The following is a repost from when I first started writing this blog. I seem to be fighting something off yet again, and I just can't deal (with anything) this week. Don't fret, I have more great stories in the works - just you wait!
Until then, please enjoy the following tale of dorky teen angst, waiter-stalking, and crappy teenage cruise-mobiles. And I'd like to give a shout-out to Girl in the Room for giving me the idea to repost this.
From December '08
Blast From the Past
This has been a busy week and I'm glad that's it's finally coming to an end - although now it's looking like the weekend might be just as busy. Bear is the "Star Student" in his class next week, and I have to make him a poster, a journal complete with pictures of him hanging out with the class bear "Ted," and snacks to share with his classmates - it's amazing how much work I have now that he's in school. And of course he has a winter play next week, a student-teacher conference, and then there's the holidays to consider...anyway, we're busy.
C is going out of town until Tuesday, and the kids and I will be left to fend for ourselves for the next few days. Bear and Maggs really love their weekends with their dad, so I've come up with lots of fun things for us to do in order to distract them from his absence. Today I took the kiddos for a ride on the carousel that's by our neighborhood Whole Foods, and then we had dinner at Chili's.
I haven't eaten at a Chili's in years, but it seemed like a good idea since it's kid-friendly (my main objective in selecting this particular restaurant), and there's one a couple of blocks from Bear's taekwondo class. For a brief period during my teen years, I frequented Chili's with two close friends on a pretty regular basis. In addition to driving our crappy cars aimlessly around the suburbs (more on my crappy car in a minute), we took great pleasure in eating out as often as our jobs permitted - and I'm not talking about Taco Bell or Burger King (perish the thought!), I'm talking about real restaurants, pretty much every day after school (and no, we did not weigh 300 pounds).
For a while Chili's was the destination of choice, and for a short time we decided that we were in love with one of the waiters that worked at Chili's because we thought he looked like Neil Finn from Crowded House (perhaps not most teen-aged girl's idea of a heart-throb in the early 90's, but to each her own). I'm not sure that he even served us food more than once or twice, but we sure thought he was the cat's pajamas.
Neil Finn. You know you want him.
On the subject of my crappy car: it was a 1984 dark red Ford Thunderbird with paint chipping off of most of the passenger-side door (I always suspected that it had been spray-painted by the previous owner). It had no AC, which wouldn't have been such a big deal if we didn't live in a place that can sometimes reach 120 degrees in the summer; that car felt like an oven in July. This car also made strange noises when it accelerated, which deterred several friends from wanting to ride with me (although if I'm being completely honest, my less than stellar driving skills were more likely the real reason people politely declined a ride in my "cruise-mobile").
Tonight when, coincidentally, I heard "Something So Strong" playing on Chili's piped in musak, it really took me back to those days. I laugh at the absurdity of our crush on the Chili's waiter (sort of a la William H. Macy's crush on the braces-wearing bartender in Magnolia, but in a funny way and, I'd like to think, less pathetic. We thankfully possessed enough self-awareness to recognize how ridiculous we were, and derived great pleasure from making fun of ourselves. I guess some things never change).
I also laugh at our version of teen angst: driving around the 'burbs in crappy cars, cranking "How Soon is Now?," and debating about which restaurant to eat at after school. (As I recently pointed out to A, we probably could have afforded better cars if we didn't spend so much money on restaurants. But as usual, our love of food prevailed). I suppose we could have been using illicit drugs and having unprotected sex (I saved that for my mid twenties. Good times.), but that just wasn't a part of our journey. We may have been dorks (okay, we were defintely dorks), but now that I have my own little girl I hope, no I pray, that someday she'll be a dork too.