Spy kid [ 2004-07-07, 2:23 a.m. ]

I really wish I could help my friend, Michael. He is in such a financial bind right now. Actually, its been going on for almost a year, I guess. He had worked for his mom's company since the 80's and the company had done pretty well for a small business. He bought a house a few years ago and while he was never "frivilous" per say, he liked nice things.

I guess sometimes I thought he spent too much money on this or that but hey, I've always been horrible with money so who am I to judge?

So about a year ago, his mom had to lay off a few people including her own son! Michael went on unemployment and he and his live-in had been cleaning houses for extra money before so that helped some. So a few months ago his unemployment stopped so basically all he has is money coming from those cleaning jobs which is definitely not enough when one has a mortgage and a car payment and the necessities.

But a tiny little part of me is sitting back and thinking "well, huh. I'm better off than him right now. That's weird." And not enjoying it really but I guess feeling like "Thank God, I have a steady job and have parents who can help me out every once in a while".

I'm truly lucky. I realize that even though I don't always feel it.

I do come home every day and think how much I love the neighborhood I live in and the duplex I'm in. I really never thought I'd ever live in a place like this. I love it so. Built in the '20's/'30's, high ceilings, wood floors, crown molding, black&white tile floor in the kitchen-eating area. Its just so cool and quaint.

Moving on.

Have you ever said a bit too much to your Mom and wished you hadn't done an overshare? It wasn't anything real bad but I think I slightly shocked her. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my Dad while my Mom was putting together the dinner. (There wasn't much to do so I really wasn't being lazy, I swear!)

I, for whatever reason, started talking about how when I was about 7 or 8 and we lived in this townhouse complex in Memphis, my friend, Anne, and I found a bag of rotten potatoes. We decided to throw them at passing cars. I have no idea why. We weren't really making contact with the cars but this one car stopped and started backing up. I guess the driver wanted to yell at us. We were so scared..we ran like hell and jumped over the porch railing of an empty townhouse and ran upstairs. We heard the guy a few minutes later open the door and yell "Hello?!" like we were going to answer.

But that wasn't the story that shocked her. I also told them about how when I was skipping piano classes after school, I would go to Anne's place even though she wasn't supposed to have friends over. One time we heard her older sister come in unexpectedly. I tried to get out by climbing over the balcony. But being a little kid, there was no way I could easily jump down. Her sister brought me back up onto the balcony and chastised us that she wouldn't care that I was there. But the worst time was when Anne's dad came home and I had to hide in the hall closet until I was able to sneak downstairs and we knocked on the door so when she opened it, I went outside and acted like I was asking her to come out to play. We were like little spies.

Nobody can sneak like a kid.

But the story that actually shocked my Mom was this. Now Anne had a broken arm in a cast for quite some time while we lived there. I told my Mom and Dad that Anne and I would walk to the 7-11 after school and ask the clerk for a paper bag to protect Anne's cast cause it might rain. We would put it on her cast and then walk over to the candy aisle and load up. My Mom "Judith!". My poor Mom. All her illusions about my girlhood innocence crushed. I looked at my Dad and said "Oh,c'mon! Like you never even pinched a pack of gum!" My Dad didn't say anything but smiled and looked shifty eyed. Heh.

I really don't want to tell my Mom my later escapades as a teen and a twentysomething. That could do her in.

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Ryan Adams