Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"I'm a grown a** man! (no, really, I am)"

Not that anyone asked, but I think I've got a pretty level head for a 70's baby. We get a bum rap sometimes, we're either test tube babies, crack babies, or the "oops" generation. My friends & I used to sit around gettin' drunk & comparin' the stories of our accidental conceptions like its a contest:

"Backseat of a VW..."
"Prom night"
"On a campin' trip"
"At my older brother's fifth birthday party"
"A congical visit"

No clear cut winner in that competition.

It seems like our generation began the whole "ADHD" phenomenon, but what did they think would be the outcome of all the drugs & free love of the 70's. How the hell could we sit still in a playpen with trace amounts of coke in mommy's breast milk? I'm not sayin my mom did lines, but who's nose runs all year long? I think those pocket-sized Kleenexs were designed just for those people. I know I wasnt the only kid who wondered why mommy & daddy had a glass straw that was too short for any cup in the house. This was years before "Maury Povich", so imagine how many of our buddies haven't a clue that the mailman might really be their father. No wonder mommy would go out of her way to give him such a nice present for Christmas. My friends who don't know who their dads were shouldn't feel bad though, actually. They weren't alone, because their moms probably don't know either.

The 80's fostered in the crack era. Now by this time, mom & dad cleaned up their acts, but by then it was time to focus on all the crack slave relatives. We all had 'em. The ultra-skinny uncle who you couldn't let in the house if you were alone. He always wanted to tell you something, anything, but for whatever reason, he just could not tell you through the door. Hey, I might have been a kid, but you guys could've told me that he was going to "borrow" the TV. Or the VCR. Or the stand that supported the TV & the VCR. How about that female cousin who never went to school, was real fat for a year , then just lost all that weight. Grandmomma had all kinds of reasons &/or excuses, but ain't no diet in the world that'll make you go from before to after Starr Jones except child birth. Now, I had an uncle who got shot for breaking into my Grandmother's car. Nothing weird about that, right? Well, he got shot by his brother, my other uncle, for getting to the car before he did! Best part(?) is, he shot him in the a**. Cocaine is a powerful drug, especially when its cooked, and ingested in place of real food.

As for the 90's, I really don't remember much. I just sort of sailed through it with poorly rolled joints, Nighttrain & grape Kool-Aid, & fleeting hopes of having as much casual sex as humanly possible. Hey, one out of three ain't that bad.

Which brings me to the 2000's. Now, I've got 3 crumbsnatching dustbunnies, hellbent on driving me insane, with a quickstop by the poorhouse on the way. The funniest thing about my kids isn't their growth, but my own. Not too long ago, I was wearin my fitted cap tilted, chasing the next high, & still lying to my parents about my current "job prospects". Now, I'm as sober as a catholic school nurse's aid, rocking grown man hairstyles (no parts that resemble highway maps), and watching what I say around my offspring. Who would've thought I'd ever use "heck" & "freakin' crap" as exclamations? I find myself telling my son to pull up his pants while he's telling me that "cats at school is hatin'" & intercepting my daughter's make-up bag heading out of the door with her on the way to the fashion show that is second grade.

& the whole "marriage" thing is a trip too. Its kind of like, have you ever seen the flyest pair of tennis shoes on Earth (or so you thought at the time), & no matter what it took, or how long, you had to have 'em? Then, they finally become yours, & you sported them constantly, subsequently making them your favorite kicks EVER. All summer, cleaning them, showing them off, damn near taking showers & having sex with them still attached to your feet. One day, you see another pair, even flyer. But, you love your shoes, & they're so comfy that you doubt the other ones would hug your dogs in the same manner. In an act of blind loyalty, you turn away, go back home, & intently clean the old ones. Until they're looking brand freakin' new, or at least as close as possible. But every so often, you can't help but think about those shiny new shoes that would've complimented every piece in your haberdashery. You shrug it off, & go on with your day. Well, that's marriage. A grain of salt, in a nutshell (whatever the hell that means).

Times change, & I guess I have to change with them. No longer am I the young & carefree rebel without a cause. Thanks to unplanned pregancy, an allergy to condoms, & the strength of the phrase "I do", I'm now a mature, somewhat responsible adult, fighting like a wolverine to make sure my damn kids don't turn out like I did. That's the lesson we should've learned (but didn't in most cases), do better than your parents, & your kids should follow suite. Sounds good.

As long as my children don't turn out like The Jackson 5, or Janet, or Rebbie, it should all work out just fine. That sounds good too, but just ask Marley (that movie dog) not all endings are happy.

*crossing fingers*