I have a friend/neighbor. We’ve watched our children grow up (with our own growing maturity I might add because we were both idiots at 20 .. err .. and 30). We have very different viewpoints on life, love, responsibility and family. My child is a college graduate and hers works in Dunkin’ Donuts at the Hospital. The thought that she might give up resources that might help *her* instead of devoting them to her daughter was beyond her.

Now I’m not saying she’s a bad person or that she didn’t love her daughter but I think she was unprepared for motherhood and possibly for familyhood. She was the only child of a rich man’s second marriage to his mistress, whom he left his wife and first family for. Needless to say the first family detested her and when both parents died in her 17th year leaving her without any family, half raised and an heiress to about a million dollars she went wild. There’s not a penny left now. She spent it all on drugs and a house, the only sensible thing she ever did with it.

My house is paid off. Hers is in heavier and heavier hock through refinancing. At this point she may as well be paying for a new home instead of a cottage by the sea with nothing up to code and a failed septic system. She’s talking about selling and investing the profit in a triple decker in New Bedford, an up and coming section of Massachusetts, one of the last to become gentrified on the coast so she can still buy low and sell high.

She’s always had a killer body, thanks to bulimia and anorexia, and a reasonably pretty face. She has the gift of making every person she talks to feel important to her. She’s a Pisces and I’m a Virgo, complete opposites, yet identical, like looking in a mirror. I understand her, flaws and virtues alike, and for some reason we play really well together.

So it came as no surprise that she dropped by to pay me back some money I Fred lent her to buy her boyfriend a birthday gift, she’s been avoiding work and developing well heeled lovers for 30 years now and god bless her despite knocking on the door of 50 she’s still got them coming flocking to her.

I had my granddaughter over for a knitting session last night and Liz exclaimed over how pretty the scarf was and instantly won my granddaughter’s heart (again .. she knows her since birth). I stopped and said, “You know there’s a game I have that I’ve wanted you to try.”

Liz said, “Oh I’m no good at games and I have the flue open at home to get the fire started. I need to go check it and close it some before I set my house on fire.”

I said, “OK but PROMISE me you’ll come back”

Well she did about 15 minutes later, again telling me how she couldn’t play games. I hooked her up to the Guitar controller for Guitar Hero III and put it on single player and she missed every note and the game boo’ed her off the stage. How discouraging. Her face fell. I said, “Wait a minute” and I got the second guitar and set the game for multiplayer. It doesn’t quit and boo you in multiplayer mode. We got to choose our icons and we each chose a hot woman, mine a blonde and hers a red head. We went to “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and I kept the game playing while she figured out how to hit the buttons and strum.

She started to dance .. and do rock star poses … and suddenly she started hitting the notes.

Her: Hey! This is easier when you move to the beat.

Me teasing: Of course! It’s always easier for you when your body’s involved.

Both: Snicker ..

Me: Maybe that’s why you can’t enjoy a concert without dancing in the aisles!

Her: What’s a concert without dancing?

Me: You’re doing a pretty hot solo there. Go for it Rocker Girl!

Her: OMG! This is so much fun!

Me: Hey look at the screen .. (our two female icons are simply rockin’ out on screen)

Her: OMG! We’ve got a girl band!

Me: We do! We sound GREAT!

Both dancing and doing air guitar poses .. my granddaughter starts laughing her ass off.

Her: Do you think your grandmothers going through a midlife crisis with all this Rock Star stuff?

Granddaughter: Who knows? (shakes head with eyes cast down, then raises them) But have you seen her Hula Hoop collection?

Her: Whaaaaat?? (stops playing) Hula hoops, skipping rope, Rock guitar? Diane this is just too fun but I have to leave. My boyfriend is probably home by now but I have nothing planned for tomorrow. Promise me you’ll have me over to play more and teach me to hula hoop.

Me: Laughing … So we have a play date?

Her: Laughing .. You bet your ass!

So I called her and even though I woke late she’s not there which is entirely typical because you know when she’s going to show up? At the worst damn time probably while Fred comes home AND I’m serving supper AND going to the bathroom AND showering AND on the telephone about 6PM tonight while I’m packing last minute items for Florida.

And I’ll still let her in and play the Wii with her because she’s just so damn much fun and after 20 years of ups and downs together I kind of love her too. I just wish she wasn’t so predictably unpredictable.

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Guitar Hero