With My Heart In My Mouth
Saturday, the end of a long friggin’ nightmarish week…you can tell from my LAST POST that, well, things could be a little easier on the home front. Teenagers have a way of wishing you could take every lie back you told your mother, (like that one about sleeping over Debbie Zinder’s house when you were really going out with Alex,) so that the god’s would reward your good behavior and anoint you with the perfect child who doesn’t make you go gray and gain ten pounds and become addicted to chocolate and wine. But I might have lied. Once or twice or ten times, but even so, couldn’t they cut me a little break?
Anyway, so Bella had this sweet sixteen party to go to. But first a science experiment that dredges up that all too familiar feeling of I HATE SCHOOL and homework, and why they hell are they making ME repeat ninth grade? I mean wasn’t once enough? Well, apparently, NOT. So, I helped her set up the power point , while she tests the decomposition of H2O2 on a piece of liver, (although why anyone gives a shit when H2O2 turns into H2O and what environmental factors influence it is beyond me which is exactly why I am still sitting in a cube and not making a $500K a year as a doctor which is what my mother wanted me to be.)
But back to the point, The Sweet 16. So, she gets dressed and looks anything but SWEET 16, more like HOT 18, and she hops in a cab to go the to the party with me calling after her to RING ME WHEN SHE GETS THERE. Which she doesn’t. But I don’t panic. I decide on this warm Saturday night in almost June to take a ride out to Jersey where a friend’s band is playing in a country pub and it smells so nice and the air so clean, I’m actually enjoying myself for the first time in weeks, but I still haven’t heard from Bella and I don’t think I will ’cause by now she’s at the party and can’t hear her cell phone. Ringing. And Ringing. So I have some wine and it’s 10:06 and the party is supposed to be over by 10. And I call and her voice mail answers and I leave this message: “Bella, I’m a little worried so call me when you get this please”, which over the next HOUR turns into: “I am REALLY ANGRY THAT YOU HAVEN’T CALLED ME YET, GODDAMMIT AND I TOLD YOU TO CALL ME WHEN YOU GOT TO THE PARTY AND WHEN I COME HOME YOU ARE GROUNDED CALL ME NOW”.
And my mother gets into the picture and calls Bella at least every 5 minutes while I am on the road in my ‘93 Lincoln (hey I got it BEFORE gas was $4/gallon and it’s great to just to get the fuck out of dodge). Of course I hit traffic over the George Washington Bridge back to the city and I’m really frantic. So I must have been quite the site– a freaked out mother driving the boat over the bridge screaming on the cell phone for her long lost daughter to pick up lest there be a murder in the house when I got home and find her, because people cleared OUT OF MY WAY, I mean it was like Moses parting the Red Sea except this was Medusa with a cell phone.
So anyway, I’m on the FDR Drive, and I guess I forgot to tell you the deeper reason for this insanity is that I didn’t know the name of the place where the Sweet 16 party was, nor the number of the kid’s parents, so all I had was Bella’s cell phone (which, according to Verizon COULD NOT BE TRACED unless the V-Z navigator locator was turned on–I know this because during my drive, I dialed 611 because soon I was going to call the police to track her down) but I knew the minute I got home there was going to be violence in my house, because of course there she would be all safe and sound and I was going to be MAD.
But then a miracle happened when I called my HOME phone. Bella picked up and she was like all: “Hi mom, Sam is here and he is helping me with my science experiment.” And relief flooded me but then the realization hit me that she’s alone in the apartment with a boy AGAIN, And I’m like SAM? Who the hell is SAM? Why are you ALONE IN THE APARTMENT WITH A BOY? HE IS TO GO HOME NOW!” (OK, so I get that by now you think that I am the one that needs major Prozac and believe me I will be the first to admit that this might not be a bad idea, but in the meantime a chardonnay will have to suffice because I’m detoxing on the therapy for now–too much of a good thing and all that). And she says “but you let me have Ronnie in the house alone”. And I scream even louder so that the world and Sam can hear, “is SAM GAY?” And I hear her giggle and I’m sure there’s hanky panky going on and besides, why the fuck didn’t she call me? HE — HAS—-TO—-GO—-HOME—NOW! “Ok, mom, OOOKKKAAAAAYYYYY” and I want to jump through the phone and smack her and hug her all at the same time.
At this point, I can hear again, (it’s LITE FM) and I’m cruising into the parking garage. And I breeze by the doorman who reports that Isabel’s young man has just left and he seemed very polite and respectiveful and I’m like,”Oh YEAH?? Well if she’s pregnant it’s YOUR fault –I told EVERYONE no boys in the house while I’m not home” to which he smiles, like he knows the Zoloft must have worn off. I walk into the apartment and Bella’s makeup is smudged and I’m about to open my mouth and she says: “Yes Mom, Sam IS gay” and I’m like WHY THE HELL DIDN’T you call me? And she replies, “Sorry I forgot can you help me with my science experiment?” At which point I realize High School is going to last even longer than it did the first time around.