Growing up in an incredibly strict home hard work and disciple was the norm, think the Vontrapp children but East African and replace Nazi occupied Austria with post-oil boom Abu Dhabi. The parental units had one goal, to rear decent, good and compassionate children with love, fear and of course guilt. So much guilt.
Speak to any of the youth in my family, both immediate and removed, and you will find more than just last names and tribal associations in common. You see, we suffer terribly from loud, heart ripping, soul shattering guilt that sometimes weighs upon us so heavily one can’t help but break. And a few of us have, be it an emotional ticks or perhaps rebelling against our own stern up bringing by taking it out on the establishment that corners us outside our private walls.
On Sunday morning while sitting at a rickety old table at our favourite brunch spot, three coffees in and hungover my good friend answerability decided to pay me a little visit. It wanted to play dress-up and cover my heart with its dark gauzy veil. Interestingly enough I wasn’t alone, all around this very city the dear friends that I had celebrated our ‘joie de vivre’ with the night before were now dowing glasses of alka-seltzer, nursing massive headaches and trying to piece fragments of broken and hazy memories.
So why the guilt?
The battery and abuse my body was dealing with over the last several months was certainly an issue. The worry of my behaviour was another. What did I say? And to whom? Did I make a fool of myself? Was I hurtful or mean? As we sat around the table it seemed all the erratic feelings stemmed from one place, a fear that our behaviour was probably deep rooted denial and self defense. There was a little something eating away at us slowly. Stress? Fear? A late blooming quarter of a century crisis? Anxiety? Plummeting self-confidence?
The questions become endless and the remorse? Oh how it loves to curl through my viens, fill my twisted insides before settling like a quite hum below the surface of my skin until there is nothing left but a fifty dollar Dominoes pizza bill and the bodies of four friends flopped on mis-matched ikea furniture. Thank goodness for Bob’s Burgers on the telly. We chuckle (real laughter!) and for a half hour we are allowed to escape our reality. If only for a moment.
Then comes Monday morning, and a promise that we will be better. And dare I say it- grow up. What ever that entails. I do believe in guilt free vices and moderation. A delicate line drawn in my conscious. Perhaps getting ‘fucked up and epic’ really isn’t what I want and once I do figure out what it is that I do want, I can stack my house of cards right back up again. Hell, at least I looked cute that Saturday night. A white lace number, so feminine and delicate I felt, and I never feel that way at all! Shame about the red wine though.