October 09, 2014

The age she was back then

I had a birthday Monday. I am now 34 years old.

The thing is, I clearly remember my mom at this age. I remember her and her friends, Evonne, Staci, Marybeth, all of them permed, frizzed, and frazzled, carting us around in their minivans, chasing us out of their formal living rooms, browning hamburger for dinner and learning to bake chicken breasts (the new thing in the 80s). There was anti-aging cream in the bathroom drawer, thick golden perfume stagnant in dusty bottles on Mom's dresser, and humongous (it seemed to me) size medium ladies underwear drying in our laundry room. What a mom.

And now that's me. Except I don't feel near as old as Mom and her friends seemed to me then, nor as old as they remain in my memories of them. I'm sure Jubilee looks at me now and rolls her eyes, wondering where my sense of style is, and why my teeth are the color of sand instead of the color of milk, and why I breath coffee air down onto her head when I read her stories in the morning.

But someday she will turn 34, and perhaps she will smile, remembering.
Me on my 34th birthday, which was also Chinese National Day, hence the flags adorning all the tables at the Intercontinental Hotel Buffet where Daniel, Alisa, and John took me to celebrate.