Sunday, May 04, 2008

Growing up without turning into Annette Bening's character from American Beauty

It's funny how life works. For years you think in terms of "when I grow up" and then one day you suddenly realize you're all grown up when your husband remarks, "That's all good, but just make sure you don't turn into the Annette Bening character from American Beauty."

Who can forget that unforgettable slapping scene where Annette Bening's character Caryoln, the suburban wife, mother and real estate agent is trying to sell that crappy house, and behind closed vertical mini blinds her keeping-up-appearances crumbles and she loses it and starts slapping her face hysterically, telling herself she is weak?

For the first time in my life my compensation is enough to support my husband and family. Just me alone. Who would have thought? It wasn't too long ago that my husband supported me so I could take a year sabbatical to teach, and then stay home with our daughter. Now that U. has started his own company, I'm happy to be able to do the same for him to support his dreams and aspirations.

My rising star and ambition is great as long as I have balance in my life, but I don't ever want my husband smoking out in the garage having a mid life crisis (fantasizing about working as a fast food clerk) while all I'm concerned about is my next commission. It's important that we're both not so caught up in the rat race that we forget about what's really important to us.

So on our date night tonight, after dinner and drinks - we did something a bit out of the ordinary - something we haven't done since we were kids. We went to our local neighborhood carnival in Cypress Park for Cinco de Mayo and rode the Super Slide. Seeing my husband's big smile as he sat on his blanket, gliding down that long slide was priceless.

Yes, honey I'll always try to remember your comment about not turning into Annette Bening's character from American Beauty. That was a pearl of wisdom I'll try and live by.

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