Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How Old Do I Have To Be?

How old do I have to be seems to be a consistent question in my household. Dalton has always asked how old he had to be to do various things. When he was 2 years old he wanted to climb a tree and Chris told him that he had to be five years old to climb a tree. He accepted that answer and the day he turned five, although we had not thought another thing of it, he asked to climb a tree. We live in a new housing development and all the trees are very small; but when he went to Knoxville for his first UT game last year, he climbed a tree. Most recently he wants to know when he can get his own dog, a fun dog. Apparently Maggie, who just turned 9, is a little too calm and old for him. To avoid making the same mistake of a deadline, we now tell him he can have a dog when he is old enough to take care of it. I remember anxiously awaiting each birthday marker for something special. Fifteen was when my parents said I could date; I think I had more people asking before I was able to than after. At sixteen we were allowed to get our driver's license; then again driving seemed much cooler before I became a mom and thus the taxi service. At eighteen I registered to vote; unfortunately, there had been a presidential election the year prior, so it wasn't nearly as exciting that first year. At 21 I was old enough to drink legally. I turned 21 on a Thursday night in college. My friends and I celebrated at Main Street Bar and Grill and it was Ladies Night with $1 drinks (there are many of you that remember that). We thought we were on top of the world then and we probably were. By 25 all we had to look forward to was a decrease in our insurance because somebody in the insurance world thought that by 25 we should be more responsible. Then there was 3o. I was really excited about turning 30. In the world of military wives, it meant I would no longer be seen as one of those "young and dumb wives". Finally I should be seen as an adult and not someone just playing house. I really wanted to celebrate, but that was the year Katrina hit and I found myself still living in my parents house, but this time with a 2 year old sharing my room. Not exactly the celebration I had anticipated. This weekend I turned 34. I am not depressed about the age. My mother trained us well...like wine and cheese, we get better with age. I truly believe that. The only thing that I miss from my youth is my body (which then I thought of as fat) and that conquering the world attitude that I still try to hang on to with all that I am. My birthday came and went. There is nothing monumental about being 34. No major event in my life is based on that age. The idea of a good time and celebration has been slightly altered by this point (although I was the oldest in attendance). My friends are early birds who want to have dinner and be in bed by the 10 o'clock news. I guess I would normally fall into this too, but not on my birthday. The one day in the entire year that I don't have to share with anyone. Growing up, my parents treated our birthdays like our own special holiday. I guess I got a little spoiled to the idea that anything else in the world could possibly happen on that day. Now, what milestones do I have left to look forward to? I know 40 is supposed to be big; however, that was always meant as a sexual peak for women usually based on the theory that menopause started at 50, so if I am presently going through early menopause, does that mean I missed out on my peak in my early 20s? Sixty-two...used to be the magic age of retirement, but in a world of economic downfall and a social security system that will surely go broke before I am ever close to retirement, how special can that be? The only thing I can really hope for is that I live to be 100 and then I will have plenty to celebrate. No woman in my family has lived that long, but I am sure my mother is determined to beat that record if only to torment me for another 46 years. I will be able to celebrate my 75th wedding anniversary; that is, if he lives long enough to be considered married at that time. Hopefully there will actually be people still alive who would even remember the younger me. Maybe I will still have that little spark in my eye at 100 that I did at 21. It wouldn't surprise me if Shannon was still having to make sure I "wore something with a crotch" (her words exactly) in case I did that extra shot of tequila and took to table dancing again. I guess only time will tell. Until then, I suppose I will have to just enjoy each year and what it has to offer, knowing that I am that much closer to being 100 and celebrating that I outlived all those who never liked me anyway. Mark your calendars...September 19, 2075...Sunshine's Centennial Bash

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Observations of a Lonely Woman

I have not had much time to post lately, so I thought I would take a little time before the desire for sleep sets in too strongly. It is not that I have not had plenty to say, but my life has been so hectic that blogging was not a top priority. When you spend most of your time alone, it gives you plenty of time to think. Most of my interaction is with small children, so their ability to discuss things is limited. I make daily observations about my life and the lives of those around me. Although my mother may doubt this fact, I was born with keen observation skills. I often see what others do not, a fact which greatly annoys my husband. I wouldn't say that I am judgemental, but more so that I force to the surface that which people would rather stay buried. It is an ability that I have perfected over the years. Now, as for the lives of those around me, I have quite a few opinions. There is so much I have observed in the last month or so. First of all, daily I pass this horrible little trailer park that is on my way to every place I usually go. Their doors are always wide open and these innocent little babies, still wearing cheap, ill-fitting diapers, with their dirty faces and rarely clothed are sitting on the steps. Not much difference in them and those impoverished faces you see on TV from 3rd world countries. My heart goes out to those children because they didn't ask for that life. While I see these kids, I also see the same people sitting out front under a shade tree, the trailers obviously having no air conditioning, and I wonder why it is that their priorities are so wrong. They sit under those trees smoking their cigarettes and drinking their beer, usually there is at least one dog, if not more, wandering about them. Who in their right mind finds that their habits take precedent over those needs of their children for food and clothing? Who thinks that if they can't afford to live and take care of their family that it is alright to then take in and feed a pet? I am sure these are welfare and food stamp recipients, but should they be? Are these not the people that should be working and that we need to stop supporting? Where is child services? Is this sort of neglect and home life really all that different from physical abuse? It tears at my heart and makes my blood boil all at the same time. Now, speaking of those who are on public assistance...if jobs are so hard to obtain and money is so difficult to come by, shouldn't those with jobs be happy to just be employed? Why is it then that whenever you are shopping anywhere, the employees make you feel like you asking a question has just inconvenienced their life immensely? Sorry to bother you, but the last time I checked, this was your job. If the sign in the dressing room says ask your associate for a different size, then please don't be pissed when I do. If the sign on the register says you get free food if you don't receive a receipt and a proper "thank you", then I am going to get my free food. You seem to forget that money is scarce for everyone. If it comes out of your check, I bet you won't forget it again. Now, I am not always a difficult person, but lately me stress has been running a little higher than normal. However, I am well on my way to being Superwoman if I can just get through this year. I have found that I can cook, clean, help with homework, do laundry, mow the lawn and shop for all the groceries and household supplies.....ALONE. However, this is not to say that I would not do a dance of sheer happiness if I found my husband would be coming home tomorrow. It is nice to know I can do it, but I have no interest in getting rid of a good man just because I don't "need" him. I have always said that you don't want to be the person I need in my life because I can learn to do whatever I need you for or you can be replaced by someone better. In my life, you need to be who I "want" in my life. Although the need for you may fad, the simple desire to have you there is longer lasting. Other interesting things that have happened: I discovered that even when the sleep timer is set on my children's TV at night. They have figured out that if they get up and turn the volume down, they can watch Family Guy, not suggested viewing for small children, and I would never be the wiser. Not so true and could be just one of the many reasons they no longer have a TV in their bedroom. Dalton announced to me in his booming voice in BooksaMillion that a book was about SEX. I will say that the picture on the front was definitely suggestive, but the book was about the Dixie Mafia. For the record, I was not on the self-help aisle, but instead where the new releases and best sellers are. Needless to say, we had a long chat on the way home and apparently, he learned a little too much on his late night Family Guy. Both of my children seperately can be almost a pleasure to be around. Each has a unique personality and can be very funny. However, the two of them together are like monsters. Unlike you "working" folks, I dread 5pm and the weekends. I know that with either of those times, it means that both of my children will be home together. They fight, hit, yell and scream...I know it is typical of boys, but I don't have the patience to wait and see who kills who. If brothers are supposed to act like this I may be raising two of the closest brothers I have ever known. Well that is all the observations and complaints for today. My coach is turning into a pumpkin, so I must say goodbye and head to dreamzone