Saturday, June 26

(Im)mature for Your Age

I want to preface everything I’m about to say by proclaiming my love for Sister and Stepmother, but…

There are some things about Sister that bug the crap out of me. And most of them are tied to her inability to act her age.

Age: 9 and ½

Offenses: drinking out of sippy cups, having to have special food made for her because she refuses to eat what the rest of the family eats, not being able to use a knife, thinking her height is an excuse to not get things for herself, needing to bring toys to restaurants, talking like a baby, not being able to walk the 1 block to the bus stop alone…

The list goes on, but those are the only things I can think of right now.

Now, I realize that my childhood was very different than her’s. I had an older sibling (Brother is 2.5 years older) and a single Mother, so I guess I developed some independence earlier than most, but still.

By the time I was her age I certainly wasn’t drinking out of sippy cups or having my own dinners prepared. I was traipsing all over my neighborhood to visit friends with my only restriction being the time I had to be home (usually 5:30). And once we moved (when I was around 7) Brother and I were expected to walk the 3-quarters of a mile home from school everyday…by ourselves. I never even remember being allowed to bring towns to Church, so restaurants were definitely out of the question.

At the age of 6 I flew from the Dirty Dirty to the Big Apple to visit my grandparents by myself. At the age of 7 I (with the help of Brother) escaped from mall cops. Around age 8 I knew how to, and regularly did, cook myself scrambled eggs. Mother leaving Brother and I home alone for an hour or two at a time was not a terribly uncommon occurance.

Like I said, Sister and I grew up differently. With a single Mother who was putting herself through school (again) we were forced to be more independent as she had less and less time to dote on us. And with an older brother I was expected to mature at the same rate as him.

Stepmother is a stay-at-home mom and Sister is an only child.

Night and day, I understand.

But this morning when Stepmother left to do errands Sister expected me to make her breakfast. She balked when I suggested that she was fully capable of pouring her own bowl of cereal. That certainly wouldn’t have flown in my house.

So I gave her a step-stool and told her to call me if she was injured.

Tuesday, June 22


Yesterday was my birthday. I am 19.

Last year I was cruising around town in Twin’s car sporting a plastic tiara and grinning like a fool as she snapped pictures of my celebrating my transition into legal-status by buying cigarettes, lottery tickets, and a Play Boy.

This year is decidedly less climactic. There was no party with all my friends. There’s nothing I waited until yesterday to do.

I woke up way too early yesterday to the sound of mother’s boyfriend grinding coffee. I ate a delicious, but ordinary breakfast. I did some yoga. I ate some lunch. I tried to go berry picking with ChiChi, but the farm was closed.

I was going to go out to dinner with mother tonight, but the restaurant we wanted to go to isn’t open Mondays, so I don’t know what we’ll do.

Today I think I’m going to Milly with ChiChi. GreenBean and The Fertilizer will be there.

Sunday night I made dinner for the family.

In a few days Papa and co will be in town and I’ll celebrate with them.

But that’s it.

Birthdays for me have never been a huge deal. Sure, during the days leading up to My Day I get a little more excited. On my birthday I have a little extra pep in my step. But I’ve never been one for big blowouts or parading around like a princess.

Maybe that’s because I didn’t have a ton of friends as a kid so there weren’t many people to celebrate with. Not to mention that my birthday always seemed to fall during the most popular vacation week so the few friends I had were rarely in town.

And ever since my birthdays have been characterized by a dinner with mother where I got to pick what take out we got. Dinner with Papa where I got to pick where we went. And a gathering of stepmother’s family. I’d always do something with my friends, but it was never anything major.

This year is a perfect example.

I spent the day with ChiChi and the night in one of my favorite places in the Dirty Dirty—Adult’s house with Grill Master, ChiChi, Twin (who came to town just for the occasion) and a bottle. We danced. The men played Call of Duty Live while ChiChi and I dirty talked the nerds on the other end of the microphone. Twin and I attempted to play Call of Duty, but failed miserably. Grill Master talked about how lucky he was to be surrounded “by such beautiful women.”

(Apparently, Adult’s neighbors asked him if he was running a whorehouse because there were always so many girls coming and going. This made me giggle.)

Low key?

You bet.



Special enough to be how I spent my birthday night?

Maybe. Maybe not. But I was happy as a clam so special be damned.

PS-It was also my pup, Rocky's birthday yesterday. He turned 14.

Tuesday, June 8

Memory Lanes

Sunday ended up being a trip down memory lane. And it offered varying degrees of enjoyment and sadness.

Twin was in town and invited ChiChi and I to partake in her usual Sunday evening ritual—family dinner. With the prospect of spending the evening with her parents (especially her wonderfully hilarious father, Jumpin JT), her brother and his new girlfriend, we happily accepted.

And without a doubt, this dinner was exactly as it used to be. Twin’s brother said highly inappropriate things. Her mother only freaked out about them cussing and talked to the dogs like they were people. And Jumpin JT talked about how difficult his job was and his newly acquired Warhol poster. ChiChi found fuzz in every single bit of her food (she, as always, was the only one). I chatted with her mother about Real Housewives of New Jersey (her favorite is Teresa). And Twin’s brother’s girlfriend was…nice.

After dinner the Triplets (as we’ve once again been called) ventured over to Adult’s house so we (minus me) could have a drinky-drink before heading back down memory lane in the form of an All Get Out show,

Back in the day this would have been the highlight of my month. I would have carefully picked out an outfit that was functional and hot as hell without looking like I was trying too hard. I would have bought a new pack of smokes for the occasion and gone out of my way to chat it up with the All Get Out boys.

Not this time. I didn’t carefully pick out an outfit (though I did still look pretty good) nor did I buy any smokes. Rather I almost forgot about it entirely.

About half way through the walk from Adult’s to the place they were playing I was hit by a brick in the form of a massive realization—I didn’t even want to go to the show. I knew they people that were going to be there.:

Kids that certainly acted their age. People I didn’t want to see. Other people I used to go to school with that I semi-intentionally stopped talking to when I left for college.

And I knew what my night would consist of:

Forking over money I don’t have to watch bands I don’t like. Walking outside between bands to watch underage kids chain-smoke. Standing in a too crowded room while said immature kids tried to be friends with the bands.

And you know what?

I was completely right.

Within minutes of getting there I was…angry. Everything about that scene was rubbing me the wrong way.

The other 2/3 of the Triplets felt the same way so we went back to Adult’s house until AGO went on. Even then, Twin and ChiChi only stayed for a few minutes.

I was determined to get my money worth so I stayed the entire time. And they were great, as usual.

It was their first song, though, that I remember most.

They played my favorite—Lucky Bastard—but this time it hit me in a completely different way.

“We always want more,” “I love my neighbor more than he loves his wife,” “I want to go home.”

Yeah, this got me.

I often jokingly lament my lack of a home. And it’s not just because I want a set of All Clad pots and pans or that cool futon from Target. It’s because this little flower needs somewhere to spread her roots.

None of Papa’s houses are my home. The Dirty Dirty isn’t my home anymore. The Big Apple certainly isn’t my home, despite my many wishes. And as much as I love the Boro, it still isn’t my home.

I used to want to live a transient Kerouac-style life. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that just won’t work for me.

I need somewhere to return to. I need a constant.

I don’t have that now.

Maybe this is another part of growing up—learning to let go of things like that and go with the flow.

If so, I think I need a remedial course.