Monday, June 23, 2008

Growing Pains

I was reminded of childhood this morning on the train by a man sitting in the back corner seat. The seat I never sit in because I'm convinced every bad smell in the train collectively accumulates into that one corner. He was slumped to the side, asleep with his head bobbing to the movement of the train. He had on a yellow hard hat, blue and white plad shirt, torn, paint-splattered jeans and workman's boots. His eye lids glissened behind thick black framed glasses which I suppose mostly reminded me of the 90's, but also of my 4th grade social studies book. When we were learning about how people have jobs and pay bills and the difference between the blue and white collar workers of the world. I supposed they should have added a chapter between why school is important and what kinds of careers people have in the world. "The Buck Stops Here" it should say.

My weekend was calm to say the least. I was supposed to go to Long Island with a friend, but my hair appointment ran horribly long, so instead we went to get some wings and watch the UFC fight at the Atlantic Mall. (Am I becomming you, D, or have I always been this way?) I met a guy there with the exact same birthday as D. "So can I call you sometime?" He wanted to know. "Sorry, I'm married." I said holding up my ring finger and it's faux wedding band. Strangely he seemed more interested knowing that I belonged to someone. Men sicken me.

Sunday was laid back. I went to Target to buy crap I sort of needed; like a few books to read on the train and some tee shirts, because for some reason I have none. I didn't actually want a plain t-shirt, but I knew that's all I'd find in Target so I settled on one with the most flattering neckline (although I didn't try anything on). After I left and was headed back to the train, I stopped at the Outpost Market (set up outside Habana Outpost on S. Portland). There was a girl there with thick dreads who looked about my age named Chanel. She was selling the most amazing tee shirts with bold colorful prints, reminisent of Andy Warhol's pop art. I told her if I haden't spent money on plain ugly t-shirts (well not UGLY) from Target I would totally buy one of her $30 shirts. I took her card; JUNKPRINTS it said in huge purple letters. ( Check her out.

After that I came home and made myself some Jambalaya and watched "The Long, Long Trailer" starring Lucy and Desi, my favorite. I thought it was the saddest thing in the world that two people like Lucile Ball and Desi Arnez could look so blissfully in love on the silver screen and yet be so terribly unhappy in real life. Smoke screen love. I pulled out my notebook and came up with few concepts for my book. A title...? "Dirty, Nasty, Hairy, Sticky Love"...... I'm playing with it.

I talked to my sis on the phone for hours on Sunday morning. The idea of being our mother's daughters came up. We are all bi-products of our parents, repackaged and rubbed down, shiny and new. But are we just like them? My mother is a beautiful woman, smart, anally organized (which is a good thing), animated, silly and outgoing (at least to me). She loves to laugh, which makes it that much worse when she's sad. I've spent my whole life trying to make my mother laugh. She's always told me, "Ashley, you are just so dang funny!" I used to be funny on purpose. As a little girl I'd dance around the house and stand on my head if it would make my mother smile. Anything to counter act what my father would do to her. She became quiet and solemn in his presence. Now it's just habit. (But I digress) What makes us like our parents? Making the same decisions? Dating the same kinds of people? Having the same personality flaws? If we could all look at our parents, extract the good and mimic it; analyze the bad and avoid it then we'd be super-human robots by now. I'm 24 and already I've repeated several of my mothers so-called mistakes. I also realize, that I have a choice. To be as beautiful, as amazing; to maintain that certain thing she has that draws people to her. To always want to know. To love conversation. But somehow find a way to stay happy, even when it's hard. Without the bouncy, comedic 9 year old to beguile me, although I'm hoping I get one of those too.


Natasha said...

It's uncanny: as I grow older I catch myself sounding more and more like my mother! All those things I used to hate hear her say now come out of my mouth. But, there's just no escaping it: you are genetically your parents' product, and then brought up as one too.