by Giselle Renarde
I really hate it when people ask if I "live at home."
Of course I live at home--at MY home, the apartment that's been my primary residence for more than a decade.
But that's not what they mean. They're asking if I live with my parents. And then, because I'm already irritated, I want to ask, "Well, which of my parents are you talking about? The one I haven't spoken to since I was thirteen years old and who is DEAD, or the one who isn't? And it doesn't even matter because I don't live either of them."
All this angrrrrrr is underscored by the fact that I'm in my mid-thirties and, until last year or so, I had never in my adult life been perceived as an ADULT. I think I'm starting to look my age now (actually, I seem to have skipped from looking 16 to looking 46, somehow), but until very recently I looked like a kid.
I don't voice this grrrr very often, because every time I do whoever I'm talking to says, "You don't know how lucky you are. When you're 50 you'll look 30, so it's all good." But, see, I don't want to look 30 when I'm 50 any more than I wanted to look 14 when I was 24.
Maybe I'd have a different mindset if I'd gone through a "normal" maturation process and looked 21 at 21, 28 and 28, etc. But that's not how it went down. I can tell you, from experience, that it's irritating as hell to be perceived as a child when you're an adult.
One time at the CNE, I sat in one of those chairs that has kind of a back massager thingy in it. There was a sign up that said like "no kids 13 years and under" and the guy who ran the booth started yelling at me, "No kids! You have to be over 13!" Guys, I was 26 years old. For serious.
That's the sort of thing people don't consider when they tell me how lucky I am.
Booze is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. I actually stopped drinking in my late twenties, in part because buying alcohol was too much of a hassle. I never drank very often anyway, so it wasn't a huge change. I was just sick of cashiers at the liquor store being jerks to me because they didn't believe the 16-year-old they were looking at was actually the 29-year-old my ID said I was. So fuck it. I don't drink anymore.
These days, I'm going a little grey and getting a little wrinkly. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love my crows' feet. And my gorgeous silver strands! Ah, they're beautiful. I would frame them, but better to keep them on my head.
All that said, any time I feel sick there's only one place I want to be: my mom's house. I don't have a bedroom there anymore, but I sleep on her couch probably once a month. When I think about "home" I picture my apartment, because this is MY place in the world, but when I'm looking for comfort? Mom's house.
When you read my diary (it's coming out of March 14th, but you can pre-order now) you'll find that Mom's house wasn't always a safe place to be, but plenty can change in 15 or 20 years.
Hey, you might even start looking your age... if you're lucky...