Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Boomers be afraid, be very afraid

I'm weak, out of control, with little will power. I woke up Sunday morning and tried as hard as humanly possible to stay away from Tim Russert, George Stephanopolis,and Chris Matthews. I didn't need them, I wasn't interested, I'm an independent thinker capable of a position of personal isolationism. I walked through the den head down, passed the tv and with every ounce of strength put one foot in front of the other. Coffee was the only thing on my mind. "I love coffee, I can't wait to have a nice leisurely cup of coffee, hang out in the kitchen, look out the window, give the dog a biscuit, think about... OH WHO WAS I KIDDING? I grabbed the cup, spilling most of it, and ran back to catch the shows. The dog would have to wait, along with the bucolic view out the window. I was almost in withdrawl as I frantically fumbled around with the seven clickers it takes to get to one freaking channel. For God's sake I just wanted a lousy station, which remote turned on the television??? I stopped myself from throwing the silver one against the wall realizing that would be counter -productive. I was almost feverish. Ahhhh there was Tim, click, there was George, I stopped shaking and settled in with my boys.

If only the morning was filled with my usual yelling at the screen in protest, but it wasn't. The commercials freaked me out. I tried to ignore them, but couldn't; they were specifically aimed at my demographic. Baby boomers, run, hide, head for the hills, Madison Avenue is after us, and it isn't pretty. It's sad, so very sad. We're not old yet. We don't deserve this; go away! Take your old age products and put them on the air in another time slot. I don't want to know where my life is heading or already arrived. I had no idea what "Flomax" was for, but there on my screen was a group of men roughly boomer age or a little older out doing various sports and either frantically jumping off their bikes or out of boats to hit the bathroom. Men, you have prostate problems and "Flomax" is the solution. Wow and ugh. "Ducolax" was next in this Sunday morning line-up of fun. If I didn't have regularity issues yet they're on the horizon and this product is my salvation. Ugh again. I didn't need "The Hair Club For Men" but they're looking for self conscious "boomer" bald guys. I couldn't figure out however, if the club grows hair for you in a petri dish and plants it on your head or makes a wig out of your own hair. I don't really want the answer and good luck to men who do. Weight loss was next and afterall, we could all stand to flatten our abs. I suggest just giving up. Of course thirty minutes couldn't go by without being reminded I can't see the print on a menu. Bifocals are affordable and no one will know I'm wearing them. I was now totally depressed and vowed to stop going to restaurants. Practically in tears, I no longer cared who was running for President , yet couldn't help but notice that Tim Russert's hair was thinning and he could stand to loose a few pounds.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Job Security; it's just a shot away

Help I need media deprivation! I'm at the brink, barely able to sustain psychological equilibruim. Every morning I'm bombarded with bad news, from the deteriorating economy, to destabilzation in the Middle East, to mercurial presidential hopefuls, and now mercury tainted sushi. This is getting harder and harder to take. I'm oh so close to canceling my precious New York Times subscription, and unplugging the tv. I need time to relax, breathe without hyperventilating, see what a news free world feels like. It might be nice to live in a vacuum for a while; what war? I'm a news junkie but pulling the needle out of my arm might allow me a happier, less disturbing life. News rehab should be a Betty Ford program.

What brought me to the very edge of sanity was an article I read Thursday in the Times ,"Nice Resume. Have You Considered Botox?" This was in the Style section which I read for entertainment not mind numbing fear. I like the fashion photos not news that I'm too old and wrinkled for the job market. This brought me to my knees. I hadn't heard about the newest self help book entitled "How Not to Look Old". Aging apparently has reached disease status! Funny, I don't feel ill. Although thinking I couldn't get a job because I'm over 50 has made me nauseous. "Looking hip is not just about vanity anymore, it's critical to every woman's personal and financial survival", is stated on the book jacket. Pepto Bismol anyone? Or Jonestown Kool-aid? Employers are factoring out experience and acheivement, and factoring in date of birth, wrinkle free eyes , forehead and a size 2 skirt? We are a deep nation aren't we? Gloria Steinem do want to add anything or are you off getting Botox for job security?

I find this deeply distressing. I run to the mirror to see if I could get a job.
DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? I run to the mirror to see if I could get a job? I run to the garbage with the Style section. Tomorrow I'm going to throw away the whole paper and see if that doesn't make me look and feel younger.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dr. Phil , call me

Hey Doc, just checking in. What's going on? Where have you been? Still working on those dating "matches"? Not easy is it? Why don't you forget it and become a spokesperson for staying married? You could run a campaign called " Marital Misery is better than Dating Duds". I like that, what about you? Oh, I forgot you've been too busy trying to save Britney Spears from herself. Well that didn't work. The press is calling you a busy body. Were you just showing off or what? A Britney intervention is good pub I admit, but perhaps leaving her locked up for a while is best. There are more important items on the national agenda, like a presidential campaign, health care, the economy and the war, for starters. Any thoughts about that? I couldn't care less about Britney and don't recommend head shaving as a spur of the moment activity. Besides I think the teenage population has moved on to or moved to Hannah Montana. I remain miffed as to who or where Hannah Montana is. Do you know? And how's Oprah? She's looking tired . I don't know if I like the long hair. Please don't tell her I said so, but I think she's put on a few pounds. Ouch babe. Those holiday parties sure have a way of catching up. Oh btw, the bald look works for you, so I wasn't pointing fingers .

Well kiddo, that's about it. Nothing new with me really. Weather terror has consumed my life and my friends are avoiding me as a result of my constant complaining, but that's pretty much business as usual. Sorry you haven't been in my blog lately but if you send me a ticket to Florida I'll make you a regular again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Help me if you can I'm feeling down"

I'm exhausted. I'm terrified. I'm confused.
The weather has worn me out. Picture this: long underwear, jeans, two pairs of socks, an undershirt, 2 cashmere sweaters, a scarf, a face/neck warmer, mittens, hat, down parka and boots. It took 15 minutes to put on this sexy little outfit. Moving around in it is difficult yet necessary because weather death is out there. Turn on the tv, pick up the newspaper, temperature terrorism is back! Get in out of the cold, stay away from doors, and windows... duck, hide, get under the bed, pull the covers over your head, bundle up, layer up, give up. I take one slow step at a time as I walk the dog and with each breath I gasp an obscenity and grimace. I know this will cause wrinkles around my eyes and mouth. If I make it to spring I will need Botox. I leave my pile of clothes at the door exhausted from having worn them. I remain awed by the stamina of Heidi, but then again small children are much more resilient and stupid. She should have moved to the south of France. I go back to bed and vow to sleep out the winter.

I'm terrified of the headlines. Every morning the news of a forthcoming recession gets worse. "RECESSION" is coming, recession is coming"! Oh God, now what should I do? I could cancel the paper, but it's on the internet and the lead story on all the newscasts. Even the President who remains so happy/optimistic about the war and giving money to Pakistan appeared on my tv with an expression unusual for him ,"concern". At last he's reading the paper. Of course the man will never feel my financial pain, which would in fact lift my spirits. I did manage to sell my property before the real estate bubble BURST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And what a mighty mess it's making. I do have good credit, of course that's useless without money. How come the mortgage industry didn't think of that? Hello, you freaking idiots. Time to cut off everyone's "a.r.m.s"? I faint at the sight of blood. I've enjoyed my name, even in it's many marital reincarnations and if I get a notice that my bank has been sold to China and I've been reduced to symbols I'll be very cranky. Is it time for the LEDGE? Anyone want to join me? How about you Alan Greenspan? Am I premature? I could be a trendsetter. Oh, wait I can't, the weatherman told me to stay away from windows.

I'm confused. Who's running for President? Is my mother? I haven't talked to her lately. Forget Mom, she's not running, she just phoned and is too busy with "last call" at Neimans. So who's left... Rudy, Mitt, John, Mike, Hillary,Barack, John, and maybe Michael. Is that it? If I've missed anyone please let me know. Everyday someone's either dropping out or in. They're flipping, flopping, whining, finger pointing, accusing, and even crying. My head is spinning, like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist". I only hope this election the voters won't again choose the person they'd most like to join them in a beer. It's really not a good reason; health care , but not happy hour with the Commander in Chief. That just didn't work out well. I haven't decided yet. I'm carefully watching the debates. I'm committed to making an informed decision but at the moment I just want a beer and not with the President.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Home alone

Men should never retire. It's too scary to even think about isn't it? Your guy home all day. I don't care how long you've been together it doesn't sound like fun does it? If you're an anthropologist it might be interesting because a strange thing happens to men when they stop working; they become women, and they're not very good at it. Being a woman at home requires multi-tasking at the highest level; no loitering, ruminating, or lounging allowed. It's go, go, go, from the moment you wake up. Turn the house over to your man and step aside because nothing is about to get done. Oh, maybe one thing as going to the cleaners takes a significant part of the day. And then there's the grocery store which is draining. Of course, because your boy didn't make a list he has to go back for the item he went for originally... but he did buy four boxes of frozen blueberry waffles which no one will ever eat. Did I mention a LIST ? For God's sake, is a list like asking for directions? You're a housewife now, write things down.

Am I being mean? After all job transitions are difficult. Going from CEO to putting laundry away could take time ,so in the adjustment period just pile the clothes on the bed, there's no rush. About the vacuum I just tripped and fell over, don't worry I'm fine and you're right don't put it back, it looks nice in the bathroom. This is fun isn't it? Did I mention, how creative I think it is to use the ironing board as a place to pile the bills and tools? 

Do I believe men should never be allowed to retire, absolutely not.  I think they deserve to be the wife they thought had nothing to do all day. You know, the woman they thought just sat around. The same one they thought wasn't that interesting to talk to when they got home from work . So anthropologists, take note as the business man evolves into the business of being a woman. 

Monday, January 14, 2008

Animal, vegetable or mineral?

Who or what is Hannah Montana? Does anyone know? I don't. Is she running for President or a city ? More importantly is this something I need to know? And if so, how soon? How old does this "not knowing" make me? Exactly how far out of the pop culture main stream am I? Should I care? I care about the next election. Is Hannah in the debate tonight? I think there's one every night. Did she vote for the war in Iraq, because if she didn't she has a chance. Or was she for the surge? Because this also makes her viable. Is she a flip-flopper? Is this word in the same dictionary as "nuculer"? More importantly is she worried about her weight like Oprah? This could help her get votes. I hope she doesn't mention anything about Lyndon Johnson or Martin Luther King;apparently this is a "no-no". Is she worried about the price of oil? I sure am. Is she in bed with the Saudis like another person we know? I hope she isn't having an affair with Dick Cheney, as that sounds nauseating. Does she double date with Condi? BTW who asks Madame Secretary out?

Am I getting close? Or old? I'm going to check a map maybe I can fly there.

Vow of silence

I was panicked . I noticed my breathing grow more shallow. I think the color drained from my already "winter white" cheeks ever closer to cadaverous which is not a good look for me. I tried to take long deep breaths and talk myself away from the window. This was just a symbolic gesture as there was no way I was opening it in 25 degree weather, no less stand on the ledge freezing and indecisive. Spring would be better. It was too early in the day for a drink, as I have a 4:00 rule regardless of how dire the circumstances. I did look longingly at the lovely bottle of red Zin on the the counter however. I found myself praying and making promises to never put myself through this again. I couldn't take this level of fear and anxiety. If I was a stronger person I wouldn't be in this position. I'm weak and have no self control. Maybe there was a Betty Ford program for me. I shuddered at the thought of rehab. What would I wear? I couldn't postpone the inevitable. Once I got it over with I could move on. How bad could it be? What's the worst that could happen?

Nothing! I nearly collapsed from relief. I was saved. I could breathe again. I was granted a reprieve, a "get out of jail for only $122.52 card". I did it. Regardless of my need to talk endlessly, relentlessly on my cell phone I didn't go over my minutes. I was close, way too close . 2,143 minutes which didn't include the 1,841 unlimited nights and weekend minutes, loomed ominously on my bill. Ouch! Who was I talking to and why? I used 143 roll over minutes which leaves me with a reserve of 71 . Oh God, only 71 extra. I need oxygen. I'm teetering on the edge of roll-over bankruptcy. I'm not in control. I have to pull myself together, start talking to the dog more and friends less. I need to take a vow of silence. If a nun can do it, I can. Luckily I only have to be quiet until 7:00p.m. I vow to only talk to people with my carrier AT&T during the day. Please let me know if you're one of them asap.

"Dan, guess what? This is so funny. (I knew I had lighten up the sobering announcement) You're the only person I'm going to call during the day"! "HUH"? was all he choked out. "See, I'm almost out of roll-over minutes and desperately need to replenish my account,so since we have the same carrier, you're it. I'll just be calling you... Dan..., Dan... hello? Are you there?" " Monday I'm switching to Verizon," he mumbled as if talking to himself. "No, no, wait, you can't do that. Stay, please stay". I think I was crying.

I need help. Whoever has AT&T call me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


My mother's looking for me. Shhhhh! Don't tell her where I am. She's always looking for me. This seems to be what she does. Why? Moms are great aren't they? No matter how old you are - always wanting to know where you're going, where you've been, what you ordered, what you bought, what you wore, who was there, what you talked about, and wasn't it too dangerous? There's more, I forgot, "do you like your hair that color?" and "what happened to that nice brush you used to carry in your purse?" My first response to her line of questioning is , "nowhere, nowhere, food, nothing, a skirt, no one, I don't remember and no" and "yes", and "it's still in my purse". Thank God for caller ID.

My mother and Donald Rumsfeld have a lot in common. They like short, quick, well targeted attacks; take prisoners, stay the course. I've learned to out strategize this thinking; laying low during the day, always screening calls and moving quietly after dark to restaurants she's never heard of and can't locate. Donald and mom are no test for me, besides he doesn't care about my hair color. My mother's good however, and undeterred; a relentless adversary. She calls, and calls, and calls, and calls, and calls, until I finally pick up thinking perhaps there's been a medical emergency. GOTCHA! "So where have you been?" Oh man, maybe she's just too good. She has years of experience, and an uncanny Zen like sense of patience for a Jew. Kudos on the Zen mom.

For the moment I remain under the radar and can breathe a sigh of relief. If she calls, don't tell her where I am, but that you like my hair color .

Monday, January 7, 2008

Driving at night

Where are my glasses? I can't find them anywhere. I've looked in the washing machine and dryer ; who does that? They're not in the dishwasher and why would they be, but I looked there. I ripped apart the couch and only found yellow dog hair. Ugh. I do know where the vacuum is however. I've never used the oven, but I might look there if all else fails. I ravaged my purse four times, as if once wasn't enough proof. They didn't turn up in the box holding my new black suede high heels, but it did make me long for a place to wear them. The refrigerator was a bust but it needs cleaning and food. Ugh again. The garbage can almost made sense . Under the bed, behind the bed, nope, nope. Pockets! That must be it, they're in a pocket. I only concluded I have too many , or can you never have too many? The dog ate them! That was my homework, I forgot. The car, they have to be in the car, of course! Glove compartment, trunk, under the driver's side seat, passenger's side, in the cushions, cupholders, NOTHING except a sticky candy cane. Christmas is over isn't it? I've traced and retraced my steps , peacefully trying to visualize where I last saw them. Who am I kidding, I can't be freaking peaceful, I can't see and even worse, this will cost me money! A friend is at the airport and said he'd look, ok. I haven't been there since September 18th. Maybe he'll look in Florida when he arrives. And they're not in the oven.

Is this THE sign? Is it the defining moment? Has age caught up with me? I had forgotten about becoming forgetful and now I have to sadly admit I forgot...what did I forget?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Hillary's bake sale

Hillary must be bummed. I know I hate to lose. Poor girl thought women liked her. And they should. But they really don't. Why? We should stick together, support a woman who's busted her ass to get where she is. I didn't go to Wellesley undergraduate or Yale Law School and I have it on very good advice that she baked brownies for her fellow law students. I never baked a brownie for my own child no less classmates. I'd support her on the "brownies for everyone" platform. Forget the baked goods I forgot, we're a fat country on a diet. Brownies sound good though, don't they? I can only assume if Oprah was running for President she'd get the "girlfriend" vote. Why is it women feel closer to her? Has she tried to shake your hand lately? Does she call you? Is it her perpetual weight issue that makes us think she feels our pain?

Are we still mad at Hillary for not leaving Bill? Who wouldn't ditch a cheating husband, even if he's President, right? Not one First Lady has left yet and yes, get over it, they all cheat, Bill just got caught. Embarrassing I admit, but hey leaving is her business , not mine, or ours. If she's moved on why can't we? Is she just too damn ambitious? White House menu planning and pleasant chit chat with other first ladies is all a woman should aspire to on the larger political front? I don't think Laura Bush ever wants to be President. Why can't Hillary be more like her? Laura makes us feel all warm and fuzzy and everything is right with the world... I'm feelin' a bit queasy myself.

Hillary, I don't get it. I don't think it's the issues that come between us. I think you're trying to be one of the "girls". Maybe you should have a bake sale, let us taste the brownies.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dad, poor dad, I've caught him watching porn and I'm feeling so sad.

Do you watch porn? I don't . Does your dad? Mine does. And, is there psychological well being after catching your dad in the act? I read it's the largest industry on the internet, which surprised me for some reason. Was I thinking it was really Oprah? Sorry babe, the people like porn better. It appears millions of men/women are tuning in at all hours of the day and night. Is there an appropriate snack food? I dated a man who sat bleary eyed in front of his computer screen checking out the free sites. He was too cheap to pay, so who needed him anyway, right? Would you call this a hobby? Would you list it on a resume under "outside activities"? My dad's retired, so he doesn't have the resume dilemma. Whew.

I never knock when I visit my parents, everyone in the family has a key, so per usual I walked in unannounced, dog in tow, at approx. 3:00 p.m. There's dad in his giant lounge chair watching tv, and straight ahead on the screen was a porno movie. My dad is 87. What happened to Little Joe on "Bonanza"? Where's "The Sound of Music"? There's not a Von Trapp Family Singer in sight, just a blow job. Holy crap. I was torn between bursting into laughter and running out of the room screaming as I throw back Valium and rip out my pocket Freud. Well he saw me and jumped up as fast as he could (not fast enough), and fumbled with the clicker to get it off the screen. This took a lifetime. I looked down, and mumbled somethig about taking the dog out on the deck for air. It was me who needed the oxygen.

What does a daughter do next? Stay? Go? Ask him who his favorite porn star is? Call a care giver for myself? "Oh my God, oh my God" was all I could choke out as I paced the deck. Why me? Why not my sister? Why did she get special dispensation? I'm older I have less time to live joyfully. I had to call her and ruin her life too. Denial was my only move, and coincidentally it was my dads. He appeared on the deck with the same resolve....what movie? We made our usual "weather" small talk and then I fled.

I couldn't dial my sister fast enough. "Answer already!!" I'm screaming and pounding the phone on the dashboard like that will help her pick up. I get her machine. Damn. I couldn't be alone with this information, I had to tell someone, or everyone. I thought seriously about confiding in the guy behind the counter at the 7-11 when I stopped for a soda. Could he double as a counselor or exorcist? And why the hell wasn't my sister returning my call??? I ixnayed the clerk and called my friend Dan. I made his day. He laughed non-stop for ten minutes. I finally joined in and tears were streaming down my face I was laughing or crying so hard. Then he abruptly stopped and proclaimed, "I'll pay for the first three hours of analysis."

In the aftermath of my trauma I discovered that my tale of Freudian horror made a great story. Everyone loved it! Dad was cheered on by my friends. I'm shocked, and they're awed. Hey, what if it was your dad? Mine was a geriatric hero; near icon status in his demographic. I just can't get the "go dad" out yet.