I hit the big three-oh about thirty minutes ago.
My mom told me I wouldn’t feel any different. I guess I don’t. I guess I didn’t really expect I would. Anything different is all in my head.
And there’s a lot in my head. I’m thinking about where I think I should be at this point in my life. How I’m not even close to being there. How my mom already had a toddler and a baby when she was thirty, she was a stay at home mom. I will never be like my mom. How I suppose that is ok, but sometimes I wonder. My dad drove a big silver gas-guzzling Dodge to work every day to weld and it was really hot and he wore a big mask. He had one at home and sometimes would put in on my head, and I thought the world looked really neat through the green-colored glass. My mom stayed home with us. She had the gold Satellite to drive. I don’t know who made the Satellite. How we never had a babysitter, except for a few weekends here and there when my mom and dad would have us stay the weekend at mamaw and papaw’s. How mamaw and papaw had that dog that was mean so my brother and I had to stay in the house when the dog was loose. How they always had Smurf cereal for us to eat.
I remember in sixth grade, saying I wanted to grow up and be a mom and have a boy and girl, just like my brother and me. And that I would probably be a teacher. I even remember making the illustration to go with it. That’s what I thought I was supposed to want. Secretly, I didn’t want that. But I didn’t think that was ok.
I remember how I wished I was Madonna, when Madonna was cool, with her Boy Toy belt and lacy gloves and boots. I remember how my dad would cringe when I would sing along to “Like a Virgin”. He didn’t realize that I had no idea what a boy toy or a virgin was. I remember always wanting to hang out with the boys. Riding bikes, playing football and video games, listening to Motley Crue and Poison. How I was never quite tough enough for them, but they let me hang out with them anyway. Because the girls just didn’t get me. Some things don’t change.
How naive I was in junior high. Looking back, I can’t believe the things I didn’t know. I was so sheltered. I’m sure I am still naive about much. But that’s the thing about that. You don’t know until you know. I remember wanting so badly to fit in in high school. But I never did. I remember I called our lunch table the misfits. We were the ones that nobody else wanted. We weren’t jock enough, or smart enough, or cheerleader enough, or stoner enough. I remember wearing all black my entire sophomore year, and on the last day of school, my best friend and I wore bright, matching tie-dye jumpers. Everyone stared. I never thought anything of it, until I realized it was because I had color on. Once again, naive. How “goth” wasn’t a widely used term yet. I was “alternative”. How I felt when I realized everyone thought I was a freak and a druggie, for dressing in black like that all year. I wasn’t. I just wanted attention. Some things never change.
How I’ve always been a little sad. I cried a lot. I still do. How I don’t know why I’m sad so much. I cried when I thought my dad was mad at me for opening his pocket knife. I cried when my cat got hit by a car. And when my dog died. And when my other dog died. And when my last dog died. How I can cry if I listen to the wrong song on the radio, especially certain times of the month. How nobody understands that. It’s been thirty years now. I guess it’s not likely anyone ever will.
How in the past, in any relationship, I was in control. How out of control I felt because of that. How different I feel now that someone else is boss. How comforting that is. How I sometimes wonder if that is wrong, because women are supposed to be strong, and independant, and self-sufficient. How I am not.
How I am thirty.
And I guess I’ll be ok with that. By next year.
Plymouth made the Satellite. I should have known, what with my Mopar dad, and all.