Don’t know what
Twenty-five years ago this month, I was getting ready to pack up my parent’s car with all of my belongings and start college. I was bursting with the desire to leave what I had always known and find the yet to find.
That was when all of my belongings fit in the back of a 80’s model station wagon.
They don’t anymore, in case you were wondering.
I thought I was completely ready to leave my suburban nest and handle it all on my own. I couldn’t wait to make decisions for myself, like I had always wanted. I had a voice, thoughts in my head, words on the tip of my pen, expectations high, and independence was within my grasp.
I was a fool.
My first three years of college were filled with loneliness, homesickness, bad boyfriends, confusion, dumb decisions and a dawning realization that maybe I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was. I got to 21 and was already tired. I was unsure of who I had been, who I had become, and if all the missteps along the way had damaged me permanently.
Half way through my junior year I moved into my first apartment by myself, with the help of my parents. It was a complete dump, like most first apartments are. I remember standing in my dingy little kitchen, with the plugs on the opposite side of where you actually needed them, wondering what I should do next. My parents had left. My soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend was in graduate school in Chicago and I knew that our relationship was in serious trouble. I was alone. It was completely quiet.
The only thing I could think of to do at that moment was to make myself lunch. I walked up to the corner grocery store and bought myself food for my first meal in my first big-girl apartment. Just me, no roommates, no one to navigate around except myself. I made grilled cheese and tomato soup.
It was far and away the best meal I had ever had. This was what real independence felt like. It felt like standing up in the face of an unsteady future and putting one foot in front of the other. It felt like straightening the road in front of me and choosing the direction instead of letting the direction choose me. It felt like growing up.
It tasted like grilled cheese and tomato soup.
I’m usually the random one around here, but once in awhile SubHub surprises me with random sarcasm that is really one of the (many many) things that makes me want to stick around.
Exhibit A: He has just finished watching the movie The Boxer:
SH: I want to be a boxer.
SH: It looks glamorous.
SM: I prefer my men with teeth.
SubHub always does well for my birthday. This year was my trip.
In 2010, he threw me a Mardi Gras themed party. This was my cake.
Read it carefully:
She pulled us aside as soon as we arrived at the restaurant.
“It’s really bad. He got really drunk last night, yelling and screaming and swearing. He’s gone through an entire fifth of gin in less than two days. Your Dad told him today that if he behaved again like he did last night while you and the kids were here, we would get up and leave. All of us. Just wanted to warn you. He can barely walk, and he’s shaking so bad he can barely hold a pen today. He hasn’t had anything to drink yet today and it’s getting to him.”
We arrived a the table and there were two drinks in front of him already. Both doubles. The first one was half gone. We weren’t that late. My Mom shot me a sideways glance when he picked up his drink with his shaky hand.
And so the dinner went. Upon our arrival, he was subdued, trying very hard to control the shakes, and time his drinks. Once the first one was gone, the shake subsided, and he was the uncle I’ve always known. He was personable, funny, and able to take a hint when I said that dinner was a politics-discussion free zone. Discussing politics is an old family sport. Just be mindful to NOT disagree with anyone at the table.
He made it through dinner, but I knew that he was biding his time until he could get home to my parent’s house so he could have more to drink. He walked very slowly to the car that my Dad was driving, struggling to appear ‘normal.’
He got back to my parents house and drank, yelled, and swore at the tv, until my Dad and his other brother put him to bed.
This is what death by alcohol looks like. It’s slow. It’s painful. It’s ugly. My Dad’s younger brother is killing himself. Day by day, drink by drink.
I’m green with envy that I can’t be there. Would love to go, meet fun new people, learn from fun, smart people, and have fun with fun people.
But since I can’t be there, I’m going to tell ya’ll a little story.
Back in the day, when I worked at a now-defunct software company, said company merged with another software developer. All the big players gathered at the headquarters of the acquired company to pat each other on the back and drink. Ok, so, they probably had a few strategy meetings, but let’s be honest. Back-patting and drinking was the REAL purpose.
My boss at the time – best, coolest boss ever, by the way – was also the kind of guy to mess with you in some way because it entertained him. You know the type. He teamed up with a like-minded co-worker, and gathered with a guy from the new company for drinks and more back-patting.
Approximately eighteen to twenty shots of tequila later, New Guy decided he needed something at the front desk.
Instead of getting something, he gave them something: the entire contents of his stomach.
Of course, due in no small part to my boss and his buddy, news of this spread throughout the entire company, and by the following Monday, Mr. Barf-a-Roni was a company legend. And not in a good way.
Ladies and gentlemen, drink, laugh and be merry.
Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t empty the entire contents of your stomach on the front desk of the hotel. ‘Cause, well, ew. And somebody will post it on Instagram. And Twitter. And Facebook. And…..
How many times have you had something happen to you in public, or even semi-public, that makes you want to scream, cry, and just generally have a breakdown?
I’ve had many. From the minor (spilling wine on someone’s brand-new pants in the worst possible circumstances), to having visitors show up at the exact moment I find out that my newborn baby is hearing impaired and has a steeper hill to climb than most, I’ve had my share of moments of implosion. Moments when I really think I could have screamed out in horror, embarrassment, shame, grief. Moments where EXPLOSION would have been my preference.
But, I had this weird epiphany today. This morning, I watched GC have an absolute cow because she spilled a bowl of cereal on herself. (Don’t ask. Holy smokes. I still can’t figure out how she managed to get the cereal bowl upside down and on her BACK by the time I was able to get over to her.)
Then, flash forward to a picnic this evening at our local park, and an ENTIRE “Party Thermos” full of lemonade falls over from a rickety table set up on a slant, and positively covers her in sticky lemonade. She doesn’t even bat an eyelash. She looks around, realizes she’s not in a place where she can freak out, and sucks it up.
I thought back to her most recent surgery. She was horribly sick, and yet she had to go to the bathroom. She slid out of the bed and crawled there. Not a tear, not a shriek, not a single howl.
It got me thinking…always a little dangerous, but I digress…my daughter feels comfortable around SubHub and I enough to let how she’s REALLY feeling come out. All over the place. In big, messy, shrieks and tears and howls.
And, as much as the shrieks, tears and howls drive me crazy – it got me thinking. When did we all learn to scream and shriek and cry on the inside?
And… is that good, or bad?
I’ve been making an effort to snazz up this blog a little bit – affiliated myself with BlogHer, put on a few new gadgets, etc.
I’m here today to talk to you about blog gadgets. They are the little extras you see on blogs, like buttons, quotes, clickables, etc.
99% of them are ridiculous.
So, because I’m here to help, I present to you: Submommy’s Picks For Dumbest Gadgets.
1. Jessica Alba/Kim Kardashian/Audrina Partridge daily pictures. Ew.
2. Countdown to Shrek Forever After – A movie that came out LAST YEAR. And it wasn’t that good.
3.Daily Images of the Wittelsbach Blue Diamond – Staring at a diamond all day?
4. Mr. T. Quotes – Has he become a sage?
5. Daily Pictures of Deer – I think I’d rather look at pictures of Kim Kardashian. Actually, scratch that. I’ll take the deer.
6. Darth Vader Quotes – I think that would appeal to a very specific audience. Not mine.
7. Guitar – That’s it. It’s a picture of a guitar.
8. Beautiful Pictures of Campfires – I can say, with a small amount of authority, that if you’ve seen one campfire, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Unless it morphs into a forest fire, and then, well, yeah.
9. Random Funny Images of Cats – How bad do you want to be known as the crazy cat lady?
10. Teeth Whitening Tips – How many Dentist Bloggers do you know?
Thank you for your kind words, everyone. I didn’t write that to throw myself a pity party….just trying to be honest about the struggles I have “growing up” because if I’ve learned anything in my life so far, it’s that I’m truly not alone. If I can write something like that and it will give a voice to another mom struggling and make HER feel less alone, then something good grows. And then *I* feel less alone.
But to everyone who posts such kind thing to me yesterday, you made my week. Mwah.