Grown Ups

The saying goes, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it,” and it applies to more than just material possessions.

How is this concerned with the way that we are treated by society? We ask everyday to be treated as an adult, so when our parents, the community, our teachers, and our siblings decide to grant us our request, we must not be disappointed when we receive it in its entirety.

When I say that we ask for adulthood, I am referring to our lifelong struggle to be given privileges of independence.

As toddlers, the notion of getting to use the “big girl” and “big boy” cups, you know, the ones without lids, was an enticing concept. We learned that we had to clean up the messes that we spilled. We longed to be able to sit at the adult table at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and felt mighty when we no longer had to use a car seat.

Elementary school was filled with pleas to stay up “just a little longer”, and when we were allowed to stay awake until dad got home, we were sleepy victors.

In middle school our need to be older intensified, and we found ourselves wanting the responsibility of having a cellphone, but not the consequences of going over data, a monthly bill, or a bad decision that could never be retracted. We wanted makeup. We did not want to pay for makeup. The desire to go to the mall with some friends without Mom waiting at the food court was rampant, and we were finally entrusted with the independence to make good decisions monetarily and socially.

Then we got to high school, and we wanted that license. We were given this token of adulthood under the assumption that we would drive our siblings to practice, pay for gas, and make decisions that valued the lives of others and ourselves on the road. We wanted facial hair, like real men. We wanted to go on dates and to have a later curfew, but we didn’t want to face the report card that reflected nights with no room for homework.

We now, after almost two decades of asking to be older, are being regarded as adults. We cannot have partial adulthood. Mom and Dad cannot choose to skip work, abandon their duty as mother and father, or spend their money carelessly because they dislike certain aspects of what characterize the meaning of being grown up. We may not fall in love with everything inherent in adulthood, but we cannot have the cars, the privileges, or the respect without the responsibilities as well.

Adulthood is where we have arrived. When we responsibly accept it in its entirety and embrace the independence that it offers, that is when we have truly become “grown up.”

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Inconspicuously Monumental

Well hi there you guys! It feels so good to be posting something again and being able to take the time to write something that I actually care about with school having been so demanding the past couple of months! But summer is here and that means that so is my me-time, so here is the first of many celebratory summertime writings! I hope you all have been well and will enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! : )

Inconspicuously Monumental

Before my parents were parents, they were married, and before they were married they got to know each other, which is presumably a good thing to do before they decided to commit the rest of their lives to one another. But even before that, there was one solitary moment in time through which they had to pass in order for them to reach those milestones; they had to meet.

  They locked eyes in the crowded lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, and that marked the beginning of the rest of their lives. My mother’s friends were preoccupied with ordering appetizers at the lobby’s bar, and even though their eyes saw her standing there as she looked out across the bustling room, they noticed nothing more than just that. The bell boys hurried back and forth dutifully, eyes brushing past her, but minds on floor five’s guests awaiting their plaid suitcases with golden tags. “Three blankets please”, to room 608 for the housekeeping employee dashing by, her last task for that evening’s shift before meeting her friends for a celebratory drink across the street. In the center of the room, a young family occupied two couches; the mother looking happily exhausted as she conversed softly with her husband. They kept a close eye on the whereabouts of their toddler, who had recently discovered how to use her legs, and on the father’s knee rocked a sleeping infant ever so slightly from left to right, and then back again.

Among all of this fluid chaos stood my mother, swaying in her new dress and rolling her toes inside her flats. She absolutely despised heels. However, underlying that guise of a young woman ready face the world with vivacity in her wake was a very disparate mindset. Just days before, she had halfheartedly ended her five year engagement to her fiancé, and still found herself questioning whether her choice had been the correct one. In her heart, she knew that, though painful it was, this end was not one of finality, but rather it had just propelled her into a happier chapter of her lifetime. Her mind, on the other hand, had not yet managed to glide past such an extraordinary digression from her daily norm, and so she consciously viewed the room around her with a disheartened manner, her eyes falling on each male individual with dismay.

My future father stood, halfway descended from the mezzanine floor steps to the lobby, speaking to a group of friends every bit as oblivious to all that Destiny had just prepared for him as those who darted by in the florescent rhythm of the lobby. In that moment, if it were possible, my mother’s shoes could now see my father’s, and as I hope could be the case, my father’s shoes recognized that the feet inside of those adorable flats would be the ones that would walk alongside his own for far longer a time than either pair of footwear would last. Unfortunately, as I do hope at least the majority of level-headed individuals are aware of, leather and polyester are not the most profoundly gifted communicators in the world, and so they merely awaited the moment that my father’s steps reached the same marbled tile under which my mother’s feet lay in the breathlessness of anticipation.

It is the moment that followed that I find the most astounding of all, as its rarity is largely undetermined, yet it must certainly occur before each of our very eyes a good number of times in our lives. The man and woman that would find themselves feeling more secure, intimate, and loved with one another than any other moment of their lives thus far; two people who would tie two family lines together, devote their lives to one another, and make a family together were about to meet, and no one in the room knew. Not one of the 50 some-odd souls nonchalantly accepting the existence of the young man and woman at separate corners of the lobby understood the significance of the exact moment that the two became aware of each other, and neither did my mother or my father. As my mother locked eyes with my father for the split second before they each turned their attention to the other goings-on of the room, she literally looked him up and down, and muttered, “Ugh.” Just another guy, dressed to impress the ladies.

My dad, on the other hand, thought mom was pretty hot, but then again he also thought the brunette receptionist, the guest in shiny black stilettos catching the elevator to floor four, and the woman sipping on a bloody mary at the bar were fairly attractive as well. Regardless, their initial reactions to one another were no more than the standard acknowledgement that the other existed, and although no one could blame them for reacting otherwise (afterall, they had never met prior to that point), I am perpetually dumbfounded that an instance of such monumental implications such as this can pass by with such an utter lack of notice.

With this thought, I can’t help but speculate how often I pass by this very same occurrence without every realizing the splendor with which two people’s lives have just been irrevocably altered, just as the occupants of that lobby went through the motions of that evening completely unaware. When each of us sets out on our daily path, how often do we pass by these remarkably inconspicuous meetings? The man turning to take the order of the woman in front of you; their meeting most likely will never be of significance, but you have to think, “What if?” And you will never know the difference, but doesn’t that add just a bit of excitement to it all? My parents, for one, will tell you that it does.