Monthly Archives: August 2013

Why my Friends and Family Will Scoff at the First Sentence.


What I’ve heard dawn looks like.  (Photo credit: Kotchka)

I’m an early riser. Just after the sun comes up and before the birds start to sing, I start waking up.

I don’t get out of bed right away. I lie there listening to the birds and think, “Shut up, you bastards!” I may say it out loud. You’d have to ask my house mates, as I’m pretty unaware at that time of day.

Still, I lie awake, thinking my thoughts, whether I like it or not. Thoughts like: Wait a minute, Brad never paid me back that dollar I lent him in seventh grade and I better remind Jesse to get a haircut and speaking of Jesse, blah, blah, blah.

It’s bad enough to let thoughts like these malinger in my brain, but I invite them to stay, I offer them refreshing beverages, sometimes I even, and I’m a little embarrassed to say this; but sometimes I… bestow favors on them. I even thought to myself this morning: “How F!@#$ing long are you going to pet this idea! Let it go!”

At some point I do that. It’s funny how it’s hard to tell when you travel from awareness to sleep. It’s as if you wouldn’t notice the addition of an elephant having tea with a large talking broomstick on the edge of the bed and that you wouldn’t leap up and scream, “Dammit! Why did I take acid in the eighties?!” Or something along that vein.

So, anyway, I fall asleep, because I’ve been introduced to the crack of dawn (or as my friend calls it, the crack of ass,) and we didn’t get along.

About an hour or so later one of my doggie bed mates decides to powder her nose.

She is a delicate sort and is loathe to awaken me for this purpose, so she carefully walks across my body and leaps from the bed on the way to the doggie door, (I hope.)

She usually spends some time doing whatever dogs do when no one is there to report their doings, but it usually involves at least one bout of barking at whatever she feels deserves a good talking to.

She then returns to the scene of my slumber, backs up and take a running leap at the bed. Usually, she makes it on the first try, although I’ll admit the sound she makes when she just barely misses and thumps to the floor is pretty funny and I don’t have to pretend it’s not, like when people try to get in bed, barely miss and fall with a thump to the floor. In that case you have to stifle your mirth until you ask, “Are you all right?” Then your laugh until you have to tightly cross your legs.

On the completion of a successful leap, this dog carefully walks across my body and begins making a den with her nose and front paws. I’ll never know how long this takes because, similarly to the amount of licks it takes to get the center of a tootsie toll, I haven’t the patience to wait out the rocking and snuffling it takes to get my bed just right for a canine who should be sleeping under a tree, so I demand she stops and-get this-she does. (This will bear significance in a moment.)

I’m going to take this moment to confess, I allow these two of these canine individuals

to sleep in bed with me:

The body walking dog and the rolling, snorting Lhasa Apso.

The body walking dog and the rolling, snorting Lhasa Apso.

and I do not wash the sheets every day because  god knows where they’ve been. I was bullied into this proposition by these beasts who threaten all sorts of mayhem if I do not situate them in my sleeping place.

There are some folks who may find this scandalous, but I think it’s weird that some of you don’t watch TV in bed so we’re even.

So, because my day still hasn’t started, I return to my dream. By then the talking broomstick has turned into the kid I sat with at lunch in high school and, although I didn’t find her all that fascinating in the cafeteria of my past, at this point she’s grown a large glacier on her head and, although I’m trying to ignore it, I am fascinated, but not for long, because, in due course I am usually awakened by a rolling, snorting Lhasa Apso, which is a good name for a band, but is actually a 20 something pound dog who is delighted to start her day.

I hate this about her, although, by the time she starts rolling on her back and loudly snorting, it is a reasonable time. Still, much like the birds at dawn, I become indignant. This doesn’t matter to the rolling, snorting Lhasa Apso, who remains joyous, despite my insistence that she cheers down. Bitch.

At this point, my strategy is to pretend to sleep because, as soon as the body walker dog knows I’m awake, she is delighted to see me. Delighted! I hate this. So, I silently slip out of bed thereby thwarting her happiness and starting my day.

Despite the sorrowful nature of this story, I feel that there are those of you who might feel less than sympathetic about my less that ideal situation and those people are called “not freelance writers”, otherwise known as “people who have normal jobs


Why 32?

Side mirror with warning legend

Side mirror with warning legend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The older I get, the less likely it is that I will reach my target age of 32. 32 is not only in my rear view mirror, it is dozens of mile markers back and I can’t find a turn around on this stupid highway.

Sometimes, in my dreams, someone asks my age-usually Chris Martin of Coldplay- and I answer-not even coquettishly, because the reality, in my dream is-32.

At some point however, in my dreams- which should be exempt from reality- I realize that, although I feel like I have all the earmarks of 32-a lack of gravity induced sag and a smooth glossy surface, that 32 is laughably off target and when I say laughably I mean ludicrously. (I hate that guy That was for those of you with some knowledge of rap music. We will discuss if speaking rhythmically over someone else’s music qualifies as music at a later date. Maybe when I’m nostalgically wishing I was 34.)

There are many logical and scientific reasons I can no longer be 32, but logic can be defeated by mental disturbances and science? I got a D minus and a defeated shrug from every one who ever tried to instruct me in that bastard of a subject. (In full disclosure, I received that grade in a great deal of my high school classes, not because I’m unteachable, but because I preferred not to leave my bed in the middle of the night. Admittedly, I’ve always maintained that night ends when I wake up and that tends to be more in the brunch-like area of the day, still, it was too damn early and sometimes Hard Days Night was on the morning movie. Remember that? They used to cut out so much of a movie in order to sell stuff to housewives, who had a legitimate reason to be home, that by the time it ended you sometimes came away with the idea that John Lennon was singing love songs to Madge, the manicure lady, who soaked people’s hands in dishwashing detergent. How weird was she?)

Where was I and does Guinness have an award for people who stuffed the most words into a parenthetical remark?

Oh, yeah. My son. Sort of.

My son is 24 and is coming perilously close to become 25, which as many of you know, is a quarter of a century. Now, you may be asking yourself, just how old is this lady? And the answer is 32. Shut up. I’m not fully awake, so until the dogs bark at the mailman, I’m 32.

Sometimes I wonder, but mostly I don’t because I know the answer, why 32? Why, out of all the ages, 32? How about 17 when nothing was physically impossible and I was completely clueless about what constituted a fat stomach? Meh. Seems bland to me or maybe my mind has wiped the year off of my wet board of a memory, leaving a slick white surface, which, by all accounts is dull.

Why not 23 when going out dancing 4 nights a week along with regular Jazzercise proved that stamina is the answer to weight loss, a point that would become irrelevant in my late 40s? Well, 23 had its merits, but I was forced to wear a frizzy perm and large shouldered blouses, plus my normal hearing was replaced with a ringing in my ears as a result of standing in front of amps in small bars and expecting that my hearing would not be affected. None of which seems appealing.

My forties were OK, but I spent most of the decade worrying that I would turn fifty, not considering the fact that not turning fifty was a much worse predicament.

Now, just as I suspected would happen, I’m 54. Fifty-freakin’-four! And I expect to reach 55 a day before my son turns the big 2-5.

So, why 32? I was the mother of a small person who thought the sun listened to me when I rebuked it in the car. (The visor actually did the muscle work in that situation, but I took the credit, because, as we know visors are inanimate objects.)

I was the mother of a person so small that he was portable and happy to be so.

I was the mother of a person who wore what I put on him without complaint. (Actually this is still the case as my son is happy to get free clothes as long as I do not attempt to put them on him myself.)

I was the mother of a little person who sang songs to me in the grocery cart, who told me all the things which are important to three-year-olds and attempted to slip out of his crib without disturbing me because he thought I should sleep as long as I felt the need to. I’m serious. He actually operated like that.

I was still wearing the frizzy perm, but, on the whole, all was right with the world. Except when I spent time worrying that he would outgrow this age and I’d be less than happy with the next, which goes to show that cluelessness is not limited to any certain age in my life.

Anyway, as usual, I’ve lost my point, (as Groucho Marx would say, if you wear a hat, no one will notice.)

Oh. My inner world longs for 32, while my outer world, by necessity, is dealing with 54 where I’m worried about 60 and I beginning to think Oprah is a liar what with her insistence that fifties are the best years of your life.

Or maybe she just recognizes her age and accepts it. Or maybe, just maybe, she makes millions of dollars which compound, as times goes by, making her content.

Either way, 55 is coming up on the highway of life, and once again, no turn around, although the exit is visible, as it was at every age. I’ll just drive past till I run out of gas, although I can’t guarantee to keep my eyes on the road ahead and not in my rear view mirror, where I wish there was still a car seat.