I'm going to be a bridesmaid next year, you guys. First time ever. Always a bride, never a bridesmaid, was my problem. Until now.
I feel so proud and excited. I'm going to be in a wedding party! That's a rite of passage, right? It's special. You get to sit or stand in certain places and perform certain rituals. Just like having a baby. Speaking of which, another friend is having a baby. The first baby and the first wedding in my personal circle of close friends. 2012 is the year, you guys. The year of weddings and babies. The year my people all finally grow up, apparently. The year shit gets real.
You know what hasn't grown up? Me. Some part of me, deep inside, is still twelve years old. Because some part of me, deep inside, is angry that my friend getting married has been stolen away by her fiance.
One of my earliest and vividest memories is the time I sneaked out of bed and into the dim hallway with a box of crayons. The flickering television screen in the adjacent living room cast just enough light to let me see what I was doing. I chose the blue and red crayons and set to work on my vast canvas of a wall. On one end there was grandma's house in the United States, and on the other our new apartment in Germany. Between the two I drew a series of squiggly lines depicting our recent journey. In my view it had been a very long, confusing trip, so the more squiggles the better. Cars had been involved, and planes. And trains. And lefts and rights and straight aheads and circles and who even knows what else.
I added more squiggles for good measure.
As I hurtle ever closer to 31, I'm starting to get a little... panicky. Unlike others, who on their milestone birthdays may have dry-heaved a bit into a paper bag before collapsing on the sofa with a cold damp washcloth over their faces, I had no problem whatsoever turning 30. Age 31, however, sounds dreadfully, heart-stoppingly critical. That's, like, what? Practically as old as the pyramids, right? Do they even teach you kids about the pyramids anymore these days? Or do your ancient world history textbooks begin the day Steve Jobs was born?
Well, that joke was in exceedingly poor taste.
God, I'm old.
Last weekend the beau and I went out looking for new bed sheets. Our old sheets were ripped, you see, and we only had one set. So every week we'd wash them and put them back on the bed, and every week our feet would get stuck in the holes, and every week the holes grew bigger. I fully expected that one day I'd pull them out of the washing machine to find they'd completely disintegrated into tatters, and then we could drape them over our heads and run down the street yelping, "Spare a shilling, sir?" like a couple of demented characters from a Dickens novel.
Bonus: instant Halloween costume.
I was walking to the post office this morning, briskly. Bag slung from my shoulder, package under one arm. Suddenly, maybe 20 paces ahead, a guy turned the corner from one street onto mine, heading the same direction as me. The streets of downtown Santa Barbara aren’t exactly teeming with people at that hour on a weekday. Aside from the elderly lady I’d just passed, we were the only two people on this block.
So I studied him, as one does when one can’t be caught looking.