Halfway to 50!

Twenty somethings unite!

When did I become that mean neighbor lady? June 29, 2011


Freedigitalphotos.net

Every neighborhood has one.  That grouchy lady who keeps to herself and scares the children on the block.  Nobody trick or treats at her house because she doesn’t leave her porch light on.  Groups of kids just walk on by her house on Halloween and swap stories about the awful things they’ve seen her do.  At Christmas time her house is the only one that’s not lit up with beautiful twinkling lights.  It looks as cold as the snow covering her yard.  Come summertime, she had better not catch you shooting off any fireworks or she’ll be calling the cops to end your fun.  Every block in America has one of these old bags…. who would have ever thought that at 26, it’d be me?

Ok, Ok, so kids do trick or treat at my house (mostly because I’m a teacher at the school they all attend) and we do put up Christmas lights.  I would never call the cops on kids shooting off fireworks.  But, I did become that bitchy old lady last week when a group of teenagers irritated the crap out of me… and someone had to put an end to it.

My hubbie and I had been eating dinner.  We heard kids yelling and being obnoxious out front but didn’t pay much attention to it.  We noticed out our window that about 5 kids were riding in a convertible down the street while standing up.  The driver would start and stop quickly hoping to make the passengers fall over (I’m sure the teens’ parents would have loved to see their children in what could have been a scene from a public service announcement about new drivers).  An hour later the crowd of about 12 continued to yell and be obnoxious out in the street in front of my house.  You have to understand where the frustration came from.  I was working on a paper that was due that week to complete my graduate program.  40 pages on “Motivation,” ironically enough, and I couldn’t seem to ever find the motivation to do it.  I had finally sat down (away from the TV, because apparently, I don’t do well with that) and those damn kids were distracting me. 

I watched them like a creepy old lady for about 15 minutes from my bedroom window.  2 boys were running around the group with their cell phones held up, trying to take pictures of the one female with them (obviously the object of their affection).  She had her forearms crossed over her chest, gripping her shoulders.  “We got a picture of you!” one boy yelled.  I had had enough.  Hours of this crap happening in my quiet, suburban neighborhood as I desperately tried to finish off my bitch of a paper.

I walked outside and fluffed the rug on the porch, pretending to have a purpose for being out front.  The kids, unphased, continued to fight to photograph the girl, while she chased them and kicked them.  A few got back into what I later found out was the girl’s car and would drive at the group until they all jumped out of the way or they jumped on top of the car (again, their parents would be happy to know that the money they spend on her cute blue convertible was so well appreciated).  I walked over to the driveway, planted my feet, crossed my arms, and gave the almighty teacher death stare that I have perfected over the past 3 years.  I frantically searched my brain for something to yell that would get them away from my house, but wouldn’t sound bitchy.  After all, I am half way to 50, not 50.  Nothing came to mind.  I just stared and seethed while I watched their shenanigans go on. 

Then, about 30 seconds into the stare, it happened.  One by one, the boys noticed me watching.  Could it have been my heavy breathing?  No, it was probably my red face.  Then again, it could have been the smoke coming out of my ears…. Whatever it was, it worked.  The first boy jabbed the boy to his right.  That boy poked the kid in front of him.  And suddenly.  Like magic.  They all stared right back at me.  It was a showdown.  One boy said, “Hey guys, let’s go inside or something.”  Yah, they all agreed, let’s go inside.  They scattered like a police bust at a college party.  I just stood there and watched them run into the house in fear.  No movement.  Just stood there.  Once every one of those little buggers had gone inside, I ran to the backyard to celebrate my victory with hubbie who was mowing the lawn.  I walked – no skipped, to him and couldn’t stop giggling.  “Oh my gosh!  You’ll never guess what just happened!  I just scared about a dozen teenagers away from our house without saying a word!”  Not as pleased with my victory, he continued mowing.  I ran into the house to call friends and share my story of becoming the neighborhood hag.  At least they shared my feelings of triumph! 

It was during one of those phone calls when my friend said it best, “You’re like Mabel!  I’m going to call you Mabel!”  So Mabel it is.  I’m that person on the street who’s not to be messed with.   Yes, I lost a little sleep that night, worried we’d be egged or TP’d.  But damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

 

Feeling Guilty About My Guilty Pleasure June 10, 2011


I was in a crazy rage the other night.  Literally, sweaty palms, shaking, flushed face, the works.  So what happened?  Someone cut me off on the road?  No.  The hubbie shrunk my favorite jeans?  No. Worse.  Much worse.   The TV.  Went.  Out.

Ok, ok, so most of you are now raising your eyebrows thinking I’m some gross slob who sits around and watches hours of TV with no life outside of the couch and the remote.  Not true.  But I do have this, what I now consider an obsession, with reality TV.  So imagine my surprise when mid-Real Housewives of New York, my TV screen goes blue (as if they purposely chose this depressing color to solidify the sadness of the news) delivers me a message on the screen: “Hello.  We’re restarting the hard drive.  Do not power down or restart.”  Ugh!  Seriously?!  This is a new episode!  What am I going to do with myself if I don’t know how the Ramona vs. Jill fight ends? 

It all started because of this crazy rain we were experiencing.  It had been pouring off and on all evening.  If there is ice, snow, or severely cold temperatures, DirecTV stands strong.  But if there is even a hint of rain, our satellite goes out.  It seems to shut down about 10 seconds before a heavy rainfall starts.  It is a nice little weather forecaster, but annoying as hell when you’re watching something as wonderful as The Real Housewives.  So there I was, typing up a paper that was due last week on my laptop, sipping a Diet Coke and 30 minutes into a special 75 minute episode of The Real Housewives of New York.  Then it happened.  The blue screen and that damn message.  I swallowed the Diet Coke that I had just poured into my mouth, slowly set the can down, closed my laptop, and stared at the TV.  I didn’t know what to do.  I paced back and forth in my living room trying to think of a solution.  The more I paced, the more angry I became.  I was sweating, nervous, and confused.  I started talking to myself, “How can we put a man on the moon, bring Internet through cell phones, and have a video conversation with someone on the other side of the world, but THE SATELLITE GOES OUT IF IT RAINS?!?!”  Seriously, our TV satellite people need to do some serious research on how to get the signal to go through, no matter the weather.  How does this happen? 

About 15 minutes later the signal came back, I watched the rest of the show, and was fine.  But I came to an important realization: I may be addicted to TV.  I work out regularly, eat right, and work hard 8-5, and am thisclose to getting my Master’s Degree.  Don’t I deserve some down time at night with Teen Mom, Millionaire Matchmaker, and Real Housewives?  Should I feel guilty about my guilty pleasure?

 

Growing up, one night at a time… April 12, 2011


I was being pulled through the city by my husband.  “Come on!” he said.  I picked up my speed from a quick walk to a light jog.  “Um, I’m in a dress and heels,” I reminded him.  I tried to look calm and collected as I breezed past onlookers in my half sprint down the sidewalk.  After a few minutes, we finally arrived to our destination.  Whew!  We made it before 7:00 and that means no cover charge!  Winning!  I flipped out my ID and began walking into the piano bar.  “Hold on,” called the bouncer (is that what you call the guy who checks ID’s?)  He grabbed my wrist and stamped me.  Ugh.  I haven’t had a bar stamp in years.  It totally didn’t go with my outfit.  We strolled into the joint with our friends and immediately noticed there was no seating left.  Ok. so we’ll be standing.  We watched the stage as both a bachelorette and her future husband suffered public humiliation.  I believe at one point the man was told to “motor boat” his fiancée’s boobs and he did.  Forgive me for being a crabby pants, I had nothing to drink at that point.  It’s amazing how things aren’t as funny when it’s 7:00. 

We stood around for about an hour, sipping on drinks and trying to catch up with each other over the noise of the pianos.  I began to get a stomach ache.  Standing against a wall, in heels, sweating, was not the way I thought the night would be.  A few friends left and called to say that the brewery a few blocks away had seating and amazing appetizers.  We gulped our drinks and headed out.  Ahhhh, fresh air! 

We stepped into the brewery, pulled up chairs around a big table full of friends, ordered a plate of nachos, and I sighed.  “This is so much better.  We can actually hear each other and give our ankles a rest,” I proclaimed.  Then I gasped and covered my mouth as everyone stared at me.  “Oh my God.  That statement made me sound so old!”  We laughed and all agreed that this was indeed the better way to spend the evening.  We were visiting friends in the big city for the weekend and truly enjoyed catching up over greasy food and strong beverages.  Around 11:30 we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

It happened.  Again.  Just another night of being pulled further from 20 and closer to 30.  And you know what?  My feet, kidneys, and ears are thanking me 🙂

When did you notice yourself growing up?  How did you feel about it?

 

25 in the Midwest March 28, 2011


Are expectations different depending on where you live?

I had this thought today as I was driving to the gym.  I had Cosmo Radio on in the car and was listening to a segment called, Cocktails with Patrick or Cocks with P (if you’re feeling a little sassy!)  He was on a roll delivering a strong message about being 25 years old to his co-host.  Apparently she is 25 and he was telling her to relish every moment of this time, because it only goes downhill from there. 

After you’ve all stopped gasping, continue reading please.  He was telling her that she is at her prime physically, emotionally, and sexually.  He went as far as to tell her that she should throw herself a party tonight to celebrate this wonderful age!  But what really got me was when he asked her about her “old” friends, you know, those girlfriends she has who are 28 or 29 years old.  (There was even a moment where they referred to these women as “golden girls!”  Their words, not mine.)  If asked, he believed every one of them would turn back the clock 4 years.  Why? Because they have more pressure and responsibility now.  Together they listed the things that cause pressure and responsibility when you are in your late 20’s like careers, marriage, and babies.  He advised his halfway to 50 co-host to truly soak up every moment of her carefree existence right now before she becomes engulfed in life’s expectations.

Here is where my head spun around.  What he is talking about??  I’m 25, four years into my career, married, and paying a monthly mortgage.  My halfway to 50 life is full of responsibility and pressure!  Now, please don’t think I’m complaining.  I chose every element of my life and love what it has become.  I have a career that I’m passionate about, a husband who adores me, and a home that we’ve created together that someday we’ll raise children in.  So why does this radio host believe 25 year olds are free of responsibility?  Am I crazy or is he?  Where I come from, once you graduate college, you get a move on with life.  It is still filled with fun and excitement, but you have to work for it.

Most of my friends were married in their early 20’s and many are starting to have children.  We all have jobs because, well, who else is going to pay the bills?  We have fun on the weekends and work hard during the week.  We haven’t thrown in the towel on our youth yet, but still take on a lot of responsibility. 

Two of my best friends are not married.  Both have come to me with concerns about their age and the increasing pressure to marry soon.  They’re great girls with good jobs, amazing families, and dazzling personalities.  So why are they worried?  Because they want security, love, and, babies before they’re 30.  Most of the time these conversations turn to the idea that people our age in other areas of the country are partying, carefree, and starring in reality shows about living in a beach house. 

I guess what I’m saying is if I was born in Los Angeles, maybe I’d be running around from bar to bar, flirting with muscle laden bronzed men, working a temp job as a dog walker, and living in a run down apartment on the beach.  The only responsibilities I’d have is to sweep the sand off the floor at night, keep enough protection in the house for my gentlemen callers, and keep an ample supply of sunscreen on hand for my tanning sessions.

So my final thought to you is, does region determine the expectation on you and your age?  Do you think you’d have a different life if you grew up elsewhere?  What is society’s current expectation of you?