Then and Now.
As with every adult, there were things as a child that I could not for the life of me understand no matter how many times an “old fart” would explain it to me. Now that I am that old fart, I can honestly say that there’s still a gang of shit I don’t understand. Maybe even more. But I do have a better grasp at all the adolescent things that used to perplex me. The following are some of those things.
A woman’s love for shoes. When I was little, I didn’t understand why my mom felt the need to have five pairs of black heels. I’m not even talking one pair of black sneakers, one pair of black boots, one pair of black sandals, and one pair of black stilettos either. I’m talking shoes that look almost identical. Like, what the fuck is the difference between a pair of black suede pumps and a pair of black patent leather pumps? Now I know the difference is EVERYTHING, duh! Because at the very least, you’d need two versions of each style of shoe within it’s color. i.e. Black flat boots for lunch with the girls, and black over the knee boots with a heel for date night with a boy. Ugh, how dare I have even questioned the authority?!
“You don’t love him.” What the fuck are you talking about I don’t love him? I’m 12 years old! I know what the fuck love is, and I love my boyfriend of a month who I’ve only seen twice! Don’t you dare tell me how I feel, you don’t know anything you adult twice my age who’s happily married! Needless to say, it wasn’t love. Even when I got older, what I thought was love wasn’t actually love. And when I thought I was at my utmost love capacity? I went and loved the next dude even more.
“You’ll get over him, I promise.” Even at 29 I didn’t believe this. Thing is, you never believe it until you’re actually over the person. I thought I’d never get over someone four times in my life. I’ll have to remember this the next time I think I’ll never get over someone.
Problems. I don’t know why, but when I was little I was really excited to have bills to pay. What the fuck? I’m pretty sure it had something to do with it being a rite of passage into “adulthood,” and what kid didn’t want to be an adult? Plus when you’re an adult, you have the ability to do whatever you want unlike kids and their restrictions, so you’d have more control over your life. Right? Hello? Is this thing on? Man, and I thought having enough lunch money for the red juice and a chimichanga AND cream cheese was an issue. Now I worry about having enough money to not have to move back in with my mom ever again.
Weight gain. I was under 100lbs FOREVER. Then, I was 100lbs FOREVER. Then, I was 105lbs FOREVER. During this time, I ate … well everything I eat now, and then some, and probably whatever was on your plate too. My girl Ness even wanted to bet on me in a burger challenge. I was one of those people you would look at after annihilating a buffet and wonder, “Where the fuck does it all go?” Now that it’s a few years and pounds later, I can safely say “My stomach.” All the back-fat from my yesteryears karate-chopped me in the form of a kangaroo pouch in a tight spandex dress. How silly of me to think I could get away with it. I am by the way typing this as I drink coffee with seven packs of sugar in it and a chocolate chip cookie.
Coffee. My mom didn’t let me drink coffee when I was little. Apparently it stunted your growth. Obviously, at only 5’00” I was doomed from the get-go. At any rate, I would still sneak a cup in with my great-grandfather on some mornings just because it was the “cool adult” thing to do. I still never got what the big deal was. There were so many other beverages that tasted better. I still don’t drink it regularly, but when I do it’s for good cause. Now I know that coffee isn’t just a beverage. It’s the body of Christ on a hungover Sunday morning.
TIME. When you’re a kid, the only concept of time you have is wake up when Saturday morning cartoons come on-o’clock, and go home when the street lights come on before your mom beats you with a hanger-PM. Now, time flies too fast and drags too slow when it’s most inconvenient. It’s not that I ever thought time wasn’t important when I was younger, I just never paid attention to it. If there’s anything I understand now more than ever, it’s the value of time. The time with your friends laughing until you cry. The time with your family sharing stories amongst four generations of people in the same room. The time with your boy/girlfriend doing absolutely nothing, yet feeling everything. And especially the time by yourself.
What did you not understand as a kid that you get now?