Monthly Archives: November 2009

Friends.

One of the things I love about being an adult is that I’ve become friends with… my mom. She and I have a habit. We go to the Circle K every day and get sodas. She gets a Dr. Pepper, I get a Diet Coke. Sometimes, if one of us is out and the other one is home, we’ll call each other and ask… “Do you have need?” The answer is usually yes. We don’t always go together (since we have different schedules), but on Saturdays, or if we happen to be out somewhere together, we will. And that’s fun. On Mondays, sometimes she calls me at work and sings the “Dancing with the Stars” themesong into my voicemail, which always makes me smile.

A story.

So this one time, there was this guy who asked if I wanted to go to a concert. “Sure,” I said. Well, it ended up that we didn’t go together. (That’s another story.) But he sent me the tickets, and I took my mom. We got there a little early, and we were sitting in the parking lot of Arco Arena (drinking our sodas), watching the people go by. It wasn’t long before we realized that we were the youngest people there. I mean, these were people using walkers, and dressed in pale blue polyester pants. It was that sort of crowd. We got into the concert, and it was crazy, because I had never heard of the performer before, but he has this incredibly loyal fan base of, like, eighty-year-olds. And during intermission, because it was at Arco Arena, all these incredibly loyal eighty-year-olds went out to the hallways and got their neon-orange nacho cheese from the food vendors… I don’t even want to talk about the line to the bathroom.

And we were sitting next to this couple. They looked like they were on a date, but the man was WAY older than the woman. The woman was wearing lots of jewelry and laughing too loud at things that only old men should laugh at. We wondered if she was a genuine, bona fide gold digger. At the end of the show, my mom and I walked out of the theater (considerably faster than most of the other patrons), and we went home. And I realized, at this concert, watching the other people, and talking, and laughing, that my mom and I were peers. Don’t get me wrong. She’s still my mom. But now, she’s my friend too.

Brown.

After tidying and vacuuming the family room yesterday, I looked down, and the couch cushions were suddenly THE most disgusting things I have ever seen in my life. Does that ever happen to you? You don’t notice something for a long, long, long time, and then suddenly… it’s so revolting you can’t stand it for one more second?

So I pulled all the cushion covers off the cushions, which was obnoxious, because the zippers in the back of each cushion are all gimpy and plastic and old, and I put them in the washing machine on the soak cycle. I watched, mesmerized, as the washing machine filled with water and began to agitate. The water changed from clear, to slightly cloudy, to BROWN. After thirty seconds, I couldn’t see the agitator below the surface of the water. It was ever so disgusting.

They’re cleaner now. It’s just too bad I can’t take the arms off and do the same thing…

Things that stay with you.

Today my son and I played Super Mario 3 together, and it’s amazing, some of the things that I remember from this game… I must have spent hundreds of hours on this game when I was younger, learning every trick, every secret. No hidden corners of this game were unexplored. And I still remember things. Connor was playing the N-Card, and I told him, “try that one over there… yeah. Now get the one at the bottom.” And I was right. With my guidance, he matched up a mushroom, two flowers, a star, 10 coins, and a 1-up all in a row. But there are also places in the game, where I know there’s something hidden somewhere nearby, but I can’t remember exactly what, and I can’t remember how to get there.

So many things in life are like this. Pathways in our brains that have been formed and reinforced in a way that means they’ll be with us always, long after the details have faded out of our conscious memories. We know there was something about this place… we can’t remember what, but there’s a feeling attached to it, maybe an emotion that we developed as a result of an experience we had once. And I think that even though we can’t remember with crystal clarity, these experiences shape us and change us, and that’s comforting. It means that these things… these memories of things and people I have forgotten, these pieces of my life that were important to me will stay with me always, because they’re a part of me now. They won’t just fade away into nothing.

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I have a hobby.

I put googly eyes on stuff and I take pictures. I actually started a website about it, but I haven’t finished it… someday, there will be a website, full of pictures of googly-eyed things.

I’m actually at a birthday party right now. I’m typing this on my laptop, at the table while they cut the cake. (No, I’m not kidding.) It’s carrot cake with cream cheese icing. There are starburst on top of the cake, arranged in the shape of Tetris pieces. Several of the people here have labels on their faces. I am not making any of this up.

“I have often found…”

“…that resignation is never so perfect as when the blessing denied begins to lose somewhat of its value in our estimation.” -Mr. Collins, Pride & Prejudice

A story for you.

Once upon a time, I met a boy. He wore red a lot. Some days I wore red on the same days he wore red. It was fate, I was convinced. One day, he passed me a note that said:

“Do you…
_ Like me
_ Love me
(check one).”

I didn’t check one. I was too scared. People were watching. I was in the third grade. It’s a big deal when people watch you do anything at all in the third grade, let alone declare your “like” or “love” for someone. But I did like him. In fact, third grade was the beginning of the biggest and longest lasting crush of my life. This boy and I… we would continue to cross paths, over and over, for the next ten years. And over and over, for the next ten years, he kept choosing other girls to take on dates, other girls to take to the prom, other girls to kiss and cuddle, and I eventually gave up on the possibility of anything ever developing between us, even though in my heart, there was still this affection that never really went away.

Then, one magic day in 2004 (after I had graduated, been married, had a child, and been divorced), he asked me on a date. The first (and only) real date we ever went on. He picked me up at the airport, but didn’t offer to help me with my bags. He drove us to a restaurant, but didn’t ask me where I wanted to go. He ordered drinks, without asking if it bothered me that he would be driving me home after drinking. (It did.) The evening went on. At the end, he dropped me at the doorstep of the place where I was staying, and we said goodbye. He kissed my cheek, something I had hoped for and wanted for years and years… and then… just like that, the spell was broken. I went inside, carrying my suitcase behind me, straight into the arms of a man who was the best kind of friend. This man really, truly cared about me. The contrast was striking. And since that day, I’ve never looked back at my childhood crush with anything other than a smile and a shake of the head.