Thursday, May 24, 2012

II: Reunions

I babysat a boy named Luke for several years while I was in middle school and high school.  I was there for his very first day of kindergarten.  He lived down the street from me.  Not even a full block.  My family and Luke's family have become dear friends through the years.  You know, we comment on each others Facebook and send the annual Christmas card.  Basically inseparable.  So, when I was landing in Pittsburgh one day before the wedding I called his family to see if I could crash on their Tempurpedic guest bed and stay up late telling old stories.
They indulged me.
First of all, the snacks were great.  I started off with a chipped ham sandwich with Mayo (something Ken would never make... Mayo is the white death to him.)   Then I went in on the chips and Pittsburgh Pretzels.  I rounded off the box of brownies from Giant Eagle, ate a row of Chips Ahoy, and finished off with a theater size box of Dots.  But, I drank about 5 big glasses of water.  So I consider this healthy.
Luke got married last summer so we talked all about that.  Mark is joining the Navy.  And Rita is exactly exactly the same.  I loved it.  She has the answer to everything.  And still smokes Virginia Slims.  So grateful for that.  I just love the smell.  Nothing commandment breaking about that.  I felt like this family and their house had been in a time capsule just waiting for me to open it.  I mean, Luke was like 3 feet taller... but it felt homey.  And it was good to hear that Luke still basically only eats pretzels, Pepsi, french fries, and Oreos.  Though, credit to his wife for introducing him to steak.
Lukie Pie back when I was babysitting him.

Patty Cake back when I was babysitting.
Me and Rita.
Whitening Strips have done a lot for me.


Mark, Rita, Luke

Friday I met Nikki and Rachel from high school at the Olive Garden for lunch.  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  I haven't laughed that hard... probably since high school.  They were giving me the scoop on everyone.  I must have just camped out in Naive-ville during those 4 years of my life because I thought smoking and swearing were pretty much the worst thing people did.  I didn't know kids were having sex and doing drugs.  Nikki let me in on a little secret:  I was probably the only one not doing those things.  As I carved my way through 2 big bowls of Olive Garden salad and about eight bread sticks... I was reminded that I am young.  Rachel's got 3 girls and she spoke so honestly about them.  She called them brats and spoiled and rotten but also beautiful and funny and adorable.  (All in a Pixburgh accent.)  To be hearing such honesty was liberating.
Rachel and Woobs

Sometimes, where I live, I get the feeling no one is really telling the truth.  About anything.  Everyone is trying to paint a picture of how they want you to see their life.  Perfect this.  Perfect that.  Perfect lie.  It's been difficult for me not having an outlet to say, "Kole is being a brat today."  and not hearing back, "Oh, but he is a child of God and you should love him."  When did I say I don't love my kid?  I do.  But it's not all unicorns and chocolate covered cherries.  HELL-o!  Being with those girls reminded me that I am only 27.  And that's exactly how I should be acting.  Lose the gramma sweaters and the reading glasses.  Go out.  Be honest.  Have fun.  Live YOUR life. 
Sing it with me now:
Toniiiiiight...
We are YOUNG!
Let's set the world on fiiii-iire!

Man!  It makes me wish they lived close to me.  I need that reminder.  A lot.
Oh!  And the whole time I was there.... my hair... just WORKED.

9 comments:

Joshua said...

But I prefer my grandpa sweaters.

colenic said...

I LOVE it...I am flying into Pittsburgh tonight and i can't wait to get "home". I haven't been in about 6 years and I think our first stop is Eat n Park for some coffee....staying with my best friend and just hanging out for the weekend...you have me adding Isley's chipped ham to my list of must have while I am there!! Glad you had a good time!

colenic said...

I LOVE it...I am flying into Pittsburgh tonight and i can't wait to get "home". I haven't been in about 6 years and I think our first stop is Eat n Park for some coffee....staying with my best friend and just hanging out for the weekend...you have me adding Isley's chipped ham to my list of must have while I am there!! Glad you had a good time!

Kar said...

Maybe your hair likes humidity more. Isn't it more humid over there? I agree with the culture of where you live - sometimes I felt like it wasn't honest. I think you're allowed to temporarily dislike your kids, but still love them, you know? This is why I hate some blogs - perfect this, perfect that. Cannot STAND that.

Kar said...

That was an awkward third sentence. I meant to say, "I agree with what you're saying about the culture of where you live..." Weird. I guess I'm having an off day. :)

Lynn Proctor said...

it's comforting to know some things stay pretty much the same!

Juli said...

UM, HELLO? I am here... I will totally commiserate with you about bratty kids... hello? I have two, plus a bonus one, AND TONY! Let us not forget about Tony!

Girl, I am totally your sounding board... inbox me anytime.

Holli Fuhriman said...

As a young Mormon mommy I certainly feel pressure to be "perfect". I had a really hard time in our old ward with Julia in nursery. I felt guilty every time I dropped her off because she can be difficult. I felt like I was being judged by how well my child behaved. I try really hard and am kind of at my wits end with my kids some days. I appreciate it when a mother of older children shares with me struggles she's gone through. Helps me feel more normal and at peace with my situation.

Michelle said...

When my friends from high school get together (about once every three years) we always go to Olive Garden! I love the way we can be apart for years, but then meet up and visit like no time has passed. I can't wait to do it again.