Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Like a Finely Aged .....
So while I fret about refocusing on the stories in progress and to understand that this whole summer can't be one long, hot, lurid, beer fest and fish fry, I did promise you some words. As if my promises mean squat. Long time readers see right through me to my Path of Least Resistance soul. Whatever. I'm just going to do something I haven't purposefully done in a while. Operative word = purposefully.
Stream of consciousness. Random order. But in a numbered list. Hang on...can you have random and order at the same time?
1. (And this is not so random) Thank you for the words! What great words you guys offered. I really appreciate it.
AND thanks to those who have donated via the Paypal button. It does help out. I'm crazy grateful for your generosity and kindness.
2. Television has turned everything into a competition. Cooking, decorating cakes, decorating houses, surviving, that movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World, dancing, singing, being an asshole, designing clothes that no one in their right mind would wear on the street, landing a husband, weddings.... It makes me think that nothing, no matter how potty or out of control it could be, nothing I could do here would even begin to compare with the madness of reality. Not that that simple fact will stop me from trying.
A couple of days ago I was in the kitchen washing dishes by hand (it's hell on the manicure, but it saves on water, gas and electricity) when I thought I heard a show describing a competition between two or three brides who were planning their weddings. I hollered into the living room for confirmation which Chloe swiftly provided from her place on the loveseat (try not to die of surprise).
There was all kinds of talk about style and stress in that breathless DIY tone provided by the narrator with a British accent. Life and death stuff here, people! With style!
"What's the prize?" I mean, I had to know at this point, right?
I've given up any pretense of not being judgmental and sanctimonious when it comes to the garbage my kids watch on television. To wit: "Do those idiots have any idea what a waste it is to spend all that effort and money on one day? Do they not understand that the real stress comes from trying to make the marriage work? The wedding should be fun, not stressful." I huffed into the soapy bubbles.
This got no reply. I don't blame her. I still feel the same way about my own mama.
3. I can't remember what else I was going to write about. The cat with the urinary tract infection just came into the office where the litter boxes are now housed (the wisdom of this is beyond me) and is staring balefully at me. His vet appointment is at 3:30 p.m. The poor baby.
4. Remembered! We had a little soiree here yesterday that was quite the jolly time. I totally forgot to call our guests bitches and to finish each sentence with ya dig, but even so, I believe the day can be slotted into the success column. It set me to thinking about age, though. Among the attendees were MathMan and myself. We're in our (ahem) mid-forties. Chloe joined us. She's nineteen. Our guests were fellow teachers ranging from Just Turned Forty, two in their early thirties (I remember being thirty!) and someone in her early twenties. I blacked out for a second when I realized I could be her mom. She was born in 1986!!! I remember 1986! I was having sex in 1986! I remember blacking out in 1986! Alas, I am not this young woman's mother.
Anyway, I was thinking about how when you're an "adult" age becomes less of a determining factor regarding your social circle. The older one gets, the more likely one is to have friends and acquaintances of all ages. I first experienced this when I got out of college and worked at the International College of Surgeons in Chicago. I was the youngest staff member (something I haven't been able to say in many, many years). Because association management is nothing if not a pink collar ghetto, my colleagues were mostly women in their late forties, fifties and sixties. One day we were having lunch around the kitchen table in the servants' kitchen. (The offices were located in an old mansion that once served as the Polish Consulate. Very cool workspace.)
The conversation turned to menopause. I was twenty-three going on twenty-four. The same age as our guest yesterday now that I think of it. During the conversation, the Executive Director looked at me and must have noted my discomfort. At this point in my life, I hadn't even had children and these women were discussing the end of the reproductive cycle. For one thing, I didn't want to think about my coworkers having reproductive parts. For another, I didn't want to think about old people that way. Gross!
So the Director, a lovely Dutch woman in her mid-fifties, turned to me and said in her soft accent, "Don't worry. The best part about menopause is that you can start having all the sex you want without fear of pregnancy."
I've thought often of that line over the years.....
How was your long weekend? Have you any words of wisdom to offer?