I was recently sharing a conversation with a stranger at an amusement park (yeah, I like to talk to everyone, so what?), who informed me that he wished to forget his twenties. He felt like a "real adult" now, and some of the foolish and embarrassing things that he had done or said weighed heavily on his shoulders. I half-heartedly agreed with him, caught up in the moment.
Later that day, I started questioning the wisdom of eradicating an entire decade from memory.
If I removed my twenties from my brain, I wouldn't be able to remember my wedding or the birth of my children: The two most important things that have ever happened to me, except for maybe my own birth - but you know what I'm trying to say.
Sure, there were some awkward moments, but I think I want to keep those, too.
How could I live without recalling the night when my kid sister wandered into my room, deep into an episode of sleep walking - thinking that my beloved trunk was a toilet? I was around twenty and she was six-ish. She stumbled in, dropped trou, opened the lid of the trunk and sat down. Luckily, I was able to quickly lead her to the real bathroom in time. What if I couldn't tease Sis about that? I wouldn't have been able to tell the story to her entire group of friends on her own 21st birthday! What a travesty that would have been, missing that opportunity!
My mother had me before she turned twenty, so the following ten years were pretty busy for her. She didn't get to be carefree, just out of her teens. She was busy raising me and my brother.
Which is why I feel that I owe her the memory of one of the most horrifying events of my life, which happened when I was 22 or 23. Something truly awful happened to me, but it was gratifying for my mom - and I can't begrudge her her happiness.
We were at a shoe store together, looking for our next great bargain. I was ultracasual, that day; wearing dark sweatpants, a baggy Disneyland sweatshirt, a baseball cap and my glasses. I normally wore contact lenses, but I guess vanity went out the window that morning. I wore my dark hair in a short cut, so a couple mousy brown inches flipped out under my hat.
Now, my mother is not someone who usually chooses a grubby dress day. Also, her hair is platinum blonde and falls way past her shoulders. She's at least six inches shorter than me and almost always wears high heels. Although, I think she may have been wearing flip-flops on The Day That No One In The Family Is Supposed To Mention, But They Always Do.
She was sporting white denim short-shorts and a pink checkered tank-top. I will never forget that outfit, as long as I live.
Did I happen to mention that this was during the summer and she had a deep tan, somewhere in the color spectrum of the Hawaiian Tropic Girls? Well, she did.
Oh, wait - I think I might have a picture of Mom, around here somewhere:
Okay, I think you've got the idea, now.
On second thought, maybe I was adopted.
So anyway, I was over in the Giant Feet section and she was somewhere in the Tiny Delicate Feet section, when I hit the jackpot. I had found a pair of awesome penny loafers for under $10 and I wanted to share the good news.
"Mom!" I called across the store. No answer, so I grabbed the shoebox and stepped out of my isle.
"Mom, you've got to see what I found!"
She poked her head out from behind a stack of tiny shoes.
"What is it?" She asked.
I held up my find and she gave me a thumbs up.
Then it happened.
The guy behind the counter called out to us:
"Wait a minute, here! She's the mom? I thought for sure that you were the mom!"
He had believed that I was my mother's mom.
He thought that she. was. my. daughter.
That is one day of that decade which I would gladly chop out of my brain and donate to science. However, my mom really enjoys telling the story and gets so much enjoyment out of everyone's reaction, that I just let the memory sit there - waiting to attack: At family gatherings, luncheons, baby showers, and anywhere else that someone will listen.
She gave up a lot for me, so I guess I can suffer through endless recounting of that event.
Why couldn't he have at least thought that we were sisters?
October 23, 1985
When my mom had me I think the hardest thing she had to do for a job was changing diaper's, changing cloths , and feeding me. That--I think that would be very hard! I think I would like to have children, but all of that work! Oh, my, oh, my. but the hardest thing to do to raise children I think is to teach them the right things to do in life! Jeese! No, yes, don't do that do that! That's all I ever heard from my mom, but it's worth it so you won't do many mistakes. I wish I could say it simpler but, I bet raising children is hard!