It ain't easy being indian


Feral adj. 1a. Existing in a wild or untamed state. b. Having returned to an untamed state from domestication. 2. Of or suggestive of a wild animal; savage: a feral grin. (Latin fera: wild animal). The American Heritage College Dictionary, Third Edition.

What I have long feared has come to pass. I’m gonna have to update my FaceBook status as 1b. (See above). It was not so long ago that I would shudder at the very thought of unattractive (a.k.a.) sensible clothing. I curled up in a fetal position in bed, put the blankets over my head and issued feeble, irregular whimpers. What is this awful thing? I have gone feral. First sign: Ah- hem! I am now the proud owner of a ‘Carhartt’ winter jacket, stout ‘kamik’ winter boots, an orange vest, two orange hats and snow pants, thermal drawers plus lime green reflector gloves with pigskin palm and fingers. The strange thing is; I’m just happy! How, you ask, did this all come about?

I just gave up. It happened slowly at first but I have now completely caved into the stark reality of where I live. For nine months of the year it’s cold and raining, or freezing cold and snowing and raining, or horrifically freezing when the temperature, not including the wind chill factor, can drop to -30 below. Did I mention the winds? Have you ever been in a blizzard in ‘da nort’ land’? I compare it to a freezing hurricane because blizzards are just as wicked and deadly. Rezberry is plunked right down in the midst of it. Some 6-7 years ago I had to turn on my heat in July! But now I’m whining, let me continue….

Now I am not proclaiming that everyone who wears Carhartt is "feral", just me, and besides the brand is equal to Gucci up here. The folks (did I just write "folks?!") who have lived here a long time are sensible beings, they care and are keenly aware whether they are at risk for frostbite and don’t give a musk rat’s dee-dah-deet-dee-dee if they look cute or not. The peoples’ instinct for self-preservation are very wise and I am happy to have joined their ranks.

Yanno what? As a kid I used to play all day outside in the bitter cold and not give it a thought, that is until my socks got wet from snow and I had to go inside for more old plastic bread bags to wrap around my feet to stay dry. Then I went right back out.

I admit that after many years living my comfortable, sheltered Big City life I had become a winter wimp. Yes it snows a lot in the city too, but there are bus shelters if you must be out in the cold, store entrances, skywalks, taxi cabs and other ways to stay warm besides wearing big puffy Michelin man snowmobile suits. Living there I was cautious not to fall down in my high heels (in mid-winter no less) so as not to scratch them. Up here, until recently when I had a car, what I feared most was sliding into the ditch. How things do change.

Anyhoo, I’m used to the weather now, even if I’m not a raving lunatic fan of it. All those people who climb frigid mountains just because they’re there? Ya’ll come up here sometime, I’ll show yooz some really tough-n-hardy natives who will laugh in your frosty blue faces starting with me.

So to conclude my account of my becoming feral from being an Uppity Urban Indian (juss kidding City Indians!) – I was all layered up in my new gear in blaze orange and classic black at the tribal center reception area when a guy literally goggled at me open mouthed-n-all. Someone else said I looked like I was out deer hunting. And from behind I’m sure no one could recognize my gender or age. I don’t care what anyone thinks, I’m warm.

Now that it’s 2012…! Well, I ain’t gonna make any New Year’s resolutions until I’ve cleared up this IRS mess I’m still reeling from. It may not matter anyway if this December 21, 2012 really is "it" – meaning doom for our little planet and all its critters. Ay!

Even the entities at the IRS can’t eat paper dollars to survive. Metal is also hard on one’s teeth so there goes everyone’s coin stashes. Want to barter anyone? I have cute shoes, dresses, accessories barely worn, that I will trade for furs, canned meat, dried beans, manoomin, etc….

Not! When and if the destruction – by-comet or whatever – of this world happens while I’m still around I hope it falls directly upon my big round head. I know for sure it will be too miserable going afterwards to even want to survive.

It ain’t easy being a "Debbie Downer" Indian….but Happy New Year anyway!!!