File under “things that make me feel old”

24 Nov

You know how sometimes a song will come on the radio and will instantly take you back to some point in your life when something major, miserable, or fantastical happened? Sometimes my brain alters that pattern and instead of a song taking me back to some critical point, something will happen and then I’ll remember something that happened before and then I’ll think of the song. For example, L. just left for Army basic training last week. Watching her stress about leaving made me remember when, five years ago, I was stressing about leaving for basic training, and thus reminded me of the song I listened to almost non-stop before I left for the big scary Army.

That song? “A Long December” by the Counting Crows. See, I was scheduled to go to basic training in January and thus, my one wish was for a long December. I know, it’s entirely too obvious of a choice for a theme song, but I guess I’m kind of a simple lady. Don’t judge.

A long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin’
Now the days go by so fast

It was neat, for lack of a better word, to watch L. get ready to leave for the military. It brought back so much that I’d forgotten. It’s five years later and things are decidedly less terrifying than they were all those years ago, but man oh man was I scared then. I didn’t know what to expect at all and, at that point, about the only military knowledge I possessed was what I had gathered from movies like Black Hawk Down, GI Jane and Full Metal Jacket, which, as it turns out, don’t prepare you for anything. Shocking, I know. I think the last month I had as a civilian, that long December, I was either in a state of complete and utter terror or blubbering sadness because OH MY GOD! ARMY! AND AWAY FROM EVERYTHING! AND HOLY SHIT!

Did I mention I was 19 at the time? And that I had only been away from home long enough to complete one college semester?

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

But it was so much FUN. Or at least it was in my memory. It might have sucked a little bit at the time because I was tired, missing my friends and family, grumpy, sore, or sick, but looking back on it all I ever manage to do is laugh at myself and smile at the ridiculousness of being called “nerd” and “meatstick.” Since it’s partly my fault that L. has joined the military (I share blame with my husband), I really hope she has fun too and while she might not get the retrospective happy glow that seems to surround my memories right away, I hope, she’ll get it with time just as I have*.

Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

+ Side note: Tomorrow I have an interview. Don’t tell anyone as it’s a secret but cross your fingers for me because I WANT IT and as awesome as life is right now, getting the job would only make my life more awesome and would mean I won’t be subjected to eating lunch at my desk while answering the phone each day.

*Apparently I have also turned into a giant ball of cheese. Luckily it suits me.

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2 Responses to “File under “things that make me feel old””

  1. anOCgirl November 24, 2008 at 4:16 PM #

    good luck with the interview! i mean, interview? what interview? i don’t know anything about an interview.

  2. Holly November 24, 2008 at 8:30 PM #

    Crosses fingers! That Counting Crows song is the best. I also love “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”

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