It ain’t easy being Indian (November 2013)

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

It has been 15 years since my column has been published and I’m smiling all big! My humble thanks go out to Sue who was editor of The Circle News in 1998 and to Paul De Main, editor of News From Indian Country who picked up my column soon thereafter. The column began as “It ain’t easy being Indian…but someone’s got to do it” by Kristine Shotley. Cat Whipple shortened the title to what it is today but my picture has stayed the same in The Circle so here I am in 2013.
One of my meany aunts said that “…”Kris doesn’t look like that anymore” and I said ‘well who does after 12 years?’ or whenever it was she said that. I’ve met people who said I look a lot better in person than my picture so of course it’s been on my mind to update it. I kind of liked the original photo-I felt it gave me anonymity in person which is ironic since I have been putting my life out there for everyone to read about. Ah but life itself makes no concrete sense which is fine by me; if life was predictable I would be driven insane. Insaner?
I remember my first column was a pretend ‘singles ad’, I wrote that I have green fingernails, was vegetarian and very sassy and some other stuff that probably scared some men off but that was the point. I have written many times that I enjoy my single life, that I have never felt I had to have a partner to define me. Plus my mother drilled into me these words,”Krissy, don’t ever get married” which my little girl’s heart took seriously. (Note to self: bring this up at next therapy session. Mom still has a lot to answer for). JK!!!
My vegetarianism didn’t last long after I moved to Rezberry; my Unk gave me some moose meat which I cooked up for my son Steve in olive oil and fresh garlic. I remember watching him eat every mouthful like I was starving, then he said, “Ma! Come back to the dark side!” and that was it. He held my hand while I took the first bite of flesh and I haven’t gone back. What meat I eat and where it comes from is another thing but that’s for another column.
I still love having neon lime green fingernails and dressing up even if no one sees me. You young women need to put real clothes on even if it’s just to the Rez store; I think flannel pajama pants with the butt worn out and drooping looks just awful. I have an entire wardrobe that I only wear at home and my furry family could care less. You young men also need to wake up to 2013 and that only losers “sag” and wear their pants around their knees. Go ahead and write me! I will be only too happy to discuss how sagging is directly connected to mental slavery.
Whoa! That is my opinion my dear readers and is the most important reason for my writing this column. I am an American Indian woman who is still very sassy and I am very grateful that I get to do this…writing a column from a very different point of view than mainstream media puts out. One special thing for me is that readers are like, ‘hey! That happened to me too!’ so we have a shared experience we can laugh about. And that, my friends, the act of laughing is what has kept me out of permanent residence at the loony bin. Weird things have happened in my life that are so absurdly comical that I have said “Did that really just happen?” and I have put my struggle with depression out there too. My message is from my heart; you whom suffer pain from mental/emotional/physical issues I LOVE YOU!!!
I love you and there is help when you need it. You may not realize there are many people who are willing and trained to help yooz in your darkest hour. Stick around with me and see what happens in the next chapter which will be totally worth it. This much I know. ;D
Well next month I will get back to my usual format of ranting and raving, sharing stories and struggles and hopefully giving you a laugh. I just had to be sure yooz know I think of yooz, and even if I don’t write back right away it’s always on my mind. It’s just that I’m a serial procrastinator and never ever dismissive of the letters and emails I receive. I am on permanent “Indian Time” which my inner clock is in tune with and not the unnatural hours I am forced to comply with. Oh well. See yooz!!!
ps I don't mean yooz, I mean my job. ;D