Today I had my coffee and watched the news. A new president was elected last night. This was the 8th one in my lifetime. For those history buffs- hush, Ford doesn’t count he wasn’t elected. Even though my brain refuses to believe it – I woke up this morning with the realization that I am now almost a half a century old. They say with age comes wisdom. After some reflection I’m pretty sure wisdom is just an accumulation of a long life of “Been there, done or seen that, and bought the t-shirt.”
Based on my “accidentally” giving you my almost age, I hope you’ve figured out I’m a child of the 80’s. Ahhhh the 80’s – the age of stirrup pants, over sized tops, shoulder pads, big hair, mullets and scrunchies. That age of Madonna pushing the sexual envelope, the brat pack and Reagan politics.
Wisdom hasn’t taught this child of the 80’s much and mine aren’t very prophetic, but here goes a few of my t-shirt collection:
- If you keep your cloths long enough they will eventually come back in style.
- My daughter left for school today wearing an over sized shirt and skinny jeans. The other day I saw stirrup pants for sale and don’t boot socks look strangely familiar? I’m convinced some day soon one of them is going to ask me for a Members Only jacket- I swear it’s coming. My daughter has actually said “I wish I was a teenager in the 80’s – it looked like so much fun and your cloths were cool” Really?? It’s amazing what a difference 20 years makes.
- There seems to be very few original thoughts left.
- The best way to know you’re old is to watch movies and TV. Love em or hate em the new women musical artists are still pushing the sexual boundaries and Hollywood keeps re-making all the movies and TV shows of my youth. From Splash to Mcgyver or from Ghostbuster’s to The Muppets- everything is a remake. I can’t wait for my grandchildren to be watching the remake of “Smokey and the Bandit” cause I am really curious what Colorado will be sneaking across the boarder next time. 🙂
- The American political climate swings like a clock pendulum.
- About every 15 to 30 years or so we have what we like to call a political “revolution” where the American people make a “change” Now depending on what side you happen to be on is when you think this magical “revolution” happens. The pendulum will either be on your side or the other. There will always be the staunchest of supporters on both sides, but just like on a pendulum it’s the weight or the undecided in the middle that keep it moving. We seem to enjoy giving Congress and the Presidency to the same party for a few years til it goes a little wacky in one direction or the other and then change it back to middle and a deadlock til we swing back the other way. It’s just what we do and in a sneaky way isn’t that kinda how the founding fathers set it up in the first place. Hmmm- maybe they were smarter than the average bear after all………………..
This morning many American’s woke up either elated or defeated. Many woke up sensing it was “their” revolution or “their” demise. Truth is- it’s probably neither. Simply put- it’s a swing and just like we were taught in physics – what goes up must come down. Like stirrup pants, shoulder pads and big hair- fashionable, even in beliefs, depends on the time. If your gloating or pouting just remember in the immortal words of my mama about everything- “This too shall pass” the only question is when or how long.
As I sat peacefully drinking my coffee, watching the election results and pondering all the intricacies of life and the “been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt” moments my daughter walks in complaining that her jeans wouldn’t stay down in her boots and did they make something to hold them down. Her face contorted with all the innocence of youth at my quick reply “Don’t worry – have I got a deal on a T-shirt for you – bring on the stirrup pants, shoulder pads and Aqua Net cause your hair isn’t big enough yet baby……………………………. 🙂
I come from a long line of head strong, persistent, unbending, determined, unshakable and even sometimes stubborn, vain and obstinate women. These traits are as cultivated and propagated in Southern women as energetically as our “famous” manners. We grow up being taught that saying pretty please, thank you and I’ll pray for you is of the same importance as lip gloss and mascara.
We are coached early in our little lives how and when we pray for the neighbors, when saying bless their hearts is appropriate (nicely or not so nicely), you don’t leave the house without makeup and most importantly when and where to wear waterproof mascara. There isn’t southern woman alive that doesn’t have the “special” tube of mascara for funerals and maybe a wedding. You can bet your bottom dollar if you see a Southern woman crying that wasn’t prepared with waterproof mascara someone has messed up really bad and there will be HELL to pay. I would suggest to run…..
Southern women are reared knowing there are only a few acceptable reasons to show weakness and cry and even then you best not be sobbing in public. That’s reserved solely for those closest to you who can’t run away. This is typically our poor husbands who is completely screwed regardless of what direction he chooses. This poor testosterone filled man who typically is married to the Rock of Gibraltar now finds himself in an non win situation. He really has no good options. If he tries to fix it he is condescending and if he comforts he is babying (and you DON’T baby tenacious) The smart ones just quietly help around the house, hug us tight and send us to the friends for a good cry until it’s out of system.
We need a good cry as much as the next girl – we just DON’T like it!! Somehow we think it’s disrespectful to all those strong women who we come from to fall apart. It’s like we’re disappointing them or we will make them roll over in their graves. The most scary option is they’ll come haunt me. I can’t have that – if my granny came visiting and saw how messy my house is she wouldn’t just role over in her grave she would do somersaults and never leave. I already hear my momma in my head all day- I really don’t know if I could take her too…….
So after telling you all this – you can imagine my surprise the other day as I was driving alone to pick up a parasite (children for those nicer than me) when I found black mascara tears rolling down my cheeks. I have always prided myself on being a “tough ole broad” I don’t cry often and hate it sincerely. If I cry it’s usually a built up explode. Either my feeling are really hurt or I’m mad and trying NOT to kill you, but this was different.
These tears didn’t come from anger or my feelings being hurt, they came from a different place. My first thought was “damn menopause hormones”, but the honest truth is I think they came from a different place. These tears were coming from the sadness of the “light at the end of the tunnel”
I remember when I had three parasites, all in diapers, and I would speak to people who had teenagers and be jealous. I felt like my life was crazy and I saw no end in site. It was a constant life of “diapers, dinners, momma and honey” I remember saying “you have light at then end of tunnel and I’m not so sure I’ll survive til I get there” I never understood their looks of longing at my jealously.
As I sit here today with that light getting so bright in my eyes I need sunglasses I understand. I look up at all my parasites (they’re all taller than me now) and realize I have so little time with them left. I keep thinking it went too fast! Did I do a good enough job? Will they be a good citizen? Will they be good to their fellow humans? Will they be good parents some day? Did they hear me and will they pass on at least a little of what I taught them?
What I realized is the tears came from the realization that my “job” as a parent is almost over. It’s the understanding that this is the most significant job and role I’ll ever play and the only one that may have an impact in 100 years. The tears were rolling down my cheeks because they’re typical teenagers and sometimes I’m so proud my chest may bust and sometimes I’m so scared I can’t breathe. (if you haven’t ever had the experience of teaching a teenager to drive or gotten the call “mom I had a wreck” yet- my advice is your best bet is to keep them in diapers)
The tears were rolling because I’m at the point where I can only maneuver the people I’ve helped develop – good or bad. The heavy lifting of right and wrong and good and evil are past. Their basic emotional and ethic makeup is set. Now I can only pray they heard and choose to live the lessons I tried to teach.
The black mascara tears rolling down my cheeks, which were against every thing I had ever been taught, came from that blinding light or maybe it was only the menopausal hormones . Yep- I think my southern stubborn and unshakable self is going with menopause so the parasites don’t have hell to pay or need to run away any faster than they already are……………..: 😦
Recently I made a huge life changing decision. I don’t mean one of those life changing decisions that are an echo of New Years resolutions. You all know those declarations you make while you’re drunk at about midnight that last about- oh maybe 2 weeks. Those so called promises you make to yourself that you will work out everyday, lose 20 pounds or even that classic hungover New Years morning pledge that you will “Never drink AGAIN”
For starters, I’ve always refused to make a New Years resolution. Well other than the obligatory morning I’ll never drink again, but even that only lasts about twenty four hours. For all the women out there- have you ever noticed how a hangover and childbirth resemble each other. Once the initial agony and pain are over your brain seems to have memory blockers that obliterate the misery and cause you to forget. How else do you explain that we think it’s a great idea to have the second or third parasite (children for those nicer than me) or that we ever pick up the next drink?
Wow- it seems I just can’t keep myself from rambling so back to my big ole life changing decision.
I was raised by a southern woman who is what I refer to as the eternal optimist. She has always seen the best in people, even when I was young and thought she had completely lost her mind on occasion. She forgives easily, even when she shouldn’t. She has a strong mind, but has always refused to argue or convince others she is right. She smiles through pain and most importantly even when many in the past have judged she typically says – yes, but there but by the grace of God go I. Her favorite saying has always been “This too shall pass”. That statement rings in my ears even before she says it to me now.
When I was younger I always believed it was because she was just naive. She must of been raised under a rock. Obviously she really did fall off the back of a turnip truck yesterday. No one could possibly be this optimistic.
As I age though I am learning it’s not any of those things. The truth of the matter is she makes a choice everyday. She chooses to see the best in people and forgive easily- even if she doesn’t forget. She chooses to believe that even if today is a struggle tomorrow will be better. You know that Scarlett O’Hara phrase “Tomorrow is another day” She truly lives it and believes. She chooses to smile through pain. She didn’t fall of the turnip truck yesterday- she choose to stay on the truck and figure out how to cook them for dinner.
So today I made a decision to do the same. I deleted myself from as many negative things in my life as possible. The laundry and teenagers I have to keep- it’s some law of nature or something, but everything else had to go.
First thing I did was take myself off my neighborhood and all my local communities social media sites. Who knew it was that easy- you just go in and hit un-join. I made the decision that living with all my community neighbors would be a lot less unpleasant for me if I didn’t know for sure that so many were, what I lovingly call, bat shit crazy. It’s easier for me if I can still believe in a world where when people have a problem or concern they will get their lazy rear end from behind their computer and instead of condemning their neighbor or call the cops due to something silly they might actually be understanding or God forbid have an actual conversation with a human.
Second thing I did was understand that I am myself bat shit crazy. I just made the decision that I no longer feel any need to convince any one else that my brand of crazy is correct or honorable. I no longer feel the need to teach a class on how to do crazy, by what I believe is, appropriately. Trust me- I’ve thought about it a lot and it falls under the category of life I’ve titled-“teaching a pig to dance”. It just frustrates you and aggravates the pig – and fyi – pigs can’t dance- pigs just role in mud til their slaughtered. I don’t like laundry enough to stay that dirty and slaughtered just sounds bad.
I’m choosing to embrace my crazy and live in my own little dream world where people are nice and honorable. Yes- I’m not stupid and know that’s not always the case, but I’m “choosing” to believe it’s possible. I’m choosing to believe that people are by nature good. I’m choosing to believe the world can come back from the condescending and judgmental world that age has taught me it can be.
Maybe that’s what the true wisdom of age really is…… it’s the freedom to choose your reality and what you choose to pass on to the next generation. I’m choosing to pass on the recipes for the turnips- thanks mom………………………………
Every night the hubby and I participate in the what seems to be the only universal accepted American past time. We sit in front of the boob tube (TV for those of you whose brain is still fully functional- mine has been turned into a mushy ball of fat from watching) Well change that- we attempt to watch the boob tube. Now that we have teenagers it is more of a word scramble where we attempt to hear every third word between the “Mom-I’m home’s, Mom- I need a ride to school early, Mom- Let me tell you what happened today, Moooooom, he farted on me, and the list goes on and on” They can go all day and only manage the simple words of “fine and yeah”, but attempt to do something where they are not the center of attention and all hell will break loose post haste.
I remember the days fondly when they went to bed at 8 (o.k.- 9 – I was never super mom) and there was at least a few hours of adult time, but alas those days are gone and we are left with the only hope of ever getting those hours back in the highly anticipated empty nest and at the rate mine are progressing – I’ll probably die first.
Tonight while in the pursuit of the ever illusive third word I actually grabbed two in a row. (it was a commercial so there was no reason for them to talk at this point) The two words I grabbed though were tremendous. My ears perked up. Apart these words are not special at all, nor would they of grabbed my attention. These were two words that I had never ever thought about putting in the same sentence. They were- get ready for it- “Intelligent Toilet”
To most people I’m sure these words don’t mean much, but to me they cause my brain to go into a tailspin. The face lights up and the idea’s start going faster than a roller coaster. After the initial look over at the man of my dreams and saying “Exactly what the heck is an Intelligent toilet” (well heck wasn’t the word, but my mama will be happy) followed by another 5 of the crazy idea’s in my head out loud- the look on his face alone after the 5th said I needed to hush and go write it down. The show was back on and he really would of liked to hear every third word at least.
The first thought I had after the initial “what the heck” was there must be a new definition of “intelligence” that everyone forgot to tell me about because……..
Exactly how “Intelligent” can a toilet be? Scratch that- there are people with actual brains not much smarter than the average toilet
Does it talk to me? If so, what would it say. I’m imaging something along the lines of “Good morning – are you going to moon me again today?” Can I set the voice to say anything I want? That would be fun- I would set it to scream like a horror movie in the 16 year old’s bathroom every time you sat down or better yet say “Clean me” in an authoritative football coach voice. Yes- that one mama likes!!
Is it perceptive and if so what does it perceive? If it’s who sits down by our weight- well let’s just say if it’s got a weight component you can keep or it’ll end up in the burn pit sitting right next to that horrid scale. However; I might have to purchase if it can perceive a teenage boys is going to miss the bowl and move itself to catch it- that would be a cool trick!!
Does it comprehend it’s own existence? If so – can you imagine how bitter it would be? There are humans running around extremely ornery who just perceive they’ve been shit on- this thing would be miserable.
Does it read and learn? That’s a scary thought and all I can see are millions of Americans everywhere running to the “water closet” to hurry and change out their reading material in order to not “dumb down” the toilet.
I finally decided google was in order- I just had to know what makes a toilet “intelligent” It sadly doesn’t talk. Which is a shame because that little gift to my family would of been fun!! I was impressed -let me tell you this thing lights up, warms your tush, washes you and even cleans itself and it does all this for some crazy astronomical number that if I actually bought would mean I had more money than sense.
So there you have it folks – the new definition of “intelligence” – being able to warm your ass and cleaning yourself after a shit. That sure does puts a whole lot of people back in the intelligent quadrant of society- who knew?? Who needs a college education? I got this licked – or dried!! (Yep it does that too)
It makes me curious what’s coming down the pike next. I don’t know about you but I’m holding out for the “brilliant” box of rocks…………
The one thing in life I am more and more convinced of is that sometimes I really need a warning label. The problem is – I never can think of just one. This warning label would need to be more like a scrolling LED sign that hangs around my neck that can be changed on a daily basis, but I’m sure if you asked my hubby or parasites (children for those nicer than me) they would probably say it would need an auto change by the second. I’m sure if you asked them it would read regularly -“she’s just crazy- so deal with at own risk”
The reason I’ve decided to warn you about my warning labels (today) is that I’m gonna actually talk (out loud) about that ever so disturbing and even more aggravating thing called “MIDDLE AGE”. Now for most these words have a simple enough definition. It simply refers to the middle part of your life. Generations ago (I’m going with the Dark Ages cause it makes me feel better about getting old), when the average life expectancy was about 45 or 50, middle age landed squarely in your 20’s. However in today’s world where the average life expectancy is starting to push the 80’s the definition of middle aged has changed significantly. Now middle aged is considered your 40’s and 50’s.
Now if you are a woman under the age of 35 – I would highly suggest you stop reading this very second!! You are having fun and living in the prime of your life. There is absolutely no reason for you to know that these horrid things I’m going to talk about are going to happen to you regardless of all of your efforts to the contrary. Just keep having fun and living in your dream world – if for no other reason that us middle aged folks can look at you lovingly and smile. We smile not because of the memories or the longing, but just because we know what’s coming for you and we giggle at your oblivion.
What brought this to the forefront for me tonight was I got the rare chance to speak with one of my girlfriends from college. As we age this gets harder and harder to accomplish- not because we don’t want too- but life just gets in the way. A full time job, 3 parasites with a million things “that have to be done” , a hubby “with needs” , a million loads of laundry and dishes, and a household to run just take entirely too much of my time! Yes I know you’re asking how I got time to write this- well let’s just say the household part is a mess!! Someone once wrote that boring women have immaculate houses…………. Well let’s just say I’m far from boring!!
I digress…. back to my conversation with my girlfriend.
We talked about our parasites. She has a few older than mine so I listened intently so maybe I will know what’s coming. You know what I learned? I need a MUCH bigger savings account!!! We talked about our mutual friends. Guess what I learned? Absolutely nothing different- people don’t change – they just get more resolute in their ways. We talked about our families. I learned we still care about each other and our worlds and have great memories of each others extended families.
We were laughing and talking and talking and laughing and then somehow “getting older” became part of the conversation. I’m sure it came up talking about the parasites or maybe just in the normal conversation, but it came up just the same.
That’s when the laughing started to sound more in the hysterical dimension.
How I know it got louder was two of the parasites walked in (because they are nosy) and whispered “Who are you talking to” and “How do you like my haircut?” and “I need to be a school early” and “”Can you help me with my homework? etc etc Haven’t you ever heard the rule “If mom is actually having fun we must ruin it or bother her immediately”? Children seem to come out of the womb with this Super Power!!
Oops- I digress again
Why we were laughing so hard is the “very” normal conversation that middle aged women have been having for generations (that we just didn’t know was coming), but is here just same. It’s the dirty little secret (ok- not so secret) of middle aged women everywhere……………………
Bladder control is a thing only for the youth!!
We laughed because we couldn’t cough, sneeze, run, jump or in any way move too fast anymore without having an accident. We laughed that when we went grocery shopping now we walked by the Depends aisle and actually considered buying them, but still clung to the idea that a pad should work just fine. (Hey don’t judge some women actually need the extra baggage in the rear department- I might of already bought them, but sadly I’m not one of those women) We laughed about the pee-pee dance (for those of you that aren’t aware -it’s that dance we all do that try’s to convince ourselves we can actually make it the 10 feet to the bathroom, but still fail) We laughed that we spent about half of our time either in the bathroom or looking for the bathroom (we used to look for our kids, but now we actively just look for bathrooms) Basically we just laughed about the joys – or not so joys- of creaking knees, hurting joints, and the pee pee dance.
As I was laughing so hard tears were running down my face and pee was running down my leg I learned the most valuable lesson of all……………. “Getting Older Sucks”, BUT going through it with good friends makes all the difference. It decides whether it’s miserable or a joke. It decides whether it stops your progress or just inhibits it a tad. It decides if you fight the inevitable or accept it with giggles. All I know now is I won’t grimace next week when I pass the Depends aisle- I think I’ll smile and giggle cause I have friends I can “DEPENDS” on!!
In today’s world truly being from the South has lost many of it’s meanings. Today most people that live in the South are from other parts of the country. I understand the phenomena because if I had to live buried in snow 9 months of the year I would pack my bags and run faster than a hungry cheetah toward warm weather too. Because of this plethora of what we in southern polite society call “Damn Yankee’s” (this is different than a normal yankee because these never leave) finding a person who can make a single syllable word sound as if it has more than 3 is almost as hard as finding that illusive needle in a haystack. We are still around it’s just we temper it more in public. As one of my close friends says to me regularly “uh oh your southern is showing- did you spend time with your family today” to which I respond “Yeeeaaah maaaaybe a lettle too much”
Because these little southern society nuances are disappearing it always make me giggle and laugh when something just “hits me upside the head” (yes another southern term) and says “By Golly you do still live in the South”. One of these little baseball bats came tonight. As I sat and watched, oh just another mind numbing stupid entertainment TV show”, a ticker flashed across the bottom of my screen. As my hubby and I read this ticker we both started to laugh. It said and I’m quoting “Breaking News at 11- Thief runs off with 10 foot rooster”.
Now for anyone who knows me understands that something this absolutely bizarre takes my brain by storm. This is a situation my gray matter has never considered nor thought of so the implications and questions start before I can even help myself. The things that start neuron explosions in my brain can be quite odd and even a bit scary. As I sit with tears of laughter rolling down my face I begin to rapid fire them at the hubby. (He’s just so thrilled because this poor man lives with this insanity everyday) I always start out innocent enough, but as I really get going my brain gets and evil streak that would make Betty White blush.
So this poor man who loves me gets to sit and hear questions such as:
Exactly how strong is this thief to run with a 10 foot rooster? Is he Hercules because I’m pretty sure a 10 foot rooster is heavy
How do we know it was a thief and the yard bird didn’t wander out of his yard and he was just collecting it? This is the South and there are still people with yard birds
What does one do with a 10 foot rooster? My family has eaten a whole lot of gospel bird (fried chicken for those of you not from here) in our lives and I’m not sure we’ve ever eaten that much
This is about when it all starts to go down hill……..
You know honey it could of only been better if they had of used the word “cock” instead. (Yes – cock is a perfectly acceptable word for rooster- get your mind out of the gutter with mine)
Why would you want a 10 foot cock in your front yard? Unless he does yard work then maybe
How exactly does a man run with a 10 foot cock? Maybe there’s “shrinkage”
Why exactly do you want a 10 foot cock? I might have an answer for that
Where does one find a 10 foot cock? This is the age old question of women every where
Where do you hide a 10 foot cock? hmm- that kinda sounds uncomfortable
Can you shop for 10 foot cocks in your neighborhood pawn shop? Now that might get interesting
Why would a man want to steal a 10 foot cock? Maybe he is a porn agent
The questions go on and on…….. until I’m a giddy fool and the husband is looking at me with that ever loving look of “for the love of god woman please shut up”
Well the news finally came on and the reality of a big ole metal rooster wasn’t near as fun as my imagination, but is reality ever as much fun or as bad as your imagination?? I can speak from experience, in my twisted mind, it isn’t so I’m going back in for more.
I’m dreaming it’s College football bowl season and the Oregon St Beavers are playing the South Carolina Gamecocks for the National Championship! So until next time when we discuss the joys of that commentary…………………………….. 🙂