Over the years I’ve told Jeff that we could pick another song (Honestly, who would know?), but he never goes for it. After 25 years of marriage, I’ve had to accept that you don’t get to choose your song.
Your song chooses you.
After telling Jeff, point-blank, that he didn’t have a snowball’s chance, I blissfully went on with my wonderful, brand spanking new, man-free life.
Can I just say right now that I loved living in a women’s recovery home? Maybe if you’ve lived in a sorority house you have some inkling of what I’m talking about, but it was even better than that. It was like getting a total childhood do-over.
For the first time in my life there were consistent rules, and I understood them.
- Be home by 10pm on weeknights; 1am on the weekends.
- Make your bed by 8am.
- Do your assigned chores.
- Have a Sponsor and Work the [AA] Steps
Turning Point is located in an old Victorian on Banker’s Hill in San Diego. My room was upstairs in the main house. It was the one with a balcony. A balcony!
I was assigned an old, stained bed—God only knows how many other women had slept in it before me—that had a nasty metal spring poking out of the middle of the mattress.
That was okay; I didn’t mind. I learned to curl around that metal spring.
In truth, I was grateful for the sharp reminder of how much I’d fucked up my life. I was not going to blow this precious second chance I’d been given.
One day, thanks to a generous donor, I received a new mattress and went immediately to The Broadway and bought myself a set of blue and white Laura Ashley flannel sheets, along with a matching comforter.
Curled up in those soft sheets, I felt just like Shirley Temple in The Little Princess after Cesar Romero gussies up her sparse little room. (I’d always loved that story and wished I could go to a boarding school where my real father–the one who loved me–would come and rescue me.)
And, for the first time in my life, I was allowed to put posters on my wall.
My mother and father had forbidden wall posters because they thought…………………………?
I have no idea what they thought. I guess they were worried that I’d lay in bed masturbating under the penetrating gazes of David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman.
So, I’m sure to keep me away from sin, my parents hung a creepy, weird picture of Mormon Jesus on my bedroom wall.
Just so’s you know: Mormon Jesus is not like other Jesuses. To this day I can spot a Mormon Jesus from a mile away. Here is the Mormon Jesus I had on my wall.
It’s hard to imagine anyone catching this formidable—and extremely white—guy and crucifying him. He looks like he could kick some serious Pharisee/Roman ass, if you ask me.
If my parents thought that big ole scary Mormon Caucasian Jesus was going to keep me from masturbating, they seriously under-estimated my raging sex drive. While I’ll admit it was majorly guilt-inducing–what with angry white Jesus staring down at me like that—I just turned my back to him and closed my eyes.
Look, now I’m 50 shades of fucked up because I masturbated with my back to Jesus. If you have a daughter living in your home, here’s your takeaway Life Lesson: Don’t do this to her!
My wall at Turning Point, just like my heart, had no room for Jesus. Instead, I put up posters of Tom Cruise.
I mean it.
Stop laughing at me.
Tom Cruise was once very cream-worthy. There wasn’t a woman alive in 1986 who didn’t dream of finding her own Maverick and having him take her to bed, or risk losing her forever.
After seeing this movie, a girlfriend and I even tried sneaking onto Miramar Air Station so we could find a Maverick, or even a Goose. We were escorted off. Their loss. I didn’t want to marry a man in the military anyway.
I didn’t want to marry anyone.
I was going to college and living a great life. And when I was alone, cuddled up in my very own Laura Ashley flannel sheets, Tom Cruise watched benevolently while I masturbated.
Turning Point was heavily affiliated with the other recovery homes in San Diego, providing me with lots of sober social opportunities.
Every month there was a large AA Dance. Hundreds of sober people attended these events. And every month all the residents of Turning Point—dressed to the nines—went.
I love dancing. I had even seriously toyed with the idea of becoming a nude dancer at one point in my life.
Jeff, who I frequently saw—but just as frequently ignored—lived in the men’s recovery home next door.
Jeff also loved to dance.
Every month Jeff and I would find ourselves dancing together. To the same song. And after a few months, it became our song. Mony, Mony by Billy Idol.
At some point, at every dance, the DJ would put on Mony, Mony. And no matter who we’d been dancing with up until that point, Jeff and I would search each other out and dance to our song until we were breathless.
What’s your song?