Saturday, February 13, 2010
We like to take brewery tours when we travel. We hit two in Boston. At the first tour, after the tour was finished, we were brought into a sampling room with long, slender tables. It was very crowded. We got seats, but not everybody did. Across the table from us sat an elderly couple. They were nice people, very friendly and conversational. I was wearing my CRAMPS t-shirt. The woman said, “Who are the Cramps? Is that a band?” I said, “Yeah,” and proceeded to explain a bit about the band, to provide context. She started at me intently, though I could tell that nothing I was saying meant anything to her. I might as well have been speaking Greek. She said, “My daughter has a Cramps t-shirt. She lives up here now. We’re visiting her. We’re from Indiana.” I explained that my wife and I were from Pittsburgh. Their other daughter currently lives in Texas. They asked if they could take our picture, to show their daughter. We said, “Sure.” I didn’t do anything obscene in the picture. I put my arm around my wife, and smiled like I was posing for a picture being taken by my own mother. I felt badly that both of their daughters had moved so far away from them and that they had to travel to see them. They must have done something right, though, if their daughters weren’t afraid to strike off in their own directions. I’m sure their daughters are pretty cool people. I still live half an hour away from where I was born and raised. People from western Pennsylvania tend not to leave. At that moment I felt a little ashamed of myself, and still do. I feel like I’ve failed at life by living so close to where I’m from, but I don’t have the heart to leave.