Masks of the Heart, Real Life, and Breakfast in Bed

I can’t say that any of my facades are this lovely, but I do appreciate a good Venetian mask.  I can put up a heavy front when I feel it is required, which is most of the time, but there’s not much I can do to mask my poor coordination and bad proportions or exceptionally plain face.  It’s just not possible to polish a turd, unless of course you have watched the episode of Mythbusters where Adam and Jamie do exactly that to make a point.  It can technically be done, but why?

I hide behind a lot of masks.  Sarcasm is one of my favorites.  So is assuming intellectual superiority where possible, which is more often than it probably should be.  I’ve never claimed to be some sort of great mind- the more I learn the more I discover I don’t know- but the ignorance and/or stupidity of the populace at large is frightening.  Just because stupidity is rampant doesn’t make me any smarter than I was before.  Rampant stupidity only means that most other people are more stupid than I am, which is scary on a number of levels.   Here’s how I see it.  I am no great intellect, but in comparison to the average Joe or Jane Blow on the street, I’m a flipping rocket scientist.  That should be frightening to anyone who has ever witnessed me in one of my absent-minded fits where I’ve misplaced and then had to try to find things like my car keys, my phone, my Bluetooth headset, or my MP3 player.  I should have Velcro embedded into my skin and likewise a patch of Velcro stuck to these essential objects so I can just stick those objects to my body.  That way, maybe, I can remember where they are.  It could make showering a challenge though.

In reality, I’m certainly not a rocket scientist.  I played hell getting through high school algebra.  I wonder to this day how I not only made it through three quarters of accounting in college, but managed to do it with high “B”s.  I may be one of those geeky analytical types, but for some reason higher math never clicked with me.  I’m doing good to balance my checkbook so I can freak out over all the money I don’t have.

Money and intelligence don’t always go together either.  Especially inherited or married-into money.  I never had any kind of advantage in that department- having been born not only with a plastic spoon in my mouth AND looks that could stop a thousand trucks.  So I never got any scratch from relatives, and I certainly didn’t have the bait to attract a rich sugar daddy.  I’m fortunate to have landed a man with Dad’s minimum criteria.  Dad would always ask three questions when my sisters would talk about getting serious with a guy:

1. Is it white? (Racist?  Probably, but Dad is not at all PC, and in his mind marrying a Catholic was as close to “mixed marriage” and moving past the traditional WASP couple paradigm as he ever chose to contemplate.  He just about lost it when one of my sisters went out on a date with a guy who was half Mexican.  For some reason, though, he didn’t object to Jerry, who is probably 9/10ths or more Cherokee.)

2. Is it male? (Homophobic?  Definitely- but Dad does come from a backwater town- and a very conservative, old school, Regular Baptist upbringing. I am most certainly a straight woman anyway, so I can forgive him that. I may have brought home some dismal trollings in my time, but they were always male.)

3. Is it employed? (Dad has no use for deadbeats, and I really don’t blame him for that either.)

To his three minimum qualifications (though #1 is a grey area as far as I’m concerned- I really don’t get hung up on race or ethnicity) I would add “hair” and “teeth.”  Jerry does have hair and teeth (the teeth are mostly implants, but not dentures at least) which at almost 54 is rather amazing.  I am a bit curious, though I hesitate to investigate the statistics.  I wonder how many men over the age of 50 are afflicted with ED?  I bet it’s more than half, and I bet very few of them either admit it or do anything about it, regardless of the popularity of  the Viagra and Cialis commercials.  Guys just don’t like to face it.  I can add an FYI: neither do women.  We just suffer in involuntarily celibate silence- unless we have the money (and the lack of scruples and absence of shame) to hire a boytoy.  I have neither the money nor the lack of conscience to find myself a boytoy, cougar jokes with Steve-o’s friends aside, so it is what it is.  Thankfully, I have hobbies, and early menopause has pretty much done away with any desire I had anyway.   My idea of a romantic evening is TruTV and an early bedtime.  It’s easier that way anyway.

Dad never said anything about ED.  He should have warned me, but I can’t imagine someone as modest and straight laced as Dad about such things making a statement like this:

“Just so you know, when your old man gets to be about 45 or so, his Johnson won’t work any more.  Sorry.”

There’s just some things you have to learn as you go, apparently.

I’ve got to stop putting myself through that kind of noise.  The whole weekend breakfast routine.  I don’t even like breakfast, and I usually only gag down some yogurt and oatmeal to keep my sugar in line in the mornings.  (Diabetes sucks, but it does make you pay attention to nutrition and exercise and all that health nut stuff.) Jerry enjoys the Behemoth Breakfast which means I have to get up early on a weekend morning to fix it for him, and serve it to his happy ass- in bed.  I don’t know how someone can drink that much alcohol and eat that much grease and still be above ground.  Maybe I’m the one who has it backwards.  Jerry might be like those Russian dudes who drink vodka all day and smoke cigars one right after the other and live to be 115.  That wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

All That Really Matters, a Crack in the Armor, and Leash Training

Sheena is a beautiful dog, but she is as stubborn and willful as she is beautiful.  We decided (or should I say Jerry decided, because I am not at all hyper like he is in the evenings) to take the dogs out on leashes, which we haven’t done for some time.  Clara and Lilo were not too bad, although Clara always does better on a leash with her harness.  I should have taken the extra minute or two to put Clara in her harness.  I refuse to use choke chains or pinch collars on my dogs, although I’ve seen a lot of people who handle Malinois use choke chains or pinch collars to keep the dogs under better control.   Clara simply wants to run.  The aim is to get her to stay back and walk politely which she does when she knows she has the harness on and I can pull her back if I need to.  Lilo was her usual self, laid back and trotting along with her peculiar little bow-legged, sideways gait.  I wonder sometimes if she tracks sideways because she’s cross-eyed or because she’s bow-legged, or maybe a combination of both.

The few times I’ve had Sheena on her leash she has been relatively obedient for me.  She does surprisingly well in spite of her lack of socialization and formal training.  Then again, Sheena is a bit of a cling-on with me anyway, so that makes leash training, even with a conventional collar, a breeze.  Until Jerry takes her leash.

Sheena did not want to be on the leash with Jerry.  I can’t blame her.  I don’t like it either, and he only has me leashed in a figurative way.  I had Clara, and without her harness she was enough of a handful.  So Sheena decided that if she had to be with Jerry, she was simply going to sit and dig her big, splayed feet into the ground.  I never knew this about Huskies until we got Sheena.  They have huge, insulated, clompy paws that are reminiscent of polar bears’.  Sheena is a huge klutz on dry land, but surprisingly graceful on snow and ice.  Sheena, however, does not do anything Sheena does not want to do. It’s funny.  She’s just as stubborn as Jerry is.

Yesterday was a very pleasant day.  Steve-o got rid of that monstrosity of a hoopty Mitsubishi that I had been hoping he would do ever since he ended up with that piece of mess.  Somebody was even dumb enough to give him money for that POS, which I welcome, but fail to understand.   Now all I need to hear from him is that he’s spending his weeks keeping up his GPA, and his weekends cooking up that taco meat and shoveling it into those tacos and burritos.  I don’t want him to work at Taco Bell forever, but a few hours or so on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays- until  he finishes school- is not too much to ask.   If he could do 20 or 30 hours a week at $9 an hour, that would certainly help, and they don’t even have to train him because he’s worked there before.  Then he can worry about buying his own food and gasoline and cigarettes for a change.

Adding to yesterday’s pleasantness, I had an unexpected, but welcome, conversation with an old friend.  I still have a heart in there somewhere after all.  I know, I know, how things could have, should have been. Wish in one hand and crap in the other, which one fills up first- but it’s nice to know that old connection is still there, and that I do have at least one friend that is thicker than water.   Since my true friends are few and far between and delightfully rare, as I have said before, I should take care not to neglect them.

Memory and imagination both serve me well- probably too much so- but hearing a voice from the past and even engaging in surface-level pleasantries was a rare delight.  There are a lot of people I have to talk to and with out of necessity, but very few I enjoy talking with.  I hope sometime in the near future that we can talk in private over dinner and a drink rather than a little too publicly over the phone, but that might be a bit hard for me to take.  I would be the one in need of the leash instead of the dogs, and that’s not a place where I need to go.

Balance is the key word.  Usually I am quite the example of reserve and restraint, but it’s been a long time since- well, a lot of things- but I miss intelligent conversation the most.  I also miss being treated like a lady and not just someone’s housekeeper/babysitter/gofer/indentured servant.   There is something to be said for spending an evening in civilized conversation with a friend versus spending an evening effectively alone cranking up the MP3 player with the noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the lovely infernal racket of Drunk and Stupid meets Boxcar Willie. 

I have to be careful how far I let my mind wander, and I need to set some boundaries on just how much lingering in the garden of memory I’m allowed.  Still, there’s nothing like a bit of an oasis in a very hot, vast desert.

I have to find a balance between maintaining those relationships that challenge me and energize me (very few and far between) and tossing the albatrosses around my neck overboard.  I tend to forget when to toss the albatross.

I’m too old to start over even if I could, and whatever fiery passions of youth I once had are pretty well extinguished.  As the old joke says, “In my youth I wanted a nice BMW.” -” Today I’ll settle for it without the W. ” 

Besides, anyone interested in dinner and conversation with a crusty old cougar like me has likely long-since been relegated to the “coyote-style” crowd, so crossing the line in a carnal fashion is highly unlikely to occur.  It’s not as if I am still some horny teenager or twenty-something, and all of my friends are significantly older than me.   Hopefully the POMC is enjoying “Willie on Demand” while he can (even though in conscience I can’t approve of him fornicating) because there will come a day when Johnson won’t stand at attention any more. 

Unless of course, by the time Steve-o gets old, Medicare is still paying for geezers’ pecker pumps.  That would be his luck.