My friend K. gave me the topic for this blog, and I’ve been thinking long and hard all day about her question. Why, WHY do I have such a fascination/obsession with Bigfoot?
At first I thought the answer was simple, and Freudian. Bigfoot—and the search for him—symbolizes my search for an elusive father, a father who was always just on the outskirts of my life, but I could never fully have IN my life.
Sheesh. There’s an answer for you! Bartender! Another drink!
That’s a psychological POSSIBILITY but it’s bunk. Bigfoot has nothing to do with my dad.
In all honesty, I think Bigfoot reminds me of the 70s and thus my childhood. I mean, really, what is Bigfoot but a tall dude in brown colors, walking around making sound? It’s a flashback to when I was little-Tanya, looking up at adults who wore fall colors, corduroys, and turtle necks. Ahhh comfort. This was a time when I had orange carpeting, listened to my transitor radio, slept cozily beneath Star Wars sheets, and played humping-Barbies with my friend Kaly. This was the time when I was clueless in the way that kids are. My favorite meal was a frozen Swanson Fried Chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, corn, and a brownie heated up slowly in our green oven. I mean, the seventies, man! Pure comfort!
That’s what Bigfoot is! A tall dude dressed in 1970s garb, walking around in the forest. Bigfoot IS my childhood. OR
My fascination with Sasquatch could be…uhm…a little more sexual. Not that I want to have SEX with Bigfoot. I’m honestly a little afraid of that…but…okay. Back when I was little-Tanya and about nine years old, I found an old book on my mom’s bookshelf, right next to the macramé owl wall hanging, and stuffed between a Crystal Gayle album, and a book about some seagull. It was a big book. Hefty. And filled with dirty, hairy pictures of adults having sex. Yes. “The Joy Of Sex” 1972 edition. I looked at this book endlessly and was both drawn to and repulsed by the amount of body hair that I would one day sprout. It couldn’t be possible! The people were covered with small forests of hair! Hair so dense that they probably housed gnomes! GNOMES! It was terrifying. And titillating. And it was the seventies.
And check out the dude. I mean, LOOK AT HIM! He looks just like Bigfoot!
Then, add into all of this (absent dad, 1970s, corduroys, Swanson Dinners, Joy of Sex monstrosities) that every year, my family would get together and go mushroom hunting, all through Northern Michigan. Well, I tell you, that’s just a maelstrom of future-Tanya being mildly obsessed with actually seeing a tall hairy man in the woods surrounded by mushrooms that look like little penises peeking out of the moist earth.
Then toss in a little obsessive TV watching when I was a kid and the lulling voice of Leonard Nimoy going In Search Of…and…well…there you have it.
My fascination with Bigfoot is all about my childhood, innocence, sex, hair, mushrooms, Leonard Nimoy, and my desperate hope to have everything in my life come together in a way that means something.