Your Smiles Make Me Smile

If you really want to get the most out of my blog, it's best to start with the first post written in July to the present since some blogs refer back to earlier posts; but any order is just fine... Thanks for visiting! Now scroll on down to the good news! ~Renae~

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Everything's Gonna' Be Okay

I just woke up from a night of really bad dreams, a reflection of my life perhaps, except I was young again.  I had gone alone to see a Lady Gaga concert in my mother’s new Subaru.  It was yellow.  The same Subaru my parents bought new and let me borrow when I was 21.  Funny how your life creeps into your dreams.  I ran into a friend at the concert and she kept handing me a bottle to drink, but I didn’t know it was Everclear so I got stinking drunk and during a serious moment on stage when Lady Gaga was giving a profound speech about the hours of hard work put in by her dancers to make her performance what it is, the audience was hushed, and in my loudest voice I shouted “Shake it Lady Gaga!”  I ruined the concert.

Afterwards I tried to find my car, but I couldn’t remember where I parked it.  The crowd was disbursing and I was alone, looking for the yellow Subaru, and finally when I found it, I couldn’t find my way home.  I kept asking people leaving the concert “How do I get to San Ramon?” and I ended up on some bridge far away from home that if I didn’t get over quickly enough the Bay was going to rush in and I would drown, inside my mother's brand new Subaru. 

The next thing I know, my mother was there and she was disgusted because I had been drinking at the concert.  I told her I thought somebody slipped something into my drink.  Then, because dreams are cool like this, I turned my head and asked the girl that shared her bottle with me what she put into my drink and she said "It was Everclear!"....something we used to sneak into the punch at high school dances because it was clear and the teachers couldn't smell it.  Which reminds me of the most horrifying shameful day my freshman year when my mother really did discover that I had been drinking alcohol. I had shared a bottle of Boones Farm with a group of my high school friends as we sat on the stairs of a highway overpass and talked about all of our "problems."  We passed around the bottle, one problem at a time, until we had polished it off.  I was sufficiently buzzed.  We headed back to Shakey’s Pizza Parlor and played video games and ate pizza and laughed because, we were cool, drunk, and in high school now.  Then, the demise of the beginning of my high school journey happened.  The electricity went out. Shakeys went dark (yes, this part is real life) and suddenly I hear my mother’s voice…."Renae, Renae, are you in here?” My friends starting shouting “Renaaaeeee, your mom’s heeeerrrreeee” and laughing.  My heart sank.  I wasn’t so cool anymore AND I was drunk. 

Simultaneously, as my mother was getting into the driver’s seat and I was getting into the passenger seat, our eyes momentarily met over the hood of the car.  I quickly looked down.  “Look at me Renae!” Yup, that’s what she said.  “Look at me!”  I looked up.  “Have you been drinking?” "No." I responded.  "You've been drinking! I know you have.  You can't even look at me!  Just wait until we get home. I'm going to tell your father!"  Because that's what she said when she didn't know how to handle me.  There is nothing worse than having my all loving, accepting, sweet, biggest fan I’ve ever had, my mother, disappointed in me.  We drove home in silence.  I went immediately to bed and then proceeded to have my dad come in my room and give me "the lecture." I actually got off the hook pretty easy.  I thought I was in big trouble, but instead, somehow, my dad had gotten it in his mind that "the boys" had gotten his daughter drunk and unlike his usual two hour lectures, I got the short version.  "Boys will get you drunk just to take advantage of you and you dang well - only dang had an "m" and an "n" better know that now loud and clear because that's what boys want when they're in high school."  ….because of course, I was innocent and they were big bad wolves.  Five minutes later the lecture was over and I wasn't completely responsible for what I had done.

So I’m back in my dream now and my mother is disappointed. I was driving the Subaru after the concert and Lady Gaga in all her glamour couldn’t save me now.  In fact, Lady Gaga was furious with me.  I had ruined her concert by shouting at a critical and profound moment.  Her dancers started giving me the evil eye and concert-goers were scolding me…I had ruined it for everyone.  And the water was about to come over the bridge, and suddenly, the head librarian Kathy and my coworker Kathleen came up and the look on their faces were nothing but shame.  Shame and disappointment.  I had ruined the concert for them too. I was embarrassed, I didn’t know they were there.  And the water kept rising to meet the bridge.

The parallel is that I’m so afraid to disappoint, to not be the person that can keep everyone happy with me, to let go of holding up whatever tent pole I think I have to hold up to keep the world revolving as it should.  That I am solely responsible and I haven’t returned phone calls, and what if Peggy or Julie or Carol or anyone of my various friends feels that I’ve betrayed my loyalty to them because I haven’t called them back, and I missed two hours of work yesterday because I’m so exhausted, and what if they think I’m making excuses and that I’m really not exhausted but just didn’t want to go in and they feel disappointed that I am not holding up my end of the bargain, and I haven’t been on Facebook and what if I miss somebody’s nice post to me and then don’t thank them and they think I’m ungrateful?  And I haven't sent out thank-you cards for all the wonderful notes and gifts and books that I've received and what if they too think I'm ungrateful.  And then I forgot to pay my tax bill, and now I’m fined over $200 for being late and I’ve disappointed myself because I’m the girl that pays my bills on time.  I’m the girl that calls my friends back, that’s responsible, that says "thank you" and hates missing work because I don’t want anyone to think I don’t care.  The water is coming up over the bridge and I can’t find my way home.

But in the end, the news…the good news, is that really, it’s all in my mind.  No one is mad at me, everyone understands, I didn’t ruin a Lady Gaga concert or drink Everclear, and my mom forgave me years ago for getting drunk my freshman year on Boones Farm at Shakey's Pizza Parlor. 

We take on too much, we worry about what everyone thinks, we find shame if we can’t keep up even when we are in the midst of a crisis….and we forget.  We forget that our friends are forgiving and understand more than we think, that we don't have to hold the world up over our head, that the thank you cards can wait, the phone calls will be returned, and no one can ruin a Lady Gaga concert but Lady Gaga herself.  Take a breath, it's all just our minds working on overtime.  There is no water coming over the bridge, I am in fact "home," and it was all just a bad dream.

Sweet Dreams and Always GOOD Dreams,

1 comment:

Bill Stott said...

You sure that was just a dream.