Since the beginning of my relationship with my son I have always been the parent, where as he has been, well, the child. He pooped, I wiped. He fell, I caught. He half-slept, I cried. Mom is the big kid. Small kid is the smaller kid.
Now, as we contemplate shaking up our lives and moving out of our tried and true apartment of crooked dreams, we have clearly changed places. While my kiddo discusses backyard flag football games and new puppy ownership potential with perfect diction and professional poise, I am now the drooling, indecisive one who wants everything I see and then refuses to try something new. Sure a yard and a quiet life would be great but I’ll miss the angry homeless pair of pants disguised as a man who uses our cement walkway as his personal, private poop deck.
Okay, our current corner is as loud as a Vegas poolside gang rape but I cry when I think of the muted songs of silence in the suburbs and really being able to hear myself think. Sure, our sidewalks and building and parking meters and gutters are slathered in dirty tears and broken dreams of every Tom, Dick and hand job that got off the bus and fell face forward. But that gives it grit and edge and a coolness factor and who wants to change that up, right? Who really needs a $16 drink muddled by an under-educated mixologist who looks like a series regular on Storage Wars when you can have bottled margarita mix and a some slice of sanity?
I remember in the 70’s when my mother decided that white bread was the devil and wheat bread would be our newly adopted, dark brown carbohydrate child, my father, a man who hates change as much as Kim Kardashian hates white dudes reacted as any small, hot-tempered, Brazilian man would. He yelled in three languages, complained that the new cardboard disguised as toast left cuts on the roof of his delicate, mango-loving mouth and defiantly bought French baguettes when my mother wasn’t looking.
When she changed his coffee filter brand, fire shot out of his nostrils. When his beloved super 70’s Yardley cologne for men was discontinued my father added water to his last, empty bottle and forced us to take repeated whiffs of his face and tell him it his cheeks smelled like springtime.
When The Gap stopped carrying his favorite pinstriped, oxford, button-down shirts in size extra small, he had to resign himself to wearing only the seven he had, twice a week, instead of the requisite six days until they all frayed and were turned into cleaning rags. And when The Gap starting calling itself The Gap instead of Gap, my father’s brain melted out of his ears and onto his last good pinstriped, button down oxford and well, you see where this goes.
Apparently I hate change as much as my stuck-in-the-mud Daddy-O and am trying my hardest to go with the flow and expand my horizons. Will we move this month or next? Can we find a house that feels just like a home and not like a crazy shack of nut bag dreams? Am I ready to grow up and get out of the hairy molasses pie hole I have sat ass first in for the last twenty years?
What if I am petrified not to be in the familiar surroundings of my cracked crib I have grown so accustomed to complaining about? What if I hate being away from the dirty streets of Hollywood and miss the smell of urine and rotting trash jizz on my ballet flats on street cleaning day? What if they don’t have any hipsters where we move and no one, not even the Trader Joe’s employee-of-the-month, wears skinny jeans, a lopsided and very regrettable Betty Boop tattoo or a sweat-stained fedora?
Or what if I love it and become…soft? What if I start wearing jeggings and discounted Stella and Dot jewelry? What if I start a Jazzercise franchise and drink Pinot Noir from a box? What if I proudly display a pink and light green bumper sticker that reads, “My other car is a Beanie Baby” on a car that I own?
Only time, good credit and topnotch school districts will tell.