Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My shadow and strawberry wine

I've been working on the computer with Alex warming my feet under the desk. When I got up to use the bathroom and he followed and curled up on my toes as I sat on the toilet.

Do you think he's too dependent on me? I really want to make sure I'm raising a confident, spirited dog. You know, so he can excel in college and corporate America one day.

(it probably doesn't help that I actually carry him on walks sometimes. M shakes his head and pretends to be disgusted, but inevitably laughs at the blissful grin on Alex's face. Hey, he was abandoned at a shelter. He's entitled, don't you think?)

I've been in a little bit of a funk lately. There's been lots of thinking and reflecting involved. And guess what song just popped up on my shuffle? A song that always makes me think and reflect. Dammit.

So here's the low-down. A while back I got in touch with my first boyfriend, Dan. We met in sixth grade. I had my first slow dance with him in seventh grade. We went to the 8th grade graduation dance together (you should see the picture. I'm actually wearing a cast-off pink, puffy-shouldered bridesmaid dress. My mother shortened the sleeves and hem for me. Hey, in 8th grade you could hardly expect me to be the fashion plate that I am now. Heh.)

Anyhow, in ninth grade my father was transferred from California and that was that. His father was later transferred to New Mexico. We wrote to each other for a while, but that petered out. Until the day years later when I found his email address and decided to say hello.

After sending emails back and forth for a couple of weeks, I got a shocker. In a mass email, Dan announced that his girlfriend was pregnant and they were getting married.

So what did I do? I turned off all the lights, lit a single candle, and dramatically collapsed on the floor to listen to Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine" over and over for two hours.

I wasn't devastated because I'd lost my chance to reunite with him. It was just that there couldn't have been a more obvious sign that my childhood was waving goodbye. I didn't know anyone who was married, or who had kids. And here he was, the boy who slid a corsage of pink roses over my wrist with sweaty hands, getting married? Having a baby?

Even when the first of my good friends to marry walked down the aisle at 22, I remember thinking it incredible that we were, in theory, old enough to marry and go off sailing through the Caribbean on a honeymoon vacation. To have a house with things in it. "Wait!" I wanted to call out as she passed by on her father's arm. "Does this mean that we aren't using backpacks or our mismatched dishes anymore?"

To this day I feel that way sometimes. I look around and think, is this house really mine, do I really have a career? Because that sounds very grown-up. And I always thought the grown-ups had everything figured out.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm really a child in disguise.


Blogger verniciousknids said...

You are not the only one wondering if this is the real grown-up life...

I hope I'm still thinking this way when I'm 99 - as I believe the day I think I'm all grown-up is the day I become afraid to take risks and really experience life. As far as I'm concerned, having a little bit of the inner child is only a good thing!

To confirm this theory of mine, I only need to look at my stressed out "adult" commuters on the trains in Tokyo. They never see anything amusing / silly / crazy / beautiful etc about things around them...If that's what being all grown-up is all about - um no thanks.

BTW your puffy-shouldered pink bridesmaid dress would have been the height of fashion, no?!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Just the other day I was talking to a 60-something year old woman. She said she feels child-like and loves it (not childish...big difference).

I hope I'm still able to say that at that age.


10:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm five months from 30 and I still can't believe that my friends and I are old enough to have spouses and children and houses and retirement plans. Or, at least, that they are old enough. I seem to be aging backwards.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I'm "grown up" now. I hate it. Becoming an adult is overrated.

I miss waking up in the morning excited about what might happen.

Now I wake up stressing about all the stuff that needs done. Yick.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I'm aging backward too! What an excellent way of putting it.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

V- I have a feeling that dress was never the height of fashion. ;)

3:06 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

(but I think I liked it because Ann-with-an-e always longed for a dress with puffed sleeves)

3:07 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

did she ever get it? i can't remember...i know the dresses marilla gave her at first were so plain. poor anne.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

I hate being a grown up and I've only been at it for 10 1/2 months. Thus far I've determined that it sucks ass and I want out.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

heather- I know! Someone clearly effed up and forgot to install the escape chute. (on the other hand, you couldn't drink shiraz if you weren't a grown-up)

(okay-- you could drink it, but you couldn't buy it.)

bearette- Matthew bought her a dress with puffed sleeves. But first he bought hay seed, a rake, and five pounds of brown sugar. ;)

6:54 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I totally agree! where is that escape chute???

liz, you know your stuff ;) i guess matthew was the soft-hearted one.

9:26 PM  
Blogger verniciousknids said...

Liz: I must also admit to having a puffed sleeve dress due to Anne's fixation...

Ooohhh it feels so much better now that I've admitted my guilty secret ;p

9:35 PM  

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