taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Monday, April 14, 2003

My friend Jessica lives in this gigantic house in Roxbury--twelve foot ceilings, ornate plaster molding, and the place was built by the guy who invented the Bartlett pear. I went up to her house this weekend, upgraded to first class on Air Tran, which meant I simply had to drink wine and black coffee on the plane. My friend Morgan came up from Atlanta, and we ate flan and wandered into expensive stores, pretending nothing was out of our reach.

Nowadays, the three of us watch HGTV, invest in real estate, and don't hesitate to buy Via Spiga boots or Kiehl's toner, even though we can't really afford any of it (savings? ha!) But thirteen years ago, things were very different. Morgan's hair was long and black; she worked at the Swensen's ice cream parlor, she could get served anywhere and even in black thrift store skirts, she had style. She dated all the boys I thought were hot (none of them are hot any more, sadly).

Jessica, like me, attracted boys in the juvenile detention system. We rode around town in my little Tercel, looking for trouble, and mostly we found it. The boys were forgettable--we knew that even then--but Jessica, like me, was up for anything. She was tall and a little bit crazy, which gave us just the edge we needed. Nowadays, Jessica is the envy of our friends for her financial acumen and adorable husband, her sweet dog and her duvet covers.

So what happened here? Why are we married and living in nice houses? I'm not complaining, I'm just thinking it's like that Talking Heads song--This is not my beautiful car, this is not my beautiful wife, how did I get here?

This weekend, the three of us found ourselves again in the exact same place--a different place than we were in in 1989, to be sure, but the same place at the same time nonetheless. We might still be going through phases, like 5-year-olds. Like, you know, this nesting thing is just a phase.


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