Sunday, March 23, 2008

I miss back when the world was flat and I knew everything

I rolled into my parents house on the shore yesterday afternoon exhausted, sunburnt beyond a crispy bacon level and happy. It was just after being in the car for an 18-hour roadtrip with my boyfriend and two of my good friends down and back to South Beach, Florida for our last spring break ever. I made the extra two-hour drive down to the shore for Easter Sunday. I did think about leaving early this morning to come home, but then I realized I had pantries, pantries everywhere and not a morsel of food to eat. So back in the car I went.

When I got in the door after carefully maneuvering my huge duffle bag, beach chair, sandy towels and beach bag so not to bang the glass storm door against the big potted plant on our front stoop, I was greeted with hugs and kisses and "tell us all about it" from my parents and three dogs. My little sister Leslie was nowhere to be found.

"She's gone off with her friends, she'll be home soon. They're all coming here around 7," Mom answered in the same breath she asked me if I needed anything washed.
"Didn't she know I was coming home?"
"Yes, but you know how she is with her friends. You were the same way."

Was I? I distinctly remember dropping everything and everyone when my half brother was home for a few days from college when I was in high school. I was a little hurt that my 17-year old sister wasn't around to say hello.

When she did finally come to the house, Leslie came in through the front door wearing ripped-up jeans, an old t-shirt with an abercrombie pull-over and drawn-on tennis shoes. She had tips on her nails and thick black eye-liner smothered around beetle green sparkling eye shadow. Her wavy dark hair was tangled in a rat nest of curling hair products and bounced as she walked in with two high school boys in tow.

"Guys, these are my parents, that's my sister. The TV's in there. Hi everyone. Okay, let's go," she said grabbing one of my mom's brownies and hussling them out the door.

In typical Dad fashion, my father got up from where the three of us had been sitting at the kitchen table to say, "Hello guys, it's nice to meet you," sticking out his hand. In typical high school fashion, my sister rolled her eyes as the two frightened boys shook my Dad's hand mubbling "pleased to meet you too, sir."

"Hey Les, I'm home, did you want to say hi?" I piped up.
"Oh yeah, hi," she gave a little wave.
"I brought you something from Miami. It's on your bed. You should go look at it."
"Lauren, whatever, okay, god," she replied as she whipped out her cell phone and began texting frantically when "Lovin' is What I Got" by Sublime went off, and left for the TV room. Later, I could hear their conversations about cars, prom dates and if they should all head out to Dairy Queen for food before or after picking up another friend and riding around.

I bet not one of them knows who Barack Obama is and if you ask for their opinion of George Bush they would probably respond with "He's like gross and the president or whatever."

I envy where my sister is right now only because she still has YEARS of carefree-ness to waste away. She doesn't have to start looking at colleges until this summer, doesn't pay rent or any bills, only has a job working as a bus girl to have spending money on clothes and movies, and she knows everything about the tiny world she lives in. Oh, to be 17 again when the world was flat and I knew everything.

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