“Titanic” is on T.V. When the movie first came out I was a senior in high school, fresh faced swim team member whose mom was her best friend. I saw “Titanic” a record 14 times in the theater. The grown up me is now trying to calculate just how much I spent seeing a movie 14 times. And keep in mind this movie is 4 hours long; at seventeen I had the leisure time to waste whole afternoons. I was dating a wonderful fellow swim team-er at the time, and I drug him to watch at least half of those 14 times, while the rest of the time I forced my best friend to go with me. I loved everything, from the actors to the costumes to the music (I had the soundtrack). And the love story! I believed with my whole heart that I would be part of a love story like that some day. One of my favorite questions to ask my boyfriend was if he would have given up his piece of wood so that I wouldn’t freeze to death. I wanted him to say he would, but as I recall the practical boy always said that there was obviously room for two if they would have just tried a little harder. Not the romantic answer I hoped for.
Life was so simple when I was watching “Titanic” in the theater. I wish I could go back and enjoy it just a little bit more, because now I know how fleeting that time actually is. Now I sit, twenty (twenty????) years later, fondly remembering those long afternoons. Large fruit punch by my side, we had probably eaten at the Ground Round beforehand and I was content and comfortable with my people by my side, fully committed to the magic of the big screen. I love this movie.
I don’t have any friends. At the height of Adam’s addiction, I was embarrassed and trying really hard to make it seem that nothing was wrong, so I tended to avoid everyone, and one by one, my friends dropped off. I couldn’t be honest about anything, like why I couldn’t ever afford to go have lunch or why we had to move AGAIN. To admit to someone else that there was a problem would mean that I would have to admit to myself, and at the time I just couldn’t, I just wasn’t ready. So I was a bad friend, cancelled plans and didn’t return phone calls. I wouldn’t have stuck around, either.
So now I don’t know how to MAKE friends as an adult. The people I work with are either a lot younger than me or just someone that wouldn’t hang out with outside of work. I don’t do any activities, can’t really volunteer at school because I work. Where do you meet people? You don’t go to a bar and pick up friends.
And I miss friends. I miss having someone to text something silly to, having someone to complain about Adam if he’s annoying me, someone to talk and talk to. I miss giggling and having inside jokes.
So I’m putting the invitation out there. Want to be my best friend? I’m taking applications and would like to fill the position soon. Qualified applicants only apply.
“Dad?” he asks in a quiet voice, “you know that word sexy?”
“Yeah,” his dad replies.
“Well, what if you took off the last part of that word? What does that mean? I mean, I hear people say it all the time and it’s in songs and stuff, so I just wanted to know…what does it mean?”
You guys! I’m not ready for this!! I can’t handle the fact that my little baby, that tiny little thing that I held in my arms not that long ago, is now asking questions about sex. His dad talked to him for a long time, told him that if he had any more questions that he could always, always come to one of us. I guess it went okay, because at the end of the conversation he said, “Wow, you and Mom must love each other a lot to have made me.”
And that’s all I ask for.
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An old therapist of mine used to ask me, “Do you really think that the universe cares that much about you?” This was in response to my frequent statements that I would “jinx” something by talking about it. And of course, my answer is yes, yes I do think that the universe cares that much about me, at least enough for something to be jinxed.
So it is with a deep breath and trepidation that I reveal this: my husband is a recovering addict. He’s been clean for about a year now, but I still am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the cycle to start all over again. Hence my fear of “jinxing” life, because things are going so well right now.
However, it has been a long, hard road. We’ve gone though a lot. It’s more his story to tell then mine, but I can say that everything you hear about addicts and that you watch on “Intervention” probably happened to us. He would do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to get drugs and to hide the fact that he was doing them. I left more than once but something (love?) made me give him one more chance. And then another. My family doesn’t agree with my decision to stay with him, and I can’t say I blame them. But as of today, he is sober and doing exactly what he needs to be doing for his family. I’m so proud of him, and I knew through everything this person was waiting inside him. I’m glad I stayed. Of course there are issues, there are always issues, we’re married. But all in all, I hope that I have made the right decision and that things will continue the way they’re going now.
All I can say is, a dance party always makes you feel better. Sunday night blues were blown away as he giggled, threw his hands up and shook it for all he was worth. We laughed till we were breathless, and the rent was paid and the groceries bought and a really good old song playing.
When it’s late at night and I can’t sleep, the panic comes and settles into my stomach. All the things that have gone wrong, all the ways I have failed, swirl around my mind and I can’t turn it off, I just want to sleep and these thoughts keep racing…
I think of all that I’ve lost and I wonder if it’s worth it. Existentialism at its best, at 1:28 in the morning and I’m counting the number of hours I’ll get if I go to sleep now…now…