I spent the last five weeks of my first pregnancy in the hospital. A nurse and a nurse-in-training were tending to me one afternoon. I forget the conversation, but the nurse called me “granola.” The trainee said incredulously, “You can’t say that!” The nurse said something to the effect of, “It’s okay. She agrees with me.”
And I did. I eat organic where I can. I buy fair trade whenever possible. I’ve tried a vegetarian diet. It didn’t work for me, but I own and use vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. I also cook most of our family’s food and get upset when the kids eat restaurant food more than once a week. (That doesn’t happen often, but we do have weeks like that, especially because Hubby works in the industry as a manager. And to be honest, there are weeks where I just…don’t…want…to…cook.)
I’m experimenting with baking soda instead of toothpaste and am thinking up ways of making easy mouthwash. (What if I added a drop of peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and Xylitol to some water in a salad-dresser shaker that sat on the sink?) I bought a sewing machine last year to start doing repairs and crafts (Christmas stockings are on the list for this year). I can crochet half-decently. My gardens are pretty large (but I’m still learning how to actually eat from them). I was even proud to declare for about two years that we’d cut our cable. (We needed to save the money, but that didn’t matter. Down with mass media!)
But you likely wouldn’t know that by looking at me. I live in the Yuppie half of our twin cities, wear Yuppie labels, usually shop where it’s convenient for me instead of where it makes the most sense environmentally and socially, and I use a dryer despite the clothes line hanging outside. While I don’t buy a million purses or shoes, I do have a few different styles of each so I fit in, depending on the occasion. I own make-up but admittedly don’t use it too often. We also have both kids in the regular school system, and yes, I do bribe them sometimes to get them to do what I want them to. After all, I’m on a schedule.
So I call myself a Granoluppie (pronounced gra-NO-lup-pee). Trying to do what I can to save the world, but not all of it is feasible for my family all the time. Sometimes cost and convenience do win out. I do try to raise my kids according to the tenets of attachment parenting, but when they have to get to the bus, they have to get to the bus. There’s also only so much Lego on the floor I can handle.
Where do you see yourself in the world? How do you describe yourself? Do you identify with a particular group? Is your job something you identify by? Or do you eschew labels as much as possible?