Change – We Ain’t Talking Money
Say Happy Anniversary again to us! 22 years ago today we started dating! That’s right, we were married one day less than a year after we started dating. Lee thought it would be a good way for Paul to remember their anniversaries and it makes us sound badass that we didn’t even wait a year to get married. Having anniversaries or birthdays make you reexamine life and think of days long passed. Not that we have any regrets but there was a time when resolving to be or do things differently was as normal as putting syrup on your pancakes.
Lee says: O.K., come back with me to December 31 of 1988. You are in Torrance, California at my parent’s old house. My little brother is in the room next door playing Mario Brothers and my Mom is in the kitchen drinking Cuban coffee like water and wondering why she can’t sleep at night. My Dad is watching the news and inadvertantly giving himself high blood pressure. I am packing the last of my things to bring them to our new apartment. I make sure to leave the essentials since I will live here for another week.
I ponder what my life will be like as a married woman and dread being unmasked by my poor, unsuspecting fiance. He doesn’t realize what he’s getting into. He hasn’t heeded the warnings that his soon to be wife is a bitch and mean and the prime example of a shrew. He doesn’t realize his bride can not love him the way he deserves. Sure, she’s faked it pretty well this year. She has been affectionate and has maintained those demons at bay to some extent but, the core of the insanity remains the same. Waiting, biding it’s time until the unsuspecting husband surrenders completely to his wife and POW! Crazy bitch arrives!
So you see me grab a piece of paper from my desk and scribble down a few things. You see that while I write the tears blind me for a moment before I wipe them away with my sleeve. I get up to resume my packing and you glance back at the note and see that I have labeled the list ‘My 1989 New Year’s Resolution!’ The writing is rushed but the Catholic school penmanship is still quite legible. The list contains things like ‘stay calm’, ‘be patient’, ‘monitor PMS’, ‘not freak out for every little thing’. All these things can be summed up as ‘Be someone else’.
I can’t say whether I kept my resolutions that year. I was aware of some ‘flaws’ in my character thanks to the constant reminder from my father, along with the added, ‘you’ll never keep a man like that’. I know that that very evening Paul and I went to a party for New Years and didn’t stay long. I remember we were at the apartment and ended up in the parking garage having sex in the car so as not to taint our pristine love nest until we were married.
I have changed over the year but never because of a resolution. My decisions were not based on arbitrary holidays chosen thousands of years ago. They came from reaching bottom or being fed up with things. Some took moments while others took a lifetime. Resolving to not be who you are because a ball is dropping in New York is as random as changing for a lover. You are the agent of change in your life and you have all the power to create miracles in your own life.
What am I saying? I don’t know. I remember us 21 years ago. We were both very scared and yet had faith that somehow we had found that one person who wouldn’t freak out when they saw the real us. We were both right. No need to change.
Paul says: Of course all this talk of change is theoretical. We were perfect 21 years ago and have just become more perfect. You should see our awesome perfectatude in another 21 years. It will blow your mind.