…and we revisit that middle of the night acid reflux thingy…

by Bella Rum

It’s been a long time since my last spell of insomnia. The odd thing is that I woke wondering if my parents actually kicked me out of the house. Why have I never thought of this before?

Immediately following graduation, I escaped to the Outer Banks for the summer. I packed a couple of swimsuits and a few shorts and t-shirts in the hard Samsonite suitcase I’d received for graduation.  Leaving our mothers’ nervous admonitions behind, my friend and I tossed our things in the trunk of her Mustang, put the top down and headed south. Freedom!

We found jobs as maids. You don’t know how funny that is. We were both spoiled by 1950s stay at home mothers. Neither of us had ever gotten close enough to a toilet (except the necessary end) to even think of cleaning one. We found an elderly woman who had a handful of cottages on the ocean. She gave us a small one to live in and fifty dollars a week to clean (after a fashion) the rest of the cottages for guests. It was the late 60s. We had wheels and a roof over our heads. The fifty bucks was enough for gas and food and that’s all we needed. And boys… which were not in short supply.

When I returned home in September, a job was paramount in my mind. A real job. I went on interviews and finally found something I was interested in and waited for a callback. Nothing. My parents tolerated my shiftlessness until the New Year. As soon as Christmas was over and before I could wash the tinsel and eggnog out of my hair, I found myself sitting in the backseat of Dad’s car as he and my mother carted me off to my sister’s house. Maybe I didn’t actually hear the words find a job, but their actions spoke volumes.

I received two job offers in the first week, and my mother called to say that I finally received a callback on the job I’d been waiting for. I was offered that job, too.  I chose one of the jobs near my sister and stayed with her. But isn’t it funny that I would wake from sleep tonight and suddenly realize that I was unceremoniously booted out of the nest. I can’t believe I never realized it before tonight. Wandering around in that self-involved fog that can only exist during that mercifully brief period of green youth, I must have thought I was quite the prize, and who on earth would want to rid themselves of me?