Category Archives: politeness

The Girl With The Cat-In-The-Hat Tights

You know the ditty about wearing purple when you’re an old woman?  I don’t think we should wait.  I think we should chop up our Nordstrom’s cards (all right, full disclosure: My “Nordstrom’s” card says, “Marshall’s,” but you get my drift) and start shopping anyplace that sells white tights with bold red stripes in Queen Size.

I don’t know about you, but I have spent an inordinate amount of time in my life attempting to be appropriate.  If you are a parent, you surely recognize that word.

“Sweetie, it’s not appropriate to cartwheel during communion.”    (Or maybe it is?)

“Darling, it is not appropriate to see if a person can drink orange juice through a straw stuck up her nose….   I don’t care if your if your father is doing it, it’s not appropriate in a restaurant.   Tim, stop encouraging her.”

Of course I think it’s important for parents to provide a bumper, of sorts, along the road to their kid’s maturity, bouncing them back onto the path when they stray too far, but now that my daughter is growing up, I’m already missing her little girl ways.  A recent example:

She grew a few inches this summer, so I asked her to sort through her clothes and set aside the items she could no longer wear.  She came out of her room dressed in white tights with fat red stripes.  I hadn’t seen those in a couple of years.

“From now on, Mom, I want solid colors, not stripes or flowers.  It’s more grown up.”

“Okay.”  I sighed, thinking she looked so dang cute in her Cat-In-The-Hat tights.  “We’ll get solid colors.”

“Hose, not tights.”

“Ah.  Hose.”  I nodded, the sadness undeniable.

“Yeah.”  She looked down.  Gave her striped legs an affectionate stroke.   “I could still wear these sometimes, though,” she ventured.  “But just to special occasions.  Like weddings.”

“Yes, that would be awesome.”

Do you know of any weddings we could crash?  ‘Cause I really want her to wear those tights again before it’s too late.  I’ll be wearing a pair, too, beneath my uber-appropriate wedding attire.  I may have to paint the stripes on a pair of opaque white pantyhose, but I am determined to have Cat-In-The-Hat shins.  Now that I’m forty-nine with a bullet, maybe I can let go of the correctness of my youth.  Express myself more.  Fit in less.

Sign me,

The Broad With The Cat In The Hat Tights

Wendy

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, aging, Humor, manners, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, politeness, Writing

Middle-aged Foreplay…Sweet Nuthin’

Maybe this should be menopause symptom number 40 or something: The end of foreplay as we once knew it.

A couple of days ago, Carolyn wrote a tad (forgive me, dear friend), but she wrote a tad too realistically about romance for my taste.  And that’s fine.  She doesn’t pen romance novels for a living anymore.  I do.  So I still BELIEVE, Carolyn (and George Clooney, if you’re listening). I believe in Romance.  Please do not louse it up for me.  If Carolyn is correct, and my husband picks his nose in his truck, I do not want to know it, and I do not want to see it.  I don’t care how long two people have been married; there are things that should be picked only in private.  (The same goes for you in your Beamer, George.  Both hands on the wheel.)

And yet, Carolyn’s blog did get me thinking.  Things have changed around here; I have noticed it.  An example:

When I was forty-one, I was chatting with a group of women who mentioned—several times—how old we were all getting.  I went home and told my husband, who placed his hands, those strong and tender, big latte-toned hands with the sprinkle of caramel hair on his manly-man knuckles, on either side of my face.  He gave me the soul-mate gaze, and he said:

“Just tell them you’re my wine.”

Did he get lucky that night?  Oh my, reader, yes he did.

But that was almost nine years ago.  For eight of those years, I have been a mother and for five I have been in menopause.  Probably so has he.

Skip ahead to last week when I donned a hot pink sleeveless tee shirt to show off the upper arms I have been diligently sculpting all summer.  (It’s hard to sculpt mashed potato, but I’ve made some serious headway.)

“Hi, sweetie,” I said to my beloved, flexing and giving him a seductive wink as I pretended to reach for something on a high shelf (still the only way I can get my delts to pop, and, okay, we weren’t near a shelf, but I think I pulled it off).

He gave me a long, considering look.

Grrrrr. I love that look.  You, sir, are about to get lucky for the second time in nine years.

 “Honey,” he said in his velvet, Elvis baritone, the voice that still makes me shiver, “you could use a new bra.   I don’t think that one is doing what it’s supposed to.”

That is NOT foreplay!

Now he’s going to have to wait another nine years.

And I may need a new career.

Carolyn, you up for a trip to Victoria’s Secret?

Sign me,

Wendy– sadder and, uh, apparently lower than I used to be.

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Exercise, Geroge Clooney, Humor, manners, Marriage, Menopause, politeness, Writing

Kids Say The Darnedest Things

I’m currently in sunny (scorching) Southern California, visiting my in-laws.  I always love this trip as my in-laws are fantastic people and they all live in one ginormous, bee-autiful home.  I don’t have to travel anywhere in order to see them all, a plus as I was never a California summer-lovin’ girl, even when I grew up here.  The other reason I love this trip:  I have adorable nieces.  This morning, the seven-year-old awoke early to hang out with me and we chatted about vacations.

Niece:  It’s hard to sleep on a plane.

Me:  Not enough leg room?

Niece:  Yeah.  When we flew to Florida there was an old man behind me, and he kept kicking my seat.

Me:  That must have been frustrating.

Niece:  Oh, it was!  He was old.  He should have known better.  And he did it the whole way to Florida.

Me:  Did you ask him nicely to stop?

Niece:  Yeah.  No.  I don’t know.  He never stopped.  He was old.  He should have known it was not right and it was not polite.

Me:  True.  But if he was old, maybe he didn’t realize he was doing it.

Niece:  Maybe.  He wasn’t so old old, though.  Maybe…at least eighteen or nineteen.  Yeah, maybe he was too old to know what he was doing.

She’s so wise, don’t you think?  It just proves nineteen is the new one hundred.
Wendy

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Filed under aging, Children, Humor, Motherhood, parenthood, politeness, Travel

Hot Mamas In New York, part deux. “Hey! We’re Walkin’ Here!”

It is a sad fact that if I’d been head pilgrim, we’d all be huddled around Plymouth Rock to this day.  Actually, that’s not true; we’d simply have stayed put until AAA opened, and I could get them to Triptik the journey west.  I like maps.  I like plans.  I like being CAREFUL.  Carolyn and our travel mates?  Not so much.

Exhibit A.)  Our dear friend Darla, who quickly became pack leader of five women with cameras.  Not only did Darla drive an SUV in NYC, laying on the horn when necessary, she strode around Manhattan like a native, crossing on red lights, skirting Taxis while making sure we were all still with her and hollering, “Hey!  We’re walkin’ heah!” at the traffic.  She was fearless.   And focused.  The rest of us were more easily distracted.   “Herding cats,” I heard her mutter on several occasions as she kept us moving through Times Square.  Thank you, Darla.

Exhibit B.)  Carolyn’s last post re: the subway turnstile issue.  She left out a couple of wee details.  True, the rest of us looked worried as she attempted to hurdle into the subway– because half a dozen NYC residents were hollering, “NO!” at her.  “Carolyn, you can get arrested for that,” someone in our party pointed out.  (I forget who…someone law-abiding.  Su?  Ginger?)

Here’s where Carolyn’s recollection of the situation and mine differ slightly.  She remembers attempting to follow the rules, behaving like the proper small-town wife and mother she is.  “Forgive me, officer, but I must squeeze ever-so-sweetly past your barrier here.”  I remember her responding to the you-could-spend-the-rest-of-your-vacation-behind-bars caution by growling, “Oh yeah?  Well bring it,  NYPD!  Bring it!  I spent my last 2.50 on that ticket; I’m getting on that train.  Hold those doors!!!”

She was intrepid.  She became a New Yorker before my very eyes.  I was so inspired by Carolyn and Darla, I decided that I, too, want to embody that New York state of mind.  Typically, I stand politely in line, await my turn, let others push ahead.  I am my mother’s daughter.  Now I have a young woman of my own to raise.  We put a premium on politeness in our house, but maybe we’re a little too…soft.  Shapeless.  Plus, I’ll be fifty in October; it is high time I become bold.

For my personal NY epiphany, I chose…flippin’ the birdie.   It’s not exactly tearing up Manhattan in a Pathfinder or jumping turnstiles while challenging, “Bring it, NYPD!” but it is a start.   I used the birdie many times–always in our hotel room and always with great zeal.  “Su, baby, you needs the blow dryer?  Well, so do I, here’s a birdie for yuz!”  “Ginger, I’ll take that extra pillow from ya, sugar.  Birdie, birdie, birdie!”  The girls didn’t seem to mind; they realize I have a long way to go.  And, no, I do not intend to teach my eight-year-old the birdie.    But I do hope to lead her through the streets of NYC someday, bold as brass, just like her aunties.

Su, Darla, Ginger, Carolyn–thanks for NY!!!!!

Wendy

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Filed under friendship, Humor, Menopause, New York, politeness, Travel, Writing

Hot Flash: Too Hot Mama Crime Spree in New York

Turnstile jumper on track 9! Get her, boys! Which way did she go?

 

Did you know that once you swipe your subway turnstile ticket (the wrong way) it won’t let you on the train?  Did you know that if you are traveling with 4 other women to Manhattan and they swipe their tickets correctly, you get to stand outside the bars looking in at them with horror on your face because you just spent your last cash on the tickets and the ticket machines are all temporarily down?

Did you know that you can push the emergency button at the bottom of the subway stairs and a crackling voice, (the subway authority) will come on and say this (while the trains rumble by), “Kkkkkzzzzzttt, your problkkkzzzztttt?”

“Oh, uh, I am not from around here, ha-ha-ha, and uh I don’t understand what I did wrong, but my friends are ready to get on the uptown train and I’m here, with no cash and the machine thingee’s are down and the turnstile won’t let me get to them and I paid, honest!  I’m an upstanding cit…”

Wendy is rolling her eyes.

“Kkkkkzzzzttt, across the street to the zzzzzztttttkkkkk.  Tell themzzzzkkkk and you can…zzzztt…pppbbbbb….ttttt…kkkk. Okayzzz?”

My friends stare helplessly at me.  Not one to buck the system (unless someone is threatening my kids) I point upstairs and mouth, Be back in a sec!  They nod looking various shades of dazed and confused.

I run upstairs and ask the hotdog guy.  “The subway authority told me to come up here and cross the street to complain.  Where?”

“Soorree.  I doo nut no wut u r talking bout.  Ask her.”

His assistant:  “Subway stairs are over there, honey.”

“I know!  You see, I spent my last cash on… I…forget it.”  Back down stairs.  “This is gonna take all day girls.  I did everything I know how to find someone who works here.  There is no one.  So, stand back.  I’m coming in.”

Wendy glances around.  They all looked horrified.  It was a curious mix of fear and embarrassment because my shoe got stuck on the turnstile on the first go ’round and the bar gave me a pretty healthy spanking.  They train those things well.  The second attempt was successful and I’m proud to say I suffered only minor bruises and humiliation.  Happily, I was not arrested.

Carolyn

 

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Filed under Anxiety, Cussing, Death, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, New York, politeness, Travel

Furious R-rated Don’t Read, Pt. 2.

"Make my day, doo-doo head!" This bad boy don't need to cuss.

   Why is it, when you make a decision to rumble with someone, to knock heads (I’m talking Bill Murray’s Ghostbuster rant about “disaster of biblical proportions, old testament, real wrath of God type stuff, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, 40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria”–okay maybe not that bad), that you end up having to like, I don’t know, sit next to them on a plane, or be their lab partner or neighbor or something? 

Well, that just happened to me.  Remember the kid I was so hot under the collar over several blogs ago entitled Don’t Read, Rated R?  Yup.  Ended up spending a week with him at outdoor school.  (This year, we took on rocks and planets out in Eastern Oregon).

Yes.  I was scared.  I’m guessin’ he was too.

You know that theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly that always plays when outlaws are in the middle of a shootout at the O.K. corral?  The one where they squint at each other just before they draw their guns?  Here.  I’ll try a few bars for you:  Doo-doo-doo-doloo, Bah Wah, Wah. Doo-doo-doo-doloo, Bah Wah, WAH!  A big old ball of sage brush rolls by?  Yeah.  That song. 

It’s playing as I get on the bus, where I had to spend the next four solid hours.  And just who do you suppose is the first person I see?  The cussing eighth-grade rap-artist!  He was already seated.  The last empty seat was within spitting distance.  We eyeballed each other, brows a’see-sawin’.  Who was gonna draw first?  As I strolled down the aisle, we never broke eye-contact.  Didn’t smile.  Didn’t speak.  Slid into my seat.  Pulled down the brim of my hat.

Days passed.  Bumped into him every time I turned around.  I didn’t mention the obscene ballad to his mother he posted on Facebook.  He didn’t mention my vitriolic response.

I carry candy.  Lots of candy.  Especially when I’m forced into confined spaces with hormone-crazed middle-schoolers.  One blazing hot afternoon, he was hungry.  I had candy.  He wanted some.  I gave him some.  He said, “I love you!”  I said, “I love you, too.”

I think I got my point across.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Children, Clint Eastwood, Cussing, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Outdoor school, parenthood, please and thank you, politeness, The Bad and the Ugly, Travel, Young Love

Don’t read. Rated R. I’m furious.

If you are easily offended, stop reading now.  

Seriously.  Go ahead.  Trot off and have a nice cup of coffee and a chat with your neighbor.

And, whatever you do, don’t read the last paragraph. 

Still here?

Okay…here goes.  Last night, I logged on to Facebook, only to find a post on my wall by a charming eighth-grade friend of my children.  I think it should be titled Ode to My Mother, as he claimed he wrote it himself about his ‘explitive deleted’ of a mother.  He says he composed this thoughtful poem because she wouldn’t allow him to have friends and s**t over any more, although it smacks more of one of Eminnem’s masterpieces.  Dude. Word.

Anyhow, I get the feeling Mummy doesn’t alway check in on her little darling’s Facebook page to view his poetry.  People, people, PEOPLE!  Why are we allowing such blatant disrespect to run rampant on Facebook?  Not only did little darling’s post make me look like a white trash bimbo on my wall, it made his mother a laughing-stock.  6 people “Liked” his poetry.  Not one of them was his mother.

Another thing that children and adults alike simply don’t get it this… Your future employer LOOKS AT YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE when they are trying to figure out who and what to hire. At this rate, this kid’s career prospects are limited to gang member, rapper (and I hear it’s super hard to break in to the industry) and serial killer.

I know, a lot of you are thinking, “Hey, why doesn’t this uptight hag simply unfriend the kid?”    I did.  But not before he sullied my wall and the walls of anyone else on his list, including MY kids.  And as an adult, I don’t feel right about not saying anything.  About not hurting/embarrassing this kid’s precious inner-child.  Letting him throw a public tantrum isn’t responsible or self-actualized, folks.  It is cowardly and uncaring.  Why do we all sit around and put up with this crap, all  in the name of freedom of speech?  Hey, if you are a minor in my household, you are free to speak you mind.  But start up with the f-bombs and we’re gonna wrangle and I’m gonna win.

I have a feeling this kid (underneath his vitriolic spew) is probably a nice kid looking for guidance.  Clearly, he’s not getting enough at home.  He’s lucky he’s not my kid.  Because if he was, his Facebook account would be history.  As would his computer, iPod, iPhone, gameboy and Xbox 360 and all the other baby-sitting devices his parents are no doubt currently employing.  He would be assigned a mountain of chores (my toilets would sparkle!) and he would have to spend endless hours sitting with (and getting to know) ME!  his new best friend!  Oh, the ways we’d bond!  He could teach me to rap and I would teach him Ephesians 4:29.  And perhaps, in the future, we could avoid the four-lane car crash that he posted yesterday.

I don’t pretend to be a saint.  Far from it.  I spent waaaay too many years using language that I have come to realize made me look illiterate and low-class.  And, vulgar.  Trampy.  Disgusting.  And, while these things may still be true, at least I try not to give off the immediate impression anymore.

For those of you who hung in with me to the end of this rant, here is the edited version of this post:

&%$-ing slut you look like a mutt you held me in a rutt im done nomore fun we had a good run you too ton timeing #$%@! your a snitch you snaked my heart i dontmean to sound dark i guess it wasnt very smart to trust you in the first place when i got the first taste i got hooked i shouldve booked it when i got to chance no i dont dance or prance for you i stayed true too you oh boo whoo #$%@ you too.

I ache for his mother.  The spelling is atrocious.

Carolyn

 

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Filed under Children, Cussing, Facebook, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, phone, please and thank you, politeness