Monday, August 15, 2005

So very Raven. But not THAT Raven.

About ten years ago I went out with a guy who had a two and a half year old daughter. He was a recovering goth and his ex-wife was still heavily into the goth thing. Their daughter's name was, of course, Raven. This was before the Raven of Nickelodeon fame. Interestingly, it was also long before Emily although Raven bore an amazing resemblance. They dressed her in striped tights and black overall shorts. I think they were going for a Wednesday Addams look. I guess she'd discovered once that those multi-colored gummy worm candies matched a particular pair of her tights and she was obsessed with wearing that one pair of tights in the way that only a preschooler can be. She would carry around a bag of gummy worms and intermittently lay one across her leg to compare the stripe pattern.

Raven has crossed my mind frequently over the last week, probably as a result of an exchange with Dutch of SweetJuniper over our admiration for weird kids. We spoke of a particular Poe poem that merits being hung over the cribs of our children the way one would hang that print of Jesus leading Hansel and Gretel across the bridge under which surely lives the troll from the three billy goats gruff. One of my childhood babysitters had that picture hanging over a crib, dontcha know. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

I'd like to tell you that Raven had a beautifully hand-illuminated copy of Poe's The Raven hanging over her bed, but that's not true. She had a little plaque her uncle had made that featured her name and a smiling infant surrounded by three huge dobermans. Not kidding, I swear to god.

My relationship with Raven's father lasted about five months, then reached that stage where there wasn't anything there but we didn't have a good excuse to break up. I finally called it off when he insulted my beloved old college ride, a Dodge Omni that now belonged to my brother. He referred to it as an "old clunker with Oklahoma plates." Bastard! That car's name was Hoop-Dee, not "Clunker." Jesus!

The thing about being involved in a relationship with someone who is a parent is that invariably you will have a relationship with the child as well, and I was sad to lose contact with Raven. I wonder what she's up to these days. She's probably hammering out book reports and geometry proofs over at Adda Clevenger. Wonder if they've read Poe's The Raven in English class. When they do, will she be smug or, like, totally humiliated? I'd really like to know.

By the way, what's hanging over Cedra's bed is a beautiful rendering of her name purchased for a mere $1 a letter from a street artist in Chinatown, along with this Yoshitomo Nara print. Not Wednesday or Emily, but you've got to see the resemblance to Cedra. We definitely recognize that attitude.


At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Dutch said...

The bed at my grandma's house had that
Creepy Jesus Knocking on Someone's Door above the bed where I would sleep when I would stay there, and I think that picture is legitimately comforting to seem people, but my Mom told me that was Jesus knocking on OUR door about to come in and smack the crap out of me for being a bad Christian. It took me a long time before I realized she was messing with me.

Your ex and his goth baby mama were totally on notice with the "That's so Raven!" danger, because she was putting us all in stitches on the Cosby show way back when AND had her own Rap Album which if I recall was produced by the same guy who did the records for Cypress Hill. That was messed up.

Great post! It's funny how some people think "weird" kids should be like "dark, angry, misanthropic angst-ridden kindergarteners" (a la Emily) as if to mirror their own dark, angry, misanthropic, angst-ridden "childhoods" [read: adolescance] I would just be happy if our kid was obssessed with submarine lore or eighteenth-century fashion or old bootlegged episodes of hee-haw or something. Something other than the tripe spoonfed them!

At 3:58 PM, Blogger llamaschool said...

I wouldn't have wanted Jesus knocking on my door, either. And I still don't see how a crucifix is supposed to look comforting.

Raven: Her own rap album? Wasn't she, like, five at that time? Indeed weird.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Alisyn said...

I knew a kid like Raven once. His parents were goths (they hadn't started the recovery process when I knew them, and haven't yet, for all I know) when they had him. They named him Sebastian and the only video they ever let him watch was 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.' Now, I love that movie, and Tim Burton, as much as the next gal, but for a 2 year old? On endless loop? Oh, my goth.


Post a Comment

<< Home