There are certain minor moments in life that catch you unawares- you realise you’re a grown up now, there’s no going back. I probably speak for myself here, because I was a messy irresponsible spoilt child. But I don’t care, it’s going to be in the second person anyway… deal.
Offering to pay for your mother’s lunch as well as your own, and insisting- really insisting- not the fake insist that grows feeble and trails off after your mother says “no don’t be ridiculous..” and you slide your wallet back into your bag, trying not to smirk, but having earned the good daughter points anyway. She tries to argue this time, and you knock her back. You may even sneakily pay while she’s in the bathroom. And the space in your wallet that money used to occupy feels hollow and awful. You imagine dresses and alcohol you could have owned and enjoyed, and you slightly begrudge your mother having had the soup AND the fish when she didn’t even finish her bread. Then it occurs to you, that maybe when you were a kid and you had to have dessert every fucking time you ate… and you were a greedy monster too, maybe it pained her to part with her money too. Holy shit, you think…. I never want to be a parent. How come parents don’t beat you more often, the shit they put up with? What a horrible life…..
….Saying no, I’m fine, I don’t want any more ice cream. This is a kind of responsibility I’ve only recently dabbled with. But it’s haunting. I remember eating until sweets until I puked, and knowing I was going to puke and still eating more sweets because if I didn’t, I’d miss out on eating some sweets. And that could never happen. Now I look at sweets, knowing how much I prefer having a decent figure, and how brief the sugar rush will be… and inside, the greedy child dies a little……
……Cleaning your toilet. Maybe you were made do this as a child, maybe you had to as part of a nasty and unfairly balanced cleaning rota in your student digs, or maybe you do it without thinking about it. But the first time I actually got down on my knees of my own volition, without previously having vomited all over it, and cleaned my fucking toilet, it dawned on me that life would never be the same again. Admittedly, life has pretty much carried on as it always did, and I have only cleaned the toilet a few times since the first brush-weilding rite of passage… but still, every time I don the yellow gloves, I remember the life of carefree innocence before my toilet cleaning days, and shed a tear that is only partly revulsion-induced…..
…..Paying bills. Every time I pay for fucking electricity…. my heart breaks a tiny bit. I still half feel like I should be posting/mailing the bills to my mother, and she should be sorting it out for me. Electricity and gas and heating… they don’t feel like things I should have to pay for. It’s like, my mother never seemed to mind paying for grown up needs and utilities, so why won’t she take care of mine for me? But then it dawns on me, she must have hated paying for it as much as I do. Maybe that’s why I got so much shtick about leaving lights on and the stereo on standby instead of off, and leaving the door open when the heating was on. I get it now… Oh no wait, it wasn’t to save money, it was cause she’s a freaking hippie. but still. Paying for necessary costs of living… it destroys the soul. I don’t believe in souls, but if there’s one thing I’ll say for Christianity, they have some awesomely dramatic turns of phrase….
….The first time you’re sick, and there’s no one there to take care of you that honestly gives a crap. Or maybe that’s the same moment you realise, why the fuck did you get married anyways? Or they are a bundle of shitty moments along with being sick and missing your mommy and your husband DID make you soup but it’s not your mum’s make you feel good soup and he’s not picking up your tissues and he wants you to get better so you’ll shower and smell less funky, more than for your own sake and happiness. Or else you’re husbandless and it doesn’t matter if you smell gross but there’s not even any soup.
And that’s when you start believing the shit about childhood being the best days of your life.