So here we are in Amish country. My daughter says, “let me know when we get to ‘Amish Town.'”
“Yeah, let me know when we get to Amish Town,” she says. “I want to see them. They’re so cute.”
She cranes her neck from the back seat of the car like we’re driving to a zoo, and they’ll be on exhibit.
“Honey, they live just like everybody else.” I take a deep breath. “They just don’t have electricity. They live simply, but they are not different or segregated.”
“They don’t have a little town, just for them?”
She is disappointed.
Like they are cute little Amish dolls that might be on display for her arrival.
Buggies and horses. Yes. So cute.
It all DOES sound very charming, doesn’t it? I can see why she might have thought that.
We drive by one buggy this very second.
I can see them, a little family of four. Mommy, Daddy, Sister, Brother. Amish family USA. Clomp, Clomp. The little ones wave, and the adults grimace as our camera flashes in their direction.
The horse and buggy tromps by. No accelerator. Just life at a horse’s pace.
Doesn’t that sound dreamy to our hurried world?
I envy their simplicity. Their lack of distraction. The beauty of their forced interaction because there is nothing else to do but “relationship-ize.”
Their calm is attractive to me.
. . . mmmmmm . . . aaaaah . . . calm . . .
But, then I see how they dress.
A lifetime time of printed floral broadcloth. Hmmm. I don’t think I can really consider life’s dressage as multi-shades of light blue plaid, either.
However, my fashion history causes me to question if “I” was born into an Amish family. I remember my first several years of life in unforunately durable brown dresses. Emphasis on drab. Simplicity to the extreme. Only one seam on each side of me. And, an occasional bow. As hard as I tried, once something happened to the offending dress, all hope was trashed when another one of equal sturdiness appeared the next day laid out on my bed. Only dresses. No shorts, no pants. Three dresses. One to wear, one for the wash, and one uninhabitable.
I don’t remember a tight-haired headress binding my head, so I don’t think I was actually an Amish. Maybe we were Amish impersonators, or it probably must have been just the tight-fisted grab of my mom’s hand from the enduring remnants of the cursed “blue-light special.”
Yeah, I guess I don’t have the Amish excuse of perpetual preteen fashion felonies. Instead of direct Amish lineage defined, I am just a Baskin-Robbins 31-Flavah. Flavah-flavah-woo-woo!
So, back to the Amish. Would I consider switching teams for their simplicity sake?
I don’t think so.
My hair. Can’t be doing that thing to my hair. That bonnet thing.
And, the shoes . . . if they wear shoes at all . . . Well, THOSE shoes aren’t going to be on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, now are they?
Hello-o? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Life is full of trade off’s.
I guess I’ll keep my little existence, and hope for the occasional simplicity that the Amish have come to completely understand.
They can also have their driving a mule in the field. I’ll keep my 350Z. Plowing corn, or tobacco, or whatever it is they plow. And, they can also have that clean up of all that daily horse crap.
Yeah, like I would choose THAT.
Hey . . . wait . . . maybe I am Amish. I have my daily share of bull shit.
I better check my lineage.
I don’t know that the Amish would have me, though . . .
I dye my hair, I don’t wear flats, and we each might have a different interpretation of thongs.
Better let sleeping dogs lie.
Shhhh . . . it will be our secret.
S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
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