When we were really young, our parents used to tell us, "When you grow up things will be great."
Most of our memories started way back in those golden days. Remember, going outside, playing army, tag, baseball, hiding out and even talking to the neighborhood girls? Yuk! Oh yeah, and the beginning of trying to make a buck or maybe just a few quarters with a lemonade stand. If you’re like me, you lost money on that one. Sure liked drinking the kool-aid though – lots of sugar – don’t tell mom.
And we all dreamed of being big, like our moms and dads. Mostly so we could beat the hell out of the neighborhood bully.
Soon we were tween-agers and not too far from driving our own car, or at least borrowing mom’s. Those were tough days, walking everywhere, asking for rides, trying to get your best friends mom to take you and your pal to the movies or better yet the mall. We’d play outside at night, maybe even do a one nighter cook out in a tent. We’d watch monster movies before the big night out so we’d be scared.
Yeah, when we got older and bigger things would be just great.
High school seemed to take forever to get into and even longer to get out of. For many young people it was kinda scary. What to wear, who to be friends with, listening to the cool music, hope you’re doing everything right so you’ll be accepted.
Man when this is over, I’ll be almost grown up.
Finally the day comes, the one we’ve all been dreaming of and we’re driving the car. We practiced, but yeah, we still hit some pole, put a big ding in the front end. Dad and mom are gonna kill me and then ground me. Sleepless nights. It’ll be great when I get my own car.
The girl I was crazy about never even looked my way. All my friends talked me into calling her. I was shaking, but I called. She didn’t even really seem to know me.
"I have to wash my hair that night," she said. I ask about next week – she’s busy – someone died and there’s a funeral. Man, did I feel low. But hey, that’ll all end when I’m fully grown like mom and dad.
Next it was which college should I go too? Hel, who will even will take me? Can I afford to go to college? I got it, a summer job will be just swell. But man did I hate that grocery store manager. Those days felt like weeks. I couldn’t talk or take too many breaks. And all the girls in my class thought I was a dope sacking their mom’s groceries.
Finally I went away to college. My luckier friends actually finished and got married. But we all grew up. Got that first job, that first big adult relationship, that first apartment.
It was great, right?
Time flies. We have kids, a big monthly payment on the home, credit card debt up the ass, insurance payments. Then we’re hoping we don’t get laid off in a tough economy. After that comes the first divorce and those payments. We need money for our kids college fund. Oh hell, it starts in a year. No more going out to bars, hardly ever see the guys anymore. We’re all too busy paying bills and getting up early for work.
Brother, this sucks.
What the hell happened? I thought we were all gonna be on easy street as soon as we could drive to the mall in our own cars. Where’s the good shit? I guess we can all dream, huh? Oh well at least we live in the United States, it could be worse, what if we were born in Mexico?
Yep, we grew up alright. I wonder if I should buy that health care insurance for the retirement home.
Nah, that’s forever away. Isn’t it?