Tuesday, June 22, 2010

OK, This Is the Busytime.

Summer is here, and with it comes summer vacation. I like sleeping in and not fighting with Paul about his homework every bloody night, but this also means that I will almost have no alone time whatsoever until at least August. You Moms know that even our bathroom visits are rarely islands of solitude.

The Annual Clemens Family Beach Campout of Despair is first (I'm joking a little bit, but ye gods I am sick and tired of San Clemente every year), followed by Cub Scout Day Camp, to which I am blissfully only obligated to attend two days out of five. I am a sour old woman, but I know I will probably end up having a good time, unless they make me do physical labor out in the sun, in which case I will rapidly become unpleasant. Immediately following camp, the boys and I depart for Montana. Probably while driving our...

BRAND NEW DIESEL SUBURBAN! Well, it's new to us. It's old to the Los Angeles Fire Department's search & rescue team, which bought it new back in 1997 and recently auctioned it off to a dealer. It has rubber matting instead of carpet, it's fire engine red with matching red rims, and I have to admit it is much nicer than our old beast.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nostalgia, I HATE you!

I am awash in a sea of sentiment.

Thinking about that first love, 20 (20!) years ago, makes me think of our old church building in Chino. I more or less grew up going to church in that building. I met my first love there. I am still friends with so many people who I grew up with there. I met Stephanie there, and I still have some of the ridiculous notes we passed to each other in the halls there.

I had a partner in crime, Jeff, who I met there. Oh, the times I had with Jeff. Our ward (congregation) boundaries got shifted when I was 14 or so and Jeff and I were the youth speakers in Sacrament Meeting on our first or second Sunday with the new ward. We had never met before, but we ended up passing notes (probably mocking everything in view) to each other up on the stand and by the end of it we were fast friends. Actually, for a time Jeff's family was my second family. His sister Rhonda was another great friend. Jeff ran with me and Mr. First Love. We went to church dances together, and after being chided at one for dressing "too casually" we bought formal clothes at thrift shops and went to the next dance in formal attire. That night we drove around in Jeff's parents' van and painted over the "embly" on all the local campaign signs that said "State Assembly." When the police drove by as we were getting out to hit another sign, the guys pretended they were walking me to the door of the house we had stopped at. It worked; the fuzz just drove on by.

There were so many more escapades, including an awful war of toilet papering that escalated and escalated, culminating in my house getting decimated because it had been discovered that I was a double agent. In the back of our yearbook, Rhonda published a "senior message" that included the sentence "and Colleen, come get your clothes out of my brother's backseat!" She knew full well what it sounded like, but we knew the truth and laughed and laughed.

I wrote to Jeff on his mission and we went right back to being great friends after he got back. But then he got engaged and I got dropped. I understand.

That church, that gigantic place where I went to Sunday School, met my first love, met so many beloved friends, doesn't exist anymore. The courtyard with some unknown gigantic tree that dropped messy inedible fruit on the ground every year, with cinderblock walls painted white, is long gone. When I was 16 years old, whoever is in charge of these things decided it would be cheaper to demolish the old building and build a new one instead of rehabbing. So in the spirit of civic duty, they let the fire department burn it down as a training opportunity.

Yes, they BURNED DOWN MY CHILDHOOD CHURCH. It would have been traumatic even if they had just bulldozed it, but I would occasionally make my then-boyfriend park across the street from it at night and watch it smolder. I even went inside one night and watched the embers pulse for a while. Apparently those were still the days when nobody gave much thought to security.

Places have memories. And progress rolls on. But the new building is just like so many others, soulless and mostly void of meaning for me. I have a lot of bad memories associated with the old place too, but visiting my old ward and attending services there means very little to me now. I feel even less moored, even more afloat when I think about it.

First Kiss

In a COMPLETE departure from despair and angst, I was reading a blogggg that mentioned a book filled with stories about people's first kisses. And I thought about my first kiss, and what a shame that it was a mistake, and I realized that I am not 100% sure now what his NAME even was. I think it was John. He was my friend Tisha's older brother, not really much in the intellect department, and he was probably only interested in me because my breasts had made a pretty impressive debut by that point. O, adolescence, you cruel joke.

It was a silly mistake and I think he had cigarette breath and I was so caught off guard by his casual request of a kiss as he was leaving that I kissed him even though I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to. I was in 7th or 8th grade and I kissed him in my parents' driveway. It was just a peck, but a kiss is a kiss and your first kiss only happens once and I threw it away!

I threw away a LOT of kisses; that's the truth. I was a fairly easy gal as far as kisses went - if i was unattached and a guy was cute enough, or smart enough, or strategically advantageous (there's a story in that one!) I'd kiss him. Kisses occasionally got me into trouble, and there were definitely kisses that should not have been given out. Like that first one.

I do remember the first one that counted. Oh, how in love I was. That awful, terrible first love when you think you'll be together for the rest of your lives until - poof - you aren't anymore. Some of you remember that one. We kept in touch sporadically and now we're in touch on Facebook and I'm proud of us both for being able to love each other as old, old friends who have no desire to "rekindle the flame" but just care deeply about how we both turned out. I think I loved him so much then because he really needed somebody to love him that much. I loved quite a few people because they needed to be loved. I didn't save many of them.

I am getting far too sentimental now. I'm going to go kiss D.

Monday, June 07, 2010

I'm over it now.

D is back, I've settled down. I had a good cry, I watched some Masterpiece Theatre-type stuff on Netflix, I've told myself all the usual things I tell myself every time this happens - it's inconvenient to live up in the canyons, it would work out better when the boys are older... and then I try to ignore the counterarguments that my troublesome brain insists on coming up with.

There are bright sides and sad sides to the whole thing. I just have to dwell on the bright sides. I just have to get through summer.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Same Old Song

there are already five offers in, all cash and over list price. I'm glad the boys are both at school, because I feel like saying an awful lot of very filthy words.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Self Injury.

Why, why, why do I torture myself? Another house came up for sale, way way up at the end of Silverado Canyon. It's lovely and I want it and it has probably $50k in termite damage. Ohmygosh it's so pretty and romantic and the creek runs right through it and there's a footbridge you have to cross from the parking area and there are morning glories vining all over it and OH HELL. The price is crazy low and it's going to get snatched up and our realtor wants us to be patient and wait for the termite report and D is out of town but he's given me permission to sign his name on an offer and I'm trying so hard not to get all wound up into a tizzy.