All through high school and college, my outward persona was that of a confident, quirky, eclectic, offbeat tomboy who was doomed to being an outcast because I didn’t want kids and probably wouldn’t get married anyway. Almost twenty years, a husband, a stable job and two kids later, I look back on all that and wonder why any of my friends put up with me.
Sure, I had my good points. But I was also arrogant and pushy and completely self-centered. I’m still arrogant and self centered, but I dropped the pushy part. I think I dropped the pushy part. Or I gave it to Bundle o’ Joy I.
In any event, somewhere along the line — I believe possibly somewhere in the second trimester of my positively geriatric second pregnancy — I grew up. Then, after I successfully delivered Bundle o’ Joy II to air and freedom and we were discharged, I went to the local liquor store to buy a half bottle of champagne to celebrate, and got carded. Since I was feeling so old and also hadn’t ventured in to buy alcohol in the past nine months I hadn’t even brought my ID with me, so I was actually denied my celebratory half bottle of champagne by the 21 year old clerk. See, the old me would have been righteously indignant about this chain of events and would have blogged about it five months ago when it actually happened. The new me just shrugged resignedly, recognized that the clerk was only doing her job, left, and had my husband go in and buy the damn champagne instead. Which actually didn’t work because he walked in feeling righteously indignant and they refused to sell it to him as well, so we ended up having to go to the liquor store down the road to buy the bottle, making it less celebratory and more revenge-like, but the point is that I’ve grown up.
Recently an old college friend came up to spend some time with us and specifically to help us denude our bog of cranberries. As an aside, I think this friend can probably testify in a court of law that the LLARCS are more busy than super heated atoms, and also that we do in fact kill and eat our own chickens, since through a series of scheduling mishaps we ended up processing 59 of our 92 birds on the same weekend she was supposed to be here. The point, though, is that even though we live vastly different lives from both each other and from the people we used to be, we reconnected at once, as if not one single day had gone by since I left messages on her answering machine singing The Bondage Song. The words and tune to which, I’m sad to say, I don’t remember. It was a while ago.
On the heels of this old friend’s visit, my best friend from high school came back East with her husband for a visit, and we had dinner at her parent’s house and played Pass-the-Baby, a slightly sadistic game in which you try to end up being the person without the baby when it comes time to sit down for dinner. Then you try to eat all your food before the baby comes your way. Any person with food still on their plate caught holding the baby loses. (I lost. Actually, I’m not sure anyone won.) As we were leaving her mother asked wistfully if I wanted to jump on the bed for old times sake, and since I honestly couldn’t remember ever jumping on that bed I stared at her for a long while before begging out of the offer. Now that I think back on it I think there was one instance in which I flopped on the bed and a cat went flying, and this incident went down in history as legend, but my memory is terrible these days because of the aforementioned children, so it’s really only a vague impression.
I’m telling you, I feel old.
Lastly in these very few short days another friend from college re-appeared from oblivion, once known as snoodle but now known as so anyway. All these blasts from the past are hurting my poor old head. It’s past my bedtime, the chickens are shivering in the mid October snow, Lionel has a cold and the children are all finally asleep, so I finally have some time for reflection on all this and find that the mirror’s all fogged up and I can’t see a thing. So I’ll leave you with that and go to bed instead.
Good night, old friends.