Monday, April 30, 2012

how did I get here?

There was a time in my life when I slept till noon, woke up, brushed my teeth, and went straight to work.

Did not fuss with my hair.

Didn't wear any makeup.

Threw on whatever clothing was lying around, deemed the least wrinkled.

And the least dirty.

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...

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At 4/30/12, 8:24 AM , Blogger Victorias_View said...

I think we have all been there and sometimes I miss that carefree life.

I have a lovely dress hanging in my closet from an event I missed and never wore. Perhaps we should have a party

At 4/30/12, 9:03 AM , Blogger Denine Severino Taylor said...

One time I travelled from NYC all the way to Syracuse, NY for a college reunion party and arrived ...a week early. Wow. Embarassing.

Like Victoria's idea of a party -- maybe a post-A to Z celebration?

Here's the good news: you are totally ready-to-go for next event :-)

At 4/30/12, 10:33 AM , Anonymous Dawn Storey said...


Go easy on yourself. :)

At 4/30/12, 10:53 AM , Anonymous April said...

I have high hopes that someday - maybe far in the future - you will be able to look back at this and laugh about how spectacularly things went wrong.

If not, I'll buy you a few rounds of tequila so you can forget about it.

At 4/30/12, 10:54 AM , Anonymous April said...

(P.S. The above comment was meant with much empathy, since I have blocked the memories of certain times when I've dropped the ball so spectacularly that...well, that I block the memories.)

At 4/30/12, 12:13 PM , Blogger Susi_Snaps said...

The candle is lovely and I hope you'll get to wear the dress soon.

At 4/30/12, 2:38 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Darcie, did you miss it because of reasons of your own doing? I was just told that we were seated at a prominent table and almost everyone was asking whose empty chairs they were. It's that bad!

I do like the idea of the dress-up party. I actually have a dress for that :)

At 4/30/12, 2:38 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Denine, glad to know I'm not alone :)

And thanks for the positive twist. I am so ready for the next event, I've got everything down pat, down the minor accessories details -- you're absolutely right! (You gotta love optimistic friends, they always know what to say).

At 4/30/12, 2:39 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Dawn, trying :)

At 4/30/12, 2:40 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I'm laughing, I'm laughing, April, see? Now, where's my damn tequila?

At 4/30/12, 2:41 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Gawd, I have so many blocked memories, I'm afraid this straw might break the camel's back, if I were to add it in there. Glad to know I'm not as unique as I thought -- I think :)

At 4/30/12, 2:42 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Susi, there might be some virtual dress-up partying in our near future. Are you game?

At 4/30/12, 3:30 PM , Anonymous Mike Adams said...

ohhhh...MG! I'm so sorry! This is almost amusing, but somehow too familiar and viscerally upsetting to hit the "I had to laugh" mark! This is why I let Tara do all the scheduling...that way it is never my fault!. I am so sorry! :-(

It is a beautiful certificate and candle though! I'll go to the party if y'all get me a dress. I'm feeling a bit sick of wearing suites and all you bloggers seem weird and crazy enough to enjoy having a 240 pound man, with a beard show up at your formal party in an evening gown! LOL

At 4/30/12, 3:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH, my, your 22 was not much different from mine, Megan. So much of those days I try not to remember. But, if nothing else, there was a lesson for me to learn, and it also taught me to understand my children's 22 stage. :)

I am very glad to know you, Lady!

At 4/30/12, 4:10 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

It's actually very funny, at least it'll be... still too soon LOL

Mike, honey, TRUST me: you don't want to switch places with us. You've got the sweetest deal... My husband has one suit, which he wears at every funeral, wedding, christening, and formal event. And NOBODY notices!

(Though I must confess that I do like the visual that you would make in a strapless gown and high heels, hahaha)

At 4/30/12, 4:13 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Two wild and crazy gals... I like that:)

Can I tell you a little secret, Virginia, just between us LOL? Every once in a while she visits me. Hint: when you see me dancing in the middle of my kitchen, with my ladle, or in the rain, while others duck from it, she's not too far.

At 5/1/12, 5:29 AM , Anonymous Emily said...

I hate when I fly into a total blonde moment and lapse into the land of forgetfulness. You and the hubble should order in some junk food, put the wee one to bed and get dressed up anyway... dance and drink and have a laugh. *starts looking for a snazzy dress for the virtualy party*

At 5/1/12, 6:51 AM , Blogger Chatty Crone said...

HAha - motherhood changes oneself! Sandie

At 5/1/12, 7:40 AM , Blogger LA Botchar said...

I am pretty sure I would kick my 22 year old self in the arse if I ever met her. LO

but then, I have no regrets. I am glad I had that time to just be me and let the wind carry me away. The wind still carries me away at times....but it is a lot less fun. ha ha The wine is better though, so there's something.

At 5/1/12, 8:31 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Emily, Norman the old poop and I do that all the time. Okay, maybe not the dress up part, but definitely the junk food part.

This virtual party thing deserves more thought. And organization :)

At 5/1/12, 8:32 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Does it ever! Welcome, Sandie :)

At 5/1/12, 8:39 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

LOL Rory. And it's not the same. I went on a week-vacation this January, solo (oh crap, I forgot to blog about it) but I Skyped and called and texted my family every few hours. I love them to pieces and I can't live without them, but nope, it's not the same.

And the wine is better. Thank God for wine, that's all I'm sayin :)

At 5/1/12, 9:15 AM , Blogger Beckey said...

Yeh... I know. Sometime I wonder where that carefree, roll with the punches, fun loving gal went too. BUT... she didn't have a supportive husband always by her side to make her laugh or hold her when she cried. She didn't have the joy of being hugged by chubby little arms, or slobbery kisses, or hearing "I love you mommy". So, while I do envy her the size 5 pants and the perky boobs - I'm ok with her turning into someone else. (although some days I swear she is still here, in spirit at least)

At 5/1/12, 9:22 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Well put, Beckey. VERY well put!

The chubby little arms make me a puddle of melted goo, even though they're not chubby any more :)

At 5/1/12, 6:31 PM , Blogger Beckey said...

And now I get chubby little grandbaby arms. Which - while hard to believe - are even better!

At 5/1/12, 7:08 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Oh wow, congrats!!! Hey, I thought you were my age, you already have a grandchild??

At 5/1/12, 9:34 PM , Blogger @NativeMikeAdams said... to the heels! I can't make a fool of myself walking around in those! :-)

At 5/2/12, 4:11 AM , Blogger Hilary said...

I love this post... It is pretty crazy how much we change as we get older.... I know I am so not the same girl (not even close) that I was at 22... But, although I am way more stressed and have much more going on, I am having a lot more fun now then I did then. I was so driven at that age, I didn't have a moment of free time...and if I did, I slept.... wild, I know...

I could so see myself getting the day wrong for the party.... I have issues with calendars. I never use them and go by my memory instead. And sometimes that isn't so reliable...

At 5/2/12, 8:41 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

It's an all or nothing deal, Mike. The heels are necessary for arching the back and propping those puppies... it's a girl thing, ask Tara :)

At 5/2/12, 8:44 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Oh God no, my memory is worse than my bad calendar-keeping.

Maybe I should hire you to remind me of important events, Hilary. I KNOW you are very organized (still in awe of your pre-posting posting, I know, I can't let go, it's freaking inspiring!)

At 5/2/12, 12:36 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

OH Megan..... this is one of the best posts I have read in a very long time!
Where indeed? The question is would you trade what you have today to be that person again? AND now you just need to come up with another reason to wear that dress!!!

At 5/2/12, 2:13 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Aww, Brenda. What a sweet thing to say! It's the music, it does half of the work LOL

Would I trade the little Miss Em, the apple of my eye, and Norman in all his poopiness for a carefree single life? Not even for a second! I do miss the fluttering heart, the anticipation of the first date, the first kiss... but it's doesn't even come close to the warmth in my heart when I'm with my little family.
Though I reserve the right to whine about it, intermittently :)

At 5/5/12, 12:04 PM , Anonymous AnnMarie said...

I'm a little late to the party here but so glad I found you. I just wrote a post very similar about missing the "old me" and wrote another one a few days before that one about being so forgetful so I can completely relate! I'm sorry you missed the gala. That really does suck. It's a major buzz kill to do everything you did to get ready for it and then not have anywhere to go.

This blog is so, so good. Too good not to follow!

At 5/5/12, 7:20 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I think that was the first post I read of yours.

I might have to clarify that I am over the whole episode now and that it has become my husband's go-to card, from now on, for every time he does anything remotely stupid.

Thanks for the follow. The feeling is completely mutual :)


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