Growing up, I remember thinking that all I wanted to do was fast forward until I got “to the good part” and watch it in real time from there. I wanted to get “there.”
And it wasn’t like today with chapters, where fast forwarding meant skipping all the backstory. It was in the days of VHS (yes, I’m that old), where fast forwarding meant watching the story progress at a faster pace – without sound. But you still had an idea of what happened.
I remember feeling like I got “there” when Tony and I moved in together. But, of course, that wasn’t really entirely “there” because his mother was living with us. Our privacy was limited and I had to be a vewwy vewwy quiet wascally wabbit (read in Elmer Fudd voice, because I’m also that old).
Then, after we got married, she moved out into a senior home and I thought “There, I’m here!”
Finally married, living alone with my husband – BRING ON THE SEX!
And then the theres kept turning into a series of disappointments because depression and unemployment and debt and hoarding and all sorts of other things got in the way of me enjoying having achieved the pinnacle of thereness.
When I look back on my life, I can think of a few moments when I was “there” and managed to appreciate it. When I was a kid there were many moments of being “there” – so much time spent traveling and learning about the world not through textbooks but through experiencing it. I’ll never forget my first trip to Europe and how incredible it was to stand before the ancient ruins of buildings that were so famous we learned about them in elementary school.
And all the little family memes that we still laugh about today. My younger brother’s first crush who was 13 years old when he was 8 and how he followed her around like a lost puppy. Sweet girl. The tour guide on that trip, whose name was Arturo, and my dad called “Arturo Guide,” ’cause puns.
There was a trip with Tony. We went all out and upgraded to one of the fancy private cottages at the all-inclusive resort in Cancun. We fucked in the pool under the stars. Took sexy naked pictures of each other in the outdoor shower and ate these incredible kobe beef truffle burgers.
The trip to Ojai at the bed and breakfast with the spa next door. We watched porn that night and got a couple’s massage the next morning and I was able to scream like a banshee because we’d gotten the cottage to ourselves.
That time when we rented a hotel room on Groupon about two miles from our house just so we could fuck properly without the sound of his mother flushing the toilet in the middle of my orgasm, but we ended up ordering Chinese food and watching Monk reruns for the rest of the night while cuddled up on a tiny bed together.
Those are moments I appreciate and hold in my memory because at the time of living them, I recognized them as good moments worth remembering. I hit “pause” and then “play.”
I’m there again now.
Last week was rough. The anniversary of Tony’s passing was expected, but finding out Thursday that his mother had finally passed as well and the remaining family hadn’t notified me was a bit of a shock. This morning I woke up exhausted – like my weekend had been eaten up by cruel elves. I think, with the anticipation of such a rough week, I’d hit “fast forward” again and the next thing I knew it was Monday morning and I was out of breath again.
But it’s a normal Monday. I have no more travel scheduled until next month and there are no birthday parties or anniversaries or any other week-altering events happening for several weeks in a row.
It’ll be a nice, normal month. The kind that, as a kid, I would want to fast forward through to get to the exciting parts.
But now, as an adult…I realize that I’m “there.” I’ve arrived. And it’s time to roll through life in real-time again.