I would love to say that I am getting better about accidently ending up in places from my past, but on Tuesday afternoon I set out to hit the Asian market and ended up behind the Mexican restaurant where I used to work in high school.
BUT – I did not get out, or even start to get out before I became aware of my mistake – AND to my credit, the place I was going and the place where I ended up are at least kind of close together.
So, babysteps, eh?
In the past few weeks I have noticed that my memory-lane autopilot isn’t limited to just my absent-minded driving. It is a sickness that runs much deeper than just added miles on Frederico’s odometer. I spend a freakish amount of time fighting the natural urges that this town branded into my impressionable teenage soul. Oh yes, all of the “natural” actions and reactions of my youth here are still down in there, trying to guide me. The thing is, 17 year-old Keri’s perfect solutions are WAY less-than-acceptable for
37 year-old just-beyond-20ish Keri. Examples? Oh, ho ho! OF COURSE I will give examples:
-Going into the 7/11 for a trash-can-sized Big Gulp of Dr Pepper seems like a fantastic idea for that old version of Keri. Dr. Pepper is delicious, caffeine keeps Keri keepin’ on, and more is always better – yo?
No. That Keri had the metabolism of a hummingbird on fen/phen. That Keri could pound coffee at Village Inn all night and drift into a dead sleep an hour later. That Keri knew not what “bloating” was. Nowadays if I want to Be A Pepper I will be running all over the damn neighborhood to burn off the calories, not to mention cleaning the bathroom floor grout with a tooth brush at 3 a.m. because I am WIDE-EFFING-AWAKE, all while burping like a frat boy from the fizz. Nope.
-Cruising down the old “main drag” with windows down, blaring Jimmy Buffet on sunny days. There was NOTHING that Keri loved more than taking advantage of the slow speed limit on Midway Blvd to open the windows, crank up “Son of a Sailor,” and roll by the park to see who might be playing volleyball/lounging in the high altitude sunshine. Oh yeah.
DEAR GOD OH NO. Cruising the park blasting old person party music in the MUV? While I am far from any danger of being the extra lame “I’m the cool mom” who tries too hard to impress the young folks, (think Mrs. George from Mean Girls,) even Keri has her pride – and that is social-mom reputation suicide. When your husband crosses into the 40-plus category, “a Pirate Looks at 40” kind of loses a certain mythical quality, anyhoo. :::: rolling windows up and lowering volume::::
-Meeting “at the water tower” when we aren’t sure what to do.
Ok , this isn’t really something I want to do any more. It is actually something I wish I had a grown-up replacement for. Making plans with a friend or a group of friends and all are non-committal about exactly where to go or what to do? Tired of having suggestions shot down and just want to get the show on the road, pronto? “Just go to the water tower and we will decide there,” was the old answer, and it did manage to get things moving. Then again, it was also usually accompanied by “beep me if anything changes,” so yeah – that was a pain in the ass.
However, the closest pay phone to the water tower was at the 7/11.
I probably needed another Dr. Pepper anyway.