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just because i am older does not mean i am more mature

Et tu, Brute?

September 1, 2013

in therapy in session

I am in mourning.

Yes, once again I am taking things that have absolutely nothing to do with me personally. Very personally.

I was being naive.

I just thought that geeks would be different.

Brains over beauty, right?

It is not even beauty per se. It’s youth that we are competing against.

In the end, you can’t fight youth.

Well, you can, literally, if you are Simon Pegg and his merry band of old school chums in the movie “The World’s End”.

As much as I laughed at the slapsticks in this movie starring my favorite duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and my favorite reluctant detective/doctor, Martin Freeman, I now think of Pegg’s character as a Shakespearean fool. One of those tragi-comic figures who in his outrageous conduct and verbosity states the truth that nobody wants to admit.

To make it brief, Gary King (played by Pegg) peaked in high school, and he’s been behaving the same ever since, driving the same car, wearing the same long black trench coat, listening to the same mixtape, while his high school buddies moved on and over their high school glory days. It was hilarious and at moments, endearing, to watch Gary trying to hold on to the residual of their shared youth.But it also made me wince.

Gary was the King back then. A real badass. In high school. We all know how that turned out: you graduate, you get a real job, you move on. Life happens. Reality sets in. Welcome to the real, fucking, world. We all did it. We moved on.

Gary though is different. He is committed. He’s been forestalling the march of time in his own way – you know, the car, the clothing, the hair, the mixtape. He refuses to “move on”.

Is this pathetic or heroic?

I winced because I could relate to Gary and I probably should not have admitted to that. In life, it’s always the former. Only in movies and in literature would we have been convinced of the latter.

 

It is something to do with death and time and age. Simply: I am eighteen in my mind I am eighteen and if I do nothing if I stand still nothing will change I will be eighteen always. For always. Time will stop. I’ll never die.

Nadie Smith, NW: A Novel

 

 

CODA:

[SPOILER ALERT. PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE AND YOU PLAN TO.]

 

 

To be honest, now that I’ve been chewing on this movie over and over in my mind, the ending of the movie depresses the heck out of me. Not because it portrayed a post-apocalyptic world… No. In fact, during the last scene of the movie, I felt happy for Gary – here he is, leader of the five musketeers. King again finally. He looked so truly fulfilled in the final freeze frame, his eyes glistening with excitement and purpose.

I find it depressing exactly because of this: that the ONLY thing that enabled Gary to defy the rules of growing up/old was literally the end of the world, that it will require a deux ex machina (an alien invasion for example) to stop life from turning into a long, drawn-out requiem for youth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are 6 teenage boys now in my house and they are staying overnight until tomorrow noon. Sleepover is a misnomer: there will be NO sleep involved. They will be up all night, taking over the house while I hide in my locked bedroom. Fortunately my boy runs with the nerd crowd so give them each a Wii remote control and time flies, as they say, Mario Cart style. Of course, when the sun comes up tomorrow, I will be ushered into the Dawn of the Dead (Tired): these teenagers, being outside of Asia where the Tiger Moms roam, are untrained in the Tao of Midnight Oil Burning (“OMG. The teacher gives them so much homework. My son spent TWO HOURS last night doing his math homework!” Yah… I bit my tongue for that one.) They all talk a big game, and yet we know, tomorrow they will be complaining about headaches and extreme exhaustion and whimper like little babies. Thank goodness tomorrow also happens to be my least favorite day of the year – I have a slogan for it too, Spring Forward My Ass –  so I am actually one hour closer to liberation.

Hurrah!

The lady brigade suggested lots of booze to help me survive the Night of the Undead. When in doubt, add Vodka. And sometimes, bacon. Unfortunately for me though, I have something in my mouth which, actually, is one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my life, I am convinced.

Last Saturday, I got Invisaligned.

Oh no no. Taking these suckers out is NOT an one-handed job. *He he. Rim shot?* All the glossy pictures featuring beautiful people do not show you the “anchors” on my teeth to secure the braces. These bumps make me look like a vampire (of the non-sexy variety) and make it a pain to take them out, and that means I basically have only limited windows every day to eat and drink. On the first day, I tore the bottom liner out of frustration and panic when I was dizzy with hunger. “What if I cannot take these things out and I have to stop eating for the next 12 months?!” On top of the dreadful task of taking the liners out (which reminds me of the first few days when I got my first contact lenses), I am also very very lazy, and I do not like the thought of having to brush and floss my teeth AFTER every bite or sip before I put the liners back on.

This is torture for a grazer. In this past week I have experienced thousands of moments when I thought about eating but could not. It’s revealing because, if not for my inability to do so, I would not have even given it any thought before I polished off say a whole bag of Sun Chips, or ate half of the strawberries while cutting them. Gone are the days to hold a cocktail giant beer glass and sip my Cranvodka the whole day night. No more lounging at Starbucks for hours. (Ok. Fine. I don’t get to do that anyway… But you get the point) I feel unsettled and restless the whole day, like something is wrong but I cannot quite put my finger on it. The promise of losing weight from this self-enforced starvation? Ha. I am half-starved for the past week but still managed to gain 5 lbs. HOW? Because when it comes time to eat, I eat like a starved person, like someone who has no idea when they are going to see food again. I now eat appetizers, main courses, AND desserts. After I am done with my meal, I survey the pantry and the fridge to find all things that I think I may have a cravings for later during the day and I shove them into my mouth.

At the same time, I also got a raging case of pink eye and was therefore rocking my geek-cred thick-coke-bottle glasses. Along with new braces, my weight gain, and the telltale rash around my waist band…

Liz Lemon: God, three weddings in one day, I’m going to be in Spanx for 12 hours. My elastic line is gonna get infected again.

I’ve had a week of low self-esteem, which meant only one thing: I needed food for emotional support.

Like I said, one of the worst decisions I’ve made in my life. So far.

Maybe I should try and top it with another bad decision? Maybe I should just say “Oh, fuck it”, and go have pizza, cake, chips and a big giant glass of Cranvodka tonight? I mean, it’s my kid’s birthday party right? I gave birth to that little guy (now measuring 5’10”) fourteen years ago so I deserve a night off from this mental torture device, right?

Happy Birthday, Number One Son! Let’s party! Separately of course. I am cool like that. You guys stay downstairs and watch mindless YouTube videos while I surround myself with all the food that I bought for you and watch an R-rated movie. Now who’s going to help mommy carry all the food and the bottle of vodka and cranberry juice upstairs?

Update: I did not even get to eat anything when the doorbell all of a sudden went off. “Are you guys expecting more people?” “No…” We opened the door and it was The Girls. Well, I guess I have officially thrown a cool party right if it’s been crashed? You’d be happy to know that after I corralled them into singing Happy Birthday and cut the birthday pies, I quickly grabbed my bottle of ready-made Costco Margarita (NO cranberry juice in the house!) and headed upstairs while leaving Mr. Monk, my 9-year-old in charge.

 

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“All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting to encounter yourself.”   — Gore Vidal

 

This is going to make me sound like an awful mother, ok, more than usual.

I know many of you who are kind enough to read my blog on a regular basis adore my precocious youngest child. But sometimes, sometimes, I wish my child would say only “age-appropriate” things and engage me in “age appropriate” conversations. Sometimes I wish he were not such a little old man.

I am kind of tired of having to respond to a comment out of nowhere such as, “I don’t know how a Christian can ever support death penalty!” Seriously? Where did he get that?

Or, “I finally figured out how Batman became so rich. When his parents died, they left him with the inheritance.” Yes, he’s been quite fascinated by the concept of inheritance lately. I am trying to NOT worry about it.

Or when he flipped the channel and decided that a documentary on Freedom Riders was the most interesting thing on TV and he wanted to watch the whole thing. It’s exhausting because to answer his questions oftentimes requires supplemental materials and contextual information that are beyond his comprehension.

On these days I am worried that I am not qualified to be his mother.

 

I also don’t need a critic that follows me around like Jiminy Cricket, questioning everything that I do or say.

 

The other day he followed me around the house. “You know. This house is falling apart. We have ants everywhere,” he sighed.

First of all, the house is not falling apart. It was built in 2000 and we are the original owners. The ants? The ants are in our house because he leaves a trail of crumbs no matter how many times I have asked him to please be careful since he freaks out about the ants.

He sighed again. “I think it is going to be very hard when it comes time to sell this house.”

“It is not going to be hard to sell this house. Please don’t say things like this.” I was getting rather annoyed because unfortunately, I have absolutely no patience for Debbie Downers, Pessimists and Worrywarts.

“Ok. I just want to let you know that when you die, and I inherit this house, I am going to sell it.”

“Well, I will make sure you don’t inherit this house then.”

“I am just letting you know, that when you die, IF I get the house, I am going to sell it.”

That’s when I started having this huge headache between my eyes. And it’s still there.

 

I don’t need someone to constantly remind me how old I am.

“Mom, you are 40 years old. Do you think you should behave that way?”

“You are a middle-aged woman, please don’t jump up and down.”

And he says these things not because he’s embarrassed, but because he has labeled me as such and therefore I should behave in such and such way to conform to that label.

It’s like I am living with the Puritans.

“Are you my dad? You are worse than my dad.”

Like I said in the beginning, I am an awful mother.

 

It was funny the first time he sprinkled Holy Water on me. It was a lot less funny when I overheard him saying “Yeah, and if your mom does not believe in god, it is very hard when you want to be a good Christian.” To nobody in particular. Again, out of nowhere.

Head. Desk.

 

It’s like living with your own critic, your very own Simon Cowell who has no filters when it comes to the dissemination of truth.

Yup. My son. The truth seeker.

I know I am the adult here but oh boy does the truth hurt especially when it is pointed out to your face by someone who’s supposed to be looking up to you.

 

“Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they are going to catch you in next.”  — Henry Ward Beecher

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