I Just Realized, I’m Twenty-Five And My Life Is Over.

I think the best and worst moment of my life was when I realized I had turned into my parents.

Not the sixteen year old realization, though, that would be sad. Not that the twenty-five year old realization is that much more profound.

But there’s something about growing up; I mean, actually growing up that really just grows arms and slaps you in the face and lets you know that everything that happened before this moment was just a prelude to you being an internally old human being, destined to live in yoga pants, braless on your couch watching reruns of Friends thinking about all those “good days” without responsibility.

At sixteen, if I had realized I turned out to be my parents I would have done everything in my power to regain my youth and just mess shit up for the fun of it.  As a junior in high school, you never, under any circumstances, want to be your parents.

It’s like going to that party and realizing that the girl who was always “the mom” was there, and she was going to make sure you didn’t drink too much beer, fall asleep somewhere inappropriate, or raid too much of that host’s refrigerator, so when the actual parents came home, it just looked like the kid in charge got super hungry one night and binge ate all the deli meats.

The worst part about realizing that I’ve turned into my parents is the fact that I’ve followed the status quo – depending on what you believe in, of course – and have finally graduated from crazy, party, uncontrollable college girl into full blown quasi-housewife, happy and willing to anticipate the needs of my significant other far beyond my own.

And the stark contrast is that I’m borderline, if not over the fence okay about it.

It’s like I turned twenty-five and all the sudden my brain cells and neurons started triggering all this nonsense about me not being the most important person in the world, and that someone else’s needs matter far more than my own.  And holy shit, I haven’t even had a child yet so this post will change in about five years.

I digress.

The best part about turning into my parents is the fact that I am saving a boat load of money.  I mean, like, saving is totally the thing to do right now.  I am hoarding without intervention because no one seems to think I have a problem with the fact that money isn’t confetti and I don’t need to throw it around to prove that I have it.

And hormonally, at my age, some people know putting it in a bank is far more worthwhile than drinking four glasses of wine at some bar called “Taco” that doesn’t even serve mexican food.

Sidenote: Not that I don’t still drink wines at Taco and complain about the fact that they don’t serve Mexican food. I still do that. It’s god damn outrageous and the owners need to be quarantined and condemned to a lifetime of solely eating burritos.

The other great part is that I don’t think I’m hormonally imbalanced, although that is still up for debate, but there is something extremely and unfortunately true about the phases of life.

We all go through these stages, obviously at different paces considering the circumstances, but we all do.  Birth to teen being the nourishment, get what we need to survive stage.  Teen to young adult being the fake it ’til we make it stage. And then here, where I am, the holy shit I’ve made it, I’m an adult, paying my own way through life, figuring out who I am and what I’m going to do for the rest of it stage.

Whatever stage you’re in, you’re going to make it out alive. It might not be on your timeline, it might not be the way you want it, but you’ll make it.

Just look at your parents.  The entire time they were telling you what to do, where to be, what grades to get, and what goals to set, they knew that someday, down the line, whatever you were going through was a phase. Because they went through it too.

And when you take a step back and realize that, on a Friday night, you’d rather be home, pants off, braless on your couch watching reruns of Friends and remembering the “good old days,” then you’ll know that you’ve turned into your parents.

Life is funny that way.  Things always seem to come full circle.  The people you distrusted the most and hated being around now become the sole reason for your coming home.  At the end of the day, your parents are fucking awesome.

Because when they had you, they had to wait twenty-five years or more for that moment to come, and think of how goddamn grateful they are that you are just now realizing how much shit they had to put up with in order to get to this place.

And be thankful that you finally turned into your parents.


Have you turned into your parents? If not, are you scared?

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A Loose Interpretation of To Kill A Mockingbird

“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family.” – Harper Lee

The theme of family is consistent throughout To Kill A Mockingbird.  With juxtaposing character views on the subject, the reader can choose to side with Atticus Finch, where you accept your family and the blessings or curses, if you will, that come with them; or choose to side with Aunt Alexandra, who believes in kicking out the unworthy and preserving what is “good” within the bloodline.

If we’re talking about picking sides, I’m going to saddle up with Atticus on this one. I love my family and all the weird they bring into my life.  My parents are two of the most selfless human beings to ever walk this earth, constantly making sure my brothers and I had everything we needed growing up.  My three younger brothers taught me self defense; like physically shielding my face from flying objects, thwarting slaps from all directions, and building general mental walls so I don’t get hurt in other ways (ie, boys who are not related to me).

self-timer status

On the contrary, I want to play a little Devil’s Advocate here.  As mentioned above, I LOVE my family.  Wouldn’t change a thing. But like, what if I could?  What if I could pick three new brothers, a new mother, and a new father?

The thought tickled my pop culture nerve.  Suddenly, I had a fake family to create, and it was going to be the best fake family in the whole internet world.

It took extensive research, hours on the couch, and about four bottles of wine to come up with my replacement family, and our motto: If it aint broke, it will be soon.

Without further adieu, these are the people I want to (hypothetically) replace my current family members:

Phil Dunphy

Phil Dunphy is my new dad because who doesn’t want an overgrown child as a guardian and protector?  There’s a 90% chance he’d agree to replacing the stairs with a slide.

  Lucille Bluth is the kind of mother that makes you wish you were an orphan.  But this is my internet family, and she is the most absurd matriarch on the silver screen, and I absolutely need  her.

Kevin McCallister is my new youngest brother. Booby trap city, all day, errrry day.  I think we could do a lot of damage together.  I also wouldn’t mind taking limos to work, the grocery store, or everywhere in general.

  Seth Cohen needs to be my brother so we can wear ugly Christmas sweaters and I can attend his barmitzvah.  Those parties are always OFF THE CHAIN.  Goody bags were 12’s out of 10. Always. Plus, he’ll bring the one shred of humility to my internet family.

Adam DeMamp

Adam DeMamp from Workaholics needs to be my third brother for the sole reason that I am not the dumbest one in my family.  My work ethic will make me look like Bill Gates in comparison to him.

Yup, I can see it now…

Summer nights with mom :)

Summer nights with mom 🙂

College graduation!

College graduation!

Seasons Greetings!

Editor’s Note:  I may need to take a look at the people I am choosing to surround myself with. My fake family may self-destruct thirty seconds after assembly.

Hypothetically speaking, if you could recreate your family with Hollywood’s mecca of characters, who would you pick?

Treat Emotions Like Beer, Bottle Them up.

brothers.

brothers.

Although my parents would characterize my seemingly regular childhood temper tantrums as a pretty aggressive display of emotion, outside of demanding extra dessert and slapping my brothers for ripping the heads off my barbies, I’ve never been great at expressing my feelings.

Maybe it was because I grew up with three younger brothers.  As the oldest of four, and the only girl, I never really had a model for how to act.  My mother and I, although very close, are very different when it comes to personality.

Needless to say, if you’re going to survive eighteen years in the midst of a male dominated household, you have to learn how to protect yourself in emotional combat.  Aside from the regular physical battles, the way brothers really get to you is by finding your mental weaknesses, and attacking when you least expect it.

Growing up with brothers teaches you not to dwell on little things, to stand up for yourself, and how to be competitive.  But it also, unintentionally, leads you towards the masculine side of the emotional spectrum; so instead of saying how you feel in the moment, you retreat and don’t talk about it.

When you hang out with boys all the time, you learn that they would rather give you a beer than sit and listen to your problems.   

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friends.

Because nothing makes guys more uncomfortable than when a girl just unloads all her personal crap on them.  Especially if it’s during a football game or when you’re out at a bar. When you have a “girl day,” you learn to drink a beer and deal with it later.

This works well until you realize you are in college and have not sustained one real or lasting relationship during your lifetime.  If someone wanted to date me, I was either unaware or uninterested, because if it meant talking about feelings and being vulnerable, I didn’t want any part of it.

Everyone puts up walls for different reasons.  Personally, the initial thought of letting someone in that you barely know is daunting.  The act of sharing secrets, opening doors to your past, and exposing yourself, metaphorically, to another person for the sake of a connection is terrifying.

At the same time, while a little mystery is a good thing, there needs to be a dichotomy between the two people in a relationship to make it work.  Eventually you will have to let your guard down.

Recently, there have been an overwhelming amount of circumstances that formidably illustrate my inability to give up control over certain aspects of my life.  Whether it be attending a friend’s wedding, my parent’s thirtieth anniversary, or my most recent breakup, I have come to the brutal realization that I need to step outside my comfort zone in order to foster a meaningful connection with someone.

I’ve had my fair share of crazy experiences: skydiving, bungee jumping, one time I even ate cat food.  But the tangible part of being afraid is much more desirable than emotionally freefalling into unknown territory.  I mean at least after skydiving I got a sticker telling me I did a good job not dying.

Thinking about the craziest thing I’ve ever done, I immediately remember how terrified I was to actually commit to it.  Picking up and moving to a new city, alone, without a job or any financial support other than my own was the single most daunting event in my life.  But looking back on the past year and a half, knowing where I am now, the reward was totally worth the struggle.

At the end of the day, no one can make you take that leap other than yourself.  Outside influences, supportive or not, have no weight compared to what your gut tells you to do.  Knowing that personal reflection and a willingness to change are attributes I admire in someone, it only makes sense that I try and develop them.

My twenty-fifth birthday is only a few weeks away.  I’m not entirely positive if it is the looming “quarter-century” age label weighing on my conscious, or just the stark reality that I’m resisting a change I know I need to make, but either way, it’s scary as all hell knowing that being vulnerable is something that is not only expected, but appreciated in lasting relationships.

I guess I’ll just have to be twenty-five and terrified.

I just hope someone gives me a sticker on my thirtieth birthday.  I need to know I did a good job not dying.

A thousand words describing my time spent locked in a bathroom.

I was nine when I got locked in a bathroom inside my own house.

And no, it wasn’t easy to free myself.  I was actually, truly, really stuck.

The following is a (slightly embellished) version of how I was deserted in my own home, left to fend for myself inside a desolate, personal bathroom prison.

It was summer.  The day in question was pretty hot, if I remember correctly.  My mother implemented this rule she liked to call, “Amish Time” during our summer breaks.  Meaning every weekday from 9-5pm, there was no technology – i.e. GameBoy color, Nintendo 64, AOL 5.0 – of any kind allowed.

The only exception to “going Amish” was when the US Open of Tennis was being broadcasted, because she wanted to watch that.  I cannot wait to be a parent and make self-benefitting rules.

I digress.  Since technology wasn’t allowed, we were reduced to remedial means of entertainment, like having conversations with each other, imaginative play, and embracing the great outdoors.  We always gravitated towards the pool because it passed the time extremely fast, and it was always fun to have our mom rate belly flops for hours on end.

It was after lunch; all four of us steamrolled down the hallway and onto the deck.  We waited for my mom to sit down in her chair under the umbrella, her idea spot for visibility and shaded protection, before we all made our entries into the shallow end.

We had been outside for a while when nature called.  I had to pee.

There is a bathroom very close to the pool; yet for some reason, unbeknownst to me in the present day, I chose to use the upstairs bathroom, located on the opposite side of the house.

I approach the bathroom, go inside, close the door.  Routine procedure. Until it wasn’t.

At the moment I closed the door, the handle on the interior of the bathroom fell out of the socket. From the inside, the door looks like this:

NOOOOOO!

NOOOOOO!

I immediately freaked out.  I look my new surroundings, there are four walls.  No windows.  A shower curtain and rod. And a door that will not open.

I yelled for probably eight minutes.  Immediately after screaming at nothing, I screamed at myself, “WHY ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH DID YOU PICK THE ONLY BATHROOM WITH NO WINDOWS?!”

My screams fell on deaf ears.  Everyone was outdoors enjoying the sunshine; a luxury I was no longer afforded since I went and trapped myself in this four-walled, shame cellar.

I was here, alone, stuck in the bathroom of my nightmares.  After about fifteen minutes of wasted tears, unheard screams, and pathetic cries, I rescanned my surroundings for something I could use to get me out of this joint.

I contemplated.  I saw the shower rod as a weapon; I yanked the curtain down from the wall with the brute strength of a toddler, and quickly disassembled the curtain from the rod. I had seen jousting before; I knew poles were deadly.  And this door was my opponent.

Only I had no idea that blunt, hollow, metal poles were not strong enough to break down a two-inch thick wood door.  I tried anyways.  I took the pole over my shoulder and rammed it as hard as I could into the back of the door.  There was a dent.

“YES!” I thought, “SMALL VICTORIES!” This dent was a small step towards freedom, and I quickly got into position to make another one.

I hit the door with the shower rod eight times before giving up from boredom.

That was it.  That was all I had.  No more ideas.  No more drive.  I was stuck.  I wrapped myself in the shower curtain and cried.  I thought about how long I could survive in there.  “Probably seven days without food, maybe four without water.” I guessed, “But I have a sink, a shower, and a toilet for the worst case scenario – hydration was covered.”

I planned out my missing persons ad, “Girl locked in bathroom, gone for weeks before found.”  It sounded sincere, I guess.

I had accepted my new living conditions, because I had decided that I may as well take a nap.  Putting my head on the floor, and using the curtain as a blanket, I prepared to snooze the time away in my new surroundings.

Until I heard my brother’s footsteps.  He was coming up the stairs; I was immediately filled with glee and adrenaline.

I shot up off the floor, shed my shower curtain blanket, and started screaming through the hole where the door handle used to be. “BRIAN! HELP ME. GET ME OUT OF HERE.”

He heard my cry and comes to my aid.  “Meg, get the door handle from the floor.”  He points to the handle on the inside with me. “Pick it up and stick it back into the slot where it was before.”  I picked it up and did as I was told.

“Now turn it.” And so I did.  Like magic, the door opened and I was freed from captivity. I ran outside, fell to the floor and hugged the ground. I was so happy to be out of there.  It was the worst twenty minutes of my life.

After helping me escape, Brian looks at me and says, “Yeah, I came up here before lunch and had the same thing happen to me.”  I was relieved I wasn’t the only one.  “I just used the door handle and got myself out.  Super easy if you think about it.”  The sad thing was, he wasn’t even gloating.  He was genuinely smarter than me.

I was trapped and immediately resorted to jousting my way out, but only after I wrapped myself in a shower curtain cape.  Brian just picked up the source of the problem and immediately let himself return to society as a functioning human being.

After the whole ordeal, I still had yet to go to the bathroom.  I used the downstairs one though, just in case.