Wednesday, October 26, 2011


GF pizza at Pacific Avenue Pizza in Browne's Addition
I feel like I'm standing directly under the Niagra Falls of time. The constant, gushing, flowing of time pounding down upon me and sometimes, I catch a breath.

Enjoying some gifts, including a bolster for my in-bed reading habit
I turned 36 the other day.  The first birthday in which I was less happy the day after than the day before.  The celebration itself was fabulous and fun and I got a camera, as begged for.  And everyone was lovely and happy and good.  After I got the camera, Coyote took my old one, which still kinda worked but had some funky problems.  And he spent three minutes pushing buttons and checking it out.  And fixed it.    He's so proud and I'm a little ticked off. He brought it to his soccer game and was more interested in taking photos of the game than playing it.

The camera I got is great, however.  And as my dad told me, the thing about technology moving so fast is that there isn't a camera for sale that won't be better than the one you've had for six years.  And he was right.

And then I bought some make up, because I am now eligible for the senior discount, and I would like to stop looking like that.  This process has actually been going on for some time.  I trotted into Nordstrom the other day, all haywirey and grubby and announced bluntly that I hadn't worn make up in 20 years and I might find occasion to do that from time to time and could they help.  So... they went to work like wolves on fresh caribou and "soon"  I was covered in 3 different flesh-toned layers, plus extras.  Just to note: sometimes working on one's logic abilities can also be rewarding.  For instance: when some one says "I haven't worn make up", thinking through this thoroughly one could imagine NOT shocking and overwhelming them, but just starting them out with something basic, like they ASKED FOR.

Always a roast with Opa and Oma
I also didn't like the public nature of it.  Everyone in the shoe department watching me flinch from twenty kinds of brushes.  Not to mention the expense of getting started.  The entirely new vocabulary: The E the 3 and the W.  Sure.  A friend offered to help me, which made me feel supported.  But shopping is a Very Private thing to me, so I declined.  It's similar to wanting to shut the door while you use the bathroom. Very Private.  Do Not Disturb.  And if your store is too public, with big windows on a busy street, I will not even go in to it.

After a bunch of research, some experimentation and then the usual final flair of head-long, rash, self-doubt-filled bravado, I did get some stuff to apply.  My eyelashes now get stuck in my eyebrows (which I might pluck some day too!) and my face feels like it can't breath or move much.  But I've only worn it twice, not including the experimental day here where I ran out and asked Blue's carpool lady if I got it right.  Does this look normal?  Yeah... all except the part where I am.

No one seems as shocked by it as I.  I could not have tied my patties in a tighter wad over this.  All this: what does it mean? Am I just giving in?  Why do I want to start doing this?  Am I not comfortable with who I am?  Am I feeling insecure and inadequate?  Or more secure?  Am I putting my best foot forward, or just the one others seem to want to see?  Am I doing this for myself, or for you?  Am I uncomfortable with the aging process?  Why do we wear make-up?  Why not wear make-up?  Why not experiment and experience life in other ways? Do I have to look the same my entire life?  Why am I buying products? Do I have money for this?  Do other women have such convoluted hang-ups about make up?  How do you get it off?  When do I stop thinking about it?

A starling problem, with a non-problematic moon

Hendrika posed for this.  I kid you not. 

What's up chicken butt?

Chocolatey Claire and Beignet

Balloon hilarity

Mousetrap AT LAST!

The Coyote who lives across the street

Oma at Slavin Reserve

My favorite tree, again.

skip church, go bowling

Peace at Turnbull

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am still foggy after this weekend, a UU women's retreat which involved WAY TOO MUCH TALKING.  Obviously.  And every time I tried for alone time, someone else was already there, or following me, and thought we should talk. I even read a book about how to end conversations before I went.  Admittedly, many of these conversation were fascinating and I didn't want to stop them.  However, I couldn't even take a shit without someone in the bathroom chatting me up about UU issues the Board of Trustees needs to know about...while I'm laying a log.  Seriously.  And I thought privacy was hard to come by at home with two kids... sheesh!

So I find myself chatting it up with some ladies late in the drunken evening.  And I end up telling this story, which I think is a knee-slapper.  But then, that's all in the ears of the hearers, isn't it?

Here goes:
I was at Value Village and the cashier asks me if I qualify for the senior discount.

NOTA BENE: that's kind of it, that's the whole story, just a one liner.  LAUGH NOW! Or Else. 

"Um... uh... I don't think so?  I mean what kind of generous policy to you have?  What's the cut off?"
Snicker snicker, "55."
"Um... I guess not then."

I live in a world where people don't mess with other people just for fun.  I live in a world where offensive comments are always accidents and mistakes, but they meant no harm.  Up here, in my head, it actually took me 20 years to figure out that the "reputation" I had that prevented me from getting on Mat Maids (high school wrestling cheer leaders... never mind that I have no sense of rhythm, hate wrestling and hate cheerleading) was a not-so-good "reputation" fabricated by a competitor.   So, the universe in my head is much nicer than the one out there. I like to stay in the mental one I maintain like a Zen Garden of grey matter.  But some times I get a shock when I peak out into the real world.

Once I got to my car, the cashier's cackle still echoing in my mind, I realized she was funking with me!  (sorry to bastardize the precious word "funk" here.  I love funk.)  And then I wanted to charge back in and take any old thing about her and say mean things about it.  For instance, I enjoy the company of many over-weight people, and yet I wanted to ask her if she ever got the "grotesquely obese discount."  And if she'd been skinny, I would have asked her if she got the "skinny, mangy, bitch discount."  And, although I would probably like many people who work at thrift stores or are otherwise similarly employed, I might have asked, "Do you qualify for the I'm-45-and-I-work-at-Value-Village-Discount?"  But if she'd been an attorney, I'd want to ask, "How about that I-use-antilogic-for-shit-loads-of-other-people's-hard-earned-money discount or the grade-grubber discount?"  Oooh! Sizzle!  I know how to sling mud!

Actually, I'm pretty bad at it or did you already figure that out?  My sister has amazing zinger-mouth (she's in recovery) and I learned from an early age that zinging wasn't my forte and I'll never win a zing-contest... so generally when someone starts in with clever insults, I just shut up and go away, or scream incoherently when I've had more than I can take.

Buy you see, the joke is, this lady asked if I was eligible for a senior discount.  Haha.  ME?  Haha!  I mean, I know I don't look 16, but crapola, I'm not 55.  That lady was just being mean!  I'm not even 36, yet! Ha! Ha. Ha?

And the three women around me didn't say anything.   They just silently scrutinize my face.  For, like, MINUTES.  And then one says, "Well!  Ha!  You couldn't pass for 55, at any rate."

Yes.  So.  When I was about 28, I jumped from looking 16 to looking an inscrutible age somewhere between 25 and 45.  I have this thick gray patch that showed up on September 13, 1996 in a hotel in Wenatchee.  But my face still looked juvenile enough for people to talk baby talk to me.  The gray has gotten bigger.  And I now have some smile (or are they frown?) lines.

A few years ago, coworker said she'd spent a lot of time trying to figure out how old I was.  She had it narrowed down to 21, 28 and 40.

So I come home and regale Huck with the hilarity of these ladies having to pause a moment to consider if I did indeed look under 55 or not.  Hilarious right?

And then Huck, a man who looks younger by the day, PAUSES!  Dear Husbands, Don't do that!  And at this point I'm yelling at him (yes, I am on the toilet pee-ing as I yell) to shut up when he's not even talking.  I would NEVER ask, "Does this make my butt look big?"  Because I know the booby trap I set for us.  And I also know he would yell, "Hell, ya! BABY!  Bring that big ass booty over here!"  But this?  I seriously thought this would be a no-brainer.

So he goes, "Um..." clears the throat, "You have an ageless beauty." Shithead.

I want an ageless beauty between 20 and 30, not 35 and 55.

An original T-shirt given to me by Marion M., an actual, real, old lady and heavy-weight feminist

I'll be 36 on Friday, but that doesn't apparently matter to anyone but me.  And next time someone asks if I qualify for the senior discount, I'm going to say yes. What's it to me if everyone thinks I'm 85?  I think I deserve a discount, at this point.  And as a friend once assessed, I've lived three lifetimes in the space of 1/3 of mine (based on statistics, not actual foreknowledge of the age of my death).  I qualify for 3 senior discounts, honey.


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