Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This summer's revelations

Autumn is here. But before leaving the summer behind, I want to share 3 revelations I've had these past few months.


On June 2nd, my friend Janita drove me to the airport. I was just about to board a plane from San Francisco to Göteborg. I was bursting with excitement and I couldn’t wait to see my family and friends again. Also, I looked forward to catching my connecting flight in London. Not that I like Heathrow airport but it gave me an opportunity to surround myself with wonderful Brits and it also gave me the opportunity to indulge in one of my addictions, cheap British “Real Life Stories” magazines. I love them! Especially “Take a Break” and “Pick me up”.

I’m not going to write about all the details of my wonderful days in Sweden, but to sum it up, it was just as I expected (and trust me, I had high expectations). I spent my days meeting friends over coffee, aka “fika”, lunches and dinners. I ate all the foods I miss, such as Swedish kebab pizza, “Pytt i panna” and “Potatiskroketter”. I also ate quite the amount of fish. The weather was also as expected and it wouldn’t feel like Göteborg without the rain and the wind. At least there were a few nice days so that I could enjoy the long summer days and short summer nights.

After 19 days in Sweden, I packed my bags, hugged my family and friends good bye and left my home to go home. As I boarded the plane I contemplated the decision to live a continent away from the people I love. Either I could feel sad and feel I was missing out or I could count my blessings and be deliriously happy I had wonderful family, friends and homes in more places than one. And with a warm feeling in my heart I looked forward to seeing my husband and friends back in the US.

Btw, I flew via London, again, on my way back. Picked up yet another load of magazines and I arrived the US with 18 wonderful trophies.

Björn Rosentröm concert

While in Sweden, me and Theres (my BFF) decided to take a stroll down memory lane. Back in 1998, we discovered a Swedish artist by the name Björn Rosentröm and we attended his concerts frequently from 2000 to 2005. During the last few concerts we’d become familiar enough with the band for them to recognize us, exchange a few works before/after concerts and we even got invited to a after-party after a magical concert in Kungshamn. But after 2005 life got in the way of us continuing our obsession.

But this summer, five years after our last concert (and ten years since our first!) we decided to get ourselves to yet another concert. We had everything planned! Rather than attending one of the bigger concerts in Göteborg, we decided to attend a smaller venue about 90 min from the city, hoping it would be less crowded. The concert would be in a park rather than a club which we figured would make the crowd less dense. We also wanted to get there early to get good spots (we always stand in the middle of the first row. This was going to be the best concert ever!

It wasn’t.

After battling the GPS and the Internet connection for a while we found the park. The second we got to the parking lot we realized something was unusual. The parking lot was nearly empty. We soon realized why. People were to young to drive their own cars to the event so the big majority of people were dropped off by their parents. After waiting a lifetime for the concert to start, we soon found out that our favorite band-member was missing in action. And we probably should have left when they started of the set by asking the crowd how many who had graduated high-school. Only half the crowd cheered... We estimated that most of the kids there were around 4 years old when we bought our first Björn Rosenström record. They were still in kindergarten when we went to our first concert.

We spent the rest of the concert battling drunk, hormonal teenagers on summer break. We left the concert agitated, bruised, exhausted. My head hurt. Some giant and over-energized teenager had used my head as an armrest. Apparently I’m not only old, I’m short as well.


Just a few days after I returned to the USA I finally got to go to the San Francisco Pride parade. I recommend anyone who wants to spend a festive day to attend, but to me, it was so much more than that. Gay right issues has always been very close to my heart. Maybe it’s because I’ve had wonderful gay people in my life for as long as I can remember or maybe because some of my close friends are gay. But the core of the issue is simpler than that. I absolutely hate discrimination of any kind or form.

As i stood watching the parade, I teared up quite a few times. Here I was, watching this huge parade and demonstration. It was not against an oppressive dictator, it was not against a war, it was not against “the system”, in fact, it was not against anything. The Pride parade is a demonstration for everyone’s right to be themselves. It’s for everyone’s right to shape their own reality and ultimately it’s for everyone’s right to love.

Two older gentlemen where carrying a sign that said: “David + Donald = 44 years! We all deserve the freedom to marry!” and it really got to me. I’m married. What if I wasn’t allowed to marry my husband? What if our relationship was considered to be wrong and unnatural? I would be devastated beyond description.

One section in the parade featured families where the parents are gay. I looked at all the proud parents with their kids, some kids smiling, some laughing and some sleeping on their father’s shoulder. I suddenly felt the anger grow inside me. Who are those people who look at these families and wishes they didn’t exist? How can some people still want us, as a society, to teach these children that their life and their existence is wrong?

I don’t expect everybody to join the Pride parade and demonstrate for equal rights, I guess I just wish people would mind their own business and let every other person to do so as well. I usually pride myself in being an open-minded person but the older I get the more I understand my own intolerance. I am fiercely intolerant towards intolerant people.

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