Paper Cup Purpose

We made our first trip to the Boulder Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. Let me just say, Wow!  We had a Farmer’s Market in Oklahoma City but Boulder’s was an altogether different experience.  It was awesome!  And we happened upon a philosophical statement that served as a near perfect description of our move.  It was on the side of a paper cup.  What, you don’t find philosophy on the sides of paper goods?  Well, what can I say, we’re a simple people. Plus, it’s technically not a cup.  See:

I know, it's all very confusing.

I know, it’s all very confusing.

I recently wrote about my feeling as if my partner and I were second class while living in Oklahoma City.  We had a related discussion with the Divine Miss M recently in which she talked about kids’ reactions when she would say that she had a two-Mom family, and other related matters.  We explained that living in Boulder, having a family with two Moms wasn’t going to throw kids as much as it did in Oklahoma.

Now, we’re not completely naive.  This isn’t a utopia, obviously, but generally speaking, the make-up of our family is not going to be so novel.  And there are many other equally important aspects of living in Boulder that are vastly different from Oklahoma.  Along with the priority of environmental concerns and outdoor activity, Boulder has a fantastic pre-occupation with celebrating and encouraging individuality in every part of life.  It’s a little bit of a culture shock, even for me at almost 40.  We saw a sticker last week that said, “Keep Boulder weird.”  I chuckled since that seemingly trite statement would be almost scandalous, and at the very least frowned-upon, in Oklahoma. Where we came from, there is nothing meritorious about being weird, or standing out in any way – conservative conformity is the rule of the day.  Anything else is morally wrong. (Based on something a friend said recently, I want to note I am speaking of general overall society in Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma in general.  Indeed, there are a lot of marvelous people there who do not subscribe to this form of thinking).

So, when I saw this cup, I exhibited an almost childlike excitement saying that it summed up our move better than I probably ever could.  Our black-and-white, no shades of grey child scoffed, saying, “How can a cup sum up moving away from our friends … *insert dramatic monologue*.”  But I told her, “See, it’s not a cup!”  She was not amused and I knew better than to say, “This is not a move!” so I showed her the other side:

It's all these things!

It’s all these things!

This move was our own line in the sand.  A line that said we were no longer satisfied with the status quo, we were not afraid to risk everything, and the Divine Miss M now gets to grow up in a culture that rejects conformity at almost every level.  We’ve lived in the opposite for so long, the very idea of it gives me that exhilarated feeling that comes at the very top of the first hill on a roller coaster, where you inch upward really slowly and then teeter over the edge for just a second before you drop.  I experience that feeling now at least once daily.  This move isn’t perfect – we’re definitely fumbling around trying to start our own law firm and start a new life, but it’s an excellent start.  And now that silly cup makes me smile every single time I look at it.

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