Archive for April, 2016
So Spawn has a metric truckload of damn field trips and school trips to go on, one of which will consist of two nights and three days over an ENTIRE weekend. Right smack in the middle of this fun-filled little weekend is Spawn’s birthday.
Since Spawn came into my life, we have only spent rare few nights apart, and only one at a time. This is TWO, and on a day that I have been a part of for their forever. I HATE this!
I threatened to get Spawn their cake of choice right before they left so they could see it and then I would eat it all while they were gone. The look of hurt on that face… well, they decided to go, didn’t they?!
We’d originally put this trip on the “no chance in hell” category since it cost too much. However, someone cancelled last minute and they offered Spawn the spot for about a third of the original. Spawn was so thrilled.
I never would have guessed that Spawn would have taken to band like they had, but they love it. This trip is for them to perform, as are all the others. I’m thrilled they love it so much, but at the same time, I’m a pissy three year old that just had their favorite toy snatched away.
I’d already informed Spawn that if they decided to ever live on campus in college, I would be following shortly behind with cot in tow. At the time, they thought that was awesome. I get the feeling this will be less awesome to them as they get older. Would really infringe on date nights…
So now I have to figure out an epic present to get this weekend of absence since I don’t have anyone to play with, or since they got to go on this trip, maybe that is the present.
Maybe I’ll follow Marie Antoinette’s advice and just eat cake…
I’m not sure anymore how much detail I’ve gone into, I’m too lazy to go look at any prior posts of mine about health. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, just like Grand. Unlike Grand though, I don’t hide twinkies and say I bought them “for the kids” or a 10 lb bag of oranges and eat them over a few days because I’m too lazy to cook for one.
I do however, have an intense love of chocolate and had (my meds make me crave meat now, go figure) a sweet tooth so fierce I’d make myself sick. I could never understand why, but my doc said that since I’d always ran a low sugar until now, I would of course crave it. I used to have a blood sugar of about 74 shortly after eating. I know only because I had a type 1 boss who would stick you anytime you alluded to not feeling perfect.
I’m on a pill twice a day. I’m thankful I don’t have to use insulin, for now. I’m also glad I’m not having to stick myself, for now. My numbers have been getting better minisculely, not rapid enough for the instant gratification loving person than I am. I know that this is a process, but the process, to me should be faster than 10 lbs in three months.
Walking… hurts right now. But I do as much as I can. I would love to swim, but have no access to such in a reasonable time frame or distance. If I tried to do yoga, I’d fall and hurt myself. My body is not fully under my control right now.
I’ve always berated myself for being a food-addicted by-product of bad genes and a worse upbringing, but I don’t think that is the whole story.
I distinctly remember crying over a plate of food because I couldn’t eat anymore and I thought I would be in trouble. Grand always fixed our plates for a 300 lb grown man and then demanded that we eat everything. My mom tossed the plate I was crying over in the trash and spent the next hour trying to de-program a short lifetime of conditioning.
I was suicidal by age seven, depression came on pretty hard when the hormones did in my preteens, and so did about 10 or so extra pounds. At that point, I didn’t have any major body issues, I figured my next growth spurt would probably iron it all out, as I was still a kid.
That is, of course, until I sent to my Aunt from Hell’s house for the summer. She promptly slapped me on the Atkin’s diet, droned on about “ketosis” and fed me shitty unsweetened yogurt and unripe blueberries. It would be twenty years before I would ever willingly taste another blueberry.
I had one friend I made that summer and was thrilled when they invited me over for a sleepover. Anything to get out of that bitch’s house. Their dad made homemade vanilla ice cream, a treat I’d never had in my life. I ate one small scoop, since I was trying to keep to the Fuhrer’s strict rules.
I was subsequently screamed at for an hour when they found out.
Years later, when same aunt was giving me advice about the “delicate psyche” of children before Spawn was born, I brought up this small page in our history. I also told her I used to find her terrifying.
her:”…………….I’m….. I’m so sorry”
me:”kind of fucking late to regret now, isn’t it?”
I think that was the only time I ever heard that woman apologise for anything. She is Grand’s twin in many ways.
My twenties, I ended up with the marital fluff that comes from too much indifference and entirely too much meat and potato-based meals. When we split, I’d put on 30 or so lbs. I lost any taste for soft drinks and spent the first month or so gorging on as many raw vegetables as I could get my hands on. Not because I was dieting, but because I craved them. I didn’t count anything, didn’t weigh anything, I ate what I was in the mood for, including a 3 scoop variety bowl of ice cream with all the crap on it. I took up yoga, I loved it. I felt centered for the first time in my life.
I did weigh myself though. I had a mental number I wanted to reach and when I was within five pounds of it, I decided to take up a judo class. The first month, I instead gained five pounds but had dropped a pant size. It was my first epiphany in how little numbers mean.
The second was with a friend of mine who also had the desire to lean down, while we were at a pub crawl (I did mention I gave up nothing, right?). We were on bar three and moving to bar four. It was probably just a couple blocks to the next one and my friend and I were chatting and laughing and outpacing everyone. We passed two individuals who represented everything we were trying to achieve, size-wise. As we passed, we heard one complain about being exhausted and their feet hurting. The other responded in agreement. My friend and I looked at one another and I simply said “maybe we need to rethink our priorities…,” they simply responded “indeed.”
When Spawn was known but in the works, I ended up taking care of Grand, a noncompliant diabetic. I never understood what Grand thought they were accomplishing by not checking their sugar and lying about what they ate. They lost their eyesight and their independance, and its by sheer miracle they didn’t lose an appendage or have to go on dialysis.
While they were under my care, they dropped about 9 sizes. I cleaned out all the garbage and started cooking my normal jive. Grand was a shopping junkie, so I took them grocery shopping about three times a week. It seems excessive but I refused to keep any mass quantities of fruit (their main addiction) and Grand always had to walk down every aisle each visit.
Let me repeat that…. they had to walk down every aisle each and every time. Even if nothing had changed, nothing moved, nothing.
I played a game of trying to find the biggest grocery stores I could that still kept only within the food range. Wal-Mart was off-limits except for only special trips (moments I wouldn’t go postal spending days in a store). With Grand’s macular degeneration, they would obsessively grab shit and put it in their cart and I would pull it out of the other side and put it back. I tried to keep the splurge tab in the 10-15 range so the high could be obtained without the expenditure. Grand was a junkie when it came to shopping, folks. I would bribe anyone of you to do my shopping for me.
Grand:”I could have sworn I got more than this…”
Me:”hmmm, nope… you were a bit picky today.”
With Grand getting exercise on these trips, so I enforced the rule of only 2-3 pieces of fruit and each had to be a different color (probably the only thing they could see anyway) under the agreement we would come back when they ran out. When I refused to allow them the 10 lb bag of oranges, I got a call from one of her children about how I wasn’t feeding Grand. The 9 pant sizes and the elimination of two of their medications for sugar (there were four) seemed to support this. I did mention I was the evil black sheep of the family right? I fed Grand how I liked to eat, they had 3 squares and 2 snacks a day, and it worked.
My thirties, the weight crawled on while taking care of Spawn. Getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night with absolutely no break, full-time work and a kid who would scream if they had to consume anything besides chicken nuggets and french fries all summed up to a good 80 or more lbs. I responded the way I had in the past but with prepackaged salads, cooking mass quantities of meals and shoving them in the freezer (the first time around I had more than me to cook for with friends, roommates and my mom around all the time).
I tried to involve Spawn in my yoga. It didn’t go well and I wasn’t able to focus on it like I had when I could do it by myself, so I scheduled it when they were asleep. The weight also wasn’t budging either, even reviving the old habits. But this was a decade later.
I started counting calories for the first time. I hated it. I was hungry all the time and it felt like a full time job. I tried several calculations and set an amount that would hit a 2 lb weight loss a week, and it still didn’t budge much. I would knock off another 100 calories until I started losing again, but I was so damn hungry.
I started walking every other day. I found out one of my blocks was about 2 miles around, the other almost 3, so I walked both each time. BFG bought me some walking sticks because we had read it could help with strength training and your posture so you could walk faster. I didn’t even care if I looked stupid. I read so much material on nutrition and weight and exercise that, just like parental advice, it began to contradict each other.
I managed to knock off about half the weight. I’d had to give up caffeine due to an ulcer, and my last vice was smoking. When my cholesterol came back elevated, that went too. I was ok about it when I gained 12 lbs from quitting. I thought it’d be more. But I still had 30+ lbs left to go and it refused to budge.
Then I came home one day and my legs ached when I walked, my arms ached, I couldn’t get a full breathe, my brain ached. I was so mentally drained I felt like I’d been trying to do calculus without paper. I felt like I’d run a marathon and every bit of liquid I’d had in my body was focused completely around my legs like a pair of saline pants I couldn’t remove. I moved like Grand at 80, the 50 yards to the bed felt like Mount Saint Helen, so I crashed on the couch most of the time.
I slept at least a dozen hours every time I could, more on the weekend. It was insanely difficult to get up in the morning. I was always stiff, always tired, always hurting. I had donned a gorilla costume the Halloween before and chased Spawn for hours while they knocked on door after door and now I had no chance in hell of standing at a stove for thirty minutes to cook anything. I couldn’t stand five minutes without whimpering.
My doc tried upping my anti-depressants, my cholesterol problem magically disappeared but my blood pressure was elevated, no that’s no longer a problem but your triglycerides are weird, nope, now its your thyroid. No wait…. DIABETES!
It stayed like that for almost six years now, and over 100 lbs this time. On a scale of 1 to 10, I was sitting at 11 in misery. Of course, over those 6 years I felt like cooking very little, drive-throughs often providing our only major meals. This pleased Spawn, but not me. Crap makes you feel like crap, but I wanted hot meals and had no desire to make anything. I could stare at a full fridge and could not come up with a single thing to make. I felt like I was dead.
I still pretty much feel dead, maybe a zombie walker? My last visit we talked while I was getting checked out for a sinus infection (before the nurse told me to bend over). Cooking at home is now outweighing how much we grab. “Grabbing” dinner involves salads and lean meals at least half the time when I can find places that serve good food. I’m beginning to feel like I am at 8, sometimes 7 on good days. I’d lost 10 lbs… but in 3 months. It only took 6 months for that 100+ lbs to slam itself on and at that point, I was sleeping more than I was doing anything else. I even slowly weaned myself off the anti-depressant to see if maybe I wasn’t having some weird reaction to them.
So I’m at the point where I’m considering gastric bypass. I feel like I will continue to lose this battle with my own body unless I do something drastic. I have no intention of losing the war. I just need better artillery and the older I get, the harder this battle is getting.
I have read something about transfer addiction, and I used to think I had an addictive personality, but when I’ve set my mind to toss something out, I don’t go back. Chantix starts you out with 3 months, I quit in one, I kept another week of the pills to help with situations of temptation and donated the rest to a fellow smoker looking to quit. I’ve never looked back. I felt pretty smug sitting at an outdoor table with a pack of chain smokers with no desire to join them. I knew then I was done for good.
If I get my emotional brain to shut up, my logical brain tells me “remember that time you refused to drop the calculus class with the Russian professor you could never understand? It’s like that and it’s time to ask for help.”
Have you guys ever considered or done anything this drastic? I know I’m tired of just existing and now that Spawn is older, this is not at all the way I want them to remember me. I want to go on trips now, to experience now, to live NOW. Six years was too much already.
Being an 10-year old boy in this day comes with a great deal of life challenges, but being an 10 -year the boy with Autism is a completely different animal. “Little Man’s” mother has gone back to college to get her B.A. so much to my delight I get to spend more time with my favorite trio-Little Man, Big Brother, & The Baby (otherwise known as “The King”), Monday’s belong to “Little Man.”
Each brother is uniquely different from the other. “Little Man” recently turned 10, his first double digit birthday so his family celebrated in a huge way. I was unable to be at the celebration because of all our wedding related events, so I took “Little Man” out to try to make up for my not being there with him on his big day. The great thing about this kid is that he was so happy to hang out without sharing me with his brothers that I was easily pardoned.
He, and I share a bond that goes beyond mutual admiration, we are great friends. Even with his Autism we have a very emotional connection (something quite rare in children with Autism). I think it’s simply because we get each other. We enjoy hanging out because we can both be exactly who we are with each other. I believe that he has been responsible for as much of my personal growth as I have been for his.
So we grabbed a bite to eat at our favorite seafood place, “Little Man’s” diet is extremely difficult. He is allergic to soy, dairy, and gluten so fresh vegetables, and meat are pretty much all we can go for. It’s funny because he has a really huge appreciation for food because of his many dietary restrictions. He’s very sharp about maintaining his strict diet. He also loves going to this particular seafood restaurant because it’s not something his family can afford on a regular basis, and “The King” usually dictates the family meals with his extremely limited pallet.
As I sat there watching him devour his second entree of shrimp, I couldn’t help but notice how much his face has changed. He just looked so much more grown-up. he told me that he had never been to a wedding, or a funeral. He wanted to know what we did at my daughter’s wedding. He as always been fascinated with graveyards (he loves Halloween), then he stopped eating, and asked me if I knew that his dog had died? I looked at his sad little face, and told him yes.
Children with Autism are generally known for their inability to express or deal with the emotional responses of others. In many cases it’s something they have to be shown how to react to, and deal with it any social setting. In this moment his sadness over the death of his dog overrode his Autistic tendencies, he was a little boy overcome with emotion. I slid next to him on the bench seat, and he buried his little face into my shoulder. My heart broke for him in this moment, I needed to do something to lessen his pain.
So I told him he was lucky to have something he loved so much, and when he didn’t quite pick up on that I quickly followed up with a “Hey do you want to really drive your brother’s crazy? Let’s go play putt-putt golf, get some frozen yogurt!” 😉
Our microwave finally did the final death throes, after giving away slowly to its own demise over the course of months. It started with the stop button no longer working, to not being able to push the numbers at all, hitting the 30 second interval button to get to 10 minutes were some good times.
During the week, Spawn takes care of dinner. When the microwave died, I came to the realization that Spawn has no fucking clue what to do with a vegetable without a microwave. The entire case of frozen brussel sprouts I bought giddily from our local store is now gone…
Me:*grabs entire case of baby brussels and upends into grocery cart*
Spawn: “I’m not eating that”
Me: “Wasn’t planning on sharing.”
These were served to me either still mostly frozen, or Spawn managed to channel Grand, who always cooked like they were fighting of a predatory version of ebola in everything they served, and they were brown and disintegrated.
I hated microwaves growing up since this is the vessel from which the blackened shoe leather Grand would serve me came from. Only ramen and frozen dinners could be safely placed in this thing, especially since the latter tasted like shit no matter what you did with it. I was thirteen before I knew what steak was supposed to taste like.
Of course, I got over my aversion to the magic nuke boxes when I realized that, when used correctly, it was the best way to cook vegetables since they could come out hot, but still crunchy and the same color as when they went in but much quicker than you could ever do on the stove. Yay! I guess this is also the only way I’ve ever shown Spawn how to make them either.
Spawn’s response to my constant look of disappointment with my vegetable matter was to just skip cooking any vegetables. Spawn would love to eat nothing but fried chicken and macaroni and cheese for the rest of their lives. Considering I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, I again pointed out that starch will kill me, especially at the levels they wished to consume it and I NEED more vegetables, loads more. Of course, this makes Spawn feel bad, which makes them angry and we fight like normal parent/kids should.
I have to say, the extended period of being without a microwave is entirely my fault. I refuse to pay a lot for one, since I know they will die within a few years anyway. I don’t want anything that is massive or elaborate either since I refuse to cook anything in it that starts dancing in the land of crazy Grand used to reside. (Who the fuck cooks steak in a microwave, I ask you?)
Then I decided I wanted to look for one that was in some way novel. I have ninja coffee mugs, I have a terrorist teapot, I wanted a weird microwave. The best I could find was Hello Kitty and I’m not a big enough fan to spend a hundred bucks or so on something I would get strictly to annoy Spawn, who hates Hello Kitty and pink. Novel, weird and WTF microwaves are a grossly untapped market.
I spent most of the weeks browsing online, not liking the ratings, the prices, the boringness of it. Even the brown brussel sprout squish pellets have not been enough to convince me to finally break down and just pick something!
But then Spawn goes “I like this jacket, its like the one of yours you keep getting mad at me for stealing, but its blue.” It was $5 online… (thank you Spring). I tack on the cheapest microwave I see with 4 or more stars and hit confirm. I’m pathetic.
“Now take off my jacket.”
Spawn has just me.
I have no siblings, a cousin whom I only get along with for three day or less periods, an absent dad I flipped off once over thirty years ago, a dead mom, no living grandparents.
On the other end, there is a shitty biological donor with mental and drug-related problems, one dead sibling, an absent dad, absent half-siblings, a dead mom, no living grandparents.
Don’t get me wrong, if you dig past that, I have a couple aunts and some more cousins, but we don’t see each other much since we aren’t close. I’m the evil black sheep of the family and I’m to be kept away from the straights lest some of my bohemian lifestyle wear off on their offspring.
My BFG is like the only second parent to Spawn. They seem to be kindred souls in many ways, they both have an addiction to bacon and pasta that is unmatched and often, BFG’s presents to Spawn kick mine’s ass. They just “get” my kid.
Spawn’s other donor and I met in art class in high school actually. Then we parted for years because, life, and when I met them again, they were able to put on a reasonable facade of the person they used to be, but the cracks showed up pretty quickly and the whole thing ended.
When Spawn became exclusively mine, legally and otherwise, I figured that the questions about the other donor would be better if I made them up. We split a long time before either of us knew Spawn was a factor and its a miracle they came so healthy.
However, the other donor actually asked if they could be a part of Spawn’s life. I told them the door was open but if they pulled any shit, I reserved the right to end it immediately.
At first, this was a weekly pick-up from daycare and they would go for a walk at a park or something until dinner. It dwindled over the course of a year or so and then it would be nothing.
Almost annually, usually around their birthday (they couldn’t be bothered to remember Spawn’s), they popped up for a little while, want to see Spawn, then disappear like a bad dream. Once they decided popping pills and driving were a good combination, Spawn was no longer allowed to be alone with them, much less in a car.
I tried very hard to work things in such a way that Spawn had a great memory of their other donor without becoming aware of just how messed up they were. I would pick them up, schedule a “them” focused day and kind of linger in the background. Spawn had a great time, the other donor earned some points, and I didn’t have to deal with the shit for another year.
Example: Spawn wanted donor to watch them at karate class, I dropped them off, went down the road to run a load of laundry, to come back and find out donor has taken off across the street to a place that, not an hour before, they told me they used to buy drugs.
The last one was about five years ago or so when the other donor, who is currently ordered to pay a pittance in child support (seriously, $40/week is the order, I agreed to whatever would get me out of there fastest since they originally ordered $80) decided that in order to get out of this monetary infringement so they could pool their resources for better prescription drugs, they needed to get married. Apparently, they assumed that being married would automatically grant them half-custody and they would not longer have to pay child support.
So the other donor decided to disappear for a month and brought back a spouse from… god knows where. They lived like a recluse so none of us could figure out where they found this person. The donor has a house (paid for) and car (paid for) they inherited when their mom died, plus some actual monetary inheritance. I don’t know the last time they actually had a job, so I have no clue what the hell they thought they were doing. Usually I get a fat lump check whenever the court threatens to toss them in jail, since they’d already done so once.
The marriage didn’t last a month, despite the fact the spouse was apparently at least slightly crazy too. Friending me and Spawn on facebook and gushing about the “happy family” and “fast friends” they hope will be kind of made my stomach lurch. I ran interference before Spawn saw any of it often.
I watched the crazy sort of run its course, talked to a lawyer, found they didn’t have a leg to stand on, and just waited to let them run it to exhaustion. The only thing I had to say about it was to keep their crap away from me and Spawn. There would be no further visits for now.
This was the catalyst for them to release apparently a lot of pent up vile they have been holding onto against me. They couldn’t have their way, so I was the monster. I won’t get into it too much, it makes me rather ill, but when they decided in their drug-addled brain, to send my grade school kid this long facebook message about how I raped them and that was the only reason they existed,and I also apparently orchestrated the goings-on of the entire world with my genitals, being nothing more than a devious puppet-master.
I saved it. I blocked them, blocked their number, and sent everything to social services and family court, along with my only response. I told them if they thought they had a leg to stand on, they were welcome to take me to court, that they had no visitation rights, I had full custody and they had nothing, including the three bottles of prescriptions meds they ordered online, which I listed by name, by quantity and how many were left during the 10 days they had been in their possession before they had their stomach pumped (I was friends with their mom, and their mom’s best friend. The last time donor went to the ER for a stomach pump, the friend did some housecleaning and gave them to me as a backup plan).
That the true problem could be known quite clearly by simply pulling their medical records for the last twenty years and talking to the only person(s) who would still have anything to do with them, since they only did so in honor of their mother.
I told them if they ever wanted to see Spawn again they would have to submit to a mental exam and a rehab program, and only after an extended time of passing both, with court supervision.
It wasn’t long, a couple months, for the silence to end and I get a text from a number I don’t recognize with an apology. I respond with “too late” and block that one too. So far, they have tried to reconnect only twice. A few days ago, marks the third. Spawn and I both got a friend request from yet another account they have created, since I blocked all the others. They are convinced I’m just going to forget and forgive just because they play nice for now.
I only know because Spawn asked if I wanted them to block it. Spawn remembers when I told them the donor was no longer to be around us, that they had gone too far but I wanted them to keep the few good memories they had so I would not be getting into the details of why, but to please trust me that I was doing it for good reason. Spawn cried of course, but eventually figured out over the years that I wouldn’t do something like that with half-assed feelings.
Donor gave Spawn a ball once, one they’d shoplifted. Other than that, the other donor spends their time inhaling copious amounts of prescriptions and alcohol, spewing word salad and trying to pass it off as poetry and making shitty art. Even Spawn said “all there is on their facebook is badly taken photos and crappy poetry.”
The donor’s birthday is a little over a month away. I had always tried to acknowledge the big gift-giving occasions on behalf of Spawn. Of course, that stopped years ago when I noticed that the reciprocation was never there. As usual, this is a test to see if they can eek back in. I don’t know if selfish acknowledgement is the only motivation.
I’d like to think there is one tiny speck of humanity in there that realizes Spawn is their only living family left. Unfortunately, my very next thought is the only reason why any of this would matter to this particular piece societal garbage is for what exploiting Spawn would get them. They are a taker, they give nothing.
So my response was simple “pull something like this again and I will involve the police.”
Is it bad to wish they’d just die?
After all the long months of planning our daughter is now a married woman, and in spite of of all the details of the event I managed to remain deeply present in every moment. My fear was never about her choice of who she was marrying, my fear was of being so involved in executing every detail of her wedding that I would not be fully present in the moments.
As I stood in the dressing room watching her calmly handle every decision thrown her way, I was so proud of her graceful way of keeping everyone on task. She’s always been extraordinary in that way. I could here all the buzzing around us, but she kept looking at me in a way that let me know she was also focusing on being completely present in the moment too. She and I have always been able to speak to one another without words, we flow easily with each other.
I could see that she was happy, and that everything around her had fallen gently into place. I told her how beautiful she was, then I kissed her cheek. As I walked out of her dressing room I caught my husband’s eye, and nodded that it was time. I looked around at the wedding party. Our son was a groomsman, the four of us are extremely close so once again there was no need for words.
Then I made my way into the room where every guest was seated. The room was beautifully lit, every table perfectly set. “Little Miss Magic” was surrounded by her closest family, and friends. I looked at my son-in-law. He was so handsome, smiling, and waiting to see her in her gown. I sat, the music began, and one by one the bridal party came down the aisle. Then my husband with his baby girl entered the room. My son-in-law began to tear up, and in a matter of seconds there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. She was exquisite in every sense of the word, and his reaction to her was complete love. The kind of moment that could not have been scripted by even the world’s most prolific writer.
I looked at each of my loved ones as if time were being captured in slow motion, each of their expressions deeply embedded in my memory. I felt so much love, so much joy. There wasn’t a single thing that we would have changed about this day from the very beginning until the very end. Every single second as precious as the moment before. She and her, father danced to Jimmy Buffet’s “Little Miss Magic.” Her father chose this song for their dance.
As I watched the two of them glide across the dance floor I couldn’t help but remember their first dance around our living room the day we brought her home from the hospital. My husband had the same look of love on his face as he looked at her beautiful little face, and into her big brown eyes. Our little girl is now somebody’s wife, but the truth is she will forever be “Little Miss Magic” to her father, and me. 😉
Spawn asked not too long ago how I would describe my “era.” They were referring to the scene of things when I was still a kid, I guess as a point of comparison for their own.
I told them it was grunge rock, goth, coffee, conversation and lots of plaid. I also declared I couldn’t wait until the style was revived because it was awesome and extremely comfortable.
I was accused of being a goth in high school. I didn’t define myself this way and the only thing I can think is that I liked to wear black mostly, dyed my hair weird colors and I was extremely pale. I’m still pale and I still wear lots of black and even dye my hair as weird as I can get colors, yet when I tell anyone about the old moniker, they laugh. Adulthood sucks like that I guess.
I tried to think of a couple movies that were most like the social dynamics during that time. I was a big Brat Pack fan back then, but it wasn’t my era, mine came later. I also never understood why the “poor kids” in the John Hughes films seemed to have nicer houses than mine and most of the people I knew.
Only two really came to mind, Singles and Reality Bites.
“Dammit, Janet… you rock my world.”
“Évian is naive spelled backward.”
They don’t have a massive deep message, they are rom-com situations within copious amounts of coffee, sarcasm, vintage-looking clothing, awesome music, rough and slightly messy but cute haircuts and long hair, fighting “the man” or saving the world and trying to get by without making it look like you care about having anything because money is bad.
I laugh because they both remind me of friends and myself through those years, high school, college and first jobs. We knew everything and the world just needed to pay attention so we could fix the stupid shit and move on to bigger problems.
I see many differences in the world now and the world then, but they’re subtle. The way we relate to our world, and one another, has changed. We no longer think we’ve sold our soul to have a nice house, but I do miss the simplicity. We were a lot different than the generation that followed, the one I refer to as the EW (Everyone’s a Winner) generation.
I also miss the passion. Not the relationship kind, because fuck that noise. I mean the passion for causes, things that I was completely and utterly emphatic about I can no longer even recall. It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve felt any level of that ferocity and its usually been directed to a teacher I felt was picking on my kid.
I thought Spawn of course would ooh and ahh or laugh or show disgust about some of this, I joyfully pointed out the cameos by Tim Burton and Rob Zombie, or related the actors to ones they knew (“there’s Zoolander”). But after watching both of these films, their only comment was:
“So not a lot different, huh?”