each is a passage way onto becoming something-
when you have your first period you're on your way to becoming a young lady.
when you have sex for the first time, you've transitioned out of childhood.
when you get your first job you're on your way to financial independence.
when you move out of your parents home you're on your way to establishing yourself as a member of society.
all these things. the basis of a thousand cliches, rom-com movies, how to survive raise a teenager self help books.
we need to know the right way to do things, the right way to commemorate, the right way to mark the passage of another milestone on the grand journey of life.
and there are people that are amazing at that. ALWAYS the right card for the occasion. the fully planned celebration. the poignant thing to say to commemorate the perfect photo finish memory.
and then there's the rest of us.
those of us hanging on by the skin of our teeth, no fucking clue what we're doing or how to make the correct scrap book about it.
you know the mom that remembers every school picture day and then makes an 18 year photo album with all the pictures neatly tagged and chronicled?
I'M NOT THAT MOM.
there's a box upstairs in my bedroom- it's full of albums of school pictures, important school papers, report cards, certificates, award. my mum saved them all those years and put them into an album for both my brother and i.
|swim certificates, school papers, pictures, trophies...it's all there|
i have a box somewhere with i think a *few* of my kids school papers and classroom pictures. maybe a few classroom certificates or awards. i have one of their impossibly tiny baby boy blue "i was born at mount carmel hospital" shirts and socks somewhere.
honestly not sure which of the two it belongs to.
i've never planned the big, themed birthday party. i think i remembered to put their names in their baby books. i make it to almost all their school events but i'll be damned if i can produce a picture of even half of them.
you know the saying: "no one is totally worthless, you can always be held up as the bad example."
THAT'S ME. as many cliches as there are for the perfect moments, there's also the cliches of the train wreck moments.
THOSE ARE MY MOMENTS.
losing your virginity: it's supposed to be sweet and tender and that moment with the boy you really like that you've been dating forever. It's supposed to be cutely awkward and that moment you're going to remember forever.
oh shit, i remember mine alright.
16, sophmore year, a guy i had a HUGE crush on that intentionally put effort into forgetting i existed. i found out he was moving and thought i'd try one last time to catch his attention.
the whole thing start to finish was maybe 2 minutes and went something like this:
me: so i heard you were moving.
me: well, if you want to have sex before you leave...
him: ok. take your pants off.
*awkward fumbling and removal of just enough clothes*
me: ow, that really hurts.
and i haven't seen him again since.
no cute awkwardness. just awkwardness. no romance. no sweet tender build up. just enough to technically not be a virgin any more.
then there's the first time i *ACTUALLY* had sex.
followed 9 months later by giving birth.
i graduated college twice and didn't walk in either procession.
i got married at a place called "The Hitching Post" by a minister that had ironed on pictures of his grandkids inside his suit jacket.
my divorce was a fairly simple affair (ha ha ha...he had two mistresses. IT'S FUNNY PEOPLE).
i moved out and took everything that was either mine at the beginning or that i was currently paying for on credit, filed the papers, and 3 months later a judge officially declared me divorced. no war of the roses. no screaming arguments that ended with, "...AND YOU CAN TALK TO MY LAWYER."
i've been through some terrible rites of passage- attending the funeral of your parent before you're 30 is not a moment i would wish on anyone.
i'm still not sure i did that right.
is making jokes during the hour and a half long procession about stopping for road trip snacks the right way?
DON'T GET YOUR KNICKERS IN A TWIST. we didn't actually stop. too many logistics in stopping a 2 mile long procession for snacks, even if the store was having a 2 for 1 sale on doritos.
besides. we kind of all decided giving a ulogy with dorito dust on our black clothes may be a little uncouth.
we weren't monsters.
well, maybe i'm not a total monster, but i am the person that joked about once and twice baked ashes from the same family being different colors as we spread them in the ocean.
|same family, different colored ashes. you can look if you don't believe me.|
i don't do things the right way. i never have.
i don't have the cute stories wrapped up in a bow.
i'll be the mom at graduation *just* remembering i forgot to send out senior pictures and announcements.
i'll be the mother-in-law that forgets an heirloom gift for the bride.
i'll probably get my first letter from the AARP and get a paper cut that lands me in the hospital some how ending in a hip replacement.
maybe there is no RIGHT of passage. maybe that's why the spelling is wrong.