Let me state right off the bat that I don’t like games. Cards, dominoes, Scrabble, that one where you stack the little pieces of wood, backgammon, checkers, the list goes on. In varying degrees, I dislike them all. When my brother and I used to play Monopoly, I would try to sneak all my money back in the bank so the game would finally, blessedly be over.
I also don’t like sports. Soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, kickball, most definitely dodgeball…you see where this is going. In high school I would go to football games, cheer along with my friends even though I hadn’t the slightest clue why, and find someone to make out with under the bleachers as quickly as possible.
I wanted to get my biases out there before I tell you about another thing I don’t like. Civil War Reenactments. I’m not sure if it happens anymore, but I can remember a few years ago, when grown men (and some women, I guess) dressed up like Confederates or Yankees or whoever else and pretended to blow each other up on the banks of the Eel River. And every time I think about it the only thing that comes to mind is: What the fuck? It’s creepy. And weird. I just. don’t. get it.
Yesterday I got a haircut. While I was sitting in the chair watching my fabulous stylist work her magic, a guy in his early twenties came in. He sat down in the chair next to me and showed the other stylist a picture of the haircut he wanted. It was a strange cut – short on the sides with a kind of comb-over on the top. He said it was a “Nazi haircut.”
Horrified, I couldn’t help but look over at him. He began animatedly telling the stylist that he was leaving for Oregon the next day to participate in a World War II reenactment. He told her all about the tanks and the guns and the uniforms and how excited he was that he got to be a Nazi.
The stylist gave him just the haircut he wanted, and when he left her a tip he said, “Here’s a little something extra for the Nazism.”
More than 24 hours later I can’t stop thinking about that young man. His golden blonde hair. His glowing pink skin, and the fervor in his eyes about being chosen to play the role of someone who helped to persecute and kill millions of people.
I would love for someone to tell me I am overreacting. That an Oregon World War II reenactment is simply an educational tool. A celebration of history. A fun weekend playing nothing more than a simple game.
Somebody please tell me that. Please? Hello? Anyone?