Amy Penwell


Yup that’s me!

I come from the land of Massachusetts, a very different land from The SF Bay Area where I have been in residence for the past 14 years. I went home for my cousin Katy’s wedding, and to spend some much needed one on one with my two best friends Beth and Robb, who will also be joined in marriage to each other after 20 years together (for the most part) next summer. Hallelujah!

I put much distance between myself and the land from once I came. Thousands of miles, and days between us.
But a few things have kept me glued. One of which is too much use of the word F**K in all of it’s glory. a bit like DEADWOOD. I use it when comfortable, homesick, angry, shocked, and elated. At any given time you could find me in my car, or at my piano composing with a train of “f**k f****n, f**k, f****rs.” trailing out of my mouth. I find it descriptive, satiating, and quite frankly, comforting. No, I’m not a trash mouth all the time, Yes, I have discrimination and reserve (another Masshole trait that leans much more toward the puritan spectrum) but I do love it. Both words, not the whole spectrum. Like it, or not f**k, m******e. and p******nism are apart of me. Is that Puritinism, or perfectionism? Both, UGH!

“Good Will Hunting” is a perfect example of the crowd I was mingling with. Not the trust fund Harvard types, no, the other guys Matt, Ben and Casey.
I forgot how freely:
“Oh my f****n Gawd, that’s wicked, f****n Queeaaah! Yauwr such a cawk sucka.” could be thrown around at an Irish/Italian Catholic wedding just North of Boston in 2008. I forgot how many homosexually derogatory words were used in casual conversation. I found myself looking around for those who might be outraged, and insulted, but no. I imagined some of my SF constituents and how they might feel if they were dropped into this conversation in that moment. The first time I heard:
“Don’t be so f****n gay, you f****n loozzaah”. I nearly spewed my drink across the table. I was shocked. I forgot that it’s part of where I come from. I’m not homophobic, and no one I hang with is either. The Gay community is one of my favorite in the world. I made sure I stayed in Province Town so I would feel more at home on my trip, but I will say that it made me laugh out loud at how freely it flowed in casual conversation, at how my siblings and I quikly picked up accent and bgan to mimic, “You’re sooooo f****n lame, stop being such a sucka!” became our comebacks for the week. It was foreign yet familiar, confusing yet clear, appalling, yet appealing all at the same moment. I still find it totally amazing what can occur in one moment. My old Massholian self in mid collision with the liberally minded, politically correct Northern California self. Living side by side in the same woman all this time.

My husband could tell that I was home from the immediate return of my Mass speak. “A** face” doesn’t usually come flying out his wifes mouth. (Too much time with the siblings) My speech got faster, more sarcastic and if I were to measure about triple the cursing. More descriptive as well, even if only in jest. One of the million things I love about my husband Matthew is that he let’s me be me whoever that is on any given day. There are many faces of Amy. I can be a chamileon. I probably should have been a “Master Thezzzzzbian”, but I felt to silly for that. Most of the actors I’ve met have been such theater geeks, too self -absorbed for my taste. Maybe I just need to get honest that I am too, but not now.

I felt the very same way when I went to my first AA meeting. All of these conflictual feelings of being “Home”. Some how it all made sence and it was all right. The paradox was alive and well for a reason. Human beings often live in contradiction. Made up of all kinds of rough and shiny ingredients, and recovering alcoholics, no matter where you are in the world make fantastic use of “F**K”.

My dear friend KC after years of no contact (his ex wife hated me) reminded of who I was. I was someone who is from that teeny state with a big name. Massachusetts.
His closing statement to me on our first telephone reunion after his divorce was this:
“Hosmer,” (my maiden name) “Remember this, you have always been, and will always be…… a Masshole.”
A flush of relief and pride washed over me. Some part of me was returned.
“Hi, I’m Amy and I’m a Masshole.” Admitting that is enough for now……
Thanks McCarthey!

A closing shout out ot WBCN Boston. As soon as I got in my rental car and headed for Cape Cod “One Tree Hill” off of U2 “The Joshua Tree” came on. I knew I was home. No matter how much I love The Bay Area the radio stations here F****n s**k! (except for KFOG)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: