What do you get when you wake up late on a Saturday with no agenda? An old school movie on FX that you watch beginning to end. Today was the movie “13 going on 30” with Jennifer Garner. A normal person just watches and laughs at the funny parts and croons at the storybook ending, but me…I get all choked up and start thinking of shit from the past. Because that’s me.
Like the main character, I also HATED being 13. I too was awkward, didn’t know how to look or be cool. I was geeky and a book worm, and very unpopular. I went through name calling and bullying. I was overweight and didn’t have all the cool clothes because I couldn’t wear them. So I did what I had to do and I coped. I always had a small group of good friends, but it was the teachers that loved me, not the other kids, and that never went unnoticed.
Theater became a refuge because on stage I didn’t have to be Rosie. I was Rapunzel, or a Betty-Boop Flapper. Or the Elvin Queen from “The Hobbit”. I was the fucking ELVIN QUEEN. And it felt glorious. And when I sang on stage I felt like I could fly and it didn’t matter what my social calendar did or didn’t look like, because I was here and not there.
When I started dating I realized that I fell for the underdog. The quietish all-American type with funny and crazy ideas. And at 20 I met my perfect match. I didn’t marry for money or six-pack abs, I married a brilliant boy with sexy hair and green eyes which I always loved. Who always had an umbrella in the rain.
We had ups and downs, but never went through a period of questioning being with each other. That was the easy part. We were the last ones ever to get a great TV, or nice cars, and our house is small and modest in a modest place, but we loved it because we had a house. There were times where if it wasn’t sold at Aldi’s I couldn’t buy it. There were times when I was hung-over with depression and anxiety. There were times when I gained a hundred pounds, then lost it, then gained it again.
But at the end of the day, we always had ONE THING that the popular kids didn’t have, and that was coping skills. At my lowest, my husband knew how to drag me up from mud because he too knew what it was like to be kicked when you are down. Only someone else that knows, and has SKILLS to get through that can and will.
I’m not here to call out where the popular kids are now in our 30’s. But I do know one thing and I’m not afraid to say it, pompous as it is. I have a solid marriage with someone who is my one true thing. I have a small house that allows us to travel and keep our kids in ridiculously expensive activities, and those kids are healthy. I have a career that I love. And lastly I have the resources and coping skills to get me where I need to go when things turn the wrong way. I have a lot more than some people, and not as much as others, but I am happy where I am. Truly and genuinely happy.
And 30 (something…shhh) is way fucking better than 13.