A Real Grown-Up

6 06 2008

I am positively certain that if I were a real grown-up I would not be the way I am, always flying out the door five minutes late or crawling around under the furniture looking for lost shoes. I wouldn’t lose my temper and scream at the children, then five minutes later be crying with remorse as I apologize… then five minutes later losing my temper again!

If I were a real grown up I would know how to handle the cable people and make them fix the low-hanging wire. I would do it with a sort of cool grace instead of frantic desperation and pleading. I would be able to figure out how to make Wells Fargo give us back the $500 fee they charged us for paying off our 2nd mortgage, too.

I wouldn’t forget appointments or be muddled about directions. I would remember people’s faces better. How many many times have I met someone in the grocery store or doctor’s office and remembered them, but not their names or even where I know them from! It was horrible- at the chiropractor’s yesterday, I ran into Vicki. I remembered Vicky’s name. She was very familiar. We spoke a few moments. She was so tall and slim and cool and elegant. Church? Home schooling group? Neal’s office? Where could I have possibly met her? I finally broke down and asked, “I’m sorry- please remind me where I know you from.”

She was horrified, and no wonder. “Why Angela, we took a class together for twelve weeks. Elijah house! It just ended last month.” A real grown-up would never have done that.

A real grown-up would not call her husband up at work panicking and crying because she had a splinter in her finger and couldn’t find the tweezers and couldn’t turn the truck around in the back yard to go to the store. A real adult could probably handle a splinter.

She could probably handle getting dinner on the table, and remembering when she’s invited someone over for dinner or lunch instead of simply forgetting the engagement and going out to eat. Which I have also done. And a real grown-up would not burn things as often as I have because she forgot she was cooking something!

I live my life like the distracted, dreamy, absent-minded twelve-year-old I really am. Perhaps I could get away with blaming it on an artistic temperament. I’m not as bad as the absent-minded professor; I did, after all, remember to show up for my wedding. But I have YET to remember Mother’s Day until several days afterward or get a card to my mother or mother-in-law on their birthdays, whereas they never forget mine. I hope, I suppose, that my very real affection for them can somehow recompense for my total thoughtlessness.

I must be a very hard person to love- generally lost, frequently tactless, and difficult to entertain. Forgetful. Graceless. A little moody and inclined to be over-apologetic. Sigh. I have a growing anxiety that the wisdom of age that I have read so much about will, in my case, turn out to be nothing more than a deep sympathy for other people’s mistakes. Having made so many of my own, how will I have the heart to criticize theirs? I have a deeper fear that I will be issued no wisdom at all and that I will stravage through life with my hair slipping out of it’s clip and my hem sagging, forgetting appointments and other people’s names and occasionally driving on the wrong side of the street. Baking a pie to take to an invalid and accidentally putting in salt instead of sugar. Trying to be helpful and instead being a wistful-eyed bother… or worse yet, a tactless annoyance.

Am I the only one who ever wonders if I will ever be any good in life? Or at life? Somehow, despite living on this planet for 35 years, I don’t seem to have figured out the technique. Occasionally, for five minutes at a time, I will manage a smooth, plausible technique, but it never lasts. Sooner or later I revert to type, monologuing on my blog instead of (Yikes! Look at the time!) taking my over-due library books to town before the cable guys arrive!

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4 responses

6 06 2008
Linda Miller

Dear Angel,
Dad just walked through our peaceeful but busy office having just read your latest blog. He says, after watching me try to raise four of you, do our house and garden work and generally keep life together, that, in his opinion, you’re doing a wonderful job especially when you add all the additional work you are doing with home schooling. I think not having lost any of the kids at the dump shows quite a bit of talent right there.
About the fee from Wells Fargo for paying off your 2nd mortgage, he says that if it was not in the original contract then they can not legally charge you. Go back and read to see if there was any mention about penalties for paying off early.
Love & hugs,
Mom & Dad

7 06 2008
Michael

No, you’re not the only one so scattered. And I do blame my distractedness on artistic temperament. I’m often found wandering in realms of thoughts and dreams that exist solely in my head. It is a rude and thoughtless intrusion to have my irregularly scheduled flights of fancy interrupted with breaking news: REAL LIFE IS WAITING. I’m dragged by my heels back to the black and white world of bills, deadlines, irritations, and an e-mail inbox that fills faster than I can ignore it. Someone 30 years younger is screaming to lock the responsibilities away for the day and renew the revelry he reserved (and sometimes caution and decorum get tossed aside and it doesn’t wait until close of business).

Somehow, I get through it. You get through it. We both get through it. You remember to send that card (albeit late), muddle through chores and at the end of the day take a quick head count of your children and breath a sigh that all are present and accounted. Monthly reports get done, customers get served, and work gets moved. We get it done.

Like a real grown up.

8 06 2008
Lisa Moore

A real grown up + 4 children = the Angela that we all know and love! You forgot to add the 4 children to the equation! Love you, Lisa

9 06 2008
Lisa

Ok I guess you have not read my blog. We all have these afflictions especially when you have multiple children. Add to that PMS and a little insecurity because none of this comes with directions. My new saying is different and new. When ever I have to deal with something difficult I have to consciously remember God will never give us more than we can bare & I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME! Yah, I know it sounds cleche but it is true. My health and my strength comes from God. My Joy in life is a frame of mind. In order to have true Joy we must make a decision and learn to handle things with different Ideals. Life is like a box of chocolates(to quote Forest Gump and you never know what you are gonna get) But how you handle the little surprises life gives you everyday will determine your Joy. So try to think of something wonderful different and new and Try to change your perspective. It really is all in how you look at it. You are strong, beautiful, and a mom. and GOD loves you!

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