Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Never Tell Me the Odds (aka Finding Adventure in Tulsa)

Today's Thought:
It is not easy to find excitement in Tulsa. But I'm trying anyway. (To quote Han Solo, "Never tell me the odds...")

The ChipperMuse Extra:
The past two years have been rough. In the past two years, I turned 40. I've seen some friendships break up. I switched jobs from an organization that paid me less than a living wage and that had a level of hostile in-fighting you would not believe to an organization that pays me fine but that went through a public rough patch that began a scant month after I started there. My apartment flooded. I got sick on my mission trip to Kenya. And the worst, of course, my brother died unexpectedly, leaving me a lone sibling.

Not so fun.

It's impossible not to be changed by all these events. I've realized that life is short, that I deserve to have more fun than I'm having right now, and that I don't want to go out of this life making excuses for what I could have achieved, but didn't. So... One of my goals for the next 12 months is to stretch myself and do what I don't normally do.

Of course, stretching myself and living in Tulsa as I do... Um. Those two things seem almost mutually exclusive. Like George Clooney and a wedding ring. Or the New York Mets and a championship.

What I'm saying is: It's going to be a challenge to get out of my box in this one-horse town. Anyone who has ever lived in Tulsa will understand what I mean. But for those who need a picture, let me paint it for you.

Here's what constitutes excitement in Tulsa: 

I'm driving home from the grocery store, and I go to change out the CD in my CD player. Suddenly, I hear what sounds like an announcement coming over a muffled, weak public announcement system (a PA). I glance for a second into my rearview mirror to make sure there's no police officer or some such there. There isn't. I go back to changing the CD. I hear the noise again. It seems to be coming from my left.

I glance over briefly, and there's my answer. Two teenaged boys are sitting in their big old pickup truck, with some stupid toy thing that allows them to broadcast their voices, and they're trying to get my attention. Because they onviously think they are the hippest guys to come out of the midwest since Brad Pitt, and because they have nothing better to do. Probably because it's still light outside, and they can't go cow-tipping until it's dusk and the cows are drowsing.

I ignored the boys, of course. I didn't want to encourage them to think of themselves any more highly than they already did. And like I said, I was changing my music CD. I have priorities, folks. Even so, the boys were pretty insistent, really trying to get me to look at them. This is the definition of a big night on the town in Tulsa. Seeing if you can get women who are probably your mother's age to look at your pickup truck.

I suspect that the boredom zone engulfing Tulsa explains the fascination with PA toys. I also believe it is the reason for all the mega-churches here. If you had to choose, which would you prefer:  Sitting in a chair in a gigantic air-conditioned room watching techno-worship music, or driving around the 100-degree streets of Tulsa so you can be harassed by teenaged boys who think a pickup truck with a PA system makes them Donald Trump?

Um. Actually, there is a third option that I should mention just to be fair, because a lot of people in Tulsa take this option. Yup, that's right. I'm talking about wandering around Walmart. For many people, that's a really big night. Right up there with taking in a Broadway show and eating at the Four Seasons and taking a ride around Central Park in a horse and buggy.

So, as I said, my work is cut out for me. But I'm going to gamely try anyway to have some fun in Tulsa. I'll share my adventures with you as they happen, for your entertainment and mine. Let's hope I don't go nuts in the process.

Stay tuned.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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