When did all my friends get so old? (And I'm not talking about the lovely couple above. I will get to them in a minute). First, though, here I am in my early 30's am wondering why I'm all of a sudden hanging out with so many old people. People who are cancelling on beer outings, late-night dancing, house parties. People can't have more than two drinks because they won't be staying at a place long enough to sober up. And spending all night getting drunk...?....for-get it!...Now, OK, sometimes these people include me, so I suppose that I am part of this....problem.
Or is it a problem? Change is inevitable and as you get older, you do gain a certain knowledge and understanding of yourself and the world around you. What is the problem then?
People have started complaining that they're old and can't do shit. "I'm old, so I can't stay up past 9." Or "I'm old, so I can only drink 1/2 a shot of vodka on a Saturday night." or "I'm old, my body won't let me dance all night." Excuse me, but...No, sir or madam, You. Are. Not. Old. You are, like, in your 30s and 30 is the new 20 or some such nonsense like that. And if you're old, then I'm old. My family doesn't get old...they age like whiskey.
You know what, if you act like you're old, then fine....you'll be old.
Many times, I think people do this because they think they have to. They think that now that they're an adult, they have to stop having fun. And sure people do have life responsibilities: kids, jobs, houses, bills, taxes, yelling at the utility company, "obligations". But does that mean that you can't play video games on your off-time? Or share a bottle of wine (or 3) with good friends? Or do something small and spontaneous, staying up talking till 2am? No.....
It doesn't matter what your physical age is..so what, you're 35, 40...50 etc. Who says you have to act old? Get over your shit and just have fun! I suppose if fun for you is going home and parking your in front of QVC, with a cat on your lap...then fine...just don't tell me that you do it because you're old. Be honest that you love it and watch the shit out of QVC. Pet the shit out of your cat.
People say that adulting sucks for all the reasons that I list above and lately, I've been hearing people wishing they could go back to being a toddler or a teenager. I mean, sure, bills, and jobs, and actually dealing with your problems are definitely some speed humps in the road of adult life, but let's just think about this a second.
|I originally used the search terms "adult baby", but the results were too horrifying to post here.|
Baby: "I'M MAD AND I DON'T KNOW WHY!!! I CAN'T MOVE OR SIT UP OR SEE ANYTHING! AND WHAT'S THIS STUFF ON MY FACE! IT'S WITCHCRAFT, I TELL YA!"
Toddler: "I'M MAD AND I KNOW WHY BUT I CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! THERE'S STUFF ON MY FACE AND I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET IT OFF, BUT IT SMELLS!"
Child: "I'M MAD AND I KNOW WHY AND I CAN KINDA SAY WHY BUT NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME! I CAN SORTA FIX IT, BUT EVERYTHING I TRY TO DO JUST MAKES IT WORSE. AND I CAN'T COMMUNICATE MY FEELINGS WELL ENOUGH TO MAKE PROGRESS! DOES NO ONE ELSE HAVE THESE PROBLEMS?!"
Pre-teen: "I'm mad and I don't know why. Oh wait...I do know why. Oh wait...maybe I don't. I wonder if Jimmy likes me? Dammit I'm so hungry all of a sudden! I'M STILL MAD! (still no one is listening to me)."
Teenager: "I'm mad and I mostly know why but I'm too lazy or stubborn to try and figure out the root cause and solve it. And even if I try to solve my problems, I can only solve some problems, and the other solutions are just slightly out of my reach. Damn adults are keeping me from solving those problems (and they still won't listen to me)."
College student: "I'm mad but mom and dad can solve every problem. Wait, what? I'm graduating soon? I have to get my own insurance? You mean, I have to actually sell myself to a company so I can make money? Wait..wait...you mean that money you used to pay for my college...I have to give it BACK now?! At least adults kinda listen to me, though they still think I'm a punk kid...."
Adult: "I'm mad and I can logically figure out why. I can then actively pursue a myriad of solutions in a wide range of fields and if one doesn't work, I can try another. This is because i have a job and make my own money. I have a credit card and a car. I also have a moderate to high degree of control over my schedule. And hey, if none of that shit works, I can always drink my problems away. Also, if I want to buy a collector's set of novelty precious metal spinning tops, I DAMN WELL CAN, BITCHES. AH WERK HAARD FER MAH MONIES!"
Ok, I admit that I am over-simplifying things it jussssst a little bit and there are some overlapping problems that one could face in any stage of their life, but for me, this is how I see it. The bottom line is that being an adult sure as hell beats being a baby. Why? Because, you can....REALLY. Live.
Let me tell you about one person I knew who really. lived. My uncle, Domenick Bellia passed away last week (I am currently at a hotel getting ready to attend his funeral this week). He had battled cancers for 10 long years, the first 5 of those being in "remission" and the last 5 having it return full-force. Uncle Dom really loved life. When describing him, I always called him, in the most endearing way possible, "my drinking-est, smoking-est, swearing-est, uncle".
I remember on more than one occasion, during drunken after-wedding revelry, that he would somehow convince me (the out-of-towner) to buy the entire bar (which, at whatever late hour it was - 11pm or 2am - depending on the town, consisted mostly of my extended family + friends) a round of shots. Some of his shot choices were highly questionable....one particularly gnarly one was the peanut butter and jelly shot. Ugh...I still have flashback taste memories of that shot. Doesn't help that I just absolutely HATE amaretto. *shiver*.
I have to say, my head and my bank account didn't particularly like me for those decisions. but they did make great stories. My best memories of Uncle Dom involved partying, including sitting out front of our motel rooms with my parents and my uncle and Aunt Ellen in San Francisco, drinking flasks of whiskey in the sun. Or, hanging out in my grandma's living room, drinking G&T's that my uncle made - which were definitely much heavier on the G!
I remember my wedding, which I try not to talk about too much, because we all saw where that went, however, it was one of the best gatherings of my family that I could ever possibly ask for. Other cousin's weddings, too, where so many happy memories of the whole family come from - Memories where even the more "conservative" partyers, just went crazy. Most of them were egged on by Dom. Or my mom. Or me. Or his kids. But only because we were usually egged on by Dom first.
There were conga lines and bottomless Bloody Marys. seafood feasts and inappropriate jokes....
|The caption on this one, from my aunt's Facebook, says "We never have ANY fun at weddings!"|
He was always smiling. You could tell, even in the pictures of his final days, he was still enjoying life. He loved his family, and they loved him. I haven't been around during in the last few year, travel to the East has gotten harder with time off, personal life drama, lack of funds, and home ownership...However, I will never forget the last time I saw him 4 years ago. We were reunited, interestingly, for another sad time but for all the sads and tears, he was still there. We, all of us, bonded again as a family - this time at a bottomless Bloody Mary and Mimosa brunch (go figure). It was perfect.
The last time we talked on the phone was New Year's Eve. I happened to call my parents, not realizing they were at teh Bellia's. I got to talk to Dom, even then he warned me not to party too hard (I may or may not have already been a little drunk). I warned him of the same, and with his characteristic chuckle he said, "Don't worry. I never do. Not too hard, anyway." I kind of figured that when I said goodbye to him then, it may be the last time I got to talk to him...
Even then and from the pictures posted of him over Facebook, I could tell he was still laughing, joking, and smiling. My uncle Dom was younger than my parents when he passed away, but no one could tell you that any of those years had been wasted. Most of use, we always hope we can have more time, some of us do this because we are afraid of dying. Others, love living. And those people, they don't always want more time, they want the best they can have in the time they're given. My uncle was one of the latter.
I hope I can learn a lesson or two from my uncle. I hope I can continue to Really. Live. until my time comes. I hope I can egg people on to bring out their crazy, silly, boistrous (and maybe even drunken) selves, like he did. I mean, if I can even gain half the charisma that he had, I will be doing good enough. I know that through this whole ordeal, he would want, no expect, his family to be #belliastrong.
Uncle, I will miss you dearly, but I won't let you down.
**I wish I had more pictures available, but I don't store pix on my computer and my facebook (and apparently most of my relatives') are a disorganized mess. Also, it's 2am. So, thanks to my Aunt Ellen, who's Facebook page I stole these all from!**