how did I get here?
Life was simple: I worked hard, I played hard ... and late. And I slept the sleep of the dead.
I was 22 and I was just promoted. Yes, I know the sleeping-till-noon thing was clearly a hindrance, but, somehow, I had convinced my boss to let me work late and make up for it. He didn't seem to mind too much. Our arrangement was upheld for years. I was never fired.
I didn't worry about bills and receipts. I didn't worry about someone's school uniform being pressed properly. I didn't think ahead about what to make for dinner, heck I didn't even make dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. I didn't obsess about gifts for little boys' and girls' birthdays. Or grade reports. Or field trips.
I threw my overdue bills in a hat once a month, then drew a few, and paid those; the rest waited till my next warped lottery, if they were so lucky. I ate whatever was in the fridge, and when I was down to just the bottle of vodka, I drank it with friends, while singing karaoke songs in candlelight. I didn't buy anyone any presents, hell, I was broke most of the time. I went wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And I was responsible only for myself, if at that.
I was 22 and I knew I was pretty. Because the boys told me so. And the girls didn't like me much.
I didn't die my hair (except on that crazy New Year's Eve with my two roommates, but it was a drunken pact so it doesn't count)(and yes, we chose red, a really, really bright red). Never had a facial. My skin glowed with the arrogance of youth. My workouts consisted of dancing through the night.
I didn't worry about sagging body parts. I didn't worry about how I was judged as a mother. I didn't worry about keeping the fires of a relationship burning. There was always the next guy. And the next.
Life was simple: I dated, I broke up, I moved on. I wasn't attached to anyone. Or anything.
I was 22, and I had no idea what the future held. I just knew it would be glorious. I couldn't wait to get there.
Last Friday, I got a text from someone who couldn't find me at the reception. It was almost 9:30 pm. The reception that I had bought expensive tickets to, gotten a fancy dress for (#5, if you've been keeping track, the one that would necessitate the help of my good friend Spanx, but still), made arrangements for babysitting, planned my whole getting ready, hair and makeup, and possibly nails too, the one for which I had argued with my husband (Norman, the old poop, the happiest of hermits) more or less forcing him to agree to accompany me... THAT reception was happening THAT night, had been happening since 7pm actually, instead of the next day, as my calendar had been telling me.
I was flabbergasted.
How could I get it wrong?
Why was my life resisting the post-its, the to-do lists, and the omnipotent calendar?
What would I do with myself tomorrow?
Everything on tomorrow's to-do list was now irrelevant...
|I should've taken the invitation out of the envelope!|
How did I get here? So overwhelmed that I couldn't keep anything straight? How did I become this juggler of all things household, marriage, and kid, never mind my own career? Dropping balls left and right, in my wake? When did I start sleeping with one ear on alert, one eye semi-closed? Dragging my sorry, sagging ass out of bed, early every morning, just for the pleasure of repeating the tedium?
Where did that 22 year-old go?
What must she be thinking of her glorious future now?
Carla Bruni - Ma Jeunesse by matheusmakrakis
The dress is hanging in my closet, altered to the perfect length. The matching shoes and clutch will need to be put away. The custom jewelry is on my nightstand, shining silently, awaiting the same fate.
They were far too kind to still give me my candle.
|So pretty - still can't look at it.|
The worst part? My best friend Pam, who, after a string of unsuccessful surgeries, became permanently blind before she turned 22 (yes, I know, perspective, perspective!) is eagerly awaiting my phone call with a detailed, descriptive report of the night that I spectacularly ruined, so that she can live it vicariously through me...