07 Dec 2010

Old Before My Time

10 Comments Personal Crap

It’s August, 2001. I’m about to be 30. We’re at my friend’s birthday party in the backyard of our apartment complex. It’s a great time. Food, booze, cake, friends. It’s a warm night in the San Fernando Valley. We’re sucking back margaritas and laughing our asses off. And then we run out of margarita makings.

Russ and I volunteer to walk to the liquor store on the corner. We’re definitely too tipsy to drive. It’s a quick walk, but it feels long because of the drunkenness. We get to the store and there are two boys dressed a little too well standing outside. They’re trying to look older than they are. They’re trying to look successful. One of them says, “Excuse me, would you guys…” And before he can finish his sentence I blurt out, “ABSOLUTELY NOT! AB-SO-LUTE-LY NOT!”  They were clearly going to ask us to purchase alcohol for them. I was almost 30, but really I was 70.

Then Russ and I walk into the store and I start laughing my ass off. I think Russ said something like, “Jesus, Lisa!” But he was laughing, too. “I’m so old”, I said. “I didn’t mean to snap at them like that, but they’re too young to drink. What’s wrong with them?  What’s wrong with me?”

We made our purchase (which we were old enough to make) and took the back exit so we didn’t have to pass them again. The thing is, I’ve always been this person. At the age of 12, when my friends had make-out parties, I was literally taking beers out of people’s hands. I didn’t mind the making out. As a matter of fact, I voraciously participated. But the drinking? I was not a fan of the drinking. I never understood why people needed to be “altered” to have fun. And yes, I realize that in the first paragraph of this post I said I was tipsy. I’m not saying I never get tipsy. I just don’t have to get tipsy. And I certainly didn’t have to before I was of legal drinking age. (Yes, I hear myself. Geez.)

I rarely did anything so fun that I could get in trouble for it. I was always very tame. And I guess I thought every one else should be too. It’s not that I’m no fun. I’m fun. Remember the girl who was voraciously making out at junior high parties? That was me! But I never went too far. No, sir! Just far enough.

So you’d think I would rebel at some point. You’d think I’d be dying to just “get out there” and “tear it up”! But I’m not. I’m just not a “living-on-the-edge” kind of girl. (Although I obviously live on the edge of using too many quotation marks.) I don’t feel like I’ve missed out or like I never had my youth. I had it. It was just sober. And fantastic. So what if I was yelling at 19-year-old boys when I was 30! They deserved it! And yes, I’ve been a grandma for most of my life. And yes, in case you’re wondering, there was that one night at the age of 16 when my friend and I raided the liquor cabinet and each did a couple of shots of kahlua or frangelico or something. Wild times.

I’m just praying to God that G has about the same level of thrill-seeking that I had. And that he enjoys it just as much.

24 Nov 2010


7 Comments Personal Crap

Well, it’s not original but I thought I should do a post about what I’m thankful for. This morning was surprisingly difficult. I missed my dad a lot. Sadness washed over me and was almost impossible to shake off. This was our holiday. My dad loved Thanksgiving as much as I do. So much so that once, because he had been sick in November, we had a second Thanksgiving in March. God, I wish he was here.

Our table will have only five at it this year. But I am cooking all the same things, all the same amounts. I’m having Thanksgiving because we have so much to be thankful for.

I am Thankful for:

The “Mommy!” that wakes me up way too early every morning.

The man laying beside me when I get up way too early.

The coffee that helps me wake up, when I get up way too early.

The son who exceeds all of my dreams of having a child, and challenges me in ways I never thought I could meet.

The marriage that sustains me, makes me believe in love, and challenges me in ways I never thought I could meet.

The fairly-functional family who is partially broken, but mostly intact, which made me who I am… Good and bad. And is accepting of the way I change.

The beautiful, funny woman who co-raised me, is trying to get on with life, and taking painful steps to do so.

The amazing woman who raised my husband and did a most excellent job of it.

The incredible woman who married my brother, and became my true sister.

The wonderful children, our nieces and nephews, who we don’t see enough of.

The dog who greets me, tail wagging, every morning… Way too early.

The friends I have made, old and new. And some old AND new. They are amazing, loving, beautiful friends, and I am blessed to know them.

The neighbors who keep a watch, and have saved us from many parking tickets.

The roof over my head and the walls that hold up this house.

The lessons I learn that help me grow.

The laughter that I am lucky enough to experience daily.

The tears that help me heal.

The food I get to eat, the wine I get to drink, the choices I get to make.

I am mostly thankful for health and happiness and the fact that I am always acutely aware of their fragility.

And I am thankful I get to write, and for those of you who read what I write.

I am thankful for this beautiful life.

I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.