Sunday, September 18, 2011

half a life ago ...

Gas was $0.89/gallon.  Life was easy.  My parents were amazing.  I was 16.  On my sixteenth birthday my parents rented the local neighborhood club house and bought about 20 pizzas from Customs Pizza (they were B1G1).  We set up a stereo, decorated, and just hung out.  Me and about 20 of my closest friends at the time.  There are moments of that night I will never forget.  Mimi (my grandma) was there.  Fussing at people for going outside, complaining about the noise, just being a grandma.  My friend S was there, and my friend L, who I think were trying to get back together after “breaking up” or something.  I can name almost everyone there.  And most I still at least talk to on Facebook ™.  That was the night I met someone who would be a dear friend for many years.  (Looking back I think it’s rather odd that someone I had never officially met showed up at my birthday party.  But there were actually 3 people that fit that description.  A little creepy, I suppose.  But I was a little odd.  I was building computers when other girls were shopping for new shoes.)  He introduced me to a new kind of music, a great author, and the idea that women were something special, to be treated with care and respected.  That stuck.  I held everyone else I ever considered dating to that.  It’s why I married Clark Kent.  But that’s another subject.

On my 16th birthday my mom got me this massive cake.  It weighed 20lbs.  Seriously.  I’m not even making that up.  The sucker was HEAVY.  And there were presents.  And dancing, and a black light.  It was great.  Probably one of the best moments of my teen years.  Thanks mom and dad.  After it was all over I remember distinctly lying in bed and thinking about where I’d be in 16 years.  Yeah, that deep of a thought.  When your parents drop that much on a party for you, you think about what got you there, and where it was taking you.  I was pretty sure I’d be married to someone at that party.  Not really sure who, but someone.  I mean, that was my tightest circle of friends (at the time).  Life was that moment.  It was band, AFJROTC, Power Rangers (yeah, I watched it religiously), eating outside at lunch, getting yelled at by my band director, and tolerating my little sister.  Sometimes I loved it, sometimes I hated it.  But it was my life and I couldn’t imagine much beyond it.  I mean, what else is there besides friends, pizza, music, and high school?  Shallow isn’t something a teenager understands.  It isn’t self centered for them.  It’s just how the world moves.  I understand that now, even though I didn’t ever see it then.  And oh my goodness what would our life had been like with smart phones and facebook?  Lawdy lawdy we’d have gotten in trouble.  I watch the high school kids on my facebook lament over boyfriends, get angry at friends, and use facebook like the bathroom wall or the back of a yearbook.  Our fights would have been shorter, meaner, and well … involved more people.  Other than that fight that my on-again-off-again beau K and I had during a marching band day camp that seemed to involve the entire band.  Oh yeah.  I bet lots of people remember that.  It involved saying mean things under our breath while marching around during practice, and across the street to the football field for a run through, and during the run through.  Oh yeah.  Good times.  That’s being 16.  That’s being awesome (in your own mind) and having to have the. Last. Word.   

Anyway, I thought.  Laying in my bedroom, under the Power Rangers fleece blanket (that incidentally Monkey Man is currently sleeping under – true story), looking at my glow in the dark stars.  Listening to my dad watch John Wayne movies on TV at a volume reserved for rock concerts.  Sure I thought of practical stuff.  I’d have finished college.  I was going to be a trauma doctor (how’d that work out?).  Perhaps I’d be dating some guy and be thinking about marriage.  30, that’s when people do that sort of stuff.  I also figured I’d be living in a house on the beach in South Carolina (still on my to-do list).  My life is SO not that.  But I can’t imagine it any other way.  It’s amazing.  I love Clark Kent, and I can’t imagine life without my Peanut, Bean, Monkey Man and Bug.  As I sit and reflect over the last 16 years (I’ve been with Clark Kent for 12 of them) I can look forward to the next 16.  Where will I be in 16 years?  I’ll be 48.  Peanut will be 26.  My mom and dad could be great-grandparents.  I could be a grandma. *cough*  It will be 2027. Holy future Batman!   

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