The Unsung Delights of Middle Age, and No One Sends Me Flowers (Just Send Cash Instead ;))

backward swimsuit

 

Middle age has its distinct disadvantages, but there are some distinct advantages to be had for the cougar/geezer set that most people don’t think about.

 

1. No one asks (begs, coerces, etc.) you to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  This is a very beautiful thing, considering the last time I had to do that was in 1993 , and I’m still pissed at my oldest sister for that outlay of cash and aggravation.

fugly dress

No, I’m NOT wearing that- or any other dress without sleeves.  Ever.

At my advanced age I don’t have to worry about it. Nobody in her right mind wants my freaky ass in her wedding pictures. My sisters are the only ones who didn’t let me decline the bridesmaid thing graciously. One has been married since 1993 (thank God because there is no amount of coercion that will make me do the bridesmaid thing again- ever) and the other is happily divorced.  Anyone else who makes that request, I can and will tell to go blow with impunity, but my friends pretty much know better than to ask.  I’ll gladly attend your wedding and even buy you crap, (or get you a Target gift card,) but that’s the extent of my involvement.

2. Aunt Flo doesn’t visit any more.  Not since the hysterectomy.  I couldn’t be more delighted with that.

 

coffee and boobs

Hot flashes suck- but I can wear white pants any time I want!

3. Older people have a certain amount of gravitas in dealings with the young and inexperienced.  I also have buff young college boys asking me if I need help with my groceries.  I don’t need help with my groceries, though it would be nice when I get home with them if Jerry didn’t disappear every time I’m unloading the car.

Young woman unpacking shopping bag in kitchen

I already brought in the cat litter, dog food, beer, (which I don’t drink) and 12 packs of pop.

Come to think of it, I don’t shit in the cat litter or eat the dog food either, but they don’t have thumbs.

Granted, nobody bothers to send me flowers but I have no idea what to do with them.  They sit on my desk for a few days, die, and then I throw them out.

ugly flowers

Just give me the cash.

Back in the day there was no such thing as political correctness in the clothing industry. We can all remember when fat boys’ clothes were called “Husky.”  I don’t think they have “Husky” sizes any more.

chubbies

Even Lane Bryant doesn’t use the “Chubby” word anymore, even when referring to size Extreme Lard Ass.

Imagine the politically correct furor that would ensue should any clothier use an ad like the one pictured above.  Stand back and watch the fireworks.  However, in the 1950’s virtually nobody was fat, so this ad would only apply to a handful of girls rather than most of them.

I say just make everything a one-size-fits-all mu-muu if your ass is that huge.

Twisted, Torrid and Tawdry, for the Love of Dirty Laundry, and Friends or Total Strangers?

For being introverted almost to the point of being antisocial, I surprised myself in taking the initiative to go to my class reunion dinner.  There were activities planned for the entire weekend, but I know myself- a little social interaction goes a long way with me, especially in potentially awkward situations, and even more so in potentially awkward situations involving  other people and too much alcohol.   I can’t drink in public for a number of reasons, and I get enough of drunk-watching-as-entertainment at home.  I did party back in the day, but it lost its charm long ago.   Maybe I’m strange, but 25 years is a freaking long time, and I live in a completely different sphere than I did in the wonderful world of the mid-1980’s. 

Spuds is in the G&R, the stars are in the heavens and all that, but I’m not the same.  Me, circa 1986, would not even vaguely recognize me, today.  The 1986 me would probably be running for cover, screaming, “HOLY SHIT, I’ve become my mother!!” 

Some of the people I graduated with are almost exactly as I remember them.  Others have been dealt with even more cruelly by time and circumstance than I have been.  Some- or I should say most- I’d never recognized at all if not for the name tags.  Especially the guys.  I got there a bit early so I could watch people trickle in and perhaps gain my bearings.  I was shocked at how old some of the guys looked.  Jerry is 12 years older than me, but a few of these poor guys looked as if they had 20 years on him.  As cruel as it may sound, one thought that went through my head was, “Who are these geezers, and what happened to my friends?”

I don’t mean that in a malicious sort of way.  I know only too well that time has been rather cruel to me as well, even though I was never much to look at to begin with, and have always been proportioned like a mutant troll.  I am sure that not a few people looked at me and wondered what the hell happened.  I think in some ways we are all wondering just when we got so old.  I know I sort of expected everyone to look the same as I remembered, which isn’t terribly realistic. 

It is sort of sad in a way that I’ve really not kept touch with people over the years.  I do care, but I get busy, and I spend far too much time catering to Jerry and his high maintenance needs.  He made it very clear long ago that he really doesn’t want to socialize with any of my friends (frankly, I think he’s afraid of them seeing him when he’s shitfaced and acting like a horse’s ass) and I don’t socialize much anyway, so as soon as you know it, everyone I used to know is a geezer/cougar too, and their lives and circumstances have all changed. 

I made it a point not to get embroiled in anyone else’s scandals or juicy bits.  If someone were to investigate, and the more inquiring minds likely have, they can uncover all sorts of rather twisted, torrid and tawdry dirt on me. I’ve done my share of stupid things and made my share of really bad decisions.   Don Henley said it back in 1985- “We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry…”  The thing is I don’t have the heart to hold a 25 year grudge toward anyone, or to dredge up anyone’s sordid past. 

Over all, I think it was a healthy thing to reconnect for a moment, but above all, to be reminded that the past is exactly that, and for the most part, it’s a good thing.   I’m a lot more comfortable with myself now- although being in a room with close to a hundred people I’ve not seen in years did keep me more on guard than usual.  (Yet another reason why temperance befits me!) I did see some people in a different light which was also a good thing.  I may not have been one of the Beautiful People, but the line between me and them is not quite so well defined anymore. 

In some ways I like to think that I may have made some new friends. Even though I may have known them years ago, people change.  I am not the maudlin, huggy-kissy type.  I don’t  have the talent to just take up a decades-old conversation where I left off as if it were yesterday.  I don’t remember names well (I do a bit better with faces) and I know to some I might seem aloof, but even though I refrained from hugging and kissing, it was nice to see people again. 

I just couldn’t bring myself to swig on the community bottle of Boone’s Farm (acck) either.  I’ve had a pathological aversion to drinking after others (especially on a glass bottle) ever since I was about four, and my sister used to grab my pop bottle, take a big swig and backwash into it.   The thought of drinking other people’s spit and/or pre-chewed cud is one of the few things that just really completely gross me out.

I did have to take a pic of the “I Love Them Crabs” drink holder.  That is classic.  Some things do remain the same.

A Peaceful, Easy Birthday Everyone Forgot, and I Like It That Way

At my age it is a lovely thing when everyone forgets your birthday.  Jerry can’t remember his own birthday without either straining to read the fine print on his driver’s license, or by checking with the BMV, so I forgive him for that.  His family doesn’t bother to recognize birthdays, likely for two good reasons.  His Dad and his Dad’s fourteen other siblings were born at home, deep in the hollers of rural WV, and none of them have birth certificates.  The date- and year- listed as his Dad’s birthday on his Dad’s driver’s license is likely not his Dad’s actual birthday, but someone’s best guess.  Since his Dad got a social security card and driver’s license long before you had to have a birth certificate to acquire either, his Dad is grandfathered in.

I wonder if he would be able to get a passport?  If he were really pressed could he prove he is an American citizen?  Our friend Bob is an American citizen but he was born in London (his Dad was American but his Mom is English) and his birth certificate is in London.   Bob can’t get a copy of his birth certificate unless he goes to London to get it, but you can’t go to the UK without a passport.  Thankfully the Social Security people recognized his honorable discharge from the Marines as proof of citizenship.  Bob still can’t get a passport though, because when he tried he was told that one has to have a certified copy of one’s birth certificate.  Then again, I highly doubt that Jerry’s Dad would really need a passport for anything, unless they make it mandatory to have a passport to cross the border from WV back to Ohio.  The birth certificate requirement to acquire a passport is probably a blessing in disguise to keep old rednecks from traveling abroad and perpetuating the “Ugly American” stereotype.  Then again, maybe our foreign friends have never tried getting rid of hemorrhoids by soaking them in kerosene.

When you have so many family members that every day is someone’s birthday or so it seems, it’s a lot harder to remember every one and a lot harder to afford to buy gifts for every one.  So, I can see where Jerry gets the idea to  simplify his life and just celebrate all his family’s birthdays every day with a 12 pack of Natties and a couple of packs of smokes.

I do find it entertaining how some people remember my birthday sometime in the middle of March and then send sheepy, belated wishes.  It’s OK to forget.  I don’t really want to be reminded that I’m one day closer to death anyway.

Over time one gets a new appreciation for bodily functions functioning as they should.

Admittedly not everyone forgot my birthday. The BMV doesn’t forget.  I renewed my vehicle registration last week.  No way do I want to drive around in the Central Ohio suburb with the largest number of cops per capita with an expired tag.  I don’t even remotely want to give law enforcement any reason to approach me for anything.  Cops make me nervous.  My Facebook friends remembered, because your friends get reminders automatically.  I appreciate everyone who wrote on my wall today.  My friends from my church group remembered for the same reason- all of our birthdays are on the contact sheet.  But my family all forgot, which is funny as hell.  Steve-o remembered to call- to remind me he needs money.   Jerry acknowledged me coming back after I’d gone in to work this morning with a rousing, “Where’s my breakfast, woman?”  So the world remains the same.