I met one of my best friends, 22 years ago, at a birthday party for a two year old, my goddaughter/honorary niece, Little Luce. I stopped to make faces at the infant in Kendall’s lap; Kendall and I began talking, and talked our way through the party. She’s a punk princess; I was a hippie princess and us princesses have much in common. Especially a love for the absurd, literature, music and the men who play and/or produce it, New York and so much more.
I have nothing against children–actually I adore them and love watching them grow up. I have been known to make groups of girls cry when I tell them I only had one Barbie doll. Then I tell them there was only one Barbie doll. The relief and laughter still amazes me.
I taught Little Luce her first practical joke. It’s rather embarrassing so I won’t repeat it here. She went on to become a master practical joker. Did I have anything to do with that? I hope so. One day when she was around ten we were crossing Broadway and I told her she didn’t have to hold my hand. Little Luce pretended to close her eyes as she walked. Sorry kid, that one’s been around forever.
I have been married. I lived with several men. I chose not to have children as I had problems and didn’t know what they were caused by. I’m physically disorganized, spatially/visually impaired—and cared much more than most other people did about my problems.
My parents and I were friends at a time when most young people weren’t friends with their parents. It was embarrassing. (Yes I can be easily embarrassed.) I know what’s it like when parents of my generation tell me how their daughters are their best friends. They claim I can’t know what it’s like.
But I do know.
I saw my father, as he worked in the city, played poker and took classes, at least once a week for dinner and/or lunch. At first I only called my mother every several days but by the time I was in my early 30’s and my former-boyfriend was first abusive then stalked me, I called her at least once a day. It was comforting to have my parents in my corner. They helped more than therapy which is kind of sad as my mother gave me no advice except to “take a walk, then go to a movie. And afterwards go to the police and ask them to come back to your apartment to see the damage Zachary caused.”
This was in the early 1980’s. Nice white girls who lived in zip code 10021, then the richest zip code in Manhattan weren’t abused. (My apartment was rent-stabilized.)
The police did nothing other than tell me I must have done something wrong. Thinking about it now I want to cry for the strong woman I didn’t know I had become. My mother knew; my father would learn that I have a reservoir of inner strength that helps me navigate life.
If this were a story about my one Barbie doll I would have ended up married to Ken, with kids who left to go to college and are now working at great careers. But I didn’t. I usually thought that was more than OK.
Lately it seems as if people think they discovered parenting and parenting adult children and/or being a grandparent. It feels as if you didn’t go that route people judge you and judge you harshly.
This might be an era of feminists but apparently once you’re out of your 30’s if you’re not married and/or have a kid–what have you done with your life?
I was proud of my writing. I won’t go into my blogging history as I understand that’s ancient history and blogging’s all about today. I feel as if I’m back in Junior High when the only things that mattered were fitting in and being popular. No room for quirky. No room for people who don’t fit into the norm. I survived Junior High and learned that I could be “popular” despite my quirks and eccentricities.
The Inn might be all filled up but I will start my own bed & breakfast.
After Junior High and through most of my life I was too busy looking for inner and outer faults to be proud of me. I might not look like a generic soap star anymore; rooms no longer fall silent for a minute when I walk in but I’m proud of the woman I have become.
I won’t worship this woman because that seems over the top and selfish to me but I sure will like her!