Shaking my 15-year-old self.

Today, after I read a post over at Nucking Futs Mama, where she asked, “What did you learn this week?” (go read it–she’s great), I’ve been thinking about what I learned. (Warning: somewhat self-indulgent and treacly. Must be hormones. Or the inmates have finally gotten to me here at the asylum.)

I wondered if I should write about how I learned that getting the Shout stain stick on the enchilada stain ASAP can be the difference between a great pair of white shorts and heartache,

Or how apparently tomato plants really seem to thrive with hot, dry soil and benign neglect (if the jungle I’ve got growing is any indication),

Or how the smoke alarm’s repeated shrieking (due to construction dust) will push an otherwise smart, capable Goldendoodle to hide out in a steamy hot car in the driveway and refuse to come inside (after the alarm was disabled) even when offered bologna to do so?

But then something fun and wonderful happened that got me thinking remembering. I got an email from an old friend from my elementary/middle/high school years. We’ve known each other a loooong time, he and I (oh, stop those waggling eyebrows. It was never that way.). We had touched base here and there throughout the (many) years and lost contact here and there too. We reconnected earlier this summer when I found myself his current city.

So what did I remember after reading that email? Many things, about growing up in rural NJ, about long rural route bus rides to school, about friendships that were more mature than we probably realized at the time. (BTW, none of that was in his email, in case you all {and he} are wondering if it said something that triggered all this navel gazing.) But the most important thing I remembered?

I remembered feeling, back then, like a fish out of water, like an ugly duckling, like a…(choose your misfit animal simile and insert here) _________. And then what I remembered, and what had me almost dancing through the Target parking lot* and laughing to myself (got the email in question on my “mobile device” {which may or may not be a Droid [but Google, you’re still dead to me]}) was the following:

It’s all good! All really good!

My husband is the best person I know, my children are awesome, my house is lovely, I’m in the best shape of my life — never going to be a size 2 but I could bench press you, my hair is more fabulous than it’s ever been — and still no hair dye for me!, my dogs are sweet and adore me, my truck/car/vehicle is kickass big and fun, I have incredible friends who think I’m smart and funny (and tell me when I’m not), my parents are healthy, and I lucked out in the in-law department.

My husband and I still like to travel together, talk together, laugh together.  My kids are really smart and funny and cute (sometimes).

My house is a wreck, but the good kind of wreck that is caused by happy healthy children who are attempting to make their mother crazy. I’d love to weigh 15 pounds less but I love a cold cocktail more and hate the gym even more than that.  After decades of really not loving the redheaded curly life, I found Mecca with Carlos at Mario Diab and so all is better now.

Although my dogs sometimes eat the mouldings from the dining room, I can’t blame them because a) fiber in the diet is important and b) have you seen what dog food really looks like?

My truck/car/vehicle uses a lot of gas (driving children hither and yon does that) but here in Jersey we don’t pump our own gas and I know the local Exxon guy by name.

I have the kinds of friends who hang up from a conversation with me and then send me an email to say that they’re still laughing about something I said. The kinds of friends who throw in with me — logistics be damned, no questions asked — when I propose a long weekend in December full of cold drinks and warm sand. (But really, wouldn’t you?)

I still talk to my parents daily — and the conversations are (generally) not about aches, pains, medications, or lost memories (unless it’s my aches/pains/medications/memory loss), and we vacation every year with my husband’s family and it’s fun.

Have I got it great or what? Waterless fish, aesthetically challenged water fowl be damned.

*By the way, if you dance in a WalMart parking lot like a crazy person, I’d bet no one would notice (although you might end up on that fabulous website about the people of WalMart). However, if you were to dance in the Target parking lot like a crazy person, you might have some ‘splainin’ to do. There are a number of fine hospitals in the area with professionals ready to help.

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5 Responses to “Shaking my 15-year-old self.”

  1. Alyson Says:

    Today was a great day….and I’m happy to remember that too! (And, it was a great day — dancing in Target parking lots — even though I had two {2} dental appointments for a pesky toothache. Can you imagine? Two dental appointments and *still* there was dancing??)

    Thanks for stopping in on this Friday evening!

  2. Joanna Says:

    Loved this, almost as much as I love that it was written by my friend–and (though I have not gotten rid of much of MY 15-year-oldedness) I count myself lucky and think it’s wicked cool that you’ve been my buddy since then! It’s also pretty amazing that you have given birth 4 times and are still so bright and witty. I will credit: your parents, your personal strength, your understanding of the humor in chaos, the cold cocktails, AND your darling husband for keeping you so Zen. So true–an email from an old friend can be the trigger that makes it all come together. A good watershed moment…

    Oh yeah, and I hereby request that the email be fwd’ed to me, so that I might live vicariously! 😉

    Lastly, though I did not recently dance in a megastore parking lot, I did get caught imitating my 3-year-old doing a “booty dance” JUST as the Comcast guy walked back in from checking the line outside. I guess I was shaking my ???-age self…and got caught. Oops. At least my 11-year-old was there to be embarrassed enough for both of us.

    You rock as always, Alyson.

  3. liz Says:

    I loved what Mrs. Mayhem wrote! She and you are both so right! There ARE many, many things that make our lives great.

    And I completely agree that craziness in WalMart is expected vs Target and all it’s sophistication.
    liz recently posted..Unicorn-Head-on-a-Stick

  4. The Flying Chalupa Says:

    So what you’re saying is…that I should write down everything that’s fabulous in my life, drive to a parking lot, and read it in email form? That actually sounds like a great idea. Sometimes it takes putting it in print to make you realize that your Ph.D. in Moaning & Groaning is a little stale.
    ps – Google effing sucks

  5. Micheline Says:

    I love this post! Good for you for recognizing all that you have to be thankful for. I try to do a “gratitude list” when I’m feeling down — it truly helps.
    Micheline recently posted..Falling for Fall

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