Tuesday, December 28, 2010

lavender and sawdust

It didn't take too long for me to stop giving a shit about being 50. Less than 6 months. Nobody else cares, why should I?

I only care to the degree that every day, the only thing that is guaranteed anymore is that I will get a little bit uglier. Now, before you say, "oh, stop, beauty is on the INSIDE, blah blah," that's not the point. The point is, folks DO just simply look uglier as they age. It's just a fact, and I'm ok with that. Mostly. Sometimes.

I will not be a cute little old woman with a delightful pouf of white hair and porcelain, unlined skin, smelling of lavender. No, I expect I will fall into the Bea Arthur camp of loud, lumbering old women who smell a little like sawdust and indeterminable vaginal secretions. She was nearly 50 when she starred in Maude. Lest we forget, this is what 50 used to look like:

Ok, I guess I'm not ready for camp just yet.

Monday, December 13, 2010

ham chunk

Ok, ok. I'm going to give this another shot. Another kick in the ass. Goddammit. Ok, what inane thing can I blather on about?

The fact that I hate the word luncheon? How it's just a snooty word that implies it's something more special and festive than a simple "lunch"? When in fact, all it means is that somebody will probably get up and say something demoralizing or stupid followed, maybe, by tepid, bored applause?

I recently hosted such an event for my editorial board, comprising all rich old white doctors.

You can imagine the hilarity as they shared a joke about combination therapy for multiple myeloma. Ha!

..no. There were no jokes about multiple myeloma. There were no jokes at all. Just a couple of tables of rich old white doctors telling me how I could do my job better.

The good news is, I didn't embarrass myself, and I was taller than 95% of them, which kind of gave me the gravitas I needed, as a lowly English major in a room full of rich old white doctors. Being taller also placed my cleavage a little closer to eye level, which drew attention away from the fact that part of my chocolate peanut butter tart had made a home in my lap. Ah, yes, what a delicate, well-mannered flower I am.

Anyway, it went ok; nobody got hurt or offended, or choked on a ham chunk--the missing part of the definition of a successful luncheon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

start of the second half

Day 1: If I had a nickel for every time I've heard someone say 50 is the new 30, I'd take all those goddamn nickels and hurl them violently at the person who coined the phrase.

Lots of folks have taken time out of their busy days to wish me a happy bday on Facebook, which is nice.

I took the day off from work, which is also nice, because work just sucks it.

I'm celebrating today by dropping my van off at the shop, so they can investigate this jerky phenomenon in what I believe is the transmission. But I know about as much about cars as I do about quantum physics, so it's probably just a dead cat stuck in the engine.

Later, the ladies and I are lunching. Somewhere. We don't know when or where. That's how we roll.

Then Jeremy might have a game, depending on the weather. The most important game of the season! So I won't be needing that birthday manicure, for I will have chewed all my nails off.

I'm off to bathe and have the birthday. I'll be back.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

minutes after 50

Ok, wow. It's 47 minutes after 12 a.m, June 16. And I am now officially 50 years old.

Yeah. Doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it?

Fifty. The other f-word.

Your tongue is barely involved with that word, it's all teeth and lips, sharp consonant edges and harsh air. Lends itself well to cursing.

Because I am now officially 50, I am suddenly old and sleepy and I'm not going to drone on here, now at 12:55, about the angst, the regret, and the aches and pains of middle age. No, I'll save that for a book. A funny book. A darkly funny book that chronicles the year after 50. Maybe with cartoons. And I'll use some of this blog stuff. I can do that, right?

So folks will know that 50 sucks, but it's manageable. Perhaps, if I say it here, on my very little-read little public blog...maybe I'll be compelled to really do it.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

the future is a pink jacket

I saw my future in a Kohl's dressing room last week.

I have a bit of a small, inconsequential habit of talking to myself. Not loudly, not so folks can clearly hear but...I might let a couple words slip out if I'm thinking. It's not a crime, yet. I do tend to complain out loud a bit more, if I can't find something in my size. For instance, I might say,

"Oh, sure, size 2. Who the FUCK wears size 2? Seriously? Nobody. So why even stock them? Why is it always on the very infrequent times that I actually buy clothes in a store, that my size is always gone? And look. THESE are supposed to be longs? Really? REALLY? Christ, these don't even reach my fucking ankles. 'Longs.' Hah. What a joke. Nothing fits me, ever. I don't know why I bother trying. There's never clothes long enough for me and my monkey limbs. Ohhhh, but there's always plenty of size fucking 2s to go around. Plenty! Look at 'em all! What the hell is WRONG with these people?"*

On this particular day, however, I was mumbling stuff like, "Uh, that color. Not for me." And "Sleeves are too short." I want that on my tombstone: "Her sleeves were too short."

All in all, pretty benign stuff.

But then, on the other side of the rack, there's this woman. She's got frizzy, salt and pepper hair and a slouchy hat and a pink jacket. I can't really see her face. She's carrying on a conversation, full of sentences and pauses, as if she's talking to someone on the phone. I glance at her briefly, she looks a little disheveled, and figure she's on her cell. Except, I don't see one. She doesn't SOUND particularly crazy, but I think she just might be.

So I gather up some ill-fitting stuff and go into the dressing room.

Presently, someone comes into the dressing room and takes the stall next to me, even though all the other stalls are empty, which irritates me enormously. And this person starts talking. Like she's having a conversation. She describes each thing as she tries it on. She talks about wearing it at a party, and how it will look once on. Each item of clothing, described in painstaking detail. With pauses in between sentences.

Again, these folks with cell phones in the store are hijacking my mellow shopping vibe! I'm listening closely, listening for some sign that she's actually on a phone. Maybe a distant voice on the other end, maybe some muttering about not being able to hear...something? And then she just continues on, rambling about what she's going to prepare for dinner, and this and that...at this point, I look beneath the stall, and notice a pink jacket on the floor.

It's the woman from the clearance rack. She isn't talking to anyone on any phone. It's now clear that she's in the Kohl's, just trying on stuff to pass the time, having a very real conversation with an imaginary friend on an imaginary cell phone. She's chosen the stall next to me, above all the other empty ones. And she's droning on and on to nobody in particular, and I recall all the times my kids have asked me "who are you talking to?"

She's a harbinger of my future. And my future wears a pink jacket.

*actual recorded conversation

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

today's pet peeve


"Wow. Enjoy!"

"You are invited to view my online photos at the Gallery. Enjoy!"

"They created this amazing stunt with just two rehearsals. Enjoy!"

I love the sentence about our arms..."flying squirrels in drag!"... LOL! READ ON. ENJOY!"

"I didn't think this was funny but I knew you would.......so enjoy!"


These are just a few things from my inbox. Do you see what's going on here?

It's clearly a conspiracy to get me to enjoy!

Not just enjoy, but there's an unspoken GODDAMMIT after it.


If I wanted to enjoy! I think I'd know how to do it. I don't really need someone telling me I have to do it. Let the hilarity of yet another round of "people of Wal-Mart" or the alleged latest words of wit and wisdom from still dead Erma Bombeck and George Carlin and Andy Rooney..what's that you say? He's not dead? Really?...let that wild and wacky humor unfold and blossom like a flower in my inbox, revealing itself in such a way that I have NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE but to ENJOY! and LOL!

BAHAHAHA, because certainly, whatever you sent, especially if it's a FWD, is so absurdly comical that I need that reminder. I might forget to enjoy! So thanks for that, goddammit.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

i'm only doing this once

Well, I know I'm in trouble when my mother admonishes me for not keeping this up. She's right of course, as (mostly) always.

I suppose if there were something new and wonderful and different to report...I'd do that.

Or perhaps a calamity. A disaster. A tragedy.

Or something sincerely and deeply meaningful. An epiphany.

Maybe all these things have happened and have passed me by and I didn't notice. Maybe that's the tragedy. I didn't notice.

Instead of really taking the time to enjoy the hush and quiet of nearly 2 feet of snow, I snarled about having to go out in it. When the snow weighed heavily on my front bushes, bending them low to the ground, disheveling the lights...I made no attempt to fix them. They're just out there now, hanging with no thought and no attempt to delight.

On Christmas I missed taking a picture of Jeremy when he opened his present from Evan, a "Young and Reckless" t-shirt, some skateboard lingo I have no idea, nor do I care, what it means. But when he unwrapped it, this crooked grin--he refused to outright smile, showing teeth--crossed his face, betraying his cool demeanor and his resolve NOT to let on how much he'd wanted it.

I missed that picture.

Stuffing the stockings with a golden dollar came easier this year because of our trip to NYC, which I'll try posting about later. I had some left over. But the dollars were just a prop, just one more tradition that I had to think about, and DO something about...rather than just enjoy.

I'm glad to see 2009 go, frankly. It got off to a very shaky start and settled into a yearlong ennui that accompanied a general low nagging level of discontent...and also brought about separation and guilt. Sometimes timing is everything. It brought to light the fact that I am not perfect and that I cannot please everyone all the time, and this was a difficult pill for me to swallow.

Even in 2009. The last of my 5th decade. You'd think I'd have that figured out by now. Wait. Is that right? Do I have to do the math?

Anyway. The end of the year was unusual in a lot of ways...new old friends reappeared, some surprises, good and bad. As my family grows smaller, my friends--close and far-flung--are there to fill the gaps and I am very grateful to have them in my little sphere of life.

Sometimes it just takes too much energy to be cynical. So for 2010...well, I don't know how it'll go. I don't want to go into it with any preconceived idea of what I want, what it should be, setting it up already to disappoint as it goes on. This year, I just want it to unfold and enjoy it for what it is.

More time.