Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Bunch Of Words About Aging

A Bunch Of Words About Aging

I am 35 years old.

Oh, shut up! I know I’m not 35 – let me explain!!

I seem to have frozen in time at that age. I have not advanced one second past that age. I would say I will die at the age of 35 even though most people will argue that I will be more like 95 (and a HUGE pain in everyone’s ass).

I felt my best at that age and decided I’d hang out there indefinitely. At 35, I was in good physical shape, blazing trails in a successful career, had disposable income and was under the misguided impression that I was in control of my destiny.

I was not too young, nor was I considered old. I was in my sweet spot.

But, my body clearly did not get that memo.

So, this being the case, I feel I’ve become somewhat bi-polar with my insides and my outsides not matching up. I have a good angel/bad angel on each shoulder giving me opposing views.

Sitting on one shoulder sits the woman who will stop at nothing to remain young and beautiful. Let’s call her Carrot Top.

I know!!! I totally look like a woman!!

I know!!! I totally look like a woman!!

On my other sloping  shoulder sits the gnarled and bent figure of the aged and self-possessed woman. We will call her Kathy Bates.

Yep, I’m naked and I’m OK with that, goddamnit.

Yep, I’m naked and I’m OK with that, goddamnit! Get over it!

It doesn’t help that I live in the land of happy, shiny, perky breasts. The buying public, and no matter what my Visa statement says, it does NOT include me, has set the standard for what beauty is all about. The buying public is named Stassi, Shauna, Brandeeeee or some other made-up name.

Do I, like, have something in my teeth?

Do I, like, have something in my teeth?

So, back to Carrot Top and Kathy. Let’s start with Carrot. He sits there with his plump lips, surprising eyebrows and permanent eyeliner. He is telling me that all I need to do is a lift here (to help those falling butt cheeks),  a tuck there (to shore up the jowls that make me look a little more like Nixon every year), a tweeze (because what is it that makes you turn into the Fly after 35?), and a few good shots of some unnatural material to plump you up in just the right spots.

All this for the special package cost of your soul.

But there is Kathy sitting there, a little stooped and a bit androgynous in her look. She wears no makeup or adornments because, well, what the hell’s the point?

She whispers into my ear in a raspy voice “We’ve worked at this beauty thing for decades. We’ve bought every lip plumper, push up bra, gut-sucking underwear, and spent the national debt on anti-aging everything like good little soldier.

Aren’t you just weary of all that work and wasted energy? You could have written several novels, found a cure for the common cold AND found Bin Laden way earlier with the time and brainpower put toward “beauty”….which is a subjective word, by the way.”

(We will pause here while Shauna looks up the word “subjective.”)

So I ask, is there a happy middle ground? Aren’t we supposed to learn moderation as we get older (along with where interest rates are and how our 401K is performing)? Can we learn to love ourselves enough to allow our bodies to age gracefully, as intended?

I see you getting all indignant, shaking your fist at the sky and bellowing “But it’s not us, its MEN who make us this way! It’s MEN who expect perfection!” This may well be at least part of the problem. I don’t know of any men who hang posters of Madeleine Albright in their rooms because she has a really big brain.

And, yes, most men would take a killer rack over a sagging one any day of the week. Who wouldn’t?

I know we’d like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures, but the bottom line is, we’ve been doing this little dance since we crawled out of the primordial slime. The vision of a healthy, big-breasted cave woman with childbearing hips sent all the knuckle draggers into a frenzy…just like today.

Oh, our foreheads have come in a bit (except for James VanDerBeek), we’ve discovered bathing (except for Joaquin Phoenix), and now we can talk (often, this is NOT a good thing), but those pesky little DNA strands are still calling the shots.

Don’t you give me the stink-eye young man, you get in that shower NOW!

Don’t you give me the stink-eye young man, you get in that shower NOW!

Women still want to look attractive to men and men still want them to look attractive.

So, do we go against our very nature? Do we thumb out nose at our chemical make up? Why are you asking me? I have no freakin’ idea!

But, it would be nice to think that our intellect would have exceeded this need by now. It does seem like we should know better and would be able to hold other deeper traits in higher regard.

So, it may seem obvious that the Kathy Bates has won the fight. She has triumphed over shallowness and has driven her point down our turkey-like throats. We will be happy with who we are. We will find healthy, graceful, and proud examples to follow. We will love ourselves, cellulite and all.

And, only the evolved, forward-thinking men will be allowed in our sacred presence.

Only the men who, themselves have reached that inner peace. You know, the ones with the “love handles” because somehow that makes fat cute. The ones with arms that jiggle like your grandmother’s…

Gotta go now, Carrot Top is driving me to my Liposuction appointment.

Ode To A Naked Gold Man

Ode To A Naked Gold Man

 

The big event arrives on Sunday

our hearts are all aflame

Daniel, Sally, Helen, Ben

MacFarlane, don’t be lame

 

The glitz and glamour of red carpet style

The men all handsome and lean

With yards and yards of wardrobe tape

Nary a nip will be seen

 

Who will be the big winner this night?

Could it be Zero Dark Thirty?

Or maybe Silver Linings will win

Bradley Cooper makes me feel dirty

 

Lincoln, Django, Life of Pi

All wonderful movies, surely

But with runtimes over 2 hours long

Our bladders were starting to get surly

 

Bradley, Daniel and Joaquin

Denzel and Jackman, Hugh

Thespians every one of them

But which one would you screw? (you know you’ve thought about it….)

 

Who will be the lucky presenter

For Beasts of the Southern Wild

To say the name Quvenzhane Wallis

Big name for such a small child

 

Chastain, Lawrence, Riva, Watts

Each one is the one to beat

Their acting chops are unsurpassed

Honey, please get something to eat

 

Adele will sweep the Best Song prize

And I for one could hug her

I only hope she drinks lot’s o’ plonk

So I can ‘ear ‘er say bollocks and bugger

 

So prepare your snarky comments, all

Let’s judge and rip and tear

Which awkward speech will get played off

Who will trip on a stair

 

You may all wonder why it is

Oscar makes me weak in the knees

The simple, honest, truth is this

I  f**king love movies!

Valentine’s Day – SPOILER ALERT From A Grumpy Non-Romantic

Valentine’s Day – SPOILER ALERT From A Grumpy Non-Romantic

I am not a Valentine’s Day type of gal. It’s never mattered what my relationship status has been. I just have never gotten into it.

I see it like I see New Year’s Eve – it’s amateur night.

But, in honor of St. Valentine (who most people think was made up by Geoffrey Chaucer who I love so maybe it all makes sense after all) I will throw a giant bucket of cold water on the event everyone is hoping will happen tonight.

Yep, I’m all sour grapes. Turn back now.

With the constant deluge of “leaked” celebrity sex tapes, I think we may all be under the misguided idea that we are looking pretty hot and sexy ourselves during “the sex.”

I hate to burst any bubbles, but most of the time these celebrities are fully aware they are being taped so they are adjusting their responses accordingly, able to look seductive and well-coiffed even at the peak of the experience.

They are THESPIANS after all, with many having completed the all-important Porn Method Acting 101 class.

The rest of us, however, look like we either stubbed our toe or ate a lemon when we reach the top of the mountain. But we don’t know it and we don’t particularly care because NO ONE IS LOOKING.

It’s in our DNA to close our eyes because otherwise the human race would cease to exist. It’s hard to get that picture out of one’s head once it’s there.

Let’s face it, real people sex, while lot’s of fun, can be kind of ugly to look at since, despite what may be happening in your head at the time, we are not professionals.

Exhibit A:

What we think we look like.

What we think we look like.

 

The terrible reality.

The terrible reality.

So, Godspeed, my romantic darlings. Buy those giant hearts full of chocolate and the red roses, wear that super tight dress to dinner and, for the sake of humankind, keep those eyes closed!

[Creative disclaimer: In reality, I am a hopeless romantic. Hell, Love Actually is my favorite movie! But hopeful and happy is just not as funny as bitter and grumpy.] 

My Hit Man

My Hit Man

And now for something completely different….

My Hit Man

I threw it on the ground and burst into tears as I watched the light bounce off the gold ring that had, at one time, held so much promise. It rolled on the pavement and stopped dead when it hit the curb.

Jumping into my car, I drove recklessly, saturated with anger and hurt. I needed to drown myself in a strong drink. I’ve often wondered what possessed me to choose that particular bar. Fate? I don’t believe in fate. Bad luck? Good luck? I’ll probably never know.

You see, I had just received the fatal blow in my crumbling marriage. All the money was gone. He had said it like it had grown legs and walked away. The affairs? So stereotypical and pathetic. But leaving me broke to start over alone, well, it caught me by surprise.

Tear-stained and disheveled, I was relieved I’d chosen a dark little place where I could drown in self-pity undisturbed. As I climbed up on a bar stool, a bartender materialized and asked me what I’d like. I caught myself as I started to order my usual glass of wine. This was a big girl night.

“Tequila” I said.

As my eyes slowly adjusted to the dim lighting, I scanned the room and took in my surroundings. Dingy wallpaper with a sad pattern of stars and hearts. The faint smell of ammonia.

There was one other person in the bar, sitting a couple of seats away from me. His back was to me but I could see a helmet of unnaturally black hair that Hurricane Katrina couldn’t budge. He was wearing a shiny silk shirt and popping peanuts into his mouth nonchalantly. He gave me a glance, nodded and went back to his original position, leaning on the bar, popping those nuts.

The bartender placed my poison in front of me. I knocked it back in one shot and felt the familiar fire. However, this wasn’t college anymore so I proceeded to choke. Loud and hard. I was starting to wonder if I’d pass out when I felt a meaty hand slap my back. I turned to see who was beating me and saw it was my peanut-popping friend.

“You OK?” The accent was East coast, out of place.

“Yes.” I croaked.

I gratefully took the glass of water the bartender put in front of me, sipped it, and asked for that wine.

“You don’t look too good.” Who was this guy, Joe Pesci?

“I’m well aware of that.” I snapped.

He shrugged and took a long pull off his beer.

Now I felt bad. “I’ve had a very rough day.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

And here’s the really weird thing. Before I knew it, I poured the whole, ugly story out to this stranger. It was like a projectile confession.

“Now I see how manipulative he was. How he controlled everything, especially the money.” I was slurring. “And, as I grew older, he started to look younger. He dyed his hair. He looks like a geriatric Backstreet Boy.”

He laughed at this and shook his head.

“So pathetic.” I said, smiling.

There were now several empty glasses lined up in front of me and I was leaning heavily on the bar. This wiseguy was a surprisingly good listener.

“You must think I’m pretty stupid,” I said. And, oddly, I cared about what he thought of me.

“I think you’re a nice woman who got stuck with an a-hole.”

That was sweet.

“What is your name?” I asked, suddenly realizing I never asked.

“Vitorio, but most people call me Vito.”

“Like Vito Corleone?” I asked, facetiously.

He drained the last of his drink. “Somethin’ like that.”

“Wanna whack him? Give him cement wingtips?” I thought I was hilarious.

He smiled, paused for a moment, then leaned in to me.

“I could take care of the a-hole for you,” he whispered to me.

“What?”

“I make a call. Problem solved.”

I looked at him for a moment then burst into laughter. “You are good. You sound just like one of those guys.”

“Listen, this guy is nothing but pollution. I’m very into cleaning up.”

This was getting weird. Well, weirder. But there was something about it that sent a shiver up my back.

“So, are you saying you’d kill him?” I asked, incredulous.

“No, I wouldn’t do it.”

I felt instantly sober.

“Excuse me. I need to go to the ladies room.”

I staggered to the bathroom and looked at the haggard, messed up face in the mirror. Don’t be ridiculous, I said to myself. But, that shiver up my back persisted.

Once I felt a little more in control, I walked back to the bar. My hit man was nowhere to be found.

“The gentleman paid your tab and I’ve called for a taxi to come pick you up.”

“Oh…thanks.” I said weakly. Relieved, I gathered my things and started toward the door.

“Oh, miss,” the bartender stopped me, “Your friend asked me to tell you to consider your problem solved.”

I ran out the front door but the street was deserted.

Sitting in the cab, my mind raced. What do I do? I grabbed my cell phone. No signal! The ride back to my house took an eternity. Once I got home and finally had service, I dialed. Voicemail, damn it! I hung up. What was I supposed to say anyway? I’d sound like a lunatic.

I woke late the next morning with a well-deserved hangover. It was while I was in the shower that all of the events of the night before came rushing back to me. In the light of day I felt pretty stupid. He was probably an actor working on a part. And Vito? Please!

So, that’s what I chose to believe.

And now, as I stand here, throwing a handful of dirt on my husband’s coffin, I wonder again; was it fate? I don’t believe in fate. Bad luck? Good luck? I’ll probably never know.

 

Fact: Zombies Don’t Floss

Fact: Zombies Don’t Floss

Some of you may have gathered by now that I have a tendency to get a little obsessive about some odd little thing. Ya think?

So, in keeping with that, I’d like to take just a moment to discuss our nations disturbing tolerance, nay acceptance, of bad oral hygiene.

Let’s start with two of my favorite movies this year – Django Unchained  and Les Miserables. Is there an award for best dental makeup? If so, it would be a dead heat.

I think the attention to detail is fantastic but the quantity of sheer gore in Django did nothing to turn my stomach like Leonardo Dicaprio’s mouth.

Though, I do posit this question: How could his teeth be so nasty while his skin is still so….luminous?

Why did I still find him repugnantly attractive?

Why did I still find him repugnantly attractive?

It was a similar experience with visiting early 1800’s France. There wasn’t a pearly white in that country, evidently.

Not only could I feel the winds of revolutionary change, I could smell the thick fog of halitosis wash over me along with the national pride.

Thank God John Waters didn’t take this one on and add Smell-O-Rama to the experience.

I think tooth decay is the new terminal disease with actors and a sure-fire road to an Oscar nod.

You have Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome? You acting hack! Smear some green gunk on your teeth and look odiferous and you are a THESPIAN!

So, now on to the smaller screen and some actual, real people who clearly do not have a dental staff.

**Disclaimer: I have seen a combined 90 seconds of all the hillbilly TV shows that are on right now. So, yes, I am making a leap of judgment. But, I feel OK with that. I can be judgey, don’t judge me for that.

Not sure there is much to say, really, with titles like Hillbilly Handfishin’ (one must always remember to drop the “g” to be authentic), Duck Dynasty (I actually thought this was some sort of homage to Daffy Duck but I was very wrong), and Swamp People (obvious),  I think we can safely surmise that Hillbilly Dentist is not doing a gangbuster business.

Which brings me to my idea for an awesome new show called….you guessed it….Hillbilly Dentist, where a Doctor’s Without Borders type group of dentists travel the Bayou in search of the most disgusting maw.

Look Mama, I’m on the television box!

Look Mama, I’m on the television box!

I think our tolerance for watching icky things has run amuck. I can watch people do unspeakable things that are usually reserved for the privacy of ones home (or are deemed illegal by the health department in many states) and not blink an eye.

I make one exception for Zombies. It is a fact that they do not floss so I give them a pass on the whole dental thing.

Brains! Sonicare! Brains! This is so hard!!

Brains! Sonicare! Brains! This is so hard!!

None the less, I sit squarely in the shallowness of simply not liking to look at non-Zombie rotting bridgework.

And, remember kids, in the words of the prophet, Dr. Seuss:

“Don’t gobble junk like Billy Billings, they say his teeth have fifty fillings.”