Saturday, November 03, 2007

Twilight Zone Time

So, I should probably start by admitting that I collect Christmas houses. I’ve bought one every year I’ve been married. (18) And, okay, I’ll admit it…sometimes I’ve bought more than one. Choosing the right house is a mini-big-deal for me. I really look forward to it. I wander around the store, look at past catalogs, pick up one, change my mind. You get the idea.

Yesterday was my day to get a house. Because it takes so long, I put my houses out right after Halloween. Anyway, there I was, happily celebrating an hour of house-hunting, relaxed. Sipping a latte. And…my cell phone rang. It was my daughter. She was at cheer practice. And she had questions.

I’m not one of those people who likes to talk on the phone in public places. So, my answers were clipped. Yes, Yes. Okay. Bye. Five minutes later, the phone rings again. Another question. Ten minutes after that…guess what, the coach let them leave early, if they wanted to. So, could I come pick her up? Now?

These are relatively normal things. After all, she’s 14. She’s a nice girl. She’s used to me being at her beck and call. But I wasn’t happy about it. And, well, I happened to be holding my new house…the North Pole Reindeer Spa. So, what did I do? I knew my husband was working from the house yesterday afternoon…so I told her she could either wait until I got back her way, or call her dad.

This little scenario makes me remember life without cell phones. I was on a drill team all through high school. What did I do when practice got out early? I waited. Now that I’m older and my high school years have that pretty sheen of nostalgia all over them, I recall hanging out with my girlfriends, thankful for thirty minutes or an hour of nothing to do. There was a drug store near our school. We’d pool money and buy ice cream, and sit on the sidewalks near the parking lot and talk. Flirt with all the boys who were waiting to be picked up, too. It was eerily fun. Secret, almost. Twilight Zone Time, where we could do things no one knew about because everyone thought we were occupied.

Sometimes, when it was time to be picked up, we’d all pretend that we just got out of practice…never admitting to eating rocky road. Now, I think I’d have a fit if I found out my daughter was running around town buying ice cream. And well, do teenagers even sneak ice cream any more?

So, maybe it’s good that my daughter doesn’t know about that twilight zone time of secret waiting. Maybe it’s good that she’s impatient, and has a phone to constantly communicate with me. But a part of me feels that she’s missing out.

End of the story? Tom picked her and her girlfriends up for me. I finished my latte, bought my house, and an hour later came home. I showed the Reindeer Spa off to my family-who pretended to think it was oh, so cute. Then I cooked dinner, supervised homework, and cleaned everything up.

And then it occurred to me…maybe I'm still attempting to have some secret time. Only now I’m buying houses instead of ice cream. But that ‘found’ time is as sweet as ever. So, anyone else remember waiting to be picked up when they were in high school? What did you do?


Ellen said...

Unfortunately I never had that "found" time while waiting to be picked up. I was only two years behind my brother in school and he was made to wait on me and drive me home when we were in the first of two high schools we attended. He graduated and we moved to another state the year he graduated. That didn't give me any "found" time because I lived within walking distance and was expected to walk home.

Anonymous said...

Oh, well, Ellen! At least you got a ride for part of the time. My brother is eight years older, so he got out of the whole 'cart your sister around' thing. My son has to take his sister to school every morning.


Estella said...

I never had found time. There were no extra curricular activities for me. My Father was very strict and I had to be on the bus home.

catslady said...

Most kids don't know what waiting is anymore I'm afraid. There's an activities bus that I sometimes made my girls wait for instead of running to get them right away. So what happens - my best friend who works makes me go get her daughter lol.

I used to have to take a public bus home from school and most everyone else was a walker - they would wait with me at the drug store most of the time and sometimes we'd splurge and buy cherry cokes.

Lily said...

While I wanted to be picked up... which did not happen to much! I hated it that time... especially when I was waiting for my study buddies... I used to bite my nails... a very healthy habit!

Jennifer said...

So glad to hear you found the perfect house!!!

When I was a kid, we had an activity bus sooo I never had to wait, I was usually running for my ride. My kids go to private school and have no activity bus, so they do a lot of waiting. Their school is in the middle of nowhere. No ice cream for them. They usually spend the time socializing instead of doing their homework. LOL.

Anonymous said...


I hope you have some found time now. My usual found time is early in the morning before everyone else gets up. I love those moments of peace and quiet...and that first cup of coffee!

Anonymous said...

Catslady, how funny that you still get to pick up kids! I know I'm going to miss these kids are growing up so fast. Yum on the cherry coke! I love those!


Anonymous said...


Though my waiting memories are now sweet, I vividly remember worrying that my mom had forgotten about me! No, she never did!


Anonymous said...

Jennifer, having an activity bus must be so nice! Luckily, I do carpool with a lot of other moms, so things aren't too hectic.
LOL on your kids socializing. If mine did homework all the time I know I'd worry!


BethRe said...

I usually would have one of my older friends drive me home