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Friday, September 04, 2015

For Whom the Bell Tolls

So, I get that I'm kind of a punchline on my own - I'm a grown-ass woman who works in a shoe store. I'm the female equivalent of Al Bundy, minus the horny, money-grubbing wife, slutty daughter and probably-not-mine-anyway son.  And the laugh track.  That might be kind of awesome.


... and Marci would have been buried in my back yard halfway through the first season.


I try not to be too judgey with people about their life choices, since I ultimately have no way of knowing what's happened to them that's put them on the path they're on.  Still - and here's some much needed background, dear readers - I live smack-dab (no pun intended) in the middle of one of the worst areas for meth in the country.  Oh, we're probably not on any official lists or survey data, but the list of casualties I could give you just from the people I've personally known over the last 10-15 years says that this town is far more Breaking Bad than Mayberry.  

To be clear, dear readers, addiction is a horrible illness and I'm neither making light of it nor judging anyone for it.  I could write a bajillion pages about why and how this town suffers from such an awful affliction, and how sad it is to see people you've grown up with transform into unrecognizable shells of their former selves, but this is a humor blog and I'm quickly sliding from being able to find humor in a situation to wanting to weep into a tub of Blue Bell and question all the mysteries of life.


Dammit, even the puppy's depressed now.


The actual point of this post was to explore all the ways that running into people from one's past causes introspection.  When you run into someone your age who suddenly looks like the Crypt Keeper, you dive into the nearest mirror to check for signs of premature aging yourself.  It doesn't matter if your lifestyle was at the opposite end of the spectrum from theirs, or if they suffered from some illness that you may or may not know about, you panic a little.  

When someone you watched as a toddler in daycare walks in grown with a kid of their own, you begin to wonder where the hell time went and dammit, I was 21 yesterday!  You were 5!  Be gone, Time Lord!

Then an elderly person comes in, struggling with a cane and oozing with charming old-school manners, and rather than think, "Oh, what a nice old man," your brain ticks to, "This person was my age once.  Yesterday.  Fuck."  


Sonic Screwdriver this.


I've actually gotten to the point where I have to do math just to figure out how old I am.  That's a bad sign, right?  I remember proudly proclaiming all of my late teens and early twenties, even to people who really didn't give a shit.  Now, I just mumble a joke about being 29 again and hope no one presses any further.  Not because I'm ashamed of my age, but because I'm embarrassed that I have no idea what my age is and I don't have enough fingers and toes to count that high.  That's how freaking old I am.  The number of years I've been alive is larger than the number of fingers and toes I have. It's all downhill when you run out of phalanges, right?

RIGHT??

I'm kidding.  Kind of.  Usually I don't think much about how old I am, until I see a Facebook post from a niece or nephew I haven't seen in years of them posing with their nursing home posse.  For some reason, I forget that as I and my girls age, everyone else does, too.  The oddest part is that I know my girls are getting older, but I don't realize how much they've grown until I look back at pictures 1, 2, 5 years ago, because I see them every day.  It's disconcerting when you see someone at 5 years old and then don't see them again until they're introducing you to their child.   

Some days, I still feel like a teenager - not in a carefree, spirited way, but more like an, "I'm not ready for this shit" kind of way.  I'm not adult enough to be an adult.  Mature?  Responsible?  Sure.  But I've always been those things.  Some days I just need a box of Lucky Charms, for someone to stroke my hair and tell me I'm pretty, and to waste the day watching Disney until all is right with the world again.


{There's no picture here because, for the love of God and all that is Holy, please don't ever Google image search "thumbsucking."  You would think I'd have learned my lesson by now.}



I'm...  I'm done.  I need an adult.




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