This New Year’s Eve, Gail and I rented a motel room in a town about an hour away, took a cab to one of the many popular casinos in the state, gambled the penny slots all night, lost more money than we made, ate quesadillas as the clock struck midnight, drank too much, and took a cab back to the motel.
Me: “‘Motel 6: We’ll leave the light on for you… but that’s about it.'”
Gail: looking around at the sketchy parking lot “‘Motel 6: It’s well lit… thankfully.’ We probably shouldn’t keep insulting it once they can hear us.”
Me: “Ew. Someone’s been raped in this room.”
Pre-drinking Smirnoff Apple and orange soda.
“Gail, the phrase is ‘apples and oranges’, because they don’t go together. This tastes like acid and urine.”
Throughout the night, as we gambled and drank, I recorded the quotes that made us giggle like maniacs in my phone.
My drunken lamenting over not understanding the appeal of gambling:
Me: “Gambling is gay.”
Gail: “You probably shouldn’t use that as an insult in public.”
Me: “It’s not my fault they’re gambling.”
Gail: “That’s not…”
Gail drunkenly complaining that we had to wait for the cab instead of being able to take the shuttle:
Gail: “We should’ve stayed at the Holiday Inn. They have a… a… thing.”
Me: “That’s great. You should be their spokesperson.”
I have no idea.
Me: “He could’ve gone home, looked in the mirror, and preened like a peacock.”
In the night, we slept on the Flinstone beds (slabs of rock) with our own personal blankets, because motel blankets are covered in semen and tears. I woke several times to down water and ibuprofen and call the desk to ask what time we had to be out, not that there was a credit card on file, because we paid in cash… like hookers.
Gail: “You know what’s awesome? We used our own money, rented a motel room out of town, took a cab to the casino, and gambled all night.”
I was more blunt with the same sentiment as I did my makeup.
Me: “Holy shit, we’re grown-ups.”
When Gail and I became friends, we were 15-year-old virgins, who couldn’t drive, or hold jobs, had never had a date or a first kiss. She used to make fun of me for loving the show Lizzie Maguire while we played old school Super Nintendo in her little sister’s bedroom floor. Growing up, everyone acts like you’ll just become an adult at a specific age or a particular milestone. So Gail and I each turned 18, moved out of our parents’ houses, got married, got pregnant… and it still never happened. Maybe that’s because we sucked at all of those things, constantly struggling. Three years ago, I was living in a motel, imagining the death of my ex-husband, through no intervention of my own, because that would allow me to be free of him. Gail was pretty much doing the same thing, only the sweeter version where he just leaves. Being an adult, or at least our version of it, sucked and we just felt like abandoned children, both having had no choice but to strike out on our own the second we graduated high school.
Then, we sold our wedding rings together, started dating, rented our first places of our very own with no one else’s name on the lease, put the bills in our own names, started our careers at entry level positions and…
holy shit, we’re grown-ups.
Being an adult is awesome now. My childhood wasn’t all that glamorous before my sucky early twenties. But now, no one hits me or manipulates me or steals from me. I don’t have to lie to my family to defend anyone and when I come home and the place is a mess, it’s my mess. I only have to feed me and if that means cereal, sweet potato fries, and orange juice for dinner, that’s my right.
I don’t always feel like an adult, however, even now. When I call my Gramma crying, because my mother’s acting like a lunatic again, I feel like the 14-year-old kid I once was. When I open a DVD and see the case is charred from a house fire he started, I’m 19 and my pets are dead on the lawn. When I call the credit agency to ask what this charge is for and they tell me it’s from the phone company when I was married at 21, I feel like the scared 23-year-old in the judge’s office, praying he’ll sign the papers. We were mislead as children. You don’t just suddenly feel like an adult. It comes in phases, like when I take a trip with my best friend. I don’t have to answer to anyone. I pay with my own money. I wake up and go shopping all day with my own money. I don’t wonder where that missing hundred is. I go home and have soup and pears for dinner and…
holy shit, I’m a grown-up.