Posts Tagged ‘teenage’

Lying on the hard, cold linoleum floor with my legs propped up on the couch, I started to close my eyes and drift away to the music on the radio. Renee laid haphazardly beside me to my right, sipping on a wine cooler and smiling to herself as if she had the best kept secret in the world. The boys were somewhere else. Can’t remember if they went to buy food or more beer, or attend a parade.

I let my 18 year old fingers slide in and out of my jean belt hooks, tracing the indents of my skin from my hips pressing up against my jeans. I hadn’t slept that night, I don’t think. Lundi Gras had melted into Mardi Gras, and our heads just felt heavy and gras after all the drinking, laughing, and sleeplessness. But we didn’t care. We spent that entire weekend giggling and staying up late, the sort of thing that young girls do in college. Renee would get sudden bursts of energy and suggest pillow fights, or running around on the cold grass.

And as we lay there, her sudden surge suggested that we clean the boys’ house as a surprise. I rolled over, looked around and noticed that the house was indeed messed by empty bottles of drinks, food wrappers, and other miscellaneous evidence of partying. I agreed because I was ashamed of the havoc we had wreaked. As we cleaned, we giggled, and as we giggled, we swatted each other’s arms with rags in a playful, elementary school way. It was like I was a girl again, not the young adult I was becoming, and the young adult I wasn’t ready to be.

So here we were, young girlfriends trying to impress boys we pretended not to like, in color little t-shirts, dancing to songs on the radio. And here I am now, some 6 years later, with merely a shadow of my girlish behavior remaining. That young Meredith would have never fretted about utility bills, gas prices, or even how she wore her hair and if that day ever came, she would be thirty-something and living somewhere fabulous.

When you’re 18, you feel invincible. Your hair is always pretty no matter where or if you slept. Your lights are always turned on. Someone is always driving you to the next place to hang out. You sing loudly to the radio with a girlfriend in your favorite jeans that only fit teenage hips. There is no twenty-something. There is no twenty-something because that’s the end of irresponsible youthfulness and the beginning of your life path as a dependable and perhaps often depressed adult. Or is it?

I failed to mention that Renee was 5 years older than I was at the time of my first Mardi Gras mayhem. She was a twenty-something, and instead of shedding her teenage persona, she had found a balance between the two. Giddy happiness is something that I don’t allow myself to have anymore as I approach my mid-twenties. I’m sure that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m sure I can stay awake until the sun comes up again instead of keeping my 10:30 p.m. bedtime. I’m sure I can sing to the radio wearing unmentionables and laughing like a silly, young girl. I could probably even get away with drinking a little too much, smiling a little too big, and finding the best secret to keep away from the world, the same one that Renee kept, and still probably keeps to this day.


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