On Love and Cup Holders
*Note: For those of you keeping score, I was accosted by AYPP when walking to my car one day. I won.
Also, AYPP has new neighbors who are getting a new roof. It has taken weeks…so far. There are also 4-6 large vehicles, which, coincidentally need to park on the street.
All over the street.
In everyone’s spaces.
There is also a lot of what I like to refer to as sweet, sweet music. A kind of symphony of karma, but I gather that other people would call it noise of the hammering variety.
However, I should let by gones, leave the area. After all, we’re all adults here.
Speaking of which, adulthood.
About oooh 7.75 years ago someone, Mr. Too Big For His Britches we’ll call him, shoved a note under my dorm room door. “Grow up.” It said. “Don’t be such a baby!” he and his cohorts yelled as a post script.
“Go back to hat world!” I murmured at the door.
Despite the well thought out thesis and supporting argument of this band of Bros, I didn’t grow up. In fact, I’m still not sure I have or that I want to. Of course, I mean to say this in a pensive way. Not in a Peter Pan, want to fly around Neverland, play pirates and mermaids and continue bonging beers way.
I have thus far refused to grow up because of all the terrible, awful things that it entails. Confrontation, unemployment, grocery shopping, dry skin, grey hair, mortgages, indigestion, interest rates, broken staplers, the list goes on and on. But perhaps the worst part of growing up, aside from being unable to prevent it, is that it’s really quite rewarding.
Eventually, and this is usually how growing up starts, a friend gets married. Just the one at first, and probably to the love of her life or some other type of beautiful shit. And the wedding is all white roses and hand-holding and jello shots. But then when the Cupid Shuffle has stopped, and the champagne has spilled all over your bridesmaid’s dress, you’re left with a handmade bag of monogrammed candy while your friend has somehow miraculously created a household. It’s a magic trick some people learn in the back alleys behind the dorms or in anthropology class in college while the rest of us are learning how to adopt cats.
A year or two passes with more monogrammed candy and organized line dancing, and then come the babies, though it should be noted for the purpose of my eventual point, not always from the same friends who make you wear pink taffeta. Some of the married friends don’t need the kids to keep on keeping on. On the flip side, some of the non-married ones can’t wait to pass on their cankles and/or receding hair line and would rather leave the marriage to the gays in their wills.
They are almost always cute and pudgy, these babies, with magnificent smiles and even more extraordinary amounts of drool. The trade off for the remaining single and barren? You get a cuddle buddy on the parent’s anniversary, and the parents get a lifetime of memory polaroids, keepsakes, and birthday cake. (Note: I firmly believe that most people have kids so that they have an excuse to have more birthday cake. There just isn’t really any other reason that I can fathom besides unconditional love. I am also beginning to wonder if the same goes for marriages. Wedding cake is delicious and a certified –by me- reason for marriage in 32 states.) In any case, the babies turn to toddlers, who turn to kids, who turn to teens, who turn to adults and while their parents are happily watching all of this like a Netflix binge, other going ons, go on. Including, but not limited to, more cake or other life improvements for some of those leftover people with alternate family plans.
For example, promotions, PhD’s, and career changes. My third example of a type of life devotion is career. Career takes people to the ends of the earth, and if you’re lucky, back home. It’s driven by money and success and this silly thing called “a sense of accomplishment”. Of course I resent that it drives anyone anywhere because I want these people to stay put. Not to mention that jobs rarely provide cake to the friends of employees like babies and marriages do.
Now before I go on, let me say that I don’t write any of this to be trite. And by this, I mean any of my blog posts. I almost always have a theme in mind, if even just a self-serving theme, though scholars maintain that 73% of the time I’m just confusing. In general, I like to see myself as a human-sized Buddha passing out sunflower seeds of wisdom to passer-bys to chew on for a while. (Or really even just this kid in general: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaIvk1cSyG8)
Feel free to chew awhile and spit if you’re not enjoying yourself.
I write the disclaimer because all of my married friends, besties with big kid jobs and those living in the [parent]hood, are probably thinking – (in a voice of a New Jersey woman named Sherri) “You’re not making any sense. Get to the GD point. I have things to do!!!”
To which I say, “Don’t boss me.”
I’ll get where I’m going when I get there and you can just sit tight. Make yourself a hot totty if you’re getting restless.
Except that there isn’t time. Because I’ve already arrived.
My point is this:
Everyone has a niche. Their thing that makes them want to get up in the morning and brush their teeth. And then do it again the next day. Maybe it’s their jobs, families, lovahs, hobbies, goals, resting places, vodka. These are all life devotions. Things that force people into growing up in a delightful way because, most often, these things are inspiring. I am talking about marriages, babies and successful careers for a reason. These are the three traditional life drivers and we’re all just a bunch of Miss Dasies in the back seat sorting through our purses.
The point (that I promised I had) is aimed at those that don’t choose, or cannot find, one of these three things, who are feeling “left behind” as the apocalypse of their friends’ wonderful life choices are going on around them. Those who often start to panic around age 25. “I’m getting old,” they think, or post on Facebook. “My clock is ticking. I’m running out of options. I hate my life.”
They get lines on their foreheads in between their eyebrows and the lines aren’t cute like Meg Ryan’s.
I know because I didn’t choose one of these three things and I have a Wrinkle in Time like the Grand Canyon.
But the glorious part of being an adult (besides botox), the part that I referred to as “really quite rewarding” is that if you don’t choose one of the aforementioned three life devotions, you’re not done. If fact, if you did choose one of the aforementioned three life devotions, you don’t have to be done either, but for now you can shove it because this is for the others, who, as I mentioned, are not done. You don’t have to get married or have babies or dedicate life choices to your career.
And you don’t need to adopt cats either (though someone really should). You’ll fall into some other sort of grown-up life direction eventually and possibly by default.
But it will be magnificent.
So since I’m a librarian’s daughter, let’s put aside my campaign signs and use literature to make my point like the scholar that I am because let’s be real, the silly coming of age, teen Australian book, Tumble Turn, says it better than I can pull off with my ramblings and sideways metaphors anyway.
“A lot of people will tell you there is only one way to live your life. You must have a wife and children and a car with a cup-holder. These things are lovely but they don’t suit everyone. You may end up with a beautiful wife and children and a car with a cup-holder and be wonderfully happy. You may end up living in an igloo with a Japanese string quartet and also be wonderfully happy. You may even end up climbing volcanoes with the great love of your life. Whatever happens in your life, keep an open mind.”
Take me for example. I’ve found a car and it has ten cup holders. In addition to being completely excessive for a 5-seater, the cup holders are not, sadly, my Miss Daisy driving me to Kingdom Come. I haven’t yet found a Japensese string quartet either, nor do I want to live in an igloo. My thing, my crème de le crème, can’t live without it, makes me brush my teeth in the morning, motivator of workouts, life affirming thing is still out there. Wading in the ponds of the future. I can only hope it’s wading near-ish to the life ambitions of my loves of my life (and their husbands, wives, kids and careers).
I also hope it involves cake.
**Should I quote a Broadway musical too? I think I should. It will make me seem cultured.
Some people analyze every detail
Some people stall when they can’t see the trail
Some people freeze out of fear that they’ll fail
But I keep rollin’ on
Some people can’t get success with their art
Some people never feel love in their heart
Some people can’t tell the two things apart
But I keep rollin’ on
-The Last Five Years