521 months/plenty of mileage

May 17th, 2012

Do you want to know how old I am? 43. I don’t attach any angst to that number (it’s just a number). At all. I think 43’s great. I’m thinking 44 is going to be fine too (but we don’t have to rush; I’ve got about 7 months left for 43). Like many other wise women have said before me, I wouldn’t be 23 again for a bazillion dollars. I wouldn’t be 17 again either (in case you’re wondering). I think 43 suits me just fine.

*Do you want to know how much I weigh? That’s a number too, right? I’ll tell you, but I won’t tell you over the Internet, for crying out loud. I have a bit of angst about that number. I’m pretty sure no one is reading this blog, but I’m not going to put That Number on the Internet for the whole world to see. I’ve got a good self image, but even that has its limits. 

The beauty of getting older, as others more talented then me (yes, you, Delia Ephron, and you, Anna Quindlen) have observed, is that there’s freedom in age. My current personal motto (subject to change) is Keep your crazy to yourself. I’ve got my enough of my own to manage, thanks. Although I haven’t spoken these words aloud in the appropriate situation, just thinking them brings me great solace, and prevents me from stroking out when confronted by empirical evidence of all the Crazy in the world. But really, Crazy in the World (Yours, Mine, and Theirs) is a post for another day.

We bought a new car recently and as one of the options the dealership offered as we were finalizing the deal was the choice to purchase additional warranty months. So if the car has 36 months/36,000 miles of coverage (or whatever), you could opt to pay a little money and get a few more months and miles. (We declined; I am married to a person who — as best I can tell from almost 18 years of marriage — is unable to own a car for longer than a 3 year stretch. He is what we call a Car Person. If you are one, or married to one, this needs no explanation.) I digress.

The warranty offer coincided with a fresh bout of knee pain and reminded me of a comment that my loving spouse made one time when it  appeared that yet another of my body parts decided to get wonky: “Time to trade you in for a younger model.” Ha ha. Hilarious. (He also said {probably after an athroscopic knee surgery or gall bladder attack or something}, “Damn, if you were a horse we’d have to shoot you.” This sounds more callous than I took it — I had to agree with him because after enduring whatever it was, I felt pretty crummy and horse-like.)

Anyhoo, although my attitude is sassy and spunky and younger than springtime, it would appear that my warranty is just about up. The Good Knee has gone Bad (forcing me to reconsider how I am supposed to differentiate those joints to myself and others). The Vision — magically corrected by Lasik 13 years ago, is starting to go. (Happily my arms remain long enough for me to sit back and read while I type, but I fear the day is coming when I shall have to get a wireless keyboard in order to sit across the room from the monitor.) Turns out reading glasses are NOT a sign of the Apocalypse, but a lovely addition to the supplies I must bring to bed if I wish to read (including and not limited to: the Kindle, a book light, and the charging cord. Also, the iPad, in case I have to either purchase a new book or look something up. There’s lots of hardware.) (Oh, and a glass of water. Hydration remains important.)

My attention span? That’s a good one. Span would imply a period of time, perhaps a longish period of time, and I actually don’t have that kind of time. Suffice to say, my on-board computer is acting up. The Nav system is still good, but those memory buttons are really shot. Why did I come in here? Why did I just log on to the computer?

*I drove the kids to school the other day, and as I pulled into the lot I said, out loud, “Where am I going?” I was (half) joking — I knew where I was, but I was thinking out loud about where I should drop off and/or park. My Sophomore girl said, “To school, duh,” (she’s not dumb, the “duh” was implied and not uttered) to which I replied, “Who am I? Where am I? Who are you?” and we laughed. For now. (Cue ominous music.)

I have a friend who’s scheduled for a face lift in a couple of weeks. (She’s not 43; she’s a little bit older than me.) I say, good for her. But I say that through lips that are a bit immobile due to my manipulations in the mirror: would those giant lines in my face be smoothed out a bit with a pull here, a tuck there? We call them laugh lines? Then apparently I’ve lived a life filled with comedians, because I have laugh lines you could fall into, never to be seen again. (No tripping near my face, please.) I don’t want to fill anything, or plump anything, or paralyze anything, or even lift anything (yet), but I do see how 43+ years of living can make a dent. My husband likes that “ding protection” insurance you can get for a new car….it’s probably not available any longer for this 1968 model.

*Why am I thinking about any of this on a lovely Thursday afternoon, when I could be out collecting vitamin D (and adding insult to the injury of the lines in my face by exposing it to the UVA/B’s of this sunny day)? As I was waiting for WordPress to load — the poor site was probably in shock that I logged in at all {yes, yes, it’s been a while} — I went to wash my hands and after doing so, lifted my head to look in the mirror. 

When I did, I actually, {in my head,not out loud [this time]} said, “Aaah!” in my internal surprised voice because the person in the mirror startled me. You know that’s a damn shame when you scare yourself. And it’s perhaps even more of a shame when you scare yourself AND YET you’re cleaned up and {ostensibly} put together. (Read: I showered.) My second thought, after the silent scream, was “Wow, you look OLD.” Way to sugar coat it, Self, thanks. 

I had a really good ending for this post, but I can’t remember what it was. I just know that it was going to be a snappy, good ending for this ramble — but it’s totally gone now. Totally.  I’m going to go top off my fluids and see if it comes back to me. I’d hate to void what’s left of my warranty through misuse or abuse.

Mostly Unrelated Thoughts, strung together for no reason at all.

January 10th, 2012

There’s no one around to talk to, so I’m going to put these probably-unrelated thoughts down here because, after all, this blog was intended to be a record of me, for me. (You all are just an added bonus.)

A good-sized puddle of water appeared this morning under the plastic floor protector under my desk chair. No sign of any dropped cup, broken pipe, just-tinkled dog, or overturned flower pot. Huh? Obviously, must be some kind of weird hardwood-floor-sweating situation which will result in the need to rip of the floor and put down a new one. Added bonus? It smells weird.

What kind of disservice am I doing our children by downloading, and then singing and dancing to in the kitchen, the explicit versions of songs like “If You See Kay” by The Script? I expect the MotY (Mother of the Year) people are rethinking my past awards. But I do love that Script song — and part of me believes that this display of “hipness” (distinct from “hippy-ness,” thanks) offsets the hours of Captain & Tenille and Tony Orlando & Dawn that they’ve been subjected to. (Offsets, doesn’t undo. There is a difference, and their therapists can thank me later.)

When I trip over a doodle and blow out my knee in what will surely be spectacular fashion, can I sue them? It’s a matter of time. Simply pushing back my chair, now….results in 170 pounds of dog leaping up out of solid naps and bumping into me and each other. Oh, and swearing. It results in swearing. (Not by them. Can you imagine? I wouldn’t be here, I’d be touring with them if they could swear. We could go places where the Jersey Shore cast would be and mix it up with them.)

I’m anxious for the November elections to be over, if for no other reason than I can stop hiding from incoming calls. Lately, “Washington” with an area code of 206 has been calling a lot. When I do answer (not often), I give the caller a 2-count to answer. If there’s no response to my friendly, cheery hello, I hang up. (Kindly be sure that you’re not drinking water or otherwise incapacitated when I answer, or I shall hang up on you too. No mercy.)

Although I’m moderately distracted by Michael’s sartorial choices (suspenders? pleated pants? sneakers to work?) — never mind Elliot’s (who can even go there?) — I’m ecstatic to report that thirtysomething holds up after 24 years. SantaHusb was kind enough to gift me the entire series for Christmas, and although I’m only about 5 shows into the first season (fall of 1987, 10 pm EST on Tuesday nights. Remember?) it would seem that nothing much has changed between then and now. Oh sure, it’s crazy to see how no one has a cell phone, a laptop computer or even a cordless house phone (all those curly cords!), but the stories of the miscellanea of being a grown-up, in all the iterations, haven’t aged. I’m surprised that my 18-year-old self loved it so much, but I’m pleased to report that my 18-year-old self was correct: it’s a great show.

I’m waiting for Bob Dylan to write a song about how many times a mother must answer the same question.( Is he still writing? It will be a big hit for him, I’m certain.) If he’s again going to determine that the answer is blowing in the wind, this will explain why no one ever hears me when I answer a question — but will not help my search for serenity, now.

I continue to read voraciously, when I am not worrying over the issue of whether reading “trash” will cause my eyes to fall out of my head. I can’t even begin to share with you the titles of some of the stuff I’ve been reading. If you ask, I’m going to tell you I’m reading The Art of Racing in the Rain (a fantastic book. Fan.tas.tic) or Dragon Tattoo, depending on which I think you may have read and liked more. I’ve read those, so it’s not like I’m back in high school, trying to recall if Pamela was supposed to be finished for Thursday and I’ve not cracked the cover. But still. If bad television can rot your brain, as I believe we were told lo, those many years ago, I’m certain that I not-so-proudly possess rice pudding between my ears. (My only defense? I’m learning LOTS of vocabulary. Termagant? Sartorial? Bring on the SAT-V. Never mind that that ship sailed a couple of decades ago. I could totally improve my score now.)

I’m certain that your congratulatory notes are in the mail, so I will thank you in advance for your kind words at my recent achievement of reaching Presidential Platinum status on Continental/United Air Lines. It’s been a long haul, but I got there. Oh, okay. Husband got there, by acquiring his 1,000,000-th mile on Continental. (Very Clooney-in-Up-in-the-Air-esque, honey. You’ll always be my George Clooney.)  I was prescient enough to hitch my wagon to his star — I could tell even Back Then that he was going places — and so now I am super-titanium-diamond-crusted elite. (Of course I am. Have we met?) I’m not going places as often as he goes, but still pretty often. Hooray! Where are the warm chocolate chip cookies?

Related to the above (might be the first time this post. Wow), I had to have photos taken for my application for a Brazilian visa (there’s so much more to write about this: namely, how my whole family is Brazilian but for me, so when the time comes to flee the country they’ll take their green passports and get the heck out of Dodge, while I will either be stuck here with an expired visa or lost in the back of the “foreigner” line at Aeroporto Internacional Guarulhos). Anyhoo, the visa photos. 2″ x 2″ on a white background. Standard passport stuff, any CVS will do. So, mindful of the fact that I was just back from the gym, but in a hurry to get the photos done so the visa paperwork could go, I carefully restyled the mop (read: new pony tail) and applied some makeup (read: tried to cover up the red face and fatigue from the training session). I even penciled in the eyebrows, which means that I meant business. I believed I looked pretty good, all things considered. (This is the part where I would say, “Bless her heart,” because clearly that girl is clueless.) Long story really short: the CVS photos were HIDEOUS. I gasped when I saw them, and sat staring at them in the front seat of my car while I tried to figure out a) what went so horribly wrong (HORRIBLY WRONG), and b) where I could go to get another set taken. Because obviously it was a problem with the CVS, not me. Duh. Long story, trying to be shorter: the second set were WORSE. WORSE! How is this possible? I thought I had learned from my mistakes at the CVS? (You know, stop with the small smile, just look peaceful and intelligent. No cocked eyebrows, no teeth, no enormous eye bags or crows’ feet.) Yesterday’s lesson boys and girls: the location of the visa photo shoot doesn’t appear to make a difference with regard to outcome.

I’m hopeful that the Brazilians will see clear to let me into their country. Otherwise, I will be stuck in the CO lounge, calling for more warm cookies whilst reading Trash That Cannot Be Named and humming obscene Script songs.






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