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5.03.2012

i got my mom tipsy @ a potluck. (& other weekend tales of truth)


It's been a colorful entrance into May. 

I hit it off with not just one, but two potlucks in a row...where I may or may not have put my last blog post to complete shame. We won't confirm or elaborate on that, as I think the attendance of any pot luck speaks for itself. 

( I'm not sorry. Those mini bundt cakes were delicious. )

In addition to being pot lucky over the weekend, I had myself some strange and I had myself some awesome. Strange because I did a lot of drinking over the weekend, which is not usually my style. Awesome because I got my mom to rage with me, which is NEVER her style. I'm still new to the ventures of mommy-daughter drinking, but I have to say--it's quite fun!!!

You know what wasn't fun: uhhhhh, the $68 parking ticket I got in LA the morning before potluck number two. F, man. Total buzz kill motivator. Obviously, I ate and drank my feelings that much more passionately later that afternoon. And you know what--if it wasn't for the ticket, it was bound to happen anyway. I had to make up for loss time from the first potluck, where I managed to play it "cool", and you know, not stuff my face and/or lend suspicion to the fact that I only showed up FOR THE FOOD.

I actually didn't just show up for the food. That first potluck was my first blogger meet up EVER. I knew NO ONE to begin with. And it was a little daunting and intimidating at first. And when they started asking me questions, I felt my voice shake cause I was really super nervous, but then I didn't have any alcohol just yet and I didn't run away to the food table just yet, and it was all OK because everyone was loving and accepting and kind and funny and interesting and just like that, I was further reassured as to why I'm kind of digging this whole blogging thing in a ginormous way. 

And then I attacked those mini bundt cakes. And I'm still not sorry.

Fast forward to pot luck #2. It was my boss' 82nd birthday party and in this case as well, I didn't just show up for the food. I showed up because it was my boss' birthday. And she invited me to attend. And when your boss invites you to her birthday party, you should probably show up. ESPECIALLY if it's potluck. Helloooo.

(Ok. Maybe the food did play a significant role in this one after all.)

I thought it would be nice to bring my mother with me. And what I mean by that, is I thought it would be nice to have a friend to chat with when my fairly new co-workers maybe didn't have anything to say to me. Or vice versa. Truth be told, I'm not very good in social settings where I'm not particularly close with everyone around me. And actually, I thought it would be nice to bring my mother with me anyway. Because we don't hang out nearly as often as we should. And it's something I'm working on.

Ironically, my mom faired quite well at the event, despite the fact that she knew everyone there much less than I did. She even abandoned me completely at one point and for more than a hot second (thanks Mom). It was kind of awkward at first... sitting there with that bowl of chips, but then I managed to weasel my way into a conversation that I found myself very thankful for. 

It started with overhearing this woman at an adjacent couch discussing concerns over her daughter's "older boyfriend." 

See now, those are two words I'm pretty tight with. Any close friend of mine knows my tendencies to fancy the older kinds, and any person in my life knows I've had many of the boyfriends. I overheard "She's 21 and he's 36," and it was a sure invitation to raise my hand and say, "I can give you insight there." And then I did. 

Because when I was 20 I met a man that was 37 and we dated for over a year. I'm sure you can do math, but that's almost twice my age, and yeah--- sometimes I look back on it and I judge myself too. But most of the time, I don't. Because it was a real learning experience and that man is actually still a good friend of mine today. It's a little bit tricky and quirky in ways, but he's that interesting character in my life that remains and I'm OK with it. His name is Steve. And that's not really his name. But that's what I call him. And he calls me Ned. And if that makes any sense to you then cheers because you know what's up, and yes, that is in fact where my obsession of Wes Anderson began. 

And since I'm honest like all the time, I will say it was indeed very strange that I should end up having such a conversation with this woman about my experience of dating older men (specifically Steve) because guess who I hung out with between potluck #1 and potluck #2. 

Yup, you guessed it---Steve. I could write a whole separate post on that in-between affair, but that's for later maybe. 

For now, I wanna stick to the awesome exchange I shared with this woman. Because you never imagine how much you can relate with any given stranger, and then when you do it's special. 

My opportunity arrived when this un-named woman of her 50s sitting at an adjacent couch on a Monday afternoon potluck in April graciously welcomed me into a conversation with much intrigue and no platters of judgement. It was almost as if she was desperate to hear my story, and I was happy to share it with her. 

Her pickle: She's worried because her daughter, Anne (character name) is dating a man almost twice her age who just came out of a seven year marriage, and not only is she moving in with him, but she's named him her "soul mate" and "hopes that he will marry her."

To which I nodded, "HA."

Though my past self would have loved to of been able to say Steve and I were moving in together at any point in the past, that was not ever the case. BUT, the "soul mate" and the "marry" bits. Um yeah. I know where daughter Anne is coming from.

And then mother of Anna spoke, "I just worry that what she thinks she knows and wants right now, is not what she will know and want later." 

To which I sang, "YUP."

Though my past self would have never given such a statement any consideration in the slightest, I can now say, I know exactly where Mother of Anne is coming from.

Because here's the thing. Us young folks, in our twenty-something year old skins, we're constantly growing. Constantly changing. And in that---constantly susceptible to believe in just about anything that seems remarkably good. We're dreamers and we put our whole hearts into everything. And it's dangerous and it's risky and it's foolish-no doubt. But this is what being young is all about. It's our time to fuck up---our grand and embarrassing episode of trial and error. Our unintentional landings into the mush pit, that sometimes eats us up like quick sand and leaves us begging for a light that we didn't before acknowledge. This is that crucial time in our lives where we begin to carve out what's important to us. What we need to survive, and what we can do without. WHO is important to us, and WHO we can do without. It's a time where we confuse soul mates with soulful moments. And we mix up loving a person with loving ideas or things about a person. We play with our hearts, and not our minds and we work off feelings, rather than practicality. 

We rush into things.

And who can tell us to stop that we will listen to? 

We're stubborn.

And we think we know it all.

And we don't most of the time.

Chances are, what we want right now, is not what we will want later. 

For some it is-- I guess I can't speak on behalf of every twenty-something year old--- but for Me, myself, I can definitely say, my ideas and my thoughts and my wants and my needs, they are changing constantly. I'm only half-way thru this dark and neon tunnel of what they call your "trying twenties" and I can already tell you I've changed my mind about a kazillion things. But it took EXPERIENCE to acquire all those neverminds, those second guesses, those revelations, those new conclusions, those universally calculated chips at my own developing statue of a woman. 

So what can I say to this mother of Anne other than, YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED and your daughter is probably making some really stupid choices, but who knows? Maybe she's not. And if she is, she's going to grow so much from it.  And so either way, you must let it be. And have faith that things will fall a part in whatever way they need to in order for things to eventually fall together. When and how and if they will fall a part at all, only the Good Lord knows, but that's where you can most definitely come in and save the day with tissues and chocolate and hugs. Because she might just come running home with shame and embarrassment. Or as I've come to understand--learning and maturing.  Do be there, Mother of Anne to love that child of yours unconditionally. To give her the support she'll need when she's fallen. To give her the encouragement to get back up. Nothing you say beforehand will stop her will. And everything you say after will soothe her soul. 

Except "I told you so." That one, I prolly don't recommend.

-----------

This was only a fraction of the beautiful conversation I had with this woman. Turns out we had another past situation in common, not me and the daughter of this woman, but me and the woman herself. It's an experience in my lifetime that I will eventually work up the courage to offer here. But on the couch that recent evening, it was quite the joy to connect with this woman in ways I haven't been able to connect with another being on such novel experiences. Like I said, thankful my mom peace'd out into the kitchen for her fourth glass of wine. Cause it pushed me to reach out and converse. And relate. And then when it was over, my mom returned and she topped my fourth glass of wine off and then together, we giggled the remainder of that little potluck away. 

On the same album, different song: How gorgeous is the second potlucks' hosts' garden/land?? We were all in complete awe and envy. 


Speaking of mothers and daughters, I snagged this shot of my co-worker and her daughter. I love it.

Oh yeah and one more thing. The hosts of this particular potluck (number two) are not just regulars at our restaurant.. but uhhh they are Academy Award Winners!!! No joke. Here's the evidence to prove it. I nearly pee'd my pants from excitement/too much wine when I looked over and thought out loud, "Holy shit, those are Oscar trophies!"
LEGIT.

25 comments:

  1. 1. I love getting my mom drunk.

    2. I also hate social settings where I don't know anyone. Hate them. Hate them.

    3. When I was 21, I dated someone who was 35. I never told my mother - she would have died. I still talk to him, but now I'm almost 26 and he'll be 40. Sounds better than 21 and 35, though - right? riiight??

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    Replies
    1. It does sounds a lot better as you get older. Totally.

      And I did tell my Mom about Steve, and she nearly freaked. To which reaction I just put my hands on my shoulders and said, "really?" because my mom and dad are 20 years a part. And she may or may not have left her home country to follow him back to the U.S. at 23 years old. They didn't last forever together, but still SHE went there with the age difference and the craziness of "following your heart". And I don't think she has any regrets. At least, she better not, cause I'm a product of that whole experience. Heh.

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  2. You. Are. Awesome. Thank you for this post. I relate. On too many levels.

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  3. So punky J (I think that' more catchy then Jen:). I haven't dated way older men (other than my husband, but he is only 6 ish years my elder.) BUT I have a good friend who is 20 and is dating a man that is 52!! And yes, they have sex. I do not for one second understand what attracts him to her or her to him. He has a son older than her!! (His son is dating one of my other friends.. weird) BUT I kind of get it a little bit after reading the stubborn 20 something argument. I always assumed it was the reassurance of having a man that will take care of her, and be there for her (kind of like daddy issues or something?). But man oh man. I could go on and on. Keep in mind they've been dating for like 2 years with a small 3 month break in the middle. So it's not like it's a one night stand, hide you in my closet typer of thing..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 32 years a part??? And a potential step child older than herself??? YIKES. That is pretty intense. It's definitely beyond my ball park of choice. But ya know, every single situation in life is completely different and as difficult as it is NOT to judge (in fact impossible), sometimes some situations DO end up working out. Wasn't Celine Dion's husband like ridiculously older than her too?? They seemed pretty stoked on each other. And healthy as couple. And at the same time, some situations are just downright foolish and outrageous and they don't work out, but you walk away having learned a crap load from it. So how do you express your concerns and/or put your concerns aside towards loved one in such situations? It's a tough call. But I'm pretty much sticking with the whole "let it be" approach and loving unconditionally.

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  4. Isn't it amazing how sometimes we run into people that just need us? And vice versa? So glad you were able to lend an ear and a little advice.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Meg. Some people are just there at the right place and the right time. It's a beautiful thing.

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  5. Awesome, amazing post. Like always. = )

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  6. everytime i picture a young girl with an older guy the quote "ew, with his wrinkley old balls"- from big daddy pops in my head dont ask me why. i have never dated a guy more than 8 years older than me. that was basically my limit, and it was only because i was 16 and he was 24. i didnt think it that big of a deal.and lets be honest, he was hot, and drove a smokin truck!i am glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and was able to connect with a stranger. they are always the best to talk to :)

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  7. I love the pictures! And I think you gave that mom some great advice! AND I hate parties like that--so terrifying.

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  8. Lovely post! And awesome pictures!

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  9. Daaaaaaamn you're a good storyteller!! When you publish your first novel, I will be first in line to buy it and gobble up every. dang. word.

    My biggest age difference with a guy has been 7 years. Even that can seem like a huge gap at times - when all his friends are getting married and having babies, and I keep thinking, yeah, I don't want to do that for another 7 years myself! But I think love knows no bounds, and while sometimes age difference is a deal breaker, other times it's just a quirk. Hmm. We're all still figuring it out, and as you said, your co-worker's daughter is learning and growing from every decision she makes. Who can say what path is right and wrong? Every choice we make leads us closer to finding out who we are and what we want in life.

    And if some choices are 'bad' ones? Well we learn what we don't want.

    Thanks for the food for thought on this sunny day of hangovers :)

    xxx,
    Alexandra

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  10. LOL at potluck hopping...who wouldnt come for the food...its a POTLUCK! You never know what you are going to expect. Kudos to spending time with your mom....i wish i had time to but being states away its hard. But thats what Facetime is for!

    <3

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  11. Hey Punky! I love love love your explanation of what it's like being in your twenties. So spot on. It does seem to be a grand and embarrassing episode of trial and error. Well said, ladypants. :)

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