Saturday, May 1, 2010

God bless America

The thing about planning a wedding - which, honestly, I'm hardly doing at this point - is that it makes a couple think of everyone they've ever known while deciding who exactly they'd like to witness their glorious union. A curious difference between two people can arise. For me, if I haven't had any meaningful communication with someone in a certain amount of time, I can't think of a good reason to invite them to my wedding. Conversely, Scott's got people from childhood summer camp that he wants to invite.

Part of it is that I did not go to childhood summer camp. Part of it is that Scott and I think about the past in different ways. And I guess that's the magic of marriage and couplehood and all that crap, what with everyone bringing something different to the table. Certainly.

I had a hard time breaking free of the bullshit of my growing-up years and, thanks to many years of therapy with a qualified professional, I've become an adult with a life that I like - love, in fact. And I'm just not, nor do I want to be, a backwards looker. I've got some pain in there, my friends. No need to go poking in there with a stick, you know?

I had an extremely uncomfortable run in with a woman I went to junior high and high school with last fall. She came to a show and I greeted her the way that humans do, you know, all friendly like. That wasn't the uncomfortable part. We had a few moments of casual chatting about junior high school. I was so miserable in junior high and high school that I really try to leave that all behind. The person I was then is not the person that I am now. I feel like the only way we're connected is that we have the same body. That's it. Anyway, this woman mentioned something that I used to say, which I guess was a sort of catchphrase, that I had totally forgotten about. It was nearly foreign to me, except for the part of me that I remembered it and grew suddenly red-hot and embarrassed. Who was expecting that? Certainly not me. I'm too embarrassed to tell you what it is, even now. Suffice it to say that it was a Midwestern-housewife-level non-expletive that I used to say instead of expletives.

She was juxtaposing my former catchphrase with my current sailor mouth. She was taken by surprise, see, on account that she didn't realize I would - or even could - have a sailor mouth because I had the opposite of a sailor mouth as a youth. I told her that I had a painfully religious growing-up time, lost religion and, around the same time, started working in food service, so was cured of bible breath (I just made that up; it's kind of funny). But I was super uncomfortable and, sensing my incredible discomfort, the woman also grew uncomfortable. Then there was apologizing and no-no-it's-okay-I've-been-through-lots-of-therapy-ing and carrying on in general.

I guess my point here is that even though I've moved past my olden times and am a totally happy adult, I'm still totally mortified by my olden times and -dare I say it - a little bit unhealed. The idea of revisiting that time on purpose just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm super jealous of Scott in this regard. He has all these people who he WANTS to see, who knew him when he was young - and he's not the least bit embarrassed or mortified to see them again. Is it Buddhist detachment or is it just a difference in outlook or is he more evolved or what? I would love to be that detached from my painful childhood. Uh oh, I'm crying by accident.

Of course, this is the part where we talk about how all the embarrassing and painful parts of our lives swirl around with the happy parts of our lives and turn us into the glorious tapestry of humanity that we are today. That's 100% true. Even so, I not going to go poking sticks around in there.

Also, I'm going to try to learn more about - and perhaps even try to adopt - Scott's outlook.

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3 Comments:

Blogger debl said...

So... Kiss my grits?

May 1, 2010 at 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm with you JM- i really want to post my Jr Prom picture on Facebook as it's hysterical and would certainly become a viral sensation...but the pain is just too raw.

also was it "jimney crickets"? I'll email you the prom picture if you tell me

andrea h.

May 5, 2010 at 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On what is often called the happiest day of a gal's life, said gal should be surrounded by people who make her happy.

A wedding is not the place to face down the demons of childhood or adolescence (Bible breath and beyond).

Me, I waited until my 30th high school reunion for that. Not that I suggest you plan to do standup at your next high school reunion, of course. But it worked for me!

May 7, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

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