Monday, December 31, 2007

Petunia Face's New Year's Rockin' Eve

Zoey, looking a little bit like The Lion King on New Year's Eve, 2007.
I realize it hasn't happened yet. It's only just after noon. But I already know just how my New Year's Eve will play out this year:
  • 5pm: Bryan and I talk about going to our friend's New Year's Eve party in the city with Zoey to see how long she'll last. Feed Zoey a quesadilla and string beans for dinner. Zoey eats 2 bites of the quesadilla and none of the veggies which we knew would happen. We simply cook them to feel like good parents.
  • 6pm: Bryan and I talk some more about going to said New Year's Eve party. We sing Jingle Bells with Zoey and pick bits of yellow Playdoh out of the carpet. I wonder what I should wear to the party.
  • 6:15pm: I am trying to decide between jeans and a slinky top or a dress. Zoey spots my bottle of pomegranate juice and hands it to me, beginning her tiny-voiced refrain of open it? open it? OPEN IT, BITCH? I do not. Alas, Pandora has still somehow made it out of the box and let loose the furies. Zoey throws her last tantrum of 2007.
  • 6:16pm: Nothing is said, but Bryan and I both know we will not be going to our friend's New Year's Eve party in the city. I finally know what I will wear--my bathrobe.7pm: Zoey goes to sleep. Bryan opens a bottle of wine trying to get me drunk.
  • 7:45pm: One glass of wine and I am drunk. Bryan's plan backfires on him and I fall asleep on the couch watching The Real World: Sydney. Bryan retreats to computer to shop for cars on Craigslist.
  • 8:20pm: I wake up and Bryan and I eat a frozen pizza. We trade places and Bryan falls asleep on the couch watching the bajillionth rerun of The Outsiders. I cry when Johnny whispers to Pony Boy to "stay golden." I think about making that my New Year's Resolution but then remind myself that I hate resolutions. I hate New Year's Eve. I decide to shop online myself.
  • 11:30pm: It's time to wake up Bryan so I have someone to kiss at midnight. He grumbles and turns over on the couch. I turn the channel to a newscast of a New Year's party in some city somewhere.
  • Midnight: The ball drops. I kiss Bryan while he sleeps. Then I creep down to Zoey's room and kiss her slack, heavy-breathing mouth. I silently hope that Frost was wrong when he wrote that "nothing gold can stay." From the living room I hear Auld Lang Syne playing on the tv and I remember how that and the graduation march always make me cry. I cry. I feel stupid. I wake Bryan and we go to bed.
  • The next morning: 2008. There is ice on the deck outside and inside Zoey, Bryan, Nacho and I cuddle in bed. I am very happy not to have a hangover, not to have to worry about something stupid I said to someone the night before, not to have driven anywhere drunk or sober. I am very happy.

And I hope all of you are, too. Happy New Year's!

Friday, December 28, 2007

We Used to Be Cool

At least the Chevelle was cool. In my house we have what we call "car porn" and shopping online for a '68 muscle car is the equivalent of breathlessly Googling barely legal bi-curious co-eds: kind of gross but completely expected. But then the other night I walked in on my husband shopping for mini-vans on Craigslist. The office was dark but for the glow of the computer monitor and there on the screen was a white (white!) Nissan Quest looking for all the world like an orthopedic shoe, boxy and sensible, safe. I felt as if I had walked in on my husband engaged in a secret fetish. Only this secret fetish is not cross-dressing, it is Parenthood.
We used to be cool. We used to tell our friends about small reggae bands that nobody knew of, Latin fusion funk from countries we had actually been to. Last night one of our friends crashed at our house on his way down the coast, a single guy who spends as much time traveling to Indonesia for surf trips as he does "working." Zoey chose that night to stage a tantrum at bedtime and I fumbled as I explained how hard it is to transition from two naps a day to just one. We ordered pizza and drank beer. We gossiped about mutual friends, talked about the tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo, reminisced about crazy nights and past girlfriends. There was some kind of context to it but suddenly Bryan asked our friend if he had ever seen Yo Gabba Gabba and I flashed on the white (white!) Nissan Quest. Conversation faltered. It was as if he had asked if our friend got off on toe sucking. I cringed and it got worse. Bryan excitedly turned on the tv to his favorite Tivo'ed episode (titled "Move" for those of you following at home) and made our friend watch it. But see! DJ Lance is trippy! Hear the ska beat? Look! It's Tony Hawk! Our friend sat frozen on the couch, his balls no doubt crawling up into his stomach at what parenthood can do to a man.
What does parenthood do to a man, to anybody really? Can we still be cool even though we know more about Brobee and Foofa than Manu Chao or other musicians that I can no longer even reference because I don't know anymore? If our latest musical exposure is Biz Markie beatboxing on Nick Jr.?
I would love to go to Indonesia, to sleep in and lazily swim in warm water without a toddler clinging onto my neck in a sticky fingered deathgrip. But I no longer want to spend my nights in bars that are so loud I have to lean in to the haze of bad beer breath in order to hear people talk. I prefer the sweet baby breath of Zoey, I love hearing what she has to say even when I cannot understand her words. And nothing is sexier to me now than watching my husband help Zoey put her shoes on.
We used to be cool. Now we are happy.