Not sure if my sisters watched this, but I know I did. I had an antennae t.v. in my room that required me to get up to change channels. I watched Roseanne, Beverly Hills 90210 (talk about contrasts), Oprah, Phil Donahue, Tracy Ullman, and Thirty Something. Those were my shows when I wasn't working at a mall being an 80s kid.
I remember several of my high school classmates referencing Thirty Something in many of my classes and, at lunch, talking about where they planned to be two decades from where we were. Most of them wanted to replicate the professions of this particular show. I, however, wanted to be the long-haired hippie dude (far right) working on a degree in English. I managed this for a while, but cut the locks as I aged. Note to self: I still want to be the long-haired hippies dude working on a degree in English.
Reality Check: The majority of us have become exactly what we set out to be.
Purpose: This post is about my sister, Casey. She turned 41 yesterday and I'm wondering what the hell happened to our 30s? Shit. What happened to our 20s? Is this what The Big Chill is all about? If so, I totally get it.
Slow Down Universe!
Casey's not allowed to be in her 40s and neither am I. She's now 41. I'm 42, going on 43. To me, we're still swimming in Loch Lebanon, playing Hi Lo, throwing a softball/baseball around, sneaking beers from my father's fridge, taking $1 bills from my mom's purse, and riding 10 speed bikes down the hill of Amalfi Drive. We're at Southkirk in cabins with the Marleys. We're on roller skates that have to be strapped onto sneakers and that make your legs tingle for hours afterwards. Cynde and I are still playing Angels and Devils while harassing Casey in the back seat of the car. Casey and I are still drinking Capris Suns while I coach her to solve every Nintendo game we rent from...get this...video stores.
Last night, I called Casey at 9:35 and said, "This is the first chance I've had all day to call you. It's been too busy." She was like, "That's okay, I'm exhausted, too. We just got back from Twin Trees"
We hang up, and then I have a heart-to-heart with Chitunga about growing up, aging, making decisions, and doing what's right. He brought up the conversation when he said, "You opened your home to help me out. You make the rules."
So I grounded him and sent him to his room.
Actually, we talked.
How has all this happened? How does Cynde have a daughter in college and a son about to enter high school? When did Casey stop caring about going out to 4 a.m. to local bars so that she could raise a family in Manlius? What the hell?
It's 10 p.m. and you're sitting with an 18 year old talking about the importance of making smart decisions for the next decade of his life. It seems somewhat important, but then you have flashbacks to what you were doing as an 18 year old. Times were different then, but the mischief was still the same.
So you say, "IN MY HOUSE, THESE ARE MY RULES."
But I don't have any rules. I simply am and let be what should be. This seems like sound advice until he reminds me that his American experience and sense of family has been different. Trying to find ways to respect his independence at the same time I try to "parent" is a new challenge to my world.
Um, go watch Roseanne.
It's all a guessing game, I tell him "If you want me to whack you upside your head and tell you what a loser you're being, I can do that. But if you want mature conversations, guidance, and speculation, then I can give that, too."
I listen. He listens. Then we watch Team America, #$@# yeah!
Who would have ever thought this would be my reality when I was 17?