Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kicking, screaming, pouting, folding my arms, and stomping my feet. Why am I an adult?

I'm not going to Derby this year. That's the long and short of it.

Churchill Downs 2010
I've gone to Derby every year (except three) since '95. It's my time with girlfriends, my time away from the kids, the house, work, etc. I love going. I love being able to drink as much or as little as I like without having to drive, wake up early, or woken because someone is scared. I like eating when I want, what I want, and not cutting anyone else's food, serving anyone else, or being expected to cook.

The obvious reply is, "Well then get the hell out of town, girl!". Yes, that's the voice that's screaming at me right now. Literally. Some call it tinnitus, I call it 'the voice'. Ugh.

Thing is, it's Hot Dad's birthday this weekend (Sunday), as well as Mother's Day, so I had to do some real thinking. He has had Mother's Day to share with his birthday all his life. Then he met me and added Derby to the list of events which fall on/around his birthday. He's gone with me a couple times, but since we had kids, it's been tough to make it a weekend for the two of us, and I normally go by myself.  For me, Mother's Day and Derby happening the same weekend is a most awesome event.  For Hot Dad, not so much.

This year, Ethel is all about making cards for people on their special days. She's already presented Hot Dad with birthday pictures. When I told her we have to make cards to send my mom for Mother's Day, she said, "And Mother's Day cards for you!". I told her to talk to Hot Dad about that, but, I'd gladly help her make cards for whomever.

Anyway, when weighing the pros and cons of going vs, staying, I noted the following:

Pros:
Time away, great weather, mint juleps (ie: gasoline with mint), girlfriends, road trip, being carefree, sleep, coffee, sleep...

Cons:
$4.59/gallon (and rising), 400 gallon tank (OK, not really), 2 tanks of gas, we have TONS of work to get done at home, we have to clean the garage, we have to fix up the yard, we have decided to redo my mom's room (formerly the nursery) before she arrives (count four weeks), our weekends fill up fast, trying to get the kids to/from day care while I'm gone, plus the cost of the two additional days they'd have to go to day care...

What pisses me off is that I feel like an adult. That makes me mad. This weekend is about NOT being an adult, rather it's about letting it all go. Pretending that there is nothing, that it's all fine, that I'm not responsible for anything but my own survival. It's a rare chance, but one I treasure. I don't like feeling like an adult, and try my best not to act like one except at work. I wear pigtails with Ethel, I run my arse off, and I put responsibility out of my mind at every corner. Being an adult really blows.  Can I tell you how many people said, "That's so not like you, Hot Mama!" when I have told them I'm not going?  No, I cannot, because I lost count.

I made the decision, Hot Dad did not entice me, try to convince me, make me feel guilty about it either way, or try to talk me out of going. I decided this on my own.  More or less.

The other part of my decision was what I mentioned before about Ethel. She gets it. She realizes that special days are just that, special. If I were to bail on Mother's Day, I feel as if I'd be disappointing her and taking away her opportunity to give me attitude, draw me a picture, and refuse to eat for me on Mother's Day. If I weren't home, she wouldn't have those chances to celebrate in her own special way. And I'd miss out on those joys, too.


I know that after this year, the calendar will be in my favour and I'll have at least 5 years of uninterrupted Derby weekends.

The compromise that I offered was that if I am staying home, I'm running a Mother's Day 5K. No questions asked. And the fam will come watch (if it's not raining or snowing or flooding or something). Hot Dad agreed.  And, I'll order my case of Derby glasses to add to my already overwhelming collection because that's what I do, I get lots of Derby glasses every year.

So, this Derby weekend, I'll be at home. I won't get to stop for a nice dinner at my friend's house on the way, call my other girlfriend on my way through her town, or be surrounded by 100,000+ people as we all flood the infield at Churchill Downs. I'm going to stay home and pretend to be an adult. I'd say I'd do it all with a Julep in my hand, but - A) they are nasty and only taste "right" {term used loosely} at the Downs, and B) if I have a race the next day, I'll have to take it a little easy on Saturday.

This whole being an adult totally blows.  I still love you, Louisville.  I do.

Thanks for listening.

p.s.  Have you seen this year's Derby glass?  Not one of the better ones, in my own personal opinion, but I'll still get me a case.