Image by Traci Ling
I remember being 6 years old staring in the mirror “Will I ever be 16? Will I ever be 30?”
I longed to grow up already.
I yearned to fill out the clothes in the sections my mom shopped in. I wanted to dance like Paula Abdul, and it look like Paula Abdul dancing. I wanted Aladdin to look at me like he looked at Jasmin. When you’re a child, you long for the moments adults “get to” have without realizing the heart breaking, miserable, hundreds of other moments that go into every shopping trip, making of a music video, even Jasmin has a hard time and she’s a cartoon with a pet tiger.
Breakups are no exception.
When I was 6 I could burst into tears at any moment and run to an adult to fix whatever the problem was. As an adult, shedding tears would run my mascara and only make me want to miss reservations to the new hip restaurant in town. The only adult to run to is the hostess with the reservation.
Being an adult is hard and I had to be an adult twice this week.
The first time was a hard sting.
We had planned a big soiree for a friend’s big 40th. Girls and guys had flown in from all of the coasts and we were pulling up to the big farewell brunch. I’m thinking to myself how wonderful the ‘season’ nestled between wedding season and baby season called turning-40-season where we have no pink colored showers and drink good wine.
I’m lost in my grown woman thoughts as I tromp past my old gym. As I am walking past it to get to the brunch destination, I see my ex’s dogs tied up to the gym entrance. MY GYM. It’s a boutique gym that I was going to before we were dating. And now he was helping himself to my favorite treadmill. The nerve.
I spend a big portion of brunch normally reserved for dating gossip to complain about the gym take over. Isn’t there an unspoken rule that when you breakup, the memberships that are doled out post breakup are doled onto who was subscribed there before? I sweated it out and took the whole team down with me.
The second time I wasn’t going to take being an adult laying down.
My gang was ordering bottles of my favorite wines on my favorite patio. There are two great wine bars in my town, and in my head I had kept one and gave my ex the other. My plan was great except that since I wasn’t talking to him, he hadn’t been informed of my wonderful idea. So, I was surprised, yet shouldn’t have been, when I had invited myself to my favorite patio and was informed my ex was there. At the next table.
I put on my big girl pants and even bigger girl white Jimmy Choo pumps and caught my Uber before they could text “C U at the next place”
I could tell that my friends were very nervous about my arrival. After all, I had turned our brunch last weekend into a rules-of-breakup debate. If I could whine so much at 11 am on a Sunday who knows what misery I could inflict at 7 pm on a Friday?
Getting there I quickly spotted both parties, and very quietly slid into a seat facing a wall with my crew. No drama, trauma, or tricks. I took a deep breath and successfully caught up on my friends dating escapades (theres a juicy podcast about it, stay tuned!!) and work debacles from over the past week.
We had closed our tab and were heading to dinner when the bar tender approached with a very nice vintage bottle of extra brut champagne. “Do you know that guy that was sitting at the table behind you, he sent this?”
“Yeah, we know him.”
He had left so no one could thank him, but it was understood. There are one hundred hard moments being an adult, but sometimes there is that one singular moment where you're Paula Abdul and you're singing RUSH RUSH to young Keanu Reeves.
Lesson learned: I guess it’s ok to be an adult sometimes. After all, you have to be an adult to drink champagne.