still waiting for the grown-ups to step in


sometimes, in those rare moments when i get a chance to actually SURVEY MY DOMINION, i.e., when i’m not vacuuming myriad lego pieces or fishing unidentifiable masses from the dispos-all, i’m amazed by how much has actually happened in my life.

i’m, like, not a kid anymore.

well, where the hell was i when that  went down?!

i was signing PTA checks tonight. and i thought, i should probably initial by the memo line to show (myself) that i’m paying attention… that i’m not actually doing this on someone else’s behalf. that i’m the main one: the prez.

and so it reminded me of that feeling i had when i first said yes almost 17 years ago to my wonderful not-yet husband when he asked me to marry him. i was looking around… “now what? where are the grown-ups who are coming to tell me this is really an OK idea?”

no one showed up, so we went along.

months later:

“do you?” “i do.”

“do you?” “i do.”

“then i…” >kiss.<

airplane: honeymoon…

close the blinds.

a few months later, we bought our house.

it still blows my mind: we. bought. a. house.

when we signed the papers and initialed all the documents (sorta like what i experienced a moment ago with the PTA checks) i remember as if it were today thinking, “surely, someone with common sense, decency and authority is gonna blaze in this here office and snatch this pen out of my God-lovin’ hands because i have no  bidness doin’ this…”

nope. no one stopped me. the grown-ups in the office not only let us keep signing away, but when we were done: they slid a pair of keys across the table to us. real metal keys – not like a giant KEY TO THE CITY key that everyone knows is a fake. no doors are that big. and if there are some, i don’t want to open them. someone might grind my bones to make his bread.

actual keys to the lock on the door of the house. one for him. one for me. they were just like the keys that i had on my keyring at my house that i lived in when i … lived   with    my    parents….

hey. wait a min-nit. and the grown-ups in the room where we signed the papers all smiled their cheshire cats grins and said, “Congratulations!! Thank you! Well, let’s go!”

They picked up their papers and faded like that feline while leaving us our own  22-lb batch of signed legal-size recyclable white paper. i felt like lily tomlin’s “Edith Ann” when she sat in that huge rocker.

and so it went.

i looked at him: “ok.”

he looked at me: “ok.”

we left the office.

we hopped in our cars, drove to the house, walked up the steps and tried the key.

the key worked. the door swung open and we stepped in the house. it was lovely, light, airy, brand-new and supposedly ours. complete with a stove, a sink, running water, 3.5 baths, a dishwasher and an ice-makin’ ‘fridge and our first dispos-all in the kitchen. and a washer & dryer in the basement.

i looked around, caught my breath, thought. waited and almost hoped: “when are the grown-ups gonna get here and tell us to get out?”

no one showed. not for 6 more years. no one showed when we turned up the music. brought in a dog. dug up the yard. brought in a baby. had parties. (well, people showed up to the parties… c’mon, we weren’t losers). 

but no grown-ups showed up asking us where we got the baby, if we had papers for him, or who demanded we  leave and give them back their home. i wouldn’t have blamed them if they did. i mean, i was still, what? 14?

and so here i am with the same guy but in another house, 1o years later, 2 more kids, 1 more dog, 2 cats, countless fish,  2 SUVs, 2 stoves, 2 sedans, 3 dishwashers, 3 sports cars, 3 microwave ovens, 1 (gone) minivan and dozens of Buzz Lightyears later… and i’m still waiting for the grown-ups to step in and tell me to leave.

surely this can’t really be my life. i’m a stand-in or an understudy for someone completely fabulous who has their shit together.

i don’t feel any older. and now i go to restaurants or movies with the same guy and these kids i live with.  i look around, waiting for a grown-up to sit down. i hear a grown up say at our table, “take out your napkin.” and “please, keep it down.” and “that was his first.” and “so, how was your day?” and those kids i live with all look up and begin to answer me.

thanks for reading.

12 responses »

  1. I love, so true. In my mind I still feel so young, and can not understand why I don't look and feel as young as I think I am. I was just talking today about College…did I really manage to graduate? Guess so. Cherie S.

  2. I love how you measure your life together by appliances and cars. It’s too hard to keep track by years. They go by too fast. My mom always says you never feel grown up. You are still the same on the inside. She laughs when people say they will do something when they are “older” or they won’t care about something when they are “that” age because you never feel old. You still have insecurities and want to be attractive and want to try new things. Cheers to being young at heart!

    I didn’t notice any punctuation.

    • your mom is right; i still feel the same inside. sometimes that creeps me out, like when i stare at old David Cassidy pictures and want to kiss them. then i am not so ok with it… but she’s right – i am as old as i feel, which is sure as pattoot not 45 and owning my second house ever and 2nd dog and 6th cell phone in my life. i see no other way than the cars and appliances. i bet farmers equate it all over how long they’ve had their John Deeres.

      i think i meant capitalization. i was rushing. no matter… thanks for not noticing. 🙂 xo

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