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03 February 2008 @ 09:58 pm
From Les Semaines, Sunday, February 3, 2008  


I Have Become My Parents



When I was young and restless I couldn't understand why my parents spent most of their evenings alone together at home. I mean for much of the time I was growing up they had the delights of my presence (yes, I'm sure I was a charming, grouchy obnoxious adolescent who made their every hour precious and complete) but even when I was out a lot and then moved away they seemed to like to stay at home and just hang out, watching TV, drinking tea, reading, and petting and playing with the dog.

Now I'm their age, whatever age that was, and guess what? What do I like most? Hanging out at home, messing about on the computer (writing and reading and all), drinking tea, reading books, and petting and playing with the cats.

What? When did I become my parents?

I could never figure out why they didn't hang out with their friends more. There were concerts to go to, plays to see, movies to watch, restaurants to eat in, drunken conversations to have, sleep to miss.

All I wanted to be was out and about. There was some special life out there and if I hung out enough I knew I'd find it. I quickly discovered I wouldn't find it in bars, as I don't drink beer and few bars used to have cider and scotch was too damn expensive and mixed drinks were (1) expensive and (2) mostly gave me horrible stomach pains, and watching other people have drunken conversations is, well, boring. One down.

I still like going to concerts and plays and movies and all, but when it's competing with sitting at home with tea, a good book, Jim nearby, and a two-cat cuddling minimum, well, these things rarely win the bet.

I also have learned the value of sleep (especially now that I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep).

I still like seeing friends but more and more I prefer they come to our place. I know they get tired of it, but frankly three hours on uncomfortable furniture kills me, and none of the people we hang out with that way have comfortable furniture. Not even the ones who think they do.

I'm not sure what sparked this entry so much as (1) being amazed at how boring my life generally is and how happy I am that it's boring. (2) looking ahead at how busy this month is scheduled to be and dreading it, and (3) realizing that when Jim first met my parents they were pretty much the age that we are now.

This getting old stuff is really weird. How can I be my parents' age?

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For my listening, reading, writing, and excerpts from old journals, see Les Semaines.

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marzipan pigmarzipan_pig on February 4th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
I am almost the age my dad was when he got married and had babies, and the age I think of my mom as being when I was a kid. I think I am too extraverted to ever really be happy spending time mostly-at-home but even I've calmed down some. I was thinking tonight, I usually go out to watch The L Word, but I'm moving to a house with cable soon and will be able to watch it there. Except I won't be able to share a table with strangers and talk to them, or run into other people I know, or feel (to an extent) like a part of a community there. So we'll see what wins out, being home someplace calmer in general might feel different than being home where everything is a block away.
Neile Grahamneile on February 5th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)

It's only in recent years I have realized that I'm more introverted than I thought. How could I not have noticed earlier?

I do wish we lived where things were closer, though. Having to drive to get pretty much anywhere isn't what I really want, though I do like our house a lot.
marzipan pigmarzipan_pig on February 5th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
But! I am moving to Ravenna/Greenlake and will be closer to Ballard, so I can come over and imitate Sophie/a and knock stuff over and remind you to play and love! ;) Or have you over and you can meet the DOG my new housemate has (!!!!!!!!!).

So there.
Stephanie Burgis: maskstephanieburgis on February 4th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
We had a moment like this last Christmas: there we were, hanging out with Patrick's very cool brothers and their partners, and what were we all talking about? House-hunting and the issue of mortgages! And we were talking about mortgages with real passion and engagement! If my younger self had seen us, it would have been like witnessing the Attack of the Pod People - I could have sworn even when I was 20 that I would never, ever be someone who talked about mortgages for fun! And yet...I guess the pod-people got me after all. ;)
Neile Grahamneile on February 5th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)

Isn't it freakishly weird?

I talk about mortgages! I talk about my aches and pains! I talk about the old days when I was young.

My 20-year-old self would probably hate me, except we could still talk about books and music and writing.
morgan_x on February 4th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
I understand. For me to like bars, they need to be smoke-free, have draft cider, and have someplace you can sit and talk to your friends without having to shout. I do love concerts but I am mostly a home-body.

When my mother was my age, I think she had a pre-schooler and a first-grader. I really can't imagine.
Neile Grahamneile on February 5th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)

Smoke-free bars and the spread of cider (pear is the best!) have made my life better, though it's probably 20 years to late for them to have that much effect on my life. I just got out of the habit of liking bars. We do go to coffee shops, though. I mean, we live in Seattle. I think it's the law here.

When my mother was my age, she already had a granddaughter! My sister has been a grandmother (and thus I've been a great aunt) for 11 years now.

It's all very spooky.