Category Archives: Things That Make You Go Hmm

40 Something Me…

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All those things I said would never happen have surreptitiously crept into my peripheral vision and like a Jack in the Box appear with alarming frequency when I least expect it.

Insert blinkered sign flashing “50 Dead Ahead” here.

“How old are you?”

The fluidity, and let’s face it, honesty, with which I used to answer this question is totally gone.

Now, there is a noticeable pause and stutter as my brain grapples its way round to the inevitable mathematical conclusion and issues forth a begrudging reply.

“40 something.”

Short of hot pincers beneath my fingernails, or an official badge, it’s the best response anybody will get from me.

I am a woman after all.

Also? I’m old enough to embrace the wise adage, “A lady never admits her age.”

I think that’s pretty normal. If you’re blessed to live long enough, most of us will reach an age that serves as a mental impasse, we wish to neither discuss, or acknowledge.

For me, that’s 45. The glorious no woman’s land, halfway between sophisticated 40, and fuck it all 50.

What alarms me is the gray area where my age used to reside. Not to mention, the gray hairs.

More often than I care to admit, I pause and calculate my age because, a. I flat out don’t remember it, or b. I think my memory is wrong. This just can’t be.

I spent a whole year telling people I was 43 when I was 44 soooo not on purpose.

That’s not early, onset Alzheimer’s, it’s a very subtle form of mental erasure, a selective memory processing as it were. Mind you, it happened of its own accord and began around 42. Please tell me I’m not the only one with this affliction.

People don’t believe my age, they keep telling me that I look like I’m 30 something.

Cause celebre?

Hell to the no.

Mental circumvention tactics aside, I FEEL my age. Or more aptly, all biological and societal indicators have begun to point North.

It started with the glasses. I was prescribed glasses and in a complete state of denial refused to wear them for a whole year.

Finally, I was forced to face reality because I got tired of squinting at small print on labels and moving things back and forth in a foolish attempt to focus in public places like a moron.

Along came bizarre conversations with my friends about “appropriate” attire for 40 somethings. Seriously?!

I refuse to let anyone tell me what to wear. If I look good enough to rock it, it’s all on the table. Fierceness is ageless! Think Tina Turner ;).

Fast forward to friends calling to inform me that they’re now peri-menopausal. WTF is that? Ok no.

Or, the long minutes of my life that I’ll never get back, standing in Pharmacy aisles staring at the extensive line of products aimed at women of a certain age.

There are so many products for dark spots, wrinkles etc. that it’s nothing short of baffling. I can’t tell you how many aggrieved women I’ve met in these shadowy aisles who look completely stressed out and leave empty handed in disgust and terror.

Oh for the days when I could snatch up any product and bounce. Now, I feel like I need to be a dermatologist to pick the right one. Never mind, the obscene prices. The beauty industry is pimping us out and making a gold mine.

If one more person calls me ma’am I won’t be responsible for what I do. They can have that mess.

Nor, has it escaped my notice that most of my favorite things are now classics. Considering the gray music and movies they’re turning out today that one’s not so bad.

Words have changed in their definition. Jail bait used to mean anyone under 21. At my age, it means anyone under 35. Try as I might, physical attraction still exists but once they start speaking, I’m tripping on how little they know. I can’t help but contemplate the ocean of inexperience that lies between us and the inexorable dwindling of desire is a foregone conclusion.

Gone is my desire for the fast, the quick, the cutting edge new. In it’s place, I find the precious ability to be still and delve deeper.

I know what matters to me now and certainty guides my steps as I pursue joy, knowing fully how transient and important it is.

I savor now, not just gulp lol.

I am more compassionate and wiser in ways that I never imagined and that’s priceless.

I think of all the time I spent trying to find myself, a necessary but arduous and painful task, and I’m happy to settle more comfortably into my 40 something, requires extra care, skin. Truly.

It’s all part of the process. A process that I’m blessed to continue experience unfolding.

Besides, I cant get distracted, I have a bag of pharmaceuticals dragging behind me and it takes all my concentration to hide their bulk behind my miniskirt. ūüėČ

Monogamy – Is It A Dirty Word?

Everywhere you look it seems as if someone has fallen over the line of monogamy into the dark forest of unbridled desire. LOL. It sounds poetic when stated that way but there really is nothing pretty about it.

Monogamy has all the trappings of joy. It’s so simplistic and straightforward, find someone you love and therein lies untold happiness. The exultation, peace, excitement and sexual satisfaction that you gain in exchange for the spoken, or sometimes unspoken, declaration of commitment/fidelity seems very worthwhile to most of us. Who needs all the ansgt associated with dating and sifting through the masses, to find someone who digs you and is worthy of you and vice versa? Most of us, despise dating and are willing give up the freedom of sexual choice and variety for our favorite flavor, whomever that might be.

BUT.

If it’s so desirable why do people consistently break their word with such alarming frequency? Who amongst us, has not experienced the stings of the betrayal of infidelity? Crickets. If you are one of the lucky ones, please acknowledge that’s not the case for the majority and count yourself blessed. The rest of us are still trying to figure out why.

It’s so typical and (yawn) boring to blame yourself. Been there, done that. Women, in particular, seem to blame themselves for their mate’s infidelity. If we did more kegels, kept up with the stars, looked radiant and were sweeter, he wouldn’t stray. I blame that on societal programming and home training. Bullshit, say I.

Even the famous, the gorgeous, the rich and the powerful have to deal with the same issue. Just look at Maria Schriver, Jackie Kennedy, Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Woods, Vanessa Williams, Halle Berry, Mrs. Cain and the list goes on and on.

Which makes clear that in spite of one’s very real insecurities, attractiveness and demeanor are not the cause. I’m betting my money if you asked most of these women they thought their relationship was great, ok well fine, right up to the moment where it disintegrated in front of them.

The next myth that is bandied about¬†so freely is that men cheat. They just cheat. It’s like breathing, like air and we must just accept this flightiness as reality and deal with it. Ask Mrs. Cain, clearly she is operating on that ideology. I don’t believe in the veracity of those statements because I know MANY women who cheat too, quiet as it’s kept. Men don’t like to trot out their battle scars for examination, particularly at the hands of a woman, but if you talk to them they will tell you their truth.

Now, of course, being of the female persuasion, I will say that women are “raised” to believe in the sanctity of a relationship. Only whores going running about spreading their goodies to any and all takers. That stereotype is still being battled and just beginning to devolve as sexual freedom for women becomes more acceptable. However, it is far from a given. Whore and slut are entrenched words in our language for a reason. All too often, I believe they are used to keep a woman in “her place”, in my opinion. Added to this entrenched belief is female ¬†emotionalism. Most of us see love as the ideal and it goes hand in hand with commitment and fidelity. That’s how families are built, that’s how you stay disease free etc. etc. We can argue about that too as partners on the DL (down low) present a serious and ever present danger to their partner’s health.

Not so, men. It would be erroneous to say that most are raised with the same ideals outlined above. Many of them, are moving off other things upheld by our wonderfully patriarchal society, like power, influence, women as a status symbol, or hearkening back to the days of their youth. Objectification does not instill fidelity, if you get my drift.

Now, please note I did not say all. It would be horribly inaccurate to say all women/men operate off the motivations above. Nor, do I really believe that either sex is naturally more monogamous than the other. Relationships are complex and highly individually so that would leave any discussion of this subject as voluminous as the perpetrators. I am merely trying to debunk some of the more popular ideas about why folks cheat.

The issue of cheating can not be discussed without addressing the core value that is being thrown out the window – lying. Worst of all, lying to one you profess to love. Where is the honor in that? “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Clinton will never live that down and I shudder to think of what foolishness Hilary had to hear.

Let’s just tell the truth, humans are not built for monogamy. We’ve been lied to, tricked and bamboozled. We have set an expectation that is highly unrealistic. Adding free will and a higher brain function to the mix has done us NO favors because most of us are, or have been at select moments in our history, selfish creatures. It’s tough even for the animal kingdom. We go after what we want, lie, cheat and steal to get it, and deal with the consequences later. I believe that the real basis for infidelity is biological as many anthropologists and scientists do. That will be explored in a second post.

I have stated previously that I am a serial monogamist. For most of my dating life, I have been in long relationships and yes, much to my shame, I have fallen twice. I consider myself a highly principled person and still when temptation came my way, coupled with the right set of circumstances, I caved because it was what I wanted. I came clean but that helped no one, including me. I was young and the havoc it wreaked on myself and the people I loved taught me it was simply not worth it. I felt guilty for YEARS afterwards and it ensured that I never did it again. That’s real.

Nonetheless, I can say with certainty that I do not believe it’s a natural state. The alternative, polygamy, seems rife with problems as well lol. In any case, I have stated unequivocally that I am never surprised when people lie to me, ESPECIALLY about sex. I expect that the veneer of civility and social norms will be constantly battled by baser desires…and even the valiant will sometimes fail.

Like Lauryn Hill said, “If people lie to God, what makes you think they won’t lie to you?”

What say you? ūüôā

Things That Make You Go Hmm #3

Unbelievably, this morning’s Today show had a segment entitled¬†“Is TV making your daughters mean?” My immediate reaction was DUH, of course it is. It’s not rocket science, kids ARE influenced by what they see on TV. In fact, we all are. While I applaud them for attempting to address the issue I do¬†feel it deserves deeper thought and a broader discussion since it deals with two critical issues, bullying and negative female stereotypes.

There are a whole slew of shows which glorify¬†catfights and women behaving badly. The networks and their misguided supporters call this¬†entertainment. I am never entertained by seeing people act like morons but that’s just me.

They accurately opined¬†that such shows shore up the stereotypical belief¬†that women do not get along and are bitchy. That’s not new though we can clearly see that this idea¬†has long been the darling of our cinematic and TV czars. The only difference from past¬†shows and movies¬†would be that the¬†women are¬†alarmingly younger, kinda bloodthirsty and they curse like sailors. BLEEP.¬†¬†

In a seeming defense of this type of programming, one of the commentators said “No one wants to watch Harriet and Ozzy TV.”¬†And yes, I agree that TV must change with the times. So, perhaps we should take issue with the times since these days, the meaner you are, the more you get ahead. Anyone who denies this is a greater idealist than me. Looking around with a keen eye,¬†I’d have to say this is¬†an increasingly popular social norm.

Yet people wonder¬†why¬†bullying has become such an ingrained part of the culture. I mean we were all bullied in school but it’s gotten really out of hand.

The answer isn’t hard to find, bullying is rewarded¬†in a Capitalistic culture that puts¬†profit before people. I’ve worked plenty of places where management upheld and rewarded corporate minions¬†who ran roughshod over their colleagues to do their bidding for that bigger office, better title and jackpot bonus. Message: If you’re greedy its GOOD as long as it serves a purpose.

The school yard, or classroom is a microcosm of the world. Typically, the mean “girl” is surrounded by others that cheer her on and the subsequent feeling of power¬†derived from the approval¬†IS a heady drought of power. Kids often feel powerless and at the mercy of their environment. I know I did.

Often, said bullying is encouraged by their parents (yes I said it), lack of parental attention and affection, or a feeling of superiority that is prized by those who are themselves victims of some form of abuse.

The point being bullies are MADE not born.

It’s hard to escape¬†the¬†media images of women who are depicted¬†as power hungry, cold hearted¬†abusive bullies;¬†Gold Diggers and that overused word – sluts. Think of the wildly popular Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in “The Devil Wears Prada”, Brittney Jones (poor Demi¬†Moore), Jamie Fox’s “Gold Digger”, Angelina Jolie’s onging attacks on Jennifer Ashton¬†and please don’t get me started on the videos. The¬†women all have one thing in common, the sterling ability¬†to run over ANYONE, women in particular, to reach their goal. What happens to them? They get more exposure, success and glamour…. Nuff said.¬†

Face it, TV is a means to make money and the corporations sole purpose in life is to capitalize off our indifference and willing participation which glorifies the basest of human desires. The kicker is they merely illustrate our cultural norms. Apparently, uplifting informative programming is on the decline.

It is easy to blame it on TV, which I revile as programming has become more and more commercialized and vacuous, but the filter to all this media hype is parental. It is our responsibility to ensure that adults in training¬†are not watching just ANYTHING on¬†TV. It is the parent’s¬†responsibility to help children view the world, their lens is after all¬†still developing. Barring that, contact the stations and make a noise, boycott the shows so they get removed from TV. ¬†

WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS WATCHING?

Please check out Bill Maher on Bullying and The Trevor Project.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm #3

Standing in line at the supermarket counter yesterday I was confronted by yet another magazine cover parading a movie star dressed like Marilyn Monroe. I didn’t care enough to note which magazine it was because I was so turned off by the cover. The star was wearing THE dress from the now infamous “The Seven Year Itch” film, re-designed in peach tones with¬†the blonde, stylized hair to boot. I mean is there anyone left who doesn’t know who made that style famous? I didn’t think so lol.

I have no deep hate of Marilyn Monroe but I do take umbrage with her icon status. Why exactly is she famous? I have watched enough of her movies to say that it was definitely not for her acting or singing ability. Although, I was fascinated and a little horrified to find out that she won a Golden Globe (like ever) for her performance in¬†“Some Like It Hot”.¬†¬†All I can say is that she played the dumb blonde to perfection.

I may be in the minority but frankly her breathy, child-like moronic patter is sure to make me turn the channel. And yes, I know she’s yummy to look at, like an overripe fruit just about to burst from the confines of her dress, but so was Mae West and Jayne Mansfield, yet the media has pretty much let them die quietly away. If proportions are the requirement either one if them could have given Marilyn a run for her money.

So, what is it? Could it be her affair with our beloved President Kennedy? Admittedly,¬†there are tons of consorts throughout history who by merit of their association with powerful men, their riveting beauty, devastating charm and intelligence will always shine in our memory. However, I would not put Marilyn in that category. She was so one dimensional¬†that it’s almost laughable. Her life is more to be¬†pitied when you take into consideration her childhood, relationships and issues with drug use. One can argue that her public persona was driven by cultural norms and expectations at the time but times have changed. So, why in the 21st century are we still holding her up as some type of sex goddess worthy of emulation?

Which leads me to ponder what makes one an icon? Should it only be based, as it clearly is in some cases, on one’s attractiveness? Box office success? Talent? We can’t rely on what’s popular to create our icons because their standards are rather low. I’m just saying….

It peeves me that some moron is sitting behind a desk somewhere thinking that a modern woman would wish to idealize a woman of the 50’s. A decade that historically speaking was rife with caricatures of womanhood as they were still very much at the mercy of a patriarchal system. There are plenty of women I wish to emulate but Marilyn isn’t one of them. Hmmm, maybe Pam Grier, Linda Carter or Lucy Lawless would work for me. Strictly from an attractive, sexy, woman of strength persona.

I suppose this is why I am not a magazine editor because heads would roll once they came prancing in with the same old, re-packaged crap. It definitely doesn’t represent out of the box thinking.

I know! They must’ve¬†been blinded by all those curvessssssss lol.

P.S. – Would you believe that THE dress sold at auction for 4.6 million dollars? If Snooky becomes an icon I am going in search of a gun.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm #2

Thanks to Twitter, I caught the Tea Party Debate on CNN last night. Be still my liberal heart. I could prattle on about the idiocy, dirty pool politics and slandering that has become a part of American politics but why bother since it was so wonderfully exemplified. Anyhoo, I expected that. What I did not expect was the response to the hypothetical question about the 30 year old uninsured man.

For those of you that did not watch, the question and response are illustrated here.

I was absolutely stunned that someone(s) in the audience yelled out “Let him die” as applause rolled across the room. I was left to wonder what has become of our fellow Americans and morality in general. How can we, as a so-called civilized society, possibly cheer at the thought of leaving a sick human being to die unaided in the richest (so-called) country in the world?

The conservatives call for accountability and responsibility¬†rather than government sponsored programs aka “handouts” and involvement. They say that our social policies are outdated because clearly previous generations were just idiots and we now have ALL the answers. RIGHT.

Face it, their stance is nothing short of reactionary. Action without thought is stupidity and we are treading dangerous waters when common citizens become so incensed that all they care about is the betterment of self.

The ship which represents the American ideal of home ownership and the middle class is sinking so drastic measures are required to keep the ship aloft blah blah blah. Yes, but at what cost?

It is extremely unpleasant to watch the layers of civility evaporate as people cry “Me first! Damn the rest of you!” It’s like watching the stampede scene from King Kong and just as scary. I did not get the memo because¬†I can’t find any justification that would warrant such behavior.¬†I am ashamed and frankly a little nauseated because I can’t turn off the TV and pretend it doesn’t exist.

Consider life for a moment, if you will. What were you doing at 30?

I was just coming to the end of my Me phase. Just becoming a little less obsessed with clothes (just a little). I was still capable of staying up all night and bouncing off to work on 3 hrs. sleep and was able to function. I was responsible, independent¬†and had been working for 11 years but I still had a feeling of invulnerability. I had never had a serious illness or been hospitalized. I didn’t think about death, retirement etc. It was only at grandmother’s coaxing that I had a 401K.¬†I was just beginning to consider that it might be time to¬†buy something and stop renting, have a child…. In other words, I was still growing up.¬†

Our paths are not all the same but my point is that it is VERY easy for me to understand a healthy, normal, 30 year old, single adult eschewing health care costs for some more pertinent luxury. No doubt, it would be a fundamental error in judgement but our understanding of the world is slow to develop Рno matter what we are taught. *Most of us are paying $500 a month just for ourselves with high deductibles so the $200 Р$300 sounds awesome! Can someone tell me what carrier they were referencing? lmao.*

Should disaster strike,¬†I would want to kick my 30 year old son’s ass¬†but I would¬†beg, borrow or¬†steal to help him, just¬†like any good parent would. More so, with the benefit of experience, I would understand his error.

Suppose I was gone and there was no one to help him? No family to rely on, or if saints preserve us, my family was broke? We all know how cheap health care is these days. Would I be happy that the system which I had paid into ALL my life and some of my ancestors had died for to boot would leave him to die unaided?

I would much rather that my hard earned money go to help people than fight wars. Go to educate and empower people than to line the pockets of the rich elite or mentally enslave them with increasingly diminished possibilities for self actualization. It only requires a little from each, damn.

If we can only uphold one another when buildings are on fire what has happened to our souls? I am still positive that I have one and don’t wish to end up like Dorian Gray. Which leads me to wonder just how many of these conservatives have the gall to call themselves Christians.

You do not have to be a liberal, democrat or Christian to value human life. Since the people in the auditorium had such little regard for it maybe we should line them up and shoot them as traitors for the greater good. Extreme, yes? RIGHT.

My final thought on this is to ponder what is happening to man as God and religion become less prevalent in our everyday lives. People claim they can comport themselves in an ethical and moral manner without God but evidence does not lie.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm #1

Watching¬†NBC Nightly News¬†last night made me wonder why I try to keep abreast of issues in the world. The world’s a friggin mess! What more could they possibly tell me? Of course, I jest…well mostly.

The problem is that there is so little to report which is good and if you pay attention it leaves you scratching your head and mumbling to yourself. Just another clear sign of mental deterioration.

Last night, the always dashing, formerly unflappable and ever articulate Brian Williams (who is really a more intelligent version of Pierce Brosnan) looked beleagured at the camera as he said, “And if that isn’t bad enough…”¬†delivering yet another piece of depressing news.

Right! So if the senior reporters feel that way how can the rest of us keep afloat? I am planning a boycott of the media corporations. Its time that we demand a change in format for the mental health of their viewers. I mean is that really too much to ask? Y’all know they are manipulating it anyway lol.

Imagine my ire when they reported that FEMA is running out of money due to the 66 natural disasters that have occurred so far this year. Its only August, jeezly crow. I imagine what winter will bring and I just want to disconnect all my utilties and go hibernate in the woods. Congress is saying they will find the money to meet the need by ensuring budget cuts are adhered to. OMG I am SO not reassured. Are you laughing and cursing yet?

So, let me get this right… You are going to ensure that cuts for programs that people need¬†during times of economic crisis go through while the billionaires continue yucking it up? Does anybody feel the love? WTF.

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