No, Wait…It’s A Party Streamer


I wrote this last Saturday.

The seasons have changed again.

The trees are full and the bugs are out. I am mourning my third season of broke ass central air.

When the season changed in the Fall, I felt anxious. I didn’t want everything to die. I didn’t want to be cold and have those white knuckled drives into work through snow and ice. I didn’t want to have to live with the daily fear of my son, the new driver, traversing roads in those same conditions.

I wasn’t ready to let go. But there is no choice, is there?

We are in the season I so badly want to cling to. I find I am in the same place I was when the leaves were falling.

I’m afraid of this up coming season.

Where will I be when Joey starts his senior year?

I will be coming to terms with my baby becoming an adult.

While I truly am excited for him and for us about this next phase of life, I’m already feeling some of the sadness.

I know that I will either experience a breathtaking high or a crushing low by the time Joey goes back to school in the fall. There is no in between here. This event will take place. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe, not until June.

I fucking hope it’s tomorrow. I am so goddamn tired of waiting. I have gone from being so sure I would make a nice leap forward in my writing career to resigning myself that I experienced a fluke and I would have to continue moving forward the hard way. 

Either way, by the end of the Summer, I will have my answer and I will be a slightly different person. I just don’t know which direction I’m going yet. I’m not even saying one direction is bad or a failure, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I will be disappointed if my news isn’t positive.

And with that, I make up for having an entire Facebook career without once vaguebooking. I can have one blog post like this, though, right?

Besides, I’m gonna spill either way, however it turns out. I just want an answer first.

I’m drinking the whiskey that a high school friend brought me when she came to see me in Listen To Your Mother. The weather is muggy and I’m wearing my monkey pajama pants that I’ve had for nearly 20 years now.

I looked up at the clouds and thought, “Wow. It looks like that cloud is flipping me off”.

Then I cocked my head to the side a little. I had completely missed what the cloud looked like. It wasn’t a middle finger. The clouds where in the perfect shape of a bearded man blowing a streamer. I even saw the colors. The colors were like one of those cheap, liquor store streamers that are made of gold and purple cardboard.

I mentioned I have had some whiskey, right?

Anyway, I saw the old man with the party streamer and before the wind whisked him away, I thought You know what? It’s going to be an amazing Summer.

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  • Liquor store streamers; I love it. Based on your description, I can envision that sky. This is hilarious. And honest. And yeah, I always have a similar reaction to fall. Summer’s where it’s at, baby!

  • OOOO… You brought back some memories. Hold on woman. You’ll be through this soon.

    Remember when you were 13 and everything was changing and you didn’t know what you wanted to do or who you wanted to be and what’s with this body of mine anyways?

    That’s the feeling all over again, at a new age. I’m just guessing, but that’s what the fifties were for me. What’s my purpose (kids flown,) where am I going (career,) who’s body is this? (need I explain)

    The sixties are wonderfully freeing. So glad I made it. You will be too.

    PS: congrats on LTYM. I loved the show in Chicago. I’ll be trying for next year.

    • GOOD LUCK! It was so much fun!

      And damn..I bet you are right. It’s the change..too much change and I’m not dealing with it well. Not yet at least.

  • …and here I was thinking it was gonna be a post involving toilet paper …
    My baby boy is in his final year ( sensibly in Australia a year starts in January and ends in December so that’s how the academic year runs too) . It IS scary. Momma bear syndrome is hard to shake.

  • My baby is just graduating grade 8. I am terrified of high school (mainly because I hated it myself). I am putting on a brave face, but I feel nauseous a LOT. Calgon take me away…
    This was a lovely post and I am glad you shared it.

  • Ha! (Thanks for reminding me I need to go to liquor store) but at least your story did not include an unwrapped condom… That’s what I peeled off MY baby boy’s dresser the other day – his room is like a toxic waste dump! I’d like to know what the meaning was, but I’m afraid to ask 😉

  • By the time my youngest left for college I was ready for what was next. The problem was I had no idea what that was! So many great things have happened in my life since that change – and the empty nest is the biggest change you will experience since giving birth to your first child. I’m sure you will do so well!

    • Thank you, I hope so. I AM curious about it and I’m not really freaked out about empty nest..I’m looking forward to it..still..a LITTLE sad about it.

  • Yay, Summer!! Love that it’s finally feeling hot. I used to get anxious in the fall when I lived on the Prairies and winter was long and brutal. I would get depressed about it, knowing it would be 8 months before it would be warm and green again.

    I hope you get your good news soon, Michelle and I look forward to hearing more about it!!

  • You. Will. Be. Ok. When my youngest left home I couldn’t believe the tears and sadness and loss.
    But, in the end, it will be ok, and they will come back for visits and it will all morph into a new relationship that will be ok.
    And you will find your new self.

    I promise.

  • Cloud formations are tricky. Are they indicators of the future or a whimsical impression? Whatever, I hope your summer is great and you advance on the same timing as your son!

  • All you had to do to see the streamer was turn your head slightly. I love that. Now I want “see the streamer, not the finger” to become a commonly understood phrase.

  • Pass me that whisky !!!
    I want to look up and see what you see all I get when I look up is rain pissing down in my eye Remember YOU WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR BABY’S MAMA come rain or shine

  • Hey, what kind of whiskey is that? Another yay for summer, although the older I get the harder the heat is on me. Still I would rather be hot than cold. You will move on to a better place, it will just take a little time to figure out what to do with yourself and the time that you used to spend on the child’s laundry, meals, etc.

    • Oh god…I don’t remember what it was was good though. 🙂

      Yeah, I’ll be able to fill the time, not worried about that. It’s just going to be weird.

  • Even though we don’t have very wintery winters here, I always want it to be summer. Maybe because our summers aren’t very extreme either? Wow, did I just say “very extreme”? I hope your news is good, and you get it soon. Clouds are just clouds, but sometimes… One time after I had done something stupid and spent three days in jail over it, I got a message from a cloud. The stupid thing I did also meant that I didn’t have anywhere to live, and when I was done with work, after I set the alarm and locked the door, I didn’t know where I was going to go. I stood there for a minute, looked up at the sky, and there was this huge “v” shaped cloud, and it hit me: go talk to your friend Vincent! I went there and ended up living there for 10 months…

  • I totally relate to this whole post — except for the whiskey drinking. I don’t know how you guys do it – it burns, dammit! I’ll just stick to my girly drinks.

  • That was an awesome cloud story from Doug- I never thought of reading signs in the clouds. I make lists, instead. Pros, cons, nevers, whatevers (I think a new blog post just got inspired…. Thanks, Doug!)

    Well, you’ve looked at clouds from both sides now. Joni nailed it with that song. I never thought too deeply about the lyrics until I got older.

    You could move here, where we proudly present Season 1 and a few minutes of Season 2. Road hazards include drunk drivers and people who won’t enter the intersection no matter what the color of the light is, and so get run over by a ticked off, impatient little old lady in a Dodge Ram. Only I’m not little, and I’m not a lady when it comes to turning left.

    If the news is not good in the fall, it will be good later. You are right not to rush the seasons of your life.

  • Monkey PJ’s! I still have a favorite pair of 15 year old pj pants from Old Navy, which are light blue and patterned to look very slightly bamboo-y, with a darker blue/black dragon climbing up one leg. Of course they tore irreparably in the crotch due to my penchant for sitting crosslegged. And I can’t bear to get rid of them but don’t know what to do about them. Sigh.

By Michelle


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