ramona’s first punk show

we took ramona to her first show last night. jared came home from school & was all, “hey, wanna go to a folk-punk show tonight? it’s just down the street.” the traveling act was spoonboy, a dude that a lot of my punkier friends are pretty into (music-wise, just to clarify). i honestly never listened to his music much. the hometown act that we were especially excited about was paul, who is one of the dudes in harry & the potters.

okay, this is kind of embarrassing to admit because he could easily google himself & stumble across this blog, maybe, but jared & i are such fans of this dude. i forget when i started listening to harry & the potters, but it was a LONG time ago. it must have been right after they formed. i was a harry & the potters early adopter. i introduced jared to their music when we started dating & he also became a huge fan. then we moved to lawrence, & a year or two later, we got the free “what’s new in town” newspaper thing they leave in everyone’s mailboxes on wednesdays, & the front page article was about how wonder fair, this little art gallery/craft store thing down the street from our house, was under new management. & one of the new managers was paul, from harry & the potters, who had moved from boston to lawrence to be with his lady friend.

mostly we were excited because this meant that probably every harry & the potters tour would involve a lawrence show.

last year, wonder fair did a cat art show. anyone who knows me knows that i am obsessed with cat art, like to the point that i have put serious consideration into starting a cat art museum. so i was really excited for this show & actually attended it on final friday, something i rarely do because i am not wild about crowds. especially when those crowds think they are patrons of the arts. i bought quite a bit of cat art. nowhere near as much as i wanted to buy…i mean, one thing for sale was these sheets of cat-printed wallpaper. of course i wanted to buy enough to paper my entire house. but alas, i am not made of money. i’m made of gross blood & stuff, & love for cats.

when i was paying for my stuff, paul looked at my credit card & was like, “wait…your middle name is miaow & you’re buying cat art? that’s too perfect!” & i was like, “yeah, i really like cats!” & then he saw my knuckle tattoos & was like, “oh my god, you have the same knuckle tattoos as my friends–” i cut him off & said, “nicole georges. i know. we got them within months of each other, independently.” he was like, ‘wait, how do you know nicole?” & i was like, “oh, you know, zine stuff,” & i really wanted to be like, “dude, i moved here from boston too! i love harry & the potters! we have mutual friends! we should also be friends!” but…i was 32, you know? & i’m not exactly the whimsical kind of 32-year-old who could pull that off without seeming weird.

so anyway. now that all that embarrassing crap is out there in the world for anyone to read…ramona’s first show.

there was this weird moment between bands when someone i hadn’t seen in a LONG time (like since well before i got pregnant) came up & said, “hey! i’m glad you brought your baby! she’s so big!” i was like, “yeah!” & was kind of gearing up for that whole “how have you been” convo, but instead she just turned & went outside.

i asked jared about it later. i was like, “isn’t it weird that she said she was glad we brought ramona? like we would hire a sitter so we could go to a folk-punk house show?”

jared replied, “frankly, i don’t give a damn what makes her glad. i didn’t bring ramona to please her. it would have been nice for her to ask us how we were doing or something, but instead she just focused on what makes her happy. like it makes HER scene cooler for there to be a baby in it. fuck that.”

jared doesn’t get opinionated like this too often, & i always kind of love it when he does because i get opinionated like this all the time & it makes me feel kind of weird. but it’s a good point.

also, on an awkward note, when we showed up, spoonboy was performing some song about how much he hates his dad or something. i was in cringe city. i find it so undignified when adults complain about their parents. & i say that as an adult with really fucked up parents. i remember back when i was still pregnant, an old roommate from many years ago somehow tracked me down & got back in touch. i wasn’t super-stoked about this, but…you know. whatever. it’s fine.

until she started writing to me constantly about her tumultuous relationship with her parents. oh, her parents were just the worst parents on the eastern seaboard. they were history’s greatest monsters. oh, ciara, you’ll be a much better parent than they were because you’re not a selfish psychopath. etc etc. no matter what i said, she would somehow tie it back to how dreadful her parents were. i’m sorry, dude, but unless you were the kid from “a child called it,” get the fuck over it. we finally had a falling out which involved me saying, “aren’t you 35? maybe it’s time to grow up & stop worrying about mommy & daddy.” as far as i could tell, the only beef she really had with her parents is that they spent a lot of time running an early internet messageboard devoted to a subject that this woman found distasteful. it’s not like they locked her under the stairs or anything.

there was this folk-punk kid in boston who wrote a (unintentionally) hilarious song called “fuck you, dad, i’m an anarchist”. it was all about how the kid was going to protest various economic super-summits whether his dad liked it or not, & maybe he’ll end up in jail in miami during the FTAA but it’s okay as long as there are vegan sandwiches to be had & fuck you, dad, etc. i would go to shows where this kid would perform & the whole crowd (of kids like five years younger than me–which is a significant age difference when you’re only 25 yourself) would be like, “yeah, & fuck my dad too! that guy’s an asshole who totally doesn’t get my tattoos!” or whatever.

i understand that it’s an appropriate developmental stage to rebel against your parents & conceive of a self-image that is in opposition to them in some respects. i also understand that the nature of being a modern teen or twentysomething is that pretty much everything you do completely lacks dignity & you don’t realize it until you’re on the other side of 30. but i still find it all very secondhand-embarrassing. i can’t wait to see what goofy stuff ramona ends up pulling on us in 16 years or so, & how i will respond to it. maybe she’ll write a song called “fuck you, mom, i’m a republican”!

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

3 thoughts on “ramona’s first punk show

  1. Yep, people need to get over their mommy and daddy issues for sure.

    A few years ago, I worked at a bakery serving people. There was a woman I (un)affectionately called “Messy Muffins” who, each day, would buy a muffin and a cup of coffee. She would sit at the counter and eat her muffin in a similar fashion to the cookie monster devouring a cookie, leave a gigantic mess and put her used napkins, muffin, wrapper, etc. in her half full cup of coffee. Urgh. She was the bane of my existence then.

    One day, as I was grudgingly selling her a muffin, she pointed to one that had coconut on it, and gasped. She proceeded to tell me, “When I was five, I nearly choked to death on a piece of coconut because my MOTHER put it into my BIRTHDAY CAKE.” She seethed it with such disgust and hatred that I shivered because it was FUCKING CREEPY. Messy Muffins must have been 55 or 60. Ugh. Gave me the willies.

    You hit a certain age where you need to take responsibility for your own life and stop blaming your issues on your parents – I mean, fucked up childhoods suck, but eventually you need to own up to and deal with your own feelings about it, and find a way to move past it. Otherwise, you become some creepy, messy lady in your 50’s bitching about coconut to a complete stranger, or writing folk-punk songs about your mean daddy. Besides, when did it become acceptable to complain to a room full of strangers about your family-shit under the guise of “songwriting”. As you said a few posts ago, your early 20s are the end of the era where over-sharing perzines were acceptable – the same should be applied to folk-punk songs. Amirite?

    1. i will give singer-songwriters some leeway because i don’t know when that song was written, you know? maybe he wrote it when he was like 22 & it’s a fan favorite or something. i wouldn’t know because i am honestly not at all familiar with his music. or even how old he is. but i know he was involved with plan-it-x fest nine years ago, so that would make him late 20s at the youngest.

      but yeah, the bottom line for me is that, at some point, you need to start taking responsibility for yourself & the way your life is panning out. i just don’t understand these people that are in their 30s (or even older–but because i am in my 30s, mainly i know other people in the same age range), & they KNOW that they have fucked up relationships with their parents, but they keep going back for more, expecting it to somehow be different. & then they are debilitated by the disappointment. i know it sucks & everything, but there comes a point when my sympathy dries up. can you imagine if i was still bending over backwards trying to make a go of it with my mom? & writing on my blog every week about the newest way she manipulated me or abused me? that would be insufferable–for me, & for anyone who cares about. jared was pissed enough that i even bothered to tell her that ramona was born.

  2. I used to know some of the guys in Harry and the Potters! They’re friends with a friend of mine and they came to her parties. 😀

    There’s this concept in Tibetan Buddhism that you should be nice to people, because at some point during your various reincarnations, everyone was your mother. Apparently this concept doesn’t work very well with westerners. Most Tibetans are really confused about why we all seem to hate our moms so much.

    My own mom and I have our issues, but I’m happy to say that we’ve mostly worked them out.

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