Thursday, October 16, 2014

'Old' Faithful? [rated R for language]

" said 'Geezer', not 'Geyser'?"

Am I becoming a crotchety old person who has no patience for much of anything anymore? Wait...did I just refer to myself as old? Geez. It's been on my mind lately because a few days ago I was asked by a college student if she could interview me on the subject of aging for one of her classes. Aging? Me? Why me? The nerve. 

“What are you researching?” I asked. She wanted to see if people 'my age' become curmudgeonly as they get older. “Based on how you answer these questions, we can assess how far you have trodden down that road to crotchety.” Reluctantly, I agreed to be her subject. I had to prove to myself that I was not one of those blue-haired old ladies who you see portrayed smacking people with their cane or purse. Although, in my mind I wanted to rip the bitch's head off, so it makes one wonder. 

Q: Is there always at least one…[or two…or multiple] things that bug the shit out of you about someone?
A: Are you f**king kidding me? Of course there are. I'm lucky if it's only one...and if so, then I consider that person my greatest friend ever. So basically...I have no friends.

Q: Do people, in your opinion, just get dumber?
A: Duh. I've become the smartest person I know. And I ain't no Einstein...So what does that tell you?

Q: Does poor grammar bother you, even on texts?
A: Ya think? It always has though; so that's not something new that has come with age. But poor grammar on a text doesn't bother me. See how non-crotchety that is?

Q: Do young adults who don't show respect to you, like you showed adults when you were younger, bother you?
A: Yes! When did that generational gap close? I mean I love being friends with my kids friends, but I'm still the parent...and although we are 'buds' there is still that fine line between respect and disrespect. But then I think...’Ugh...I sound like my parents generation. Times have changed, Jaime....C'mon’...and then I think again...'Nah...I deserve the respect. I earned the respect. And dammit...
Don’t call me ‘Dude!’ 

Q: You're/your, there/they're/their, to/too...need I ask?
A: NOPE, you do not.

Q: Does it bother you when people are walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk, and don't move out of your way?
A: Absolutely...especially when I'm doing my daily speed walking. Where the hell do they think they are...f**king England? So I shove them off to the side into the bushes as I walk by.

Q: When you're sitting in an empty movie theater and people sit right in front of that ok?
A: NO! Are you kidding me? I don't get it. There are 100+ seats...why do they have to sit directly in front of me, or next to me, or even in the 3 rows right around me? Makes no sense. And it's even ruder when the person is tall. I always check who is behind me before I sit down if I have a choice of other seats. It's called common courtesy. If those are the only seats they have to choose from then I'll give them a pass and not talk shit about them. [Although it's rare that I don't find a multitude of other things to talk shit about.]

Q: What about talking and eating in the theater?
A: Let's not go there...but just to be clear...I don't even like when people are talking during the's like 'Shut the hell up already. Did you not see each other and talk for the last hour prior to the film rolling? Take it outside, motormouth.' Again...common courtesy. And if I hear their lips smack more than twice while eating...I start throwing things at them. There was a guy once who didn't appreciate my shoe making contact with his head. 

Q: How do you feel about people talking with food in their mouths?
A: I could puke! Maybe what I should do is also talk with food in my mouth and let it spew from my lips at them. That may leave a lasting impression so that the next time they eat...they'll think twice about sharing the visual of the masticated food with their meal companions. I tend not to tell those people they have green stuff stuck in their teeth after they’re done eating.

Q: How much does it bother you when people are speaking so loudly to someone else, that you can't continue your own conversation because it's too distracting?
A: I understand that some people's voices carry louder than others...but I'm sure at some point in their lives, someone had to have told them how loud they are. Adjust your volume you want everyone to hear your conversation? I always feel like they want to be noticed. Shut up! Lower your frickin' voice or go talk in a padded cell somewhere in a straight jacket. Does that sound a little angry? Maybe a straight jacket is going too far.

Q: How about when you're lying on the beach and people walk by close enough for you to touch their feet?
A: Do people not know spatial courtesy? There are miles of beach around them, but they have to walk two inches from my head. I also love when they are walking in flip-flops and kicking up sand in my face. Oblivion is the new planet we’ve inhabited.

Q: do you handle them?
A: I've tried to pull a sort of Seinfeld...I've called them back to see how they like being bothered, but it goes directly to a recording saying that number is not a working I'm actually pissed off twice at the same thing.

Q: When doctors make you wait for over 30 minutes...are you understanding?
A: What makes their time so much more precious than mine? Believe me...I appreciate all they do. But aside from their life savings skills and treatment of all sorts of diseases, and blah, blah, time is still precious to ME. We should start charging them a fee when they have to cancel our appointments because they are called into emergency surgery. So, no, I'm not very understanding. Maybe when I AM blue-haired and have too much time on my hands, I won't mind the reprieve from the assisted living place my kids are going to throw me into. Damn those kids. How could they?

Q: When you're in the middle of a conversation with someone and you see that they are not listening anymore, because they are preoccupied by someone else or a does that make you feel?
A: Can I tell you how unbelievably disrespectful that is? At least say, "Can you hold that thought while I so rudely pay attention to something else I feel is more important than you are?" 'Yeah...sure you can...go f**k yourself.'

Q: Does the same apply when you're on a phone call and that person puts you on hold to take another call?
A: Absolutely...I don't understand why the other person's call is more important than mine...make them wait and leave a message and call them back. Do NOT put me on hold. Let it go to voice mail. So I let them answer their other call and then I hang up and don't answer when they call back.

Q: Do you lose patience with people when they're late or when they don't answer your texts and emails promptly?
A: You have no first husband was late for our very first date. He called to say he was going to be late, which, at the time, I thought was so sweet and thoughtful. That should have been my first hint of things to come. Over, and over, and over. I should learn to tell these people to arrive much earlier than is needed, but I don’t like to lie. And those who know me well enough would know I was lying and would be late anyway…so why bother. I always say I'm going to do that back to them so they can see how it feels, but I just can't bring myself to be late, or procrastinate answering someone's email or text. Sometimes it's just a burden being so perfect.

Q: How about people who drive too slowly? Either those you are with in the car, or those on the road in front of you.
A: Let's just say I'm surprised I haven't attempted road rage [mostly because I'm too chicken to suffer the consequences.] Ok...maybe a little road rage. But more in my own head than outwardly apparent. Ok...maybe a little apparent. A little tailgating; a little flashing the brights; a little flip of the bird; a swear word here and there. But I've never gotten out of my car and started screaming at anyone. Not that I can remember. I don't think.

Q: When people cancel plans at the last does it make you feel?
A: It depends on if it's a pattern or if it's an infrequent thing with that particular person. I can tell you I've stopped making plans with those who have done that more often than not. It's annoying and disrespectful and usually it's people who are not the most truthful. But mostly because.......I don't have enough people as back up to make other last minute plans with...(refer to my answer to the first question above.)

Q: Where do people who lie fit into your tolerance level?
A: There is no tolerance level.

Q: Does it piss you off when someone doesn’t thank you for doing a random act of kindness? Or for any favor you do?
A: You’re damn right it does…and the amount of times they thank you depends on what the act of kindness is. I'm not looking for accolades for anything I do, but, for instance, if you’re just letting someone in front of you while driving…they should thank you when you first let them in, then thank you again with the high wave, so you can see them in their rear window. If you take someone to dinner…minimum 3 thank yous. Maybe during dinner… “Thank you for having me,” and again right after dinner, as you’re walking out, “Thank you again,” and then as you hug good-bye, “Again…thank you so much. I had a great time.” And if someone doesn’t…make sure they know you noticed. " the're welcome [shithead]."

Q: When someone is in the crosswalk taking their time walking to the other side…do you wait patiently?
A: Yeah, of course I do. I mean I would rather shoot an arrow up their ass to speed up the process…but prison has never been on my bucket list.

Q: Does it annoy you when people stare at you?
A: I can't tell you how much. I start getting all paranoid like I have schmutz all over my face, or in my teeth; or that my hair is sticking straight up or out or all over the place. My mom and my dog do it all the time. When I call my mom out on it...she claims to not be staring at me, but through me while she's pondering the universe. When I tell my dog to stop, she cocks her head like she has no idea what I'm talking about. Yeah...sure she doesn't. So I walk away but she just follows me and keeps staring. When strangers do it, I pull out my can of mace and squirt them in the eye. [At least in my mind that's what I'm doing.]

Q: How does it make you feel when you see someone on a daily basis, while walking your dog, for instance, and they never acknowledge you?
A: Invisible. Then I do something similar, like I do to those who walk on the wrong side; I shove them into the street and yell out, “Do you see me now?” Hopefully the oncoming traffic sees them.

Q: Every person claims to have the worst memory as they age; and they all seem to want to outdo the other in how much they forget. How frustrating is it when you can’t recall things?
A: It’s horrible. I’m sorry…what was the question?

When the test was done I was thinking, 'So...not too bad, right? I still have a pretty high tolerance level for ignorant, self-centered, disrespectful, narcissistic, rude assholes...don't you think?' 

And then I looked up at her face...

I think I got my answer.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Who You Calling Fugly?

I miss my girls now that we don’t live together. Well...I miss certain things about them. What I don’t miss: the empty bank account, the dishes left in the sink, the clothes strewn in places I didn’t know existed, not knowing where they are in the middle of the night if they forget to call, that ‘time of the month’ when I wasn't sure exactly which personality I was dealing with…theirs or Satan. You get my drift. So wait…then why do I miss them? Oh yeah…

I miss seeing their faces every day and knowing what's going on in their lives on a minute by minute basis; which I’m sure they just loved anyway. I miss knowing how they feel at all times. I miss being their mommy. I’m still their mom...but I’m not their mommy anymore. They don't 'need' me to fix a boo-boo or feed them, or all those other things mommies do. I never in a million years thought I would want that role. I had sworn I was never having kids. I hate kids. Maybe hate is too strong a word. I really don't hate anything. Except lima beans. I hate lima beans. I could throw up every time I see a lima bean. You may as well give me a spoonful of vomit. But I digress. I extremely dislike other people's kids. I love my own kids, but not others. Unless they just kind of ignore me. Then I’m ok with them and can tolerate them. But don't let those little rug rats whine, or scream, or talk to me. Ick. I wonder how I’ll feel when I have grandchildren. I sure hope I feel differently about them than I do about those non-blood related kids.

When I was little I never said or thought, 'Oh...when I grow up I want to be a mommy.' Never. I was going to be a singer or dancer...although I could do neither. I just assumed I would be great at both when I became an adult. I’m not sure why I thought that…the innocence of youth I guess; but boy was I wrong. I mean...I have rhythm and can carry a tune...but that doesn't qualify me to star in my own one-woman show. [Although……maybe....] Oops…off track again. But wanting to be a mom? No way. Even when I was little, I didn't like littler kids. They were annoying. I don't think I was annoying as a little kid although my family may feel otherwise. 
Nah...I doubt it. I was pretty frickin' adorable. [click on video below]

I did figure I would get married when I grew up, but that was never a must either. So I decided to try it twice to be sure it wasn't for me. It wasn't.

However, when I met my first husband and saw him around other children, I thought he would make a great dad. He told me he wanted kids, and I loved him, so I wanted to give him a child or two. And since I loved him, I thought maybe I would want to be a mother to his children. And if I didn't like least I knew they would have one parent who loved them and enjoyed being their parent, and he could do all the work. [Ha!] There was a lot of rationalizing before becoming pregnant. But maternal instinct? Cinderella’s stepmother was more suited than I was.

After 2 years of marriage we decided to try to get pregnant. I don't know if I should even use the word 'try' because when I decided I wanted to, I did on the first attempt. Both times. I knew my body so well that as soon as I knew I was ovulating it was like, "Ok...bedroom...NOW!" (I think I said that way more times during the month other than when I was ovulating...but he's a naturally he happily went along with the obvious charade.) When we 'did it' on the actual ovulating day, I laid [lay?] on my back afterwards, for about 10 more minutes, with my legs up on the wall, so all his active, little spermies would swim on down to meet my eagerly awaiting eggs and boom! A production was in the making, and I was pregnant.

I was an emotional mess during the pregnancy, worrying that I wasn't going to love my baby. It was the easiest pregnancy, too...except for the 28 f**king hours of labor I endured...but the nine months leading up to those 28 f**king hours of labor were a breeze as far as pregnancies go. I was a little nauseated during the first trimester, but never threw up or had any problems. [Good thing no one put lima beans in front of me.] Of course, saltines were my best friend and I only gained 21 pounds, so I should have been thrilled about the whole journey. But what if I hated my child? I mean I hated kids. Oops...I mean I extremely disliked kids. What if I didn't love my child? It would make sense that since I didn't like kids I wouldn't like my own. How horrible would that be? So for nine months I was in panic mode that I was going to be the worst example of a mother ever. I was going to be written up in some magazine as number one on the top 10 list of not famous, worst moms. [Unless I ended up having that one-woman show…then I would be on the top 10 list of famous, worst moms.] 

But when that peanut of a child erupted from my body to make her grand entrance into the world [after 28 f**king hours]...that was it. I was in love. There was no doubt in my mind that this girl had me in her clutches. That should have been my first indication as to what the rest of my life would be with her. She manipulated me from the minute she was born. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Well...maybe a little bit other way. But she was the best baby…never cried, happy, and absolutely beautiful. 

My second pregnancy was totally the opposite. Thank god I didn't go through that one first or I never would have had a second. But I knew I wanted this child having known how much in love I was with my first. The pregnancy was the worst....I threw up for the entire nine months every single day. It was awful. And not at any particular time of wasn't morning sickness with her, it was 24 hour sickness without one god damn day of reprieve. The only decent thing was I gained very little weight with her, too. Probably because I was too sick to eat much. No cravings with this one like my Italian craving during the first. I had a calzone every day for lunch and some other Italian dish for dinner. You would have thought my baby would come out singing the score to La Traviata. 

The only craving I had with my second was to feel good. That’s all I wanted, but I think I had a better relationship with the Ty-D-Bol man than I did with my husband. In spite of that, I knew once she came out I would feel better and be totally in love for a second time.

My labor was only 6 hours, so although the first nine months were a nightmare, she was making labor much easier this time around. Don’t get me wrong...6 hours is like an eternity in labor hours...but compared to the 28 f**king hours with the first...six hours was a walk in the park. Well...not really. I still wanted to tear the f**king head off my husband, rip out his heart, and shove this baby up his ass. But all in all, it was much easier than my first one. I couldn't wait to see her.

And then..........holy shit. I almost passed out. Was that MY baby? No way...she was frickin' ugly. I had an ugly baby. I was devastated. How can I have an ugly baby? Impossible. 

They must have switched it while I wasn't looking. [Obviously she took after her dad’s side.] I can't bond with a freakishly ugly baby. I thought all parents were blinded by their love and thought their baby was cute even though they could have a Shrek baby. Why wasn't I one of those parents who was in denial about how ugly their baby was?

How could this happen? I thought she would grow on me but she screamed her head off from the minute she was born for the next two years; mostly at night when I wanted to sleep, but still...for two straight years she got me up 3 times a night for two hours at a time. And I was a single mom because we divorced when she was nine months old. I probably should have rethought that one and waited until she stopped having screaming fits before filing for divorce.

For the first 6 months I had a hard time bonding with her. Probably from her crying and being sorta ugly. She was getting less ugly month by month but not less enough to make up for the temper that only a crotchety old man should have. She was the female version of a baby Walter Matthau. 

But then she hit that 6 month mark when her adorable personality kicked in and she charmed me with her dimpled smile, and I was smitten. I fell in love for the 2nd time with a child. Who knew?

So aside from giving birth to Rosemary’s baby, motherhood is everything I never knew it could be. Do I miss those glory days of their youth? Absolutely. Would I want to go back and relive their childhood years? You have got to be f**king kidding me. I’m happy just the way we are. Except for that part about missing them...that will never change. Although, on second thought...I could just move in with them.........