I remember once when I was just on the cusp of teen-dom I got invited to a party. It was a party of all girls, but it was the first time I had been included with a particular group of what I deemed popular girls and I was very excited. I felt like I had climbed a rung on the social ladder.
This time in my life coincided with a blossoming awareness of my appearance. I had been fairly unconcerned with it up to this point, but I was coming to realize that a little lip gloss, a pair of earrings and some curl to my blunt-edged hair made a difference to how I was perceived.
So this was the night, a culmination of my sudden recent spurts of "growing up." I got all dolled up and remember curling my hair with marked excitement. Doors were opening, oh yes. I even put on mascara.
My mom had told me I could use the curling iron on the condition that I turned it off when I was done. Sure, Mom. Whatever you say.
I walked to the party, about 6 blocks away. Sure enough, there were all the popular girls and, to my smug delight, they didn't seem surprised that I would be there and I was quickly accepted into the heart of the conversation.
We did tweeny things. Talked about boys. A lot. Ate Twizzlers and Doritos. Gushed about each others clothes. It was pure heaven, with a strong current of laughter throughout.
Then my mom called. I had left the curling iron on. She wanted me to come home and turn it off. "Mom!" I protested. "Can't you just do it?"
I was informed we had made a deal. Apparently I had a lesson to learn. I could come home and turn off the iron and then return to the party or she was going to take me home to stay. Something about being reliable.
Feeling extremely mistreated I scuttled home, my curls bouncing all the way. I didn't even speak to my mother as I made a great show of flipping the tiny switch on the curling iron and heading back out the door.
By the time I returned to the party my curls were falling pretty flat. So was the party. A couple of girls had gone home. Everyone else was watching a movie that I had missed the first several minutes of and my return was barely acknowledged.
It just wasn't the same after I got back.
This time it wasn't a curling iron. It was a plain miserable cross-country move and then an even more miserable pregnancy.
Have I changed? Or did everybody else just shift without me?
I came back to Hoodie land and the party just wasn't here anymore. I know my efforts at reconnecting have been feeble, but having a Kindergartner, a three-year old Energizer Bunny and brand new baby have left me feeling less enthusiastic about anything but my shower and a pillow.
I guess I have changed a little.
So. Umm. I'm not really throwing in the towel. I'll still check in on y'all now and then, but I'm not going to feel guilty about not posting anymore. Sorry to the people who check in now and then. Both of you.
Keep on living the dream, my friends. Sorry I had to leave the party.