My mother has an acronym for me when i leave for an evening outing. I am notorious for leaving a cheerily lit house, bascially screaming with unwarrented hospitality and no peace of mind for the mistress. It's sort of newly coined, but when I whirlwind around the house, mascara and reeking perfume announcing gala intentions, she'll throw out a few "LLA, Sonia, please"
LLA: Lights, Lock, Alarm. I think she should add a C for curling iron because i often leave it on.
Most of the time she can tell I'm not really listening. She will see the glazed look in my eye which is more indicative of me visualizing how my ratty brown belt would look or if black heels would be too much, rather than repeating the instruction in my head.
"What are you supposed to remember?"
Maybe something more cinchy depending on drinks. Beer will not look good in that skirt, its hard to sit down in. what if the bar is demin flooded. hm. God. late.
"Lights alarm LOCK! i wont forget." already forgotten.
But i did remember that night, about 2 weeks ago. I remember teetering to the hallway and switching off the light, closing the door to my moms room, grabbing my purse and finally, finally making to the kitchen, one step closer to the car, the bar, being on time-ish.
And then one solitary lamp light in the entertainment room. One little fucking switch left unturned. Who even uses that light? Who the FUCK uses that lamp? When was the last time that lamp was even on. What even is a lamp. Dumb, dumb dumb. The entire house is on tracklighting, and we have a gaddamn LAMP IN THE CORNER OF THE ROOM.
Smoldering, i make my way over to the lamp, lean over, and twist its tiny insignificant switch until it blinks off.
I pushed the right button to set the alarm. I dead bolted the door and left the house.
Today I watched my mother sit on a chair in my room and tell me about her friends. I have nice light when i open my curtains and dont sleep till 2, we sat on in clean whitly lit space and she spoke softly and nicely. I was feeling like a bad character in a book. She told me how proud she was when i remember LLA.
"Sure," she said, "I'm very proud you remembered."
My mother said many more important and insightful things this afternoon. Great advice I wish i could pour into mason jars and stack in my closet. And maybe its narcisissm, but i am very proud that i remembered LLA. Because i didn't before, I just left everything on. And not because I wanted the house to be robbed or squatted in. Because i am careless, because i dont like turning the hallway light off, it creeps me out. Beacsue i dont really think about it. beacuse Im focusing on hair height instead of securing my mother's domain. But I am trying to remember LLA. I say it aloud and exhuberantly back to my mother, beaming and satisfied i've remembered. I take delicious comfort in knowing i did it right, that one time. I want to do it again. I want to always remember LLA. I have good confidence that I will from this point on.
I have to commend the acronym, it was almost like an olive branch of nagging, our little bridge by which our various bitchings could cross. Through her acronym I saw how easy it all was. Through the acronym she saw I wasn't hopeless.
Sometimes, you take a beating. And it never feels great, but in the wake of such uncomfortable feeling, I was surprised when LLA popped into my conscience. Its probably not my greatest accomplishment, but It means something to me, and to the woman with the acronym.