Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pivotal Moments, Imp Edition

On this day, my 41st birthday, I remembered a funny/terrifying/sick/exciting moment in my life, back in 1986, when I was only 13 or 14 years old. From about the age of 12 I was told that I could pass as legal, able to buy at least cigarettes and, if I'd been ballsy enough, possibly even alcohol. I only ever pressed my luck with the smokes, ever, but at this tender age of 13/14, I hadn't even dared to buy cigarettes on my own, at least not without the assistance of a forged letter from a "mom" in "poor health" asking a cashier to let her child buy the cigs for her. The 80s! So crazy, right?

At this point in life, I'd frenched two boys my own age and flirted with a boy far too old for me at a Rush concert I'd attended with, I shit you not, my middle school science teacher and classmate Julie. The strange events that I am relaying here happened sometime in that twilight, somewhere between middle school and high school, to a person who was, at best, only barely able to grasp what was happening to her then, or at that moment, at the KC Hyatt (I'm guessing).

At that time, I lived with my grandparents at 2390 Hood. My grandfather was the secretary of his local Typographical Union. There was a meeting of some sort in Kansas City, where awards were given out, and all of the typographical sorts were driving in from miles away to participate. To their credit, my grandparents not only took me along (road trip!) but allowed me to play my music (cassette tapes, YES) most of the way, both there and back. They endured hours of Duran Duran, Culture Club, and (I admit) a nauseating mount of Stevie Nicks for 6 hours of driving, to and fro. Hats off, grandparents. Hats. OFF.

Other than the excitement of visiting a BIG city, the trip was terminally boring, as most adult things are. BUT. BUT (and you knew there would be a BUT), there was this one thing... On the first night we dined together in the hotel restaurant. Imagine an outdated restaurant in maybe something that last saw a renovation in 1975. We sat in a center table, eating meatloaf and veggies surprise. At a table in my view alone (my grandparents were facing me) there was a very attractive man eating alone. He was dressed business casual and VERY interested in me. Over the course of the meal I got to know him in the way he most certainly intended: Room number. Wink muthafuckin wink. Being an imp, bored, and enjoying poking sticks at things, the next day I managed to get away from my grandparents with the thinnest of excuses (lost in time). I made my way to the hotel lobby and dialed that hotel number. He answered. He was not shy about his intentions. As a thirteen year old fool, it was HIGHLY interesting. The man could tell something was off, obviously, and finally asked the question he should have considered previously when he saw me eating dinner WITH MY GRANDPARENTS. How old are you? Did I lie? Nope. THIRT. TEEN. (bitch) There was a lot of throat clearing, hrming and hmmming, but before I could hear the next bit my grandmother found me. She was angry and inquisitive. I lied, lied, LIED. I was just PLAYING on the phone gramma! What's the big deal gramma! Of course, 20/20 hindsight tells me it could have been a big deal, indeed. It wasn't, ultimately. We went back to our boring (?) lives in Wichita with no scrapes, scars, or innocence lost. But I never forgot it. Because it could have gone a different way. And the narrative could have been so much darker. And that, my friends, is the cost of looking 25 at 13. A blessing (!) and a curse.

Monday, June 03, 2013 a Cost

So, Game of Thrones made me cry like a fucking toddler missing her horsey on Sunday night. I will not spoil anything, but I will talk about my Feels.

At first, I was living in the moment. My reaction was a series of NO's that were incalcuable, with face grabs, and jumping up and down on the couch. As the scene concluded, I was dry-crying with a threat of tears, and basically just trying to deal with all of the information that had just splatted out of my new 43 inch TV. I had to go to the bathroom from before Arya first saw the castle, so as the credits rolled I got up and kind of reeled to the wiz palace (thank you, Leslie Knope). Where I lost my fucking mind.

So I'm on the trrrlet, SOBBING. Real tears! Which is hard for me these days. As a side note, I'm on the anti-crazies. I am taking them so I don't have panic attacks on the train. Plus side: I hardly ever have panic attacks on the train. Negative downer Debbie side: joint pain, dry mouth, crippling pain in the hips after too much movement, lack of filter sometimes. Plus/minus side: I give so little fucks about a lot of things now. I still do my makeup in the morning to look "right" for the world (no tiny "mole" eyes and fake clear skin), I can still laugh at things and feel sad about things...the laughter is not so donkey-ish, however...and the sads...? Well, they are usually little hiccups, not much on the emotional richter scale.

But last night? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I absolutely MUST tip my hat to my family and friends who have read the books. Not once did they ever give a hint to what was about to happen last night. Not a whisper! Not a hint! And now I know why they wanted me to read the books: To protect my sorry ass from the shock, horror, and absolute devastation of last night's episode. They are absolutely AMAZING. After Eddard Stark, I didn't think GoT could shock me. Lesson. Learned.

As a spewed out my emotions on Facebook last night, I felt somewhat ashamed at how good they got me. I know GoT isn't real life...and I knew the only time I'd ever had such a hysterical response to a show was back in '85 when Bobby Ewing died on Dallas. I was 13 and the previously mentioned (on this blog) junior high "God" Victor Silva had just been seriously injured in an accident. There had been hushed phone calls previously, where adults had discussed how to explain that this handsome, talented young man was lucky to be alive and unlikely to be anything like he had been before, and near to that day they'd laid it out for us. What brain damage meant, how unlikely it was that he would ever be the same again. I hadn't really absorbed it. But then, watching that episode of Dallas and seeing my favorite character die, I finally felt something...and then I felt ALL THE THINGS. And I was a honking, snotty, screeching mess for the rest of the night.

So, that's a real thing. GoT is another thing all together. And that is why, after my initial HATE RAGE--I actually edited my first response on Facebook, which was "I HATE YOU GAME OF THRONES"--I can step back and appreciate the BALLS this show has. Taking out Eddard fucked a lot of us up enough...but this? Mother. Fucker. HOW DARE YOU? But also, WOW, LOOK HOW YOU DARED, MOTHER FUCKERS. I don't hate HBO, GoT, or the author, as some colorful members of Twitter have shared. I admire the shit out of their courage, their foresight, and their ability to make us care so much about these characters--more than we thought we knew--to inspire such a passionate, tormented, and yes, vitriolic response. Hats off. Heads off. Whatever. It is all the same in the game of thrones.