“When y’all get home from school you need to come eat up all these cup cakes you took!”
Their little bodies disappeared onto the bus and then they were off.
I couldn’t what I was yelling at my children… or that it was necessary to bark this command in the first place. I mean, what sort of children have to be threatened to come home from school and polish off a half dozen confections? Mine, apparently; The type of children who have access to too much good food. In the grand scheme of things, this is a very good “problem” to have (access to treats, that is), it’s just that I never imagined myself faced with such a dilemma. Fighting with my kids to eat broccoli or peas? Sure! But cupcakes? Nah.
As I reflected on our brief exchange, it dawned on me that this type of disorienting event had become a pattern in my life. Things that I never considered probable were becoming routine. Scenarios that I believed my nature would prevent from manifesting were becoming commonplace. Somewhere along the line, “never” had become my new normal.
When you’re in your teens and twenties, filled to the brim with piss and vinegar, there are certain resolutions that you make. There are non-negotiables that you construct in your mind or may even write as canon in your diary. Oh don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
“I will NEVER be like my mother. I will listen to all my kids’ troubles and offer them advice lovingly.”
“I would NEVER take a job at *insert name of business you found repugnant*.”
“I will NEVER fight with my spouse!”
Yeah, right. And now I’m sitting here looking at all these “nevers” wondering how I let it get this far.
I used to be so judgmental! 30 cured me of that with a swiftness, though. It’s amazing how if you live a little, travel somewhere in that time and talk to people, you find how sharply your perspective will shift. Here is a short, nowhere comprehensive list of never-now-normal behaviors I’ve adopted that have shocked me the most:
Resolution: I will NEVER keep a dirty house when I have children. Why don’t these mothers with kids just make them clean up, or just pick up after their children? It’s not that hard!
Result: 4 kids and a 2 bedroom townhouse in, my house is constantly a wreck. There are sausages and cereal bits all over the dining room floor and a naked, legless Barbie greets you at the door. I sweep once a day and lock myself in my bedroom with cookies and ‘Murder She Wrote’ on loop. I stopped caring in 2009
Resolution: I will NEVER let myself go after childbirth. Ugh! All it takes is 30 minutes at the gym every day to keep in shape. Can’t these fat mothers find 30 minutes to look after themselves?
Result: I have a gym membership. Going to the gym means driving, and I’ve already logged 200 miles in town driving the kids to their various activities. Plus, I’d rather eat my own arm than work out. That’s why I’m 200 lbs + and quite content with my arm sandwhiches. Okay, I’m not really ‘content’. I’m resigned to my new reality. Besides, there’s always Monday.
Resolution: I will NEVER have a dirty car. People who have dirty cars are just lazy.
Result: Eventually, I learned how to pump breast milk, make turkey and mustard sandwiches and fish for pacifiers, all while driving down Atlanta highways. At some point, something is going to spill. And that’s why my Honda smells like Vegemite.
Resolution: I will ALWAYS have my feet done. There’s no reason not to have pretty toes. I will NEVER HAVE jacked up feet.
Resolution (this one is from way back in the day): I will NEVER let some douche bag nigga take advantage of me. Women who let men do that to them are just stupid and not paying attention to the warning signs!
Result: Douche bag nigga impregnates, leaves me holding the bill and fleeces me of substantial amount of money.
Resolution (this is when I was a fresh immigrant): I’m only going to stay in America for 10 years – 4 years for school, 6 years to work, and back to Ghana to start my own company!
Result: August 2016 marks 20 years since I left Ghana. I have yet to start my own company. I have been back to Ghana 4 times since leaving. I’m probably (most certainly) not looking into relocating back to Ghana any time soon.
Some of the good people on Twirraville and Real Life chimed in with their own never-now-normals and I must say there were hilarious! Here are just a few of my favorites:
- I will never be broke once I get a stable job and start working.
- I will never be in a relationship beyond one year. I’m going on year 7 with my man now.
- I will never leave the lights on in my house before going to sleep. (This is a Black man’s electrical nemesis!)
- I will never smoke weed. (You have to know this person to understand how unlikely and utterly shocking this never is.)
- I will NEVER perform fellatio!
Wallaba yew? Have you been consistent with keeping your code of conduct intact? Do you find that as you’ve gotten older, you’ve had to make compromises in areas you never thought possible? Discuss! 🙂