Tuesday, March 15, 2011

my so-called life

A few days ago I watched a program I hadn't seen since I was a teenager. As it was about a girl my age at the time, it was my favorite show. Apart from the fact that there was more plaid than I thought humanly possible, it was still mostly watchable. While I did feel some nostalgia for my youth, I also found myself identifying with the parents more than the teenager. Concerned, I did the math and realized Vivi is now closer in age to 15 years old than myself...which was the point I turned the show off and tried to forget it. Fat chance. I have been contemplating the feelings it stirred up ever since.

When I was 15, my dad took me bowling. I didn't think much of it at the time. Honestly, I didn't think much of anything at the time except for boys and which friend had made me happy or wronged me. The memory that haunts me from the outing was that there was a group of 17-year-olds on a date next to us. I was mortified and feeling quite peevish. Not just because I was with my dad rather than with a boy...and I was never with a boy instead of my dad...but because my sweet dad was jovially showing me how to bowl as they looked on and laughed (which probably had nothing to do with me, but when you're 15 the world revolves around you, doesn't it?). I wished I could disappear forever.

I am plagued by my chagrin. I treasure every experience I had with my dad as a child, from seeing the beauty of the Grand Canyon to watching the local racing events at Dixie Speedway. Growing up in a divorced family meant I didn't get to see my dad on a daily basis, so my memories of our time together are very dear to me, and I hate that the angst-ridden teenage feelings seep their way in there a time or two, poisoning the good impression I want to cherish. Mostly though, I don't want the miserable kid to contaminate my thoughts because I no longer identify with her, and because I know in a relatively short time I will have wretched and suffering daughters who feel that way about me. I guess it can't all be rainbows and lollipops, eh?

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