It’s Good To Belong

We all want to fit in, right?

Sure, no one wants to come from a cookie cutter. We want to be unique and stand out. Even when we say we don’t, we kind of do. I mean, at least that is what I suspect.

Even so, it’s good to belong and have a tribe.

It’s good to feel comfortable in your surroundings. To be able to sit down and go “I belong here. No one can question this.”

So, we took our son, Joey, to the airport last Wednesday. He flew out to Seattle to visit his big brother and returns Monday. It’s not like, a few months ago, when we took my older son, Zach, to the airport. He flew away to Seattle and stayed there. And then I had separation anxiety issues, basically broke down, and ended up going on medically supervised psychedelic trips to recover.

Although, I am pretty sure, as Joey has no real ties here, there is a good chance he will end up out there.

I nearly had a psychotic break when my kid who already lived 2 hours away moved across the country. Super curious how I’m going to react when my baby boy, who lives with us, does the same. I mean, if he does. I’m making things up now, but I’ve been living in the “making things up” space for a while now.

It’s not like I want Joey to stay here. I don’t. I truly want him go where ever he needs to be to thrive and be happy.

So far, the west coast has been more than Zach could have hoped for. He lives in a beautiful place. He’s kicking ass at his job. He callswaterfall in the state of Washington me nearly every day with wonder in his voice at something beautiful he has seen.

I want the same for Joey, no matter what that means. No matter where he settles. But, I guess, my brain is not okay with the whole separation thing. I’m just saying, I’m not an overbearing mother who wants her children to stay by her side. Except for the part where I have panic attacks when they leave.

It’s exhausting being me.

But I digress.

After we dropped Joey off at the airport, we decided to go out for dinner.

We ended up at the Greyhound Tavern in Ft. Mitchell, KY.

I grew up close by and this place was usually referred to as the Greyhound Grill. It’s been there forever. I think Randy and I had been there together one other time in 28 years.

I remember it being a bit more casual, but we weren’t embarrassing or anything. I still had my work clothes on and Randy is just a snappy dresser. Seriously, he is often put together with no intention of leaving the house.

We got seated and looked at the menus.

I couldn’t see anything because the restaurant was kind of dark and I didn’t have my readers. But Randy could see the menu.

Randy: This is an old person place.

Me: What?

Randy: The sides on the menu look like what you would find in a nursing home.

Me: Ooooh…is there applesauce?

Randy: Seriously, look around. Other than staff, we are definitely the youngest people here.

Then, and I swear I am not making this up, an old lady fell down.

Here is how I know Randy is right in his assessment that the Greyhound Tavern is an old people place:

An old lady fell down and the reaction was pretty fucking bland. Like…oh, another old person fell down. My goodness, that happens here a lot.

Even the old lady on the ground was okay with it. I could hear her telling people she was fine and to just help her up. So they did. They helped her up, went to their table, and ordered dinner like troopers.

Randy: We are definitely in an old person place.

Me: Yeah? Well, I hate to break it to you, but we belong. We’re both over 60 now.


Me: It’s like when you start your senior year of high school. You see those incoming freshmen and they look like babies.


Me: We’re the freshmen.


Me: In this situation, it’s really best to be the freshman. I don’t think we’re going to fall down.

Randy: Have you met you?

Me: Fair.

I ordered the open face roast beef. My dinner came with a cup of cole slaw with some soda crackers on the side.

It was delicious.

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  • Ha ha – last winter my son his girlfriend and I ended up at a Dallas institution called Old Warsaw, a Continental restaurant which is also definitely an older person establishment, but we had a great meal and a great time…
    I’m also with you on the separation anxiety – thankfully my son is still in the Metroplex, but I don’t see him nearly as often since he has moved in with his girlfriend. I definitely got spoiled to spending extra time with him during the pandemic, but at this point I just have to get over myself.

  • OK, I hate being as old as I am but as they say, it’s better than the alternative. But I have one suggestion that you may or may not know about. Most restaurants (don’t know about the McDonald’s type) offer a 10% discount if you tell them you’re on AARP. Now, 10% in the long run isn’t a lot of discount, but hey, you’ll fit right in with the other ‘old’ diners, and also as they say, better in your pocket. It might even work in regular stores – never hurts to ask.

  • At least you went for dinner later than 4:30, right? You haven’t reached the Early Bird Special stage which is, well, when you’re no longer even a senior anymore—you’ve officially graduated. The important thing, though, is you’re handling it gracefully and with humor and delicious roast beef.
    What I really think about, though, is how you’ve helped your sons up. And that you’ve got support for when you fall.

  • I am lucky that all my girls live close to me and I see them every week and I speak to Kathy (oldest) each morning Monday to Friday , I don’t know how I would cope if they lived hours away from me.

  • The west coast is a great place to live if you have the financial means to afford housing. (Says the 62 year old who had never lived farther than 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean until we moved here and has plans to move back to within 50 miles of it later this year. Why? I don’t know. I don’t even really like the Pacific Ocean, it’s cold and full of creepy things with more teeth than seems right.)
    I hope you are doing better from the ketamine therapy now.
    Getting old isn’t for sissies. Some musician said that recently, but I think that sissies probably get old like everyone else, so who can say?
    Falling down, though, is serious and scary. I had a fever a few months ago, while we were snowed in past the point where I could realistically make it to any medical facility for any reason, and it screwed up my balance enough that I fell down three times between my bed and the bathroom. I had some bruises but otherwise was OK. Oh, and I had to forego a shower before my doctor appointment last week because I was feeling a little wobbly and the upstairs is now only accessible by an outside metal spiral staircase, and laying there on the concrete at its base with a broken hip while the ambulance came from fucking Fresno didn’t sound like a risk worth taking for a small additional amount of hygiene…

  • Just tripped and fell this morning. Did I attribute it to being “old” at 67? No. I attributed it to wearing clunky slippers and not paying attention to my walking. The only thing that probably would have happened, had I been younger, is that I’d have bounced right back up and looked around to see if anyone saw me. Instead, I looked around for something to hold onto to help me get up and prayed no one saw me! Now I have a bruised knee and pain in my left wrist and thumb. SMH. Separation anxiety is real and it hurts a mother’s heart like almost nothing else. However, time helps the anxiety, phone calls/Facetimes help as well. My boy’s been out and way away for over 10 years and while I hate it, I’ve learned to keep living (and planning trips to visit all the places he’s living!). Thank God my daughter and only grandchildren live 15 minutes away and I love that! Hang in there and take comfort in the happy phone calls you get from your son- some never hear from theirs again!

By Michelle