I say). I watch network television (I call it tee-vee!) - and not just the educational stuff. I really enjoyed our trip to Disneyworld in May (even if it was, at times, with a Trademarked mouse-shaped pile of drool on my chin). I live in the (gasp) suburbs. I regularly shop at large bookstore CHAINS.
On the other hand, I read a lot of books, and not necessarily ones on the Oprah List. I am researching a brand of environmentally-friendly diapers for the Bean. I love to make fancy-ish desserts. I greatly enjoy hosting a good dinner party (though I haven’t done so in HOW long? YEARS! IT’S BEEN YEARS!). Workplace is considered to be a fairly hoity-toity place. Through Workplace, I have been to a number of very nice restaurants, and can talk about good places/new places to go in the downtown corridor. I think I can carry a decent conversation about politics. I listen to NPR. I adore looking at, talking about, and making art. If I had the means, I would even purchase art outside of my, so far, few chances to trade/barter for the pieces we luckily own.
I realize that all of these activities, these things, don't truly encapsulate the people who participate and/or enjoy them on a regular basis. My friend John doesn’t watch a stitch of network TV and is an avid listener of NPR, but the man has a soft spot in his heart for a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. As people, we will always be a mess of contradictions. Just because you live and breathe romance novels, doesn’t mean you don’t also have a great concern for the environment and regularly bike to work. Just because you drink Coke instead of mineral water doesn’t mean you don’t support public art and make generous contributions to the Seattle Art Museum. I guess what I’m getting at here is that this idea of Fancy Pants People is just that: a made-up concept I have in my head about people that I have a hard time relating to.
Even though they scare me, I can carry myself though Fancy Pants gatherings fairly easily. I cloak myself pretty well. I can hold a decent conversation, even while I’m feeling a wee bit intimidated and nervous. Sometimes I falter – worried that my life is so much smaller than theirs, but on the whole, I remember that I wouldn’t have my life any other way.
As I've gotten older and my sense of humor has become more seasoned, I have less tolerance for the Fancy Pants mentality. I don’t get the great sense that they look down their noses at the rest of the world. They just … don’t have a lot of time for it. That, or they just lack the sense of humor to appreciate it. For that very reason, I can’t imagine that there is a single Fancy Pants who reads this blog. A Fancy Pants just couldn’t do it. S/he would be offended and bored by my description of a certain fuzzy poo-colored object. S/he would deem my humorous look at skin cancer as inappropriate. In a recent conversation about this exact subject, it was suggested to me that Fancy Pants Folks don’t fully experience life. They experience a filtered form of it – carefully avoiding the painful lows and highs that come from throwing yourself out into the ether, willing to try and do and be – and to make mistakes. In the end, maybe that’s it: a Fancy Pants is too worried about looking silly or getting dirt on their carefully laundered silk slacks.
It sounds like a rash generalization - and maybe that's exactly what it is - but I'm just so darn happy not to be a Fancy Pants. I enjoy getting dirty. I learn from my mistakes. I share the good, the bad, and the horribly embarassing. I'd rather do that then hide behind a facade that keeps me from truly experiencing what the world has to offer.
Who's up for joining me in the mud?