"How do I say goodbye to what we had?
The good times that made us laugh
Outweigh the bad. I thought we'd get to see forever
But forever's gone away It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday."
**Boyz II Men**
So in the spirit of letting off some steam in advance of my long anticipated chick day on Saturday, I thought I would provide my own PG-13 version of the things I used to do before I had children. Mom, sorry again.
1. Day Drinking. If you're half a human, you've spent more than a week of your life, at some point, belly up to at least three bars before 1 p.m. You know what I'm talking about - the kind of day where you crawl into a very dark hole early in the day and emerge several hours later, surprised by the sun, instantly cowering like a gremlin and shriveling beneath its rays.
Fast forward to today. Now I'm that woman with painted scorn on my face as I see you coming out of the bar, trying to usher my kid into the car as quickly as possible. And now I know it's not disapproval on those people's faces, dressed in their church clothes while we were having a Sunday Funday - it's JEALOUSY.
2. Speeding. When I got my first "real" car after college, I felt like the first day I had my license and drove home from volleyball practice in the family Celebrity. Careening around corners, my foot didn't feel comfortable unless it was thoroughly extended and pointed toward the floor. The best part was racing people on the outer belt or down the interstate, giving grannies anxiety attacks as I passed them on the right.
By the time I was 25, I'd racked up a grand total of four speeding tickets in a six-month period, which earned me a nice big trip to the local judge to have my license revoked. Fortunately for me, my brother had a lawyer on his smile retainer who was able to get my last ticket reduced to a "loud muffler" violation.
Now, I feel like a giant ass hat if I breach 10 mph over the speed limit. As my foot draws to the floor like a drunk to White Castle, I look up to my rearview mirror and see that sweet face. And I slow down.
3. Smoking a Ton. I LOVE/D smoking. I loved smoking anything I could smoke. I remember in high school this kid I was studying with was smoking some cool Indian cigarette that stained his lip (AWESOME, let me get a drag of that bizness!). When I lived down under, my roommate suggested we try smoking some of the leaves in the mandarin tree beside our flat and we rolled them up. When April 20th came around, I was ... STUDYING, duh.
Anyway, I haven't sniffed a smoke of anything since the wee one has come into this world. Now I want to punch anyone walking ahead or two miles behind us with a cigarette. I can't BELIEVE that people pay that much for a pack of puffs! I have supplemented that delightful stash of tobacco curls in the bottom of my purse with mum-mums and rattles. I probably don't smell any better for it either.
4. Sleeping until 2 p.m. Ah, the childless It didn't even have to be a late night to spend the ENTIRE next day in bed. Swimming throughout the pillow sea, we'd make our way to the most amazingly comfortable arrangements, playing in our PJs and talking about what we wanted to be in life.
Now, we're waking at 2 a.m., moaning about life, grabbing for any available pillow and wishing someone would put us out of our misery.
5. Shopping. Back in the day, I'd spend hours tarrying around shopping areas, people watching, scouring for sales and digging deeply in racks trying to find the most interesting print that I was convinced no one else had purchased, let alone seen. My closet was filled with combinations from all types of stores gathered from different parts of the country.
The HuffPost writer laments spending $150, I can't even get in the effing DOOR to give the city my 10 percent sales tax.
6. Rolling with My Homies. From my brother to my huz and my girls, I used to spend hours idling away the hours just hanging out. We might spend 10 hours doing absolutely nothing. It was a really special day if we convened with another group of people or engaged in another social gathering, because we typically were just happy hanging.
Now, I hang with Baldy the Baby, Raylan the Rabbit, Sophie the Giraffe and maybe Grover if I'm lucky.
7. Manicures. Going to get my hands rubbed down was a weekly event. I was BUDS with my nail people. There was John Juan, Kate, Jenny - some of these know more about me than many of my closest friends. There was nothing better than strolling into the salon on a Saturday and just chilling with them, catching up on everything that had happened during the past week or two.
These days, I'm lucky to get the babe's claws cut, let alone my own. My fingers look like they came from West Virginia along with the bags beneath my eyes.
8. Swearing. I like swearing. A whole bunch. Particularly when someone cuts me off and I feel like throwing something at their car. But I think the worst word I've ever heard my mom say was "hell" and that might have been in reference to the actual place. While you won't ever catch me EVER uttering, "H - E - double hockey sticks," my days dropping bombs are in the rear view mirror. Fuck.