Category Archives: Aging

Letter To My Pre-kid Self

Letter To My Pre-kid Self

Dear Pre-kid Irene,

Hello sweetie! How are you doing? Right about now you’ve just gotten back from a month travelling around Thailand. And it was an awesome trip, right? But, for some reason, with all the travel you’ve gotten to do, this time you came home feeling a little less fulfilled than you usually do.

Now, I’m not going to tell you exactly what happens next because that would just be shitty. It would be like telling you the end of a movie, reading the last page of a book or letting you know that, as awesome as it looks in the trailer, the 2014 version of Godzilla is actually a little disappointing.

What I will tell you, is that you will be a mother one day. And, believe me on this, you are not in the least bit prepared. But, have faith, because no one is so at least you are not in the remedial class alone.

So, my independent girl who is swathed in a light of freedom that you are not taking nearly enough advantage of, let me tell you just a couple of things.

  1. Being pregnant is the scariest thing on the planet. It’s also pretty cool. But mostly it’s just scary because the bigger you get the more impossible it seems to get that thing out of you without dying.
  2. Don’t listen to your husband when he tells you shit about delivery he has absolutely no clue about. “Oh, the human body shuts all other functions down when it gives birth.” Really Mr. Science? Needless to say that is utter crap and you need to know that terrible stuff will happen in front of complete strangers. You do not have to apologize as much as you do when that time comes
  3. When you do have to get the giant bulge out, you do not actually die. There are moments when you wish you could, but you don’t.
  4. You will hallucinate due to lack of sleep. Just enjoy the ride and pretend you just took mushrooms like that time when you were camping and you saw Nixon’s face in that leaf. Don’t question, just go with it.
  5. Parenting is like getting a bikini wax. It’s excruciating when it happens, sending you into a sweaty fight or flight reaction that can, in some instances, result in the punching of a Russian esthetician (sorry Svetlana). But, after it’s over and all the irritation subsides, it’s pretty awesome.
  6. You will feel like a giant fish-out-of-water when you are around other parents and be under the mistaken impression that everyone has this parenting thing down except for you. Listen to this absolute truth: 99% of the other mothers are either on Prozac, drunk, or looking to get their hands on any mood-altering substance to survive this. The 1% who make the rest of us feel like shit are all assholes and you don’t want to party with them. You will be buying drugs from their kids one day.
  7. Speaking of partying….all that blow you did in the 80’s will actually serve you well once they hit puberty. I suspect our sense of smell is not as keen as it was before those years in San Francisco and that will literally save your life as it should dull the assault on that sense.
  8. Everything will go excruciatingly slow and way too fast at the same time. It must be some weird parental worm hole or a tear in the space/time continuum because it makes no sense, I know. But you’ll feel like you are swimming in Jello during the tougher times and then the nuggets of amazing times will fly by in a blur. I have no idea how to fix this. Just thought I’d let you know.
  9. Believe it or not, you actually end up not sucking as a mom. And, not sucking is pretty high praise when dealing with such an impossible task so take the not sucking and wear it like a badge of honor.
  10. Don’t let your responsibilities define you. You are more than your kids. You are more than your aging parents. You are more than your financial limitations. Do not lose yourself in the often overwhelming weight of what you are on the hook for. If you ignore all of the above, please remember this.

And with that, I send you on your merry, innocent way.

Oh, one last thing. A little later in the year, on September 11th, some terrible things are going to happen. The world survives and so do you.

Much love,

Irene the Elder

Mosh Pits And Incontinence – Recapturing Youth

Mosh Pits And Incontinence – Recapturing Youth
Step off, bitches!

Step off, bitches!

I’ve been fortunate to have accidentally lived in certain cities during their heydays. In the 1980’s I was in Silicon Valley and San Francisco for the high tech and new wave music boom. 1990’s it was Seattle for Microsoft and the grunge movement.

I’m not sure exactly which city best represents the 2000’s but for me it was split between Portland (before Portlandia existed) and Santa Barbara.

Not sure there is much to say about Santa Barbara…..Michael Jackson’s pedophile case was tried here. Does that count for anything?

As I’ve gotten older and my kids are no longer the parasites they once were, I’ve been trying to recapture a little of the person I was before I turned into the life-giving drone I became.

So, when one of my dearest and oldest friends mentioned that The Specials were on their reunion tour and playing in San Francisco, I immediately committed to getting my saggy ass back up to The City by The Bay to do some serious recapturing.

Let me start by telling you that I have always FREAKING LOVED THE SPECIALS! I believe they are one of the best but shortest-lived bands ever. I am a closet ska girl. I made the DJ at my wedding reception play all their songs, even though there were only a few of us who would get out there and skank (ska dancing for the unenlightened).

One of the steps in recapturing my inner rude girl is going to a concert that is general admittance where one must stand pressed inappropriately against strangers.  In recent years I’ve gone more the barc-o-lounger route, because I say shit like “Oy, my aching back!” or “Is it loud or is it me?” and “What the hell is that smell?”

But see, with a Ska band, you CAN NOT sit down. It is physically impossible not to dance.

This is a scientific fact. Go look it up.

The next step is remembering all the important concert rules. First and foremost of said rules is that one must never “break the seal.” Meaning, hold your pee because once you go the first time, you will have to go constantly through the concert and no one wants to have to go to a bathroom in a venue that would have any band you’d want to see. So, if you hold it until that initial need passes, you can hold it for the duration.

This is yet another scientific fact. See, I entertain AND educate.

Or, at least that’s what used to work when I was in my 20’s and had not yet had children. Suffice it to say that there is really no “seal” to speak of after that.

But, pissing oneself aside, this was one of the most fun nights I’d had in years. It was easy to get right back to that place of feeling so much joy in music that you love while being surrounded by friends that you love.

Plus, I have come up with a new product idea. Concert diapers for the post-30’s crowd. You can buy them next to the t-shirts in the lobby with the band logo on them. Let’s face it, most of the bands could use these too.

Introducing
Piss Off! Concert Nappies ™

 “Not Your Grandma’s Diapers.” ™

Rude Girl is back.

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.

50 Shades of WTF (or, The Use of a Thesaurus While Masturbating in Public)

50 Shades of WTF (or, The Use of a Thesaurus While Masturbating in Public)

(I was told that the use of sexy words in a title would get more hits. Evidently, lots of people search on the word “thesaurus.” Who knew?)

Listen, I get it. No one is having enough sex. Especially no one I know. I’m sure George Clooney gets laid constantly. It must get boring for him. But I’m no George Clooney.  I suspect Betty White gets more action than I do. I suspect Betty White gets more tail than George Clooney does.

So, given the state of our sexless existence, I felt compelled to dip my toe into the mommy porn cesspit and read 50 Shades of Grey. What a fucking weird book this is. Oh, you could say it’s weird because of the numerous references to anal plugs and spanking. But I mean weird because its level of suckiness can’t possibly match up to its popularity….or the obscene amount of coin the author is raking in.

I have a laundry list of rants to go with this book that could fill dozens of blogs, so I will focus on my top two issues today.

Issue Number 1: The enervating, encumbered, oppressive and exaggerated used of the thesaurus by the writer.

Who the hell talks like this? Especially whilst having a butt plug thrust into a poop hole? “Why, Mr. Grey, what a hedonistic endeavor you are embarking on.”  SHUT UP!

The use of inappropriate SAT-level vocabulary is more disturbing than the handcuffs and nipple clamps in this piece of shit.

I dare you to use “thesaurus” words in a normal sentence in daily life without looking like a complete asshole.

For your consideration:

“Dude, that wave was epic. I will never expunge it from my memory!” See, total asshole.  He will not be invited to the clambake later.

“I can’t wait to dig into this steak with my cutlery.” It’s a knife, douchebag!

“I smoked so much weed this weekend, I was afraid I would somnambulate.” Shut up or I will stab you in the head.

“That inconsiderate misanthrope absconded with my parking space.”  I hate you and I don’t know what you just said, you fucking tool.

I think “Thesaurus” is now my safe word.

Issue Number 2: Don’t read this book in front of people!! You are freaking them out.

For the love of God, if you have the physical book, stick a brown paper bag around it or something. We all think you are either a horny old lady or have terrible sense in your choice of reading material. Both can’t be good for you. Please, you live in a shame-based society. Act accordingly.

And this rule doesn’t only apply to public places like buses and park benches. Do you think your 20-year-old son wants to know his mother (or aunt or gay uncle) is a horny freak show? That could do some serious damage and take years for the visuals to be “expunged” from his memory.

I believe we only fly our freak flag at full mast within the confines of our S&M rooms…or in blogs where consenting adults gather willingly.

What I’m most intrigued about is the writer. Who the hell is this woman and what kind of private life does she have? No offense, E.L. James (not her real name….I wouldn’t use my real name either) but you just don’t look the type. You look like every woman in sweats in line at Trader Joe’s or picking their kindergartener up.

So, you have now made me look twice at everyone I know and have compromised my ability to compartmentalize them into tidy boxes. For all I know, that woman in front of me at the coffee shop who looks like she has not showered in days and has stains on her shirt has a vibrator up her lady garden RIGHT NOW!

She does seem suspiciously chipper about her venti frappuccino….