August 30, 1972: It works. I am born at 11:09am.
1985: We move to the top of a very steep hill just as I start high school. This house is twice the size and is a ranch house, the bedrooms split wide apart. There is wall to wall carpeting the color of mushrooms and we never ever use the living room. My freshmen year I fall in love with Kate & Allie. Then a boy named Damon. I watch Mr. Belvedere and The Hogan Family and write everything down in a spiral bound notebook using a very cryptic code involving hearts and something that looks like tears. I become a cheerleader after watching too many John Hughes movies, realizing too late that I am a terrible dancer and don't care about sports.
1986: I go out with a senior because I think I probably should. He has a Honda Accord with burgundy carseat covers stitched with the Playboy logo. He also has terrible skin. One night he tells me he has been saving a bottle of champagne for the night he loses his virginity and would like to one day share the bottle with me. I know I will never drink champagne with him, but I buy him a v-neck sweater from Aca Joe for Christmas anyway.
1987~1989: I do a lot of stupid stuff, most of it courtesy of Bartles & Jaymes.
1989: One day before third period I am sitting on the railing in the hallway when a boy I haven't talked to in years walks by and pushes my shoulder to say hello. I fall. Hard.1990~1992: We break up and get back together for years. Meanwhile, my parents separate. My dad drives down to San Diego where I am living to move me home and we go to Tijuana, I don't know why. Mariachis follow us through the maze of the low-ceilinged market and we buy maracas for my brother. Though I am sure it is not related to the maracas at all, my brother soon stops talking to my dad which lasts for ten years. At some point my parents get restraining orders against each other and then the divorce is final. Forever after I equate Chevy's with heartache and mariachis with the smell of raw chicken.
1993: I don't know how but Bryan and I get back together and it sticks. He applies to Cal Poly so I apply, too, then the universe calls my bluff when I am the only one accepted. So I do it, I move, and on the drive down the radio plays All I Wanna Do over and over and my cat shits in the back seat. I don't know what I wanna do, but the feeling is not new so I mouth the lyrics and wonder what it is exactly about Sheryl Crow's lips that men find so sexy.
1994: Bryan gets in to Cal Poly. We rent a dilapidated old 2 bedroom house together for $400 and cook each other pasta and watch Party of Five.
1997: I start graduate school.
1998: We travel through Europe.
1999: I graduate with a Master's degree and have no clue what to do with it. I get a "real" job doing something I don't want to be doing although it's not terrible so I fall into the sound of the alarm and the way my laundry smells fresh, washing dishes, paying bills, thinking I should probably like Allie McBeal but I don't which makes me feel strong and different. I buy a vacuum cleaner.
2000~2005: We move, and then move again. Buy a house, cook each other more pasta, get married. At some point my family becomes friends again.
2006: For three months I am not able to squeeze my feet into anything but rubber flip flops, and then Zoey is born.
2007: We buy a nicer house. And a car. I start a blog.
2008: I am laid off. We sell our house, then our car. We move. I start doing what I really love. We are poor. Ish.
2009: More ish. Lots of ish.
August 29, 2010: The Summer of No Summer. Foggy, cold, windy. I tell my friends that I just want to go to the beach for my birthday, so we do. They come clad in sweatshirts, jeans, hats, but it is perfect--sunny, clean, not ishish at all. I marvel at how we have all multiplied. The water is warm so we play in it, holding the towel for one another against the bushes when we have to pee. I love my friends. I love my husband, my daughter, my family.