Fortune cookie wisdom #6

Advice comes in all forms; some help you and some hurt you.

My husband received this fortune cookie over the weekend. He wouldn’t let me read it and teased me about it for hours until I started giving him advice. **Please note that I said hours before the unsolicited advice arrived.** Once I started giving him advice, he handed over the fortune cookie laughing. He knows how much I love giving advice.

I am good at giving unsolicited advice. Turn in your homework. Get good grades. Drive carefully. Be sure to turn off the lights when you leave the room. Should you be eating ice cream before supper? You will find things easier if you clean your room.

Hey, sometimes people even ask me for advice. Notice that my friend Cindy asked me, instead of her husband, to help her pick out a dress for her son’s wedding.

Now before I start a ‘Dear Alissa’ blog, I’m going to tell you something shocking. There was a time in my life when I didn’t give good advice.

Well there goes my opportunity to make $$ reading two paragraphs of someone’s life and telling them in one paragraph to trust their gut instinct or follow their heart. Damn, I really wrecked that for myself by coming clean with you.

It happened a long time ago back when I was in college. There wasn’t a way to get advice online, so we actually had to rely upon the opinions of real people.

One of my best friends from high school and roommate, Mary, asked me for some advice. She was dating a guy that dropped out of high school and was threatened by her going to college. He had no money and couldn’t hold a job for long. He slept on a dirty mattress (without bedding) on the floor in someone else’s house. His hobbies included drinking and doing drugs.

Now Mary wanted to get married to this guy. Her parents and family advised her not to. She asked me what I thought she should do…Do you love him?? What could possibly go wrong? I mean, love is all you need. Right??!?

Several years down the road, Mary had dropped out of college and worked several jobs to help support her 3 kids because her husband didn’t have a job. She lived in a house that later became condemned. Her daughter had health problems because of the lead paint on the walls. Her husband still had his hobbies of drinking and drugs. He had no interest at all in being a family man.

Not surprisingly, the marriage ended in divorce.

I wish I could’ve given Mary the advice I would’ve given her now. Stay in college. That guy is a loser and is no good for you. You can do better than that.

I wish I had the knowledge and experience then that I have now.

So, here I sit sequestered to a life of giving my family unsolicited advice that they probably won’t heed. But at least most of it is good advice.

Paul’s journey, part 5

Despite not having the best (or even good) grades, Paul went off to college after high school. He went because a friend was going and it seemed like a cool thing to do.

Once he got to college, something strange happened to Paul. He became popular. People liked him. He had a lot of friends. He somehow managed to escape the stigma of childhood and started a new life for himself far away from home. He joined a fraternity, participated in hazing, and became part of the wildlife on campus.

Here are few rescue squad stories…

1) There was a wild party at the frat house one night. The house was jam packed with people everywhere. Paul decided to sneak out the back door to run to the bathroom. When he came back, the room was empty and the phone was ringing. He felt like he was in the twilight zone. He answered the phone to find out it was 911 calling about a shooting. What shooting? Apparently there was a man in the front yard with a hole in his cheek from a botched suicide attempt. After the rescue squad arrived, Paul headed down to his room. He found hundreds of under age party goers squeezed into every nook and cranny who thought the party was getting busted.

2) One night a group of college students thought it would be a great idea to take an old canoe sledding down a hill in the icy snow. It was fun at first. Kids piled in and went at break neck speed down the hill. The last group (for obvious reasons) hit a tree on the way down. They flew out of the canoe. One girl had a broken pelvis, another needed plastic surgery on her face. The night ended with another call to the rescue squad.

 

Hanging out with friends and partying meant the world to Paul during his college years.

There was a dark side to this lifestyle…(besides the previously mentioned harebrained ideas).

His first long term girlfriend broke up with him.

His best friend at home became a quadriplegic. Paul wasn’t there that night the rescue squad was called. His friend Dwayne was camping and partying with friends. Now Dwayne would do anything for a dare, especially if he was drinking. Someone dared him to dive off a dock into shallow water. He broke his neck and almost died that night. There was a long grueling recovery. He never walked again and died young.

He flunked out of college. Paul was forced to take a semester off. People thought he was stupid again. He went back home and worked at the cheese factory on the production line with his mother. It was an awful experience, but it proved to be the spark that he needed to get his life back in order and buckle down.

 

 

 

Journal 4

I decided to move on from journal 3 to journal 4.

There were a few things from journal 3 that I didn’t want to get into with you. When I was a child, my dad was cruel towards us. I am not ready to face that demon yet. I just want to face growing up with a violent autistic sibling…so much easier?

I will talk about my relationship with my dad some other time…later perhaps…maybe when his feet no longer touch the ground on this earth.

So far journal 4 is a bit of a steamy romance written when I was 17. In high school, we were required to write in a journal everyday for English class. I honestly can’t believe some of the things that I wrote. What if the teacher randomly collected our journals??

So far I am planning on burning this journal. I want to purge its existence off of the face of this planet.

How can it be that I want to destroy a part of me? A part of my life?

It is all foolishness people…It is about hating my parents, wanting my freedom…feeling bored and depressed…wanting more…waiting for a letter in the mail or a phone call from that special someone…trying out new things like drinking and smoking cigarettes…and don’t forget the steamy romance…Blaahhh

Normal teenage experiences re-read as a 40 something year old with kids that age..I almost threw up!

I want my kids to think that I was always old and dreadfully boring! I am doing a great job keeping up the facade.

Best to burn it before my teens find it and discover that I was once young and dumb…

Then I have to take the thought one step further….Will I think that the things I wrote on here when I am in my 40’s are immature and dumb when I am in my 60’s? Time will tell..but paper is so much easier to burn!

Maybe I should share an excerpt with you for a good laugh…Or maybe I will just burn it instead!

I haven’t decided…

???

 

On being a mother, their mother

I had a pretty low key Mother’s Day. That’s the way I wanted it. The last thing I wanted was to take my teens somewhere they didn’t want to be surrounded by hordes of whining little kids. Been there, done that…

Instead, Paul grilled ribs and we played yard games.

My mom stopped by with Matt for awhile. He is slowly starting to get better. Now the doctors think he may have had a virus. No one really knows for sure..but he is starting to get better which is all that matters. I was worried there for awhile.

My daughter came home from college for the summer. It seems like yesterday that I told you I was dropping her off. I can’t believe the year went by so fast.

My baby turned 14 a few days ago. We had her last middle school choir concert. Soon she will be starting high school. The first of the lasts for her, the last of the firsts for us.

Time seems to be whirling by fast for the young folks, but here I am still the same.

At church on Sunday, we decided to sponsor a boy from Africa. He looked so skinny and sad that we turned in the money pretty quickly. The paperwork said that he is an average student. My son is pretty happy that I will now be nagging someone else about grades.

My son wants to get a motorcycle. He will be 17 next month. You better get your grades up son! If I let him get his temps now, maybe he will develop good habits. If I make him wait until 18, he might just say that he is an adult and can do what he wants…blah, blah, blah..

Even though my kids are all teens now, they still keep me on my feet.

But I am happy to be a mother, their mother.

 

 

Ta(l)king f(l)ight

When Angel found out the news that her grandma passed away, she was on tour with her college choir. Then she came down with the stomach flu the next day.

I thought that maybe she wouldn’t want the lifestyle of being on the road after all of this happened, but she seems to want it more than ever.

Then there was this guy who took compassion on her while she was down when many of her other friends turned away….he bought her ginger ale when she was sick..he listened while she was crying…

Angel’s boyfriend Mitch was out at the movies with friends when Angel needed to talk…

Just like that, a 3 year relationship over..

I feel like the last thread of Angel’s childhood had been severed when she broke up with Mitch. It is really hard to let go because I miss her being my little girl.

Without tethers, she is soaring away like a songbird in flight. It will be exciting to see where her dreams will take her. It makes it easier to let go, although it leaves an empty place in my nest, to see her fly so high.

Mitch and Angel were going in different directions anyway. Perhaps it is for the best. Angel eventually wants to be an opera singer in a big city or preferably in Europe. Mitch wants to be a teacher in a small town.

This weekend Angel is performing in her first opera. Mitch bought tickets before they broke up to surprise her and still intends to go. He wants to get back together.

There is some talk of a confrontation between the new guy that Angel is not dating but likes and Mitch.

Once again, it seems like there is more drama off stage than on.

For a moment it took me back to ’91 when I was 16. At that time I was going out with this guy named Timmy T. Ironically, ‘our song’ was One More Try by Timmy T. It was a warm night in June when Timmy T and I gave it our last one more try. I picked him up and took him out to teen night at a local club. Once his friends showed up, he left me sitting in the corner alone.

That was the night I met Bobby. When I told him what happened with Timmy T, Bobby took him out to the parking lot to fight. They reminded me of a nature show when the young bucks would ram their antlers into each other. It was nerve wracking yet exciting that someone would fight over me, the damsel in distress. Oh please! Timmy T’s friends talked to me and asked me what was happening as if I knew a lot about boxing.

After the fight, Bobby and I went for a long walk and talked in the park. When I went back to pick up Timmy T, he had already left. The next day he called upset saying that his mom was going to buy me a promise ring from him. How could I ignore him?? Blah blah blah..he wasn’t half as nice as Mitch…and now my daughter is going through it..

I do remember Bobby asking me why I was hanging around Timmy T’s friends while he was fighting for me. Hello, I just met you and didn’t know your friends.

So I sit around and wonder…will there be a guy in costume with full makeup fighting in front of the school cathedral with Mitch over my daughter? Whose side will I take?? Is that how I will meet the new guy for the first time??

I certainly hope there isn’t any off stage fighting or drama.

Who knows? Maybe the whole weekend will be uneventful.

But if not, I’m sure you will be hearing all about it..

 

My magic wand

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When I was 34, I played the part of Glinda. I was given someone’s old ill fitting wedding dress to wear. I didn’t like it. So I dug out my wedding dress from the back closet and broke the vacuum pack seal that would forever preserve it. It still fit.

I was given a large magic wand, but the director did not like it although I did. The large wand was replaced with a smaller one and was held by some of the younger cast members.

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One morning I awoke to find my first magic wand in the front yard with a note attached. I felt young to be the receiver of pranks from a youthful crowd.

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Recently, I tried out for the part of a floozy at the local community theater. I didn’t get the part. The actor that was perfect to play the part of the floozy’s boyfriend is 18 years old, the same age as my daughter. Instead a young high school girl who never had a boyfriend was chosen to be the floozy.

What does she have that I don’t? Besides being 25 years younger?? Ha ha, oh well…hmm..

I was given the part of a homeless old bitchy hag.

I had to take a long hard look at myself in the mirror. I am not young anymore. I once was a beautiful flower, but now I’m at the end of my bloom. My petals are starting to droop…wrinkles…lines. My color is starting to fade…My hair a glistening gray…old hands…weird freckly dots..

I still like to think of myself as young. But I don’t glimpse much of that girl anymore in my self-reflection.

This past week I threw out my magic wand. It suddenly seemed a painful reminder of what I once was.

But if I could have my magic wand back and make one wish, it would be that I could feel young for just a little longer…

This year I will be 29 again…