Tag Archives: flashback

One of those nights.

3 years ago this week, in a blaze of solo packing glory, I packed up our condo like a crazy person when it was suddenly, FINALLY confirmed that the sale would actually go through (don’t ask, there are seriously some things that even my blabber-mouth self will never be able to speak of,) and prepared to turn the keys over to the next owner of my beloved Treehouse.

I spent my last night there alone – Binky-the -wonder-dog having been carted off to my parents’ house, along with Jr in an effort to prevent his particular kind of packing “help,” (pulling everything out of boxes I had just filled whenever I turned away for a half a second;) and The Mr. traveling for business.

It was good that there were no witnesses to that particular brand of emoting – I wandered from room to room with a box of tissues in one hand and a bottle glass of Vhino Verde in the other; delivering long-winded, tear-gargling monologues about all of the fabulous memories each space held for me. There were several instances involving me hugging appliances and doorways, and a declaration of love for the giant patio that was so garbled by sobs and snot that I think I traumatized the next door neighbor’s cat permanently.

It was hours and hours of the textbook example by which to measure all other examples of “ugly cry.”

Last Sunday, the 25th, was the actual anniversary of that shameless emotional evening, and I was feeling particularly sorry for myself thinking back on it, and on the obvious and faultless wonder of The Treehouse and our fabulous perfect life there. Yep – time hadn’t clouded my memories of that At All.

At 3:00 in the morning Binky woke me from my peaceful, urban-dream-filled slumber.  He was pacing and panicking and having a furry meltdown, scratching at the back door.  One eye cracked open as I came downstairs, I popped on the back light expecting to see the dreaded Mega Coon, or our neighbor’s cat (equally menacing and WAY more carnivorous than even Mega Coon.) Nothing was there and my fuzzy first born was LOSING HIS MIND trying to get outside, so I opened the door and out he ran.

Turns out the poor guy had the poo. Like really. Like whoa.

As I watched him, um, dealing with his issue, all over the back yard, I was struck by the memories of a few nights in the city that were very different from that nostalgia and wine soaked last one in our old home.   Memories of past tummy troubles with Binky, of him and me pacing up and down 7th avenue at horrifically early hours of very dark mornings, as he was coping with the aftermath of some mystery something he had snacked down on an earlier walk.     Meanwhile, I was glancing back and forth, nervously aiming my pepper spray and a bag full of dog poo at any noise I perceived on the deserted streets – trying to throw my best crazy-don’t-screw-with-me eyes at the occasional teetering soul who dared pass too close headed home from some booty-call or night cap.

I did not miss that. I did not miss that one damn bit, and I don’t think my sick, miserable doggie missed going up and down in the elevator (that seemed to take FOREVER to come, on those nights in particular,) or trying to work out his issues going back and forth on one narrow patch of grass under a street light, with me standing right on top of him acting like a freakjob. (I know my weaknesses. Solo night time streets pretty much ANYWHERE is one of them.)

In and out went poor Binky for the next 3 hours, from his cozy home directly into his private, large back yard where he could do his doggie business as much as he needed while mom stayed on the sofa inside, sans pepper-spray and nutty faux-ninja-like reactions.

Around the time the sun was coming up, he came in for the last time and laid down overlooking his yard to rest.

I am not confirming or denying anything – but I may have even given that doorway a little hug.


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Let’s do the time warp again. Just Sayin’.

This morning I was driving down Main street toward the high school, in a Jeep Cherokee, drinking a Dr. Pepper, tapping a cowboy-boot-clad foot to Echo & The Bunnymen, and running 15 minutes late.  It suddenly occurred to me that the EXACT same description could’ve been 20 years ago.

You can’t outrun the past, Keri.

Just Sayin’.

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Songs you know by heart

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.

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Sparkles and sprinkles.

I don’t like fireworks.
Scratch that. I hate fireworks with a passion so firey you could use it to light,  well, fireworks.  (But FFS, please don’t!)

My reasons are many and varied, actually; ranging from my general extreme distain for stupidly loud things, on through to much deeper-seated anxieties.

I am not a fan of fire,  for the most part. 
Highrise living allowed me to indulge that distain, and I rock a Charbroil Patio Bistro for a grill, and a firepit that “burns” giant sterno cans. No plans to switch any of that up just because I technically can now that we are living at ground level.

But the whopper, the real defining moment in the history of me that probably led to all of my “down with the damn fireworks” and “love America? BBQ, have a beer and effing go to bed already” sentiment is, as so many stories from my childhood are, a story about a time I peed my pants.

I was a pants pee’er. Like WAY past when it is ok to do it… like “spare pair of pants in the clinic at school in MIDDLE school” situation..

And one year on the 4th of July, in this very town, probably around age 7 or so, I hopped in our neighbor’s brand spankin’ new super sweet truck with my sister and his daughters and off we went to the local fireworks display.

Details are hazy after that. I remember it being loud, being too scared to get up to pee during the show, and at some point I peed.

I remember lysol and swearing coming in a cloud from the back seat of that truck parked in the neighbor’s driveway the next morning.

And years later when he became a councilman, and then the mayor, all I could ever think was “peed your truck at the fireworks dude… sorry.”

Throw in the fact that they moved the town display from the pee park location to a newer park that is so close to where we live now that the damn windows rattle from the noise of the show, AND that the burbs are crawling with dumbasses firing illegal “home” fireworks off trying to burn my damn house down (it seems,) and I’m about as happy as I am on gynie visit day on the 4th of July.

We have plenty of pictures and old home movies of tiny me crying while someone tried to give me a sparkler and my sister danced around making firey patterns with hers in the background. (WTF, people? “Here kid, here’s your STICK OF FIRE to hold… America, eff yeah!” Just no.)

My nerves are shot, my dog is a quaking mass of panic, the white noise machines in my kid’s room are as loud as they can go to drown all that noise out.

So for pity’s sake neighbors… put that fire shooter down (in a bucket of water, yo,) and grab a drink and come sit next to my fire pit… I just put in a fresh set of fuel cans and I’ll infrared you a burger on my grill.

Let’s end the cycle of suburban holiday pants peeing here and now. It could be your dualie I soil next.

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