It's a fact of life we all know to be firm and resolute, yet there are occasions that crop up and try to draw us back to yesteryear.
Last night I had the pleasure of catching the latest production of A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park. I took my 20 year old sister, Mickdizzle, for a nice evening of sisterly bonding. She's home on break from her sophomore year at Ohio University, hanging around in a town she doesn't know very well with two people whom she sometimes wishes she didn't know very well.
So, I decided to give her a break from our parents. Or perhaps it was a break for them.
I love love love Mickdizzle. She's ten years younger than I am and I've really enjoyed watching her grow up.
Kate the Great's High School graduation many moons ago. The expressions are priceless. Bridge (left) is saying "Dad, ohmygod I so don't want to be here stop taking my picture or I'm gonna die." Mickdizzle (middle) is thrilled to be mugging for the camera at such an important event for the family. Mom (right, with the pilgrim collar dress on) is just glad nobody is wrestling or pulling hair in public.
I remember Mickdizzle when she was the stinky kid with the messy curly hair, hanging in the trees in her hole-y leggings and untied tennis shoes. Those were the days when she worshiped her big sister, Kate the Great. To this day I have a picture on my refrigerator that little Mick drew for me when she was a wee eight years old. A picture of our house and me behind the wheel of a car with a scrawled "Please be carefull when you drive Katy, I love you."
It still makes my heart melt. But boy, have things changed.
Burberry. The North Face. Coach. That's pretty much the only language Mickdizzle speaks.
So, my relationship with Mickdizzle is going through some growing pains right now.
She so desperately wants to be treated like a grown up. She's always snapping at me when I correct her on a word pronunciation or when she thinks something I say is patronizing and condescending.
I try and bite my tongue most of the time. Really, I do. I work so hard to treat Mickdizzle the same way I'd treat one of my friends.
Then she says something like, "Yeah. So am I going to be sitting next to anyone smelly tonight?"
I really wish I could go back to the days when it was easy.
The days when I was allowed to treat her like a kid because that's what she wanted to be - hanging in trees and riding her bike with the little plastic streamers coming out of the handle bars.
It was way easier back in the day.
Even when we were pulling hair and and yelling and stealing hairbrushes.
Speaking of going back in the past:
A great tune came on in the car as Mickdizzle and I headed back to home base in Oakley.
Fiona Apple's Criminal - it's one of my karaoke classics. When I sing Criminal my voice sounds like something half way between strong and sultry. I think my rendition could very well give Ms. Apple a run for her own one-hit-wonder money.
So there I was belting out And-I-need-to-be-redeemed-to-the-one-I've-sinned-against- because-he's-all-I-ever-knew-of-a-love... when my voice box came to an abrupt halt. I was sitting at the intersection, getting ready to turn right onto my street, and I was caught off guard by the car in front of mine.
I recognized the model immediately. The plates were what I expected them to be, and the driver was sitting in the pose I once made fun of him for.
Someone whom I didn't expect to see on my side of town. Someone I guess I didn't want to see on my side of town.
It's easy to run into someone in the place you expect them to be - you get ahold of the intestinal fortitude to prepare for that chance happening. Maybe at a bar they like to frequent, a gas station near their home.
But not on your home turf.
Not in a place where you feel safe and warm and protected from the past.
Because we can't go back. We can't change what happened. We can't get a do-over on the mistakes we make. All we can do is second guess and play the scenario in our mind over and over and over and hope that the next time we're dealt those cards we play the game a little better - and hope we can keep our poker tell to ourselves.
So I went to One World Wednesday on guess when Wednesday.
The theme was London and I loved it because it reminded me of my trip a month and a half ago.
The friend whom I was supposed to go with was caught in a meeting in Louisville, so there I was standing alone with a beer in my hand next to some interesting gold bowl honoring King Whateverhisnameis from Persia/Egypt/some other place prominent in history a million years ago.
I don't do well with reaching out to strangers. I am much better at cruising crowded spots on my own - appearing to be extremely interested in the back story of the gold bowl like why it has a special rippled rim because it's a unique design feature representing bladdy blady blah.
So there I was enjoying the unusual artwork, the British house music and the samples of fish and chips (uh, yeah, they're exactly the same in the States as they are in London) when I ran into a friend from my past.
I cannot express to you the sheer glee I felt upon seeing a familiar face.
I'd had enough of Let's pretend we're the foreign visitor in London and was grateful to know I wasn't alone anymore.
My friend informed me that he didn't have time to chat because he was on his way to volunteer at a wine station (how come I never get those kinds of volunteering opportunities?) but that we'd catch up later.
I ended up running into some coworkers whom I don't know very well, and spent the evening getting to know some kind people who bide their time at the same great work place.
But not before participating in one of the evening's forums regarding whether Britain is the United States' only friend.
Yours truly was the primary contributor to this debate.
I guess the others in the group that evening aren't as passionate or critical as I am in regards to world affairs.
God, that statement says volumes about the people in this city.