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Outside the bubble….

October 13, 2010

I have discovered that I am getting old. Or that I am old, or have been old, or just been in denial. I know this because I have started to pay attention to what is going on outside of my little bubble that I live in, and I have to say that it’s not pretty…So I have made a little mental list of how I know I am getting old…

1. I know I am getting old because I wake up and my bones hurt. No, really, WTF is that about. I really feel like it just started out of the blue. I woke up and shit, it hurt to walk. Or I crawl under my bed to get the remote that fell off the nightstand and “oooomph” comes out of my mouth…or worse, Cameron tries to climb onto me and I immediately scream for him to get off, because god knows, I can’t deal with a bad back on top of this. I wonder why bones make popping noises, surely this is  a new thing? I actually bought a pair of foot insole inserts! I hated it, standing there next to the 80-year-old, looking at all the different foot things, and just feeling depressed, and then relieved once I put them in my shoes…shit, why didn’t I buy these months ago?

2. I actually have started to give a flip about what people think….when the damn lab starts barking at 3 am, I think, oooh, the neighbors are trying to sleep and I nudge Ryan to go put him up, since its his dog, and not mine…I have realized that it’s not just my world…I have to think before I speak, because I just speak and never really think about how bitchy that comment sounded, even though I didn’t mean in that way at all. I like to think I am a good listener, because for some reason, I hear everyone’s life story at work, but I know I can’t let Ryan tell me a story without interuppting…a horrible habit that drives him crazy and I am trying to break…even though i did it again just tonight. its habit! I have to stop!

3. I have become judgmental. Ugly judgmental. Let’s just say judgmental enough that I might lose friends I have had for years over my opinions….I call it the mother syndrome. I have become my mother. I have become what I swore I would never be, judgmental. But now, I understand it, its my kids, and I want them to see the world differently, my way….So not only am I judgmental, I am a controlling judgmental mother…

4. Paranoia has set in. I am back to watching crime stories and am obsessed with watching them and wondering why, or how it came to be…Did any of you see that Oprah show recently, where she interviewed the parents of the woman who killed her children and let her car go over the bridge? It was too raw, too soon for them to speak, I think. The mother of the daughter was recanting her story of how the coroner came to tell her of what happened to her grandkids, and her screams of raw, emotional grief were overwhelming to watch. It was horrific, it was awful, but it was mesmerizing to watch. I couldn’t turn it off, as horrible as it was to hear her wails of grief, and I wondered how the camera man didn’t feel like he was intruding, it was such a private memory for her to tell and revisit, and it was agonizing and heartbreaking to watch and hear. And I bawled like a baby.  I have started watching ” In Session” again in the mornings while I do my makeup, since my soap opera is no longer on, and I see kids, I see parents, I see babies in a world I cannot fathom. I am horrified at the vivid accounts of murder and behaviors and actions of said kids, parents, babies…I cry and have to redo my makeup and I hug my kids harder and vow to not be that parent. I vow to not yell at my kids, since the dad whose last words to his 2-year-old were screams for her “get in her fucking room!”  Who talks to a 2-year-old like that? Much less a sick, deathly-sick 2-year-old, who only wants to be held….but then at the end of the day, I hear myself yell at Maddy and Cameron to stop their fighting for the love of God, and to go to bed…but that’s different…I am horrified at the parents who are speaking to their 19 year old son, named Cameron, as well, about the choices that he made that night when he witnessed his friend murder someone who did nothing wrong at all, and never tried to stop, or help, or even call 911. I listened to the mom’s pleas for her son to realize the seriousness of the matter and the dad calmly but firmly tell his son that there was nothing he could do to help him, because he was now 19 years old and an adult and it was now out of his hands. I listened to the mom tell her son that this wasn’t how she raised him to be, she raised him to be compassionate and caring, and how could he stand by and watch the kid that they told him over and over was bad news, murder someone innocent. I watched how unemotional that Cameron was when the police were interrogating him and how he broke into tears the minute his mom walked in that deposition room, and I thought, that’s the power of a mom….I wonder how many scenes has that camera in that room captured just like that. What horror stories can those walls tell? I watched how that Cameron bawled and sobbed while his parents pleaded with him to realize what has happened and how it will forever change his life. And I watched how the dad stood up and walked over to him and told him to stand up and give him a hug because he needed a hug, and I bawled as I watched that father and son cry into each other’s arms, because their world had just changed forever. The son they thought they raised was no longer that picture perfect college student, living his life, and it scared the shit out of me. I realized how quickly my boys were growing and I silently was thankful that we were no longer in the big city, though I miss it a lot. But am thankful for the small community we live in, where pretty much everyone knows everyone, or to the 7th degree at least…I realized I lived in a bubble and in my little world, there was stress, there was chaos but there was nothing compared to what is going on outside of my bubble.  Paranoia has set in, and I cling a little tighter to Ryan at night, and depend on him a lot more than I ever had before because I realize I can’t raise them alone, and I never thought I was but I always was very independent and well lets just say, its taken 10 years for me to realize what marriage is. Leading me to number 5.

5. Sadly, I don’t recall a lot about our vows, I don’t recall a lot about our wedding. It was very rushed, very last-minute. Very not what I had expected but also, very much perfect, because it was just him and I, and my mom and brother there to witness, and Ryan’s best friend was his best man and witness as well. I don’t remember taking the vows seriously. I don’t remember understanding what I was saying and what it really meant. I remember being upset that it was raining…that my mom was late, that my dad refused to come, and that I wasn’t wearing the white dress….I remember focusing on all the wrong things, rather than the moment that I should have been focused on, which was I was marrying this man, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health as long as we both shall live.  I wish I could go back and repeat those words and know without a shadow of a doubt that I meant every last word. But who doesn’t wish to go back and change things in their past? For me, it would be that moment. Because after nine years of marriage, which have flown by, by the way, I wish I could have given Ryan that moment.  I wonder how those words have been spoken millions of times, for hundreds of years, and how at the end of the day, those are the exact words that need to be promised in starting a marriage with someone. I wish my parents would have told me what marriage was and how hard it can be and how easy it can be, and how to make it work. Instead I taught myself by watching them and vowing to myself what I wouldn’t put up with in a marriage. So in a roundabout way, there was a lesson there, but it was hard lesson learned for all involved, and I don’t know if my parents have learned their lesson yet.

6. I am learning it’s not all about me.  A daily realization…I am learning a lot these days….some good things, some bad things, some scary things, some sad things…I am clinging to this bubble I have created for myself and don’t want it to burst, but know that its going to have to soon, that I can’t shelter my boys much longer, because they are boys, and will be men soon. I grew up in a very sheltered home. Though my mom is not middle eastern, our lifestyle was. Yes my dad loved the classics, loved Andy Griffith, loved country western shows, comedy, John Wayne, Dallas cowboys, but that was the extent of his Americana lifestyle. I remember wondering all the time, growing up, why can’t he see that lifestyle on tv and become it in real life.  I was book smart but street smarts, no way. I was and sadly, still am, very naive. I still live and revert to that sheltered lifestyle.  I didn’t understand the common cliché’s or sayings, still don’t on some, because I still call Ryan and say, hey what does it mean when someone says…..and he laughs and explains it and I think, shit, how did I not know that…I still laugh at the memory of Ryan singing Maddox, “Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail…” and me thinking that was the greatest song ever that he invented, and yes, he claimed to own it and create it, right there on the bathroom floor as we gave Maddox his bath and showed him what finger shadow puppets could do…til I told his family that he created the cutest song ever and they looked at me like I was drunk…Ryan’s humor is only humorous to a select few…

7. I know I am getting old, because I never ventured to look outside my bubble…I still think I look the same, yes the frown line is becoming deeper, but I dont feel I look much older ,and if I do, please keep that truth to yourself, I can’t take that much reality yet…But I am seeing the world differently…I appreciate more, and I regret more. I no longer agree with that saying of living a life with no regrets, because for me, its not possible. I want to live in my bubble forever, I want my kids to stay kids, I want Ryan and I to not grow old, but to stay just the way things are, at this moment. I heard recently someone say the other day that they married the guy they wanted to grow old with, and how no matter how wrinkled she was, her husband was there for each wrinkle. And I remember Ryan and I saying that to each other back in the days, and how we would look at each other  and  say how we would still love each other no matter how old the other looked. And how I thought at that time that it would be forever before we saw each other old, and now I am feeling it, I am seeing it, and I just feel like time is rushing past…I mean its the middle of October already! How did that happen?  Where did September go?  Thanksgiving is around the corner already! See how my bubble shelters me from the harsh reality of life, of time? I just don’t want my bubble to burst…its my home, its my world, and I know there is a whole other world out there, good and bad, but for now, I just want to live here, right here….

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Annie permalink
    October 13, 2010 10:39 AM

    My God. I love you so much.

    We all have a bubble. It’s how we deal when the chaos becomes too much. Maybe if everyone had a bubble that they could retreat into, a bubble where Mayberry is the the capitol, there wouldn’t be so many of the horrible things you’ve mentioned. So protect the bubble.

    And if you weren’t your gorgeous mother’s daughter, I’d suggest you become a vampire. They don’t age. But, if you try to drink someone’s blood in Arizona, you will be arrested. Just sayin’.

    Number five is so poignant that I’m not even sure I can say anything other than “yes”. How beautifully and compassionately you’ve put into words the truth of so many many marriages … even the ones that came with big weddings and white dresses. In the end, it’s only the friendship that counts — I believe that. When all the sex and kids are gone and you’re keeping watch over each other for signs of palpitations, it has to be friendship that gets you through. Think about the word “spouse”. It sounds kind of cold, alien — like some something excommunicated. And now think of the word friend … “true friend” (not the never-heard-from-facebook-kind). Which one sound like the person you’d rather have holding your hand when you’re dying. But maybe that’s just me.

    So yhea. I love you so much.


  2. Annie permalink
    October 13, 2010 10:45 AM

    oh — deleted something!

    You and Ryan have one of the best friendships I know of in a marriage. All the rest of the stuff works itself out — just like you’re working it out here. The love you have for each other will abide regardless of the details because you genuinely care so deeply about each other. His “humor” (which I can say that I enjoy because I am one thousand miles away) is something that endears him to you, no matter how silly you feel. Only love could drive a man to keep a joke going for that long ( like the one about how old you are). While he might irritate you, he worships the ground you walk on.

    Oh. And cleaning is for bitches. Screw that shit.


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