Monday, April 8, 2013

Maturing Gracefully

So, lots of times I think to myself, Am I the only one of my friends who feels like they are still not grown up? but sometimes I think this out loud and then I get a Mommy, who are you talking to? response.  I've never been above talking to myself; I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you can't talk to yourself, who can you talk to?  But I'm totally just saying that to myself and myself keeps telling myself to stop repeating myself so often.

I thought that maybe getting married would make me feel grown-up.  It didn't.

I thought that having a kid or three would make me feel grown-up.  It didn't.

I thought that having a kid with cancer would make me feel grown-up.  It didn't, but my medical vocabulary improved.

Ever do something so completely stupid with your partner and think to yourself, I wonder if our parents did this when they were our age?  And you're totally like NAW, THEY DIDN'T ROLL UP A TOTINO'S PARTY PIZZA INTO A BURRITO AT TWO IN THE MORNING AND THEN SEND SUPPORTIVE TEXTS TO THEIR GAY FRIENDS.

And if they did act anything like I act now, I certainly don't want to know about it.  It would ruin my image of how an adult is supposed to act.

On the phone, I sound like a twelve-year-old.  It's amazing.  When telemarketers call, I just say Griffith residence and they assume I'm the babysitter.  I guess I might actually sound a bit older now because they don't ask if my mom or dad is available anymore.

But there are signs of me growing older and I don't know how I feel about them.  And I KNOW I'M NOT OLD because old people don't get zits.  Also, they don't eat gummy vitamins.  Mentally, I'm still in high school, except I've forgotten how to balance chemical equations and the majority of the Spanish language and maybe also how to spell correctly without the aid of auto-correct.  (Perhaps I cuss too much when I text because when the auto-correct feature comes up for something as innocuous as puppy and changes it to whoremonger without me noticing, I've already hit send before I realize I've just sent someone a very f*cking rude message.)  So, mentally, totally immature young.  Physically, I'm breaking down like a piece of cheap meat that's been stewing all day.


There are the normal things that happen when you start to realize you are not in high school anymore, like not getting carded as much as you used to.  When you are first come to a legal drinking age, you start to get huffy when people want identification, as if it's robbing you of those extra six seconds that you were going to spend doing something completely life-changing, like discovering the cure to cancer or posting your tenth Instagrammed-selfie of the day.  Ten years later, when you aren't asked for identification, you get all huffy just because.  Also, you start buying the low-calorie beer not because you are a poor college student, but because you are getting fat your metabolism has slowed down and you're not in shape anymore.  Well, you're in a shape, just not the same shape that fits into those pants that Isweartogodjustfitlastsummer.

Some people embrace their mom bodies but I can't bear to get a pair of mom jeans.  I am a much bigger fan of elastic-waisted pants, though.  They are good for Thanksgiving when you don't want to be rude and unbutton your jeans.  A few years ago, I did ask my gynecologist when I could expect all this loose skin around my abdomen to tighten back up and get back into place, to which she replied, "That's not going anywhere.  What did you expect having three kids so close together?"  Well for starters, I'd expect you not to be such a condescending bitch after all the kids I chose to birth into your face and the obstetrics bills that accompanied them.  Also, I was expecting you to tell me it would go away somehow.  In the years since, I've been working on filling up all that sexy loose belly skin with fat so it's not so loose but still soft enough to be able to reach its muffin top potential because the potential for a six-pack is eight years gone.  I think my stomach is making my boobs look even smaller, if that's possible.

I am rocking this JoBeth Williams Poltergeist hair right now except not of my own doing.  That's right, I have this gray chunk that is growing out of my temple.  In addition to the thousands of other solo artists that are all throughout my hair.  And pimples.  I have gray hair and pimples.  I think the difference between being a grown up and not being a grown up is that grown ups really don't care anymore, as long as we're getting enough oxygen, which is sometimes only possible as long as we're wearing elastic-waisted pants.

I think a sign of growing up is how you respond to the time change in the spring.  Most people I know will bitch and moan about it for weeks on end, blaming it on every ill-fated event that happens in their lives.  (If it weren't for the time change, I wouldn't have been late to that meeting...If it weren't for that time change, my kids wouldn't be misbehaving so much...If it weren't for that time change, I wouldn't be such a douchecanoe who blames all their life's problems on something that happens EVERY SINGLE YEAR AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT YOU ARE STILL A DOUCHECANOE WHO JUST NEEDS TO PUT ON THEIR BIG-BOY PAJAMAS AND GO TO BED ONE HOUR EARLIER ONE NIGHT OF THE YEAR.)  I think the week following daylight savings is probably the only time people forget to blame all their problems on Obama.  Because we all really know he's the real reason you burned your toast this morning, not the time change.

So, I think it was pretty grown up of me to actually look forward to losing an hour.

I am also really into fiber now.  I thought it was just for mid-life women who were constantly constipated, but it turns out that once you start thinking about fiber, you turn into a fifty-year-old woman.  So that must mean I'm getting older.  Not into Activia yet, and thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis, I'll never be able to lounge on a couch and eat yogurt again.  She made lounging on a couch and eating yogurt insanely unsexy.

When I can't lounge on a couch and eat yogurt, I can most certainly lounge on a couch and eat Ramen noodles.

Stages of Ramen love in Christy's life:
College: Ramen, sweet!
Just married: There is no way we are eating Ramen for dinner.
Married with kids: Kids, Ramen for dinner!

I think Ramen keeps us young, or at least you can't eat it when you're old because of all the sodium.

I am open with lots of things now that I would never have been open with ten years ago.  As in, now I don't care who sees my wholesale club-sized box of Ramen or tampons in my shopping cart.  They can go on top for as much as I care.  If I'm hiding anything under fresh produce in my shopping cart, it's probably the can of Frito-Lay Jalape├▒o Cheddar and the bag of Doritos that I buy once a year and make love to in one sitting.  YES, WORLD, I USE TAMPONS.  NO, WORLD, I AM NOT GOING TO HIDE FROM MY FAMILY AND EAT CHEESE CHIPS DIPPED IN FIBER-LESS CHEESE.

I used to be able to make it out for a late-night dinner without needing an actual dinner before I went.  The past few years, if someone wants to meet for dinner after seven, I have a weird reaction in my head that goes  Crap, I'm going to be starving if I have to wait that long to eat/Yay, 4th meal!  This may be contributing to the problems in the paragraphs above.

My feet got cold this year.  Literally, 2013 marks the year that I am uncomfortable wearing flip flops year round.  This makes me sad.  Flip flops in the winter is a sign of youth and good circulation.  Now I have to take the time to put on socks AND lace up tennis shoes.  If you know me, you know how lazy I am and why I have so many slip-on shoes.  Tying shoes takes time I have but already spent sleeping in.

Plus, I hate trying to find matching socks.  Also, I hate laundry.  Maybe that is what's keeping me from feeling like a real adult- putting away laundry.  It's like the fountain of youth, except made up of wrinkly yet laundered clothes that lay in the hallway silently willing their owners to put them away.

I don't know slash care about modern music on purpose, but not like a hipster does on purpose- I just purposefully don't turn on the radio when I get into the van.  Silence is golden like a beautiful river of cheap beer.  I get most of my pop tunes from the latest installments of Kidz Bop and/or Facebook friends who post the lyrics to Thriftshop on an hourly basis.  And I'm okay with that.  Matt and I went to see Eric Clapton last week and our babysitter, in all seriousness, asked, "Who is that?"  Eric Clapton is your daddy, that's who he is.  Unfortunately, he'll probably be dead soon, just like everyone else I go see in concert.

I do hear some of today's top hits when I go out, but those days are few and far between.  Friday and Saturday nights?  I just want to stay in my sweatpants.  I don't even remember when this started happening.  The last time I went out dancing, I ended up geeking out and having a Game of Thrones book club with the other nerds who were overheating and needed to venture out into the winter air.  Winter is coming.  And while we're on that topic, stop being pissed off at a groundhog because the weather isn't exactly what it was supposed to be on account of his seeing or not seeing his shadow.  That makes us all collectively dumber as a nation.

I may not recall when I started thinking of Friday and Saturday nights as "Let's not shower and how about we dress like we're getting ready to eat food out of a trough" nights, but I can remember that this past year was when I started not recovering from late nights as well as I used to.  Before, I would stay up and Wikipedia all night long.  I know I'm not the only one who starts out with a search for Twin Peaks and finds themselves reading about the secret formula to Coca-Cola by 2 a.m. with no clue how that had anything to do with Laura Palmer.  Now, if I stay too up past two on a Saturday night, I've been known to tell people that I can't hang out on the following Friday because I'm still too tired from six days before when I was YouTubing SNL sketches because I can't be bothered to watch it in real time since it comes on so late.

I'm not putting Preparation H under my eyes or collecting cats yet, and I'm not trying to dress like I can fit in any clothes in the juniors section, so I think these are all relatively good signs.  And no matter how many times I look at my kids and think, How on earth am I responsible for you three?  I can't even fold my laundry before it gets wrinkled, I just remind myself that I'm doing okay for the most part and probably am a grown-up.  Because Duke wouldn't keep sending bills with that many zeroes at the end to a party without the ability to make payments, right?

If we set the bar lower and compare ourselves to Nancy Botwin, we're all pretty slamming adults.  So I'm just going to go the easy way out and compare myself to her, every single day.  Hey, it's not cancer and Hey, at least I'm not Nancy Botwin are pretty much interchangeable at this time in my life.  

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to read this yesterday, but I'm still recovering from the time change. Great post! My epiphany was a few days ago at the grocer's. There was an advertisement for getting a free 18 pack of tampons when you buy a 36 pack that the cashier (and computerized cash register) had obviously never heard of. When I saw the full price for the "freebies" pop on the screen. I was so proud of myself, as I didn't even take a second to think about the embarrassment that could potentially follow. When the cashier was leafing through the sales flyer and asking others to run around the store for her, I just turned to the irate people behind me in line and said, "Sorry, I'm just trying to get free tampons."