Exchange during the last editing session:
Meg: We’re the two most insufferable people in the world.
Me: Why, did something happen to Zooey Deschanel?
Meg: No, but ever since I delivered copies of our books to Occupy DC’s “People’s Library” and wrote that letter to the Texas Parole Board you asked me to, I’ve been saying “I do my fighting with my writing,” like, all the time. And you won’t shut up about finding out you’re related to Pocahontas.
Me: “DID YOU EVER HEAR THE WOLF CRY TO THE BLUE CORN MOON…”
Meg: Yes, exactly that.
During my trip to Texas, my aunt casually mentioned we were descended from Pocahontas. Like, just kind of threw it in there: “And so turn left up here to get to the place with the dinosaur tracks. Yeah, so, your great-great grandmother was an Allen, but her mother was a Lee – I said LEFT – and her mother was descended from Pocahontas.”
“Wait. So I’m descended from Pocahontas.”
“Yeah, apparently. I mean, so are about 150,000 other people, I don’t think we’re getting a casino anytime soon.”
I learned this at the worst possible time. Being “less than employed” has been hard on me, so I’ve been doing those Oprah-style “list your accomplishments” exercises to stave off a fried chicken, Cybill, and tears 2008-style meltdown. “I have co-written three books” and “I have a master’s degree” weren’t cutting it anymore and I was ready to try “compared to the average of EVERYONE who EVER lived, I’m really tall,” but then I found out I was descended from Pocahontas, which makes me, in the vaguest, most tenuous, most not-holding-up-to-scrutiny way, royalty.
I think about “Grandma Pokey” all the time, as evidenced in the infographic below:
My Pocahontal frenzy has manifested itself in the following ways:
- I’ve been humming “Colors of the Wind” to myself for weeks, which of course means that everyone who’s been around me recently has started humming it. Last week’s catchphrase around here was “How high does the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, GODDAMMIT, CHRIS.”
- During my birthday celebration, Meg bribed the guy at the piano bar to play “Colors of the Wind” just for me. A woman near us immediately closed her eyes and began to sway and feel it, which pissed me off because it was MY SONG.
- I tried to Netflix Pocahontas to watch over Thanksgiving (you know, because it’s an accurate historical epic with well-developed characters), but it wasn’t available, so I had to settle for “Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World,” which arrived late. I watched it by myself yesterday and communed with my ancestors.
- I saw in the news that archaeologists think they’ve found the remains of the church where Pocahontas married John Rolfe. I told Giant Camel, who accused me of setting up a Google alert for her. I hadn’t, but I have now. More than one person called to tell me.
- I wrote to my congressman about how it pissed me off that Virginia Native Americans get treated especially badly. According to internet, they don’t get land grants literally because their paperwork got fucked up during segregation in the ‘20s and they’re not registered right. I used the same good stationery I used to write the Texas Parole Board. It’s gold-edged and makes me look rich, so maybe they’ll take me seriously.
Get back to me on this in a few weeks, by which point I intend to have found out from the grinning bobcat what’s so damn funny.