The Long Ago Day of the Heel

I can’t pinpoint the date. Probably because it is not exactly what I would call traumatic. And besides, I feel like it was a slow death. Kind of like when your aging gums start to recede until you have no gums left at all. It’s gradual until the time has come for an alternative.

I have a closet full of them (heels not gums). They are all covered in a fine mist of dust and something that looks suspiciously like tumbleweeds stuck at the section where heel meets impossibly steep shank.

They were once very much loved. You can tell by the missing heel tips, and the rubbed-off leather on the technically speaking “counter” (the back of the shoe to you laymen) from using them as driving shoes.

The treatment they receive these days is less than par. Let’s just say if my shoes were human I would be spending the rest of my days making license plates and eating cold porridge for breakfast.

It will be one full year since this pandemic started and I was ousted from the office to work from the privacy of my own home. Yes, I am very lucky. No, I am not bragging. I’m just stating a fact.

Although I absolutely can blame the pandemic on many things, I cannot blame it on my inability to walk in shoes that have a heel height greater than a quarter of an inch.

Before this pandemic I wore flats to work most of the time. Once in a while if I was feeling crazy and wanted to completely let my hair down and get all “Girls Gone Wild” on myself, I would choose one of the two pairs of kitten heels I own.

For those of you who may not know what a kitten heel is, let me put it to you this way: there were plastic princess shoes with a higher heel in my child’s chest of dress-up clothes.

And I can’t wear them. These kitten heels. I try in vain, but by midday my puppies are barking at me like a couple of junkyard dogs.

The last time I recall wearing real high heels was at a nephew’s wedding nearly nine years ago. They are gorgeous, sparkly, open-toed, five-inch heeled stilettos. I have the photos to prove I kept them on longer than the church service.

These days if I even attempt to stand up in a pair of stilettos, I resemble a newborn baby elephant. Except the elephant is much more graceful. No matter how hard I try, I can barely get across the room without running the risk of spraining an ankle.

In my youth I could have run a marathon in high heels. I wore them as if I was born with them on my feet. The confidence I exuded from wearing a pair of four or five inch heels was incredible. And damn. They made my legs look great.

These days I look like a squatty sloth. My fuzzy slippers may be comfortable but they do nothing for me aesthetically. Although they do look real cute with my favorite pair of yoga pants. On days I want to get really freaky, I’ll wear a matching t-shirt.

So, that’s my story. My heel wearing days are over. Well, until my only child’s wedding day. I’ll just be sure there is a wheelchair nearby. Although, I suspect I’ll be utilizing that before the wedding march cues up.

The Accidental “Natural” Movement

It was a Saturday afternoon. Yesterday to be exact. I was sitting on my couch writing while listening to classical music. The classical music is good for me while I write so I don’t get distracted and break out into song. It’s kind of hard to put words to Mozart. Besides, I don’t think he’d appreciate it much. Dead or not.

I was just sitting there being productive and feeling good about myself when the dog started to lose it. It wasn’t his usual dispassionate bark at a passing squirrel. It was the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON!” type of bark that he does when someone is in our driveway.

After I peeled myself off the ceiling because I will never grow accustomed to the bark of a pissed-off German Shepherd, I looked toward the door and saw a man talking to Wolfgang (our dog, not Mozart) through the window.

It was a good friend who we haven’t been in close contact with in, dare I say, months. I was exceptionally excited. Aside from the hubs and strangers at the grocery store who may not be strangers because who the heck knows who anyone is these days, I haven’t seen people.

I am a social creature by nature and this pandemic is slowly killing my mojo. Any sign of life gives me a shot of adrenaline that could get me through another week.

What is important to note is that it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I was in the same leggings and sweatshirt I wore on my walk that morning. I hadn’t showered, let alone refreshed my armpits with deodorant. My head hadn’t seen the working side of a brush in three days, and I’m not even confident my teeth had either.

Thank God for the small miracle called a mask, of which our friend respectfully donned.

Typically, I would have ninja’ed myself behind the couch — a move I execute when there is a Jehovah’s Witness sighting — where I would have stayed until either DH answered the door or our friend just gave up and went away. But these days I don’t care.

I did chase our mailman halfway down the driveway in a robe and not much else last year to give him his Christmas card. But he’s the mailman. Like my doctor, if he’s seen one crazed middle-aged woman, he’s seen them all.

These days when I try to apply make-up I come away looking more like John Wayne Gacy in full costume instead of, well, me. I neglect to brush my teeth every now and then, and I’m not even sure I recall how to use a hairbrush anymore. Forget about shaving my legs. I may as well move to a hippie commune. I would probably fit in quite well.

It is what it is. This is me now. Although, I was never one to be defined by beauty — or lack thereof — I at least had the decency to do one or all of the above before I went out in public.

Let’s just say that was how I gave back to my community. No need to thank me.

Our friend didn’t flinch. I don’t know if it was out of courtesy, or he just has gotten so used to this new world, he didn’t notice. I think we’re all so conditioned to the continued foul “smell” of 2020, it doesn’t even register on the radar anymore. It’s like being nose blind, but for the eyes.

I know I’m not alone. It may take some time, but hopefully we can all put our hippie days behind us at some point and go about our business as usual, and not like a deranged serial killer who dresses like a clown.

Although hippies are on to something, don’t you think?

Welcome to Password Hell

You don’t need to tell me why the password is so important. I get it. Speaking from someone who had her Facebook hacked recently, I understand that more than I understand why my nose is on my face (to hold up my reading glasses, of course).

Brilliant.

By the way, if you haven’t had your Facebook account hacked you have not lived. The adrenaline rush from the moment you realize what has happened until that very last online account has been disabled, is so intense it should count as a ten mile run out of the Grand Canyon.

Alas, all it does is shave a few years off your life. That level of unfairness is equal to not being able to ride Magic Mountain at Disney World because you’re too short.

The other night we wanted to get into Apple TV. We’ve had Apple TV for a very long time and use it often. In this time of Quarantine Living there isn’t much else to do as I am sure you can attest to.

I couldn’t get in. Well, I did eventually but only after too many tries to count, a lot of cursing, and so much hair pulling I’m surprised I’m not as bald as a newborn baby’s ass.

How dare it tell me my password was incorrect.

It really set the mood for the rest of the evening. Actually, I’m still pissed about it and am in a bit of a standoff with Apple TV at the moment. Guns are drawn. I’ll let you know who wins (hint: it won’t be me).

I recently bought a new MacBook. With this MacBook, there is a feature that allows you to use your fingerprint to gain access into your accounts.

Except it seems it doesn’t always perform.

I tried to get into my WordPress account where I keep my blog. Except my fingerprint wouldn’t work. This was on the same day as the Apple TV debacle. You can imagine the bloodshed at my house. If motherboards and processors count as blood.

The fingerprint does not change. I may not have paid much attention in science class, but this I know.

I have been relying on the fact that my computer remembers my passwords for so long that I had completely forgotten what it was.

Here came the adrenaline rush again. At this point I should be primed to be a contestant on American Ninja Warrior. Instead I’m afraid I’ll be hitting a ripe old age sooner than I want to. At the rate it’s going, that will be next Tuesday.

The worst is when you take a few days off from work. When you return, the screen stares at you, begging for the password. The only problem is, you have turned your brain off for a few days and POOF! The part of your brain that holds your passwords has been disabled. Went on vacation to Tahiti. It’s just a shame it didn’t take you with it.

And even though your laptop says to “click here” for a password reset, it doesn’t work. You inevitably will need to call the Helpdesk and spend an hour trying to explain to the nice Helpdesk guy what it is you are trying to accomplish. More frustration will ensue. Your call will need to be escalated.

You sit without access to your work computer. You need to take another day off. Your brain falls deeper into the black hole of nothingness. Although from what I’ve gathered from HGTV, Tahiti is anything but nothingness.

Maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but you get my gist, right? Surely you can relate.

What kills me the most is when you FOR SURE have entered the correct password. You have it written down in your little notepad of passwords. This little notepad is your bible and it’s never wrong.

Yet, the account you are trying desperately to gain access to says otherwise.

Then you take a deep breath and attempt to reset your password. Again. The new password you use is the password you thought it was. Except you get an error that you can’t use an old password.

By now, the site you are trying to get into decides to lock you out.

This is when you incur some brain damage from all the head banging you begin to do.

Eh. You really didn’t need to get into your bank account anyway. There are more important things that need to get done besides being sure that check you wrote to Home Goods doesn’t bounce.

Like watching your favorite show through Apple TV.

Oh right. You can’t get in.

Wax or Wane

I am not here to discuss the third grade teachings of the moon as the title of this post would have you believe. Instead I am here to discuss my quiet and sudden obsession with candles and what happens when you try to give them life when a wick has gone rogue.

I have a drawer full of candles of all sizes and scents in my office. There are some I don’t much enjoy, but won’t get rid of because I like my candle drawer filled to the brim. As much as it goes against the grain in this Marie Kondo world of unloading items that do not spark joy, this drawer just gives me a certain amount of personal satisfaction.

Along with these candles are books of matches. I’m not sure how I procured so many of them. Outside of the time I pretended to inhale a cigarette when I was fourteen years old, I never smoked. Lucky for me they are great for lighting things other than cigarettes.

Like candles.

The candles that have caused me some discontent

I have two candles I am especially fond of and are aptly named “Books” and “Bungalow.” If you light them together, you would swear you were reading a book in a bungalow.

Why I didn’t think to light the “Beach Grass” is beyond me. Just like that I could have been reading a book in my beachside bungalow. Ahh, so many missed opportunities.

The wicks on both these candles had gone into hiding. I tried everything short of calling in Search & Rescue, but nothing worked. They sat for months until I had the bright idea of hitting YouTube the other day. Don’t ask me what took so long. Like my prepubescent boobs, I’m always a little bit behind.

I found this guy Jeff and in about a minute and a half, discovered how I could easily dig out my wicks.

Bottom line is you point a heat gun at the problematic candle, melt the wax, pour the melted wax out, and voila! You have found your wick. Light and be merry.

Unfortunately for me, I do not possess a heat gun and neither does DH. The latter really surprises me since he owns more tools than the local Harbor Freights.

Fortunately for me, I do own a blow dryer. Two of them, in fact. So, I chose the one I thought would produce the most heat and got to work.

It started out well enough. It was a wee bit messy, but I was happy to see what the man said would happen — the wax was melting. I grabbed a couple squares of toilet paper to wipe the sides of the candle jar and continued on.

Except after another few seconds of torching my candle, toilet paper squares were not really cutting it. Because I’m a genius, I placed a nearby catalog under the candle to catch any wax that was spilling over.

And because I am also a rule follower, I poured out whatever wax was melted as I was told to do. Lo and behold my once hidden wick was standing out in the open like a soldier ready for battle.

I repeated the steps above for candle number two.

Later that evening as I was preparing for bed, I stepped into the bathroom to find it smelling like a candle factory. That would have been just fine seeing that the scent was a combination of my favorite candles, but then I felt some things under my bare feet.

Upon closer inspection I discovered they were dried up balls of wax. Melted to the floor tile. All of the floor tile.

And just like that, within a nano second of this discovery, the balls of wax seemed to multiply by the hundreds, perhaps even thousands.

Like fruit flies.

They were everywhere.

On the mirrors, walls, sink, countertop, toothbrushes. On the toilet, in the toilet, over the toilet. On the back of the door, the shower curtain, the window shade. And if I were a betting woman, I would guess on the ceiling as well, but I’m too short and afraid to look.

I set out to get it cleaned up, when I had a thought.

And that’s when I lit my “Clean” candle. Still waiting for results, but my mama didn’t raise no quitter.

Also, thanks for the warning, Jeff. Not everyone is a Captain Obvious.


229 Minutes

That’s how long I was sitting in line to get tested for Covid-19 this past Saturday. 229 minutes. For those of you who don’t feel like doing the calculation, or if you’re like me and are not good at third grade math or just don’t have the ability to run numbers in your head as quickly as Sir Isaac Newton, that computes to three hours and forty-nine minutes.

Nearly four hours to receive a covid test. It takes less time to run the Boston marathon. Or to take a round trip flight to Wisconsin from New York. But don’t take a trip because we are in a pandemic. You probably shouldn’t do any marathons either. This pandemic is a killjoy.

I could have saved myself four hours

Long story short, I wanted to be tested because Friday night I felt like I was coming down with a cold and woke up Saturday morning congested and headachy and exhausted. The kind of exhaustion that renders you incapable of doing anything outside of rolling over.

I also had a dream that a friend’s cat was talking to me.

I know many people who came down with the dreaded ‘rona and it started out the exact same way…cold-like symptoms and weird dreams.

Unfortunately, there was not one single appointment at a local walk-in clinic or pharmacy inside of 72 hours and my PCP doesn’t have weekend hours. My only option was one of those places you see on the news where the cars snake around for what seems like miles.

Every time I see this madness on the evening news I am astounded. It always reminds me of one of those apocalyptic movies where people are trying to get out of dodge en masse. I swore that would never be me. But there I was. Stuck in a line of cars, but without an apocalypse or zombie to be had.

What does one do for four hours while deliberately waiting for someone to shove a ten-inch Q-tip up your nostrils?

In my case, I spent an hour talking on the phone with my parents, did a little Facebook scrolling, texted some friends complaining about the injustice of it all, and enjoyed a little people watching.

In 229 minutes I saw a car overheat and get towed away, I saw a man walk up the long line of cars with a red gas can. Not sure if he was selling gas or if he just simply ran out. But darn. That’s not a bad side gig.

I myself only had a quarter of a tank of gas leftover from when I filled my car in September, so it could happen. There are stranger things. I mean, I was willingly waiting in line for 229 minutes to have my brain tickled. Saturdays sure aren’t what they used to be.

Where was I? Oh yeah, people watching.

I watched the teenager in the car in front of me get out of the vehicle, walk down the hill, and come back with food an hour later.

I saw a man get food delivered to his car. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that. I was so hungry by the end of this, I was close to exiting my vehicle and start grazing on the fir tree to my right.

I did panic a bit when I realized that if I had to go to the bathroom, I wouldn’t be able to. Turns out there was a bathroom at the three hour mark, but it also turns out there was a note on the door. Not sure what it said because I couldn’t see from my vantage point, but my guess is it wasn’t, “Welcome all who could potentially be infected with the Covid-19 virus, please come on in and sit a spell so you can continue to spread your germs all over the universe.”

After three hours, one of the nice volunteers came up to my car to scan my online registration, thanked me profusely for doing so, and stuck a Post-It note on my windshield with my test number. She told me I was almost there with “only” about another hour to go.

When I got close enough to see the front of the line, I started timing how long it took for one vehicle to get through the actual testing area — anywhere from a minute and a half to two minutes. When I pulled up, I was done in well under a minute.

In other words, register online for these things if you can, people. It will save a lot of time for everyone.

The lady who administers the test and looks as if she is going to do a mold remediation on you instead of a simple nose swab, greeted me with what I could gather was a smile on her face even though she was working her butt off in the wind and cold all alone to test 400 people. I appreciate her.

But I wouldn’t blame her one bit if she lost her mind and ended up shoving that Q-tip all the way to the temporal lobe and killed us all. Wow. That took a turn. I’ve been watching too much Netflix. Maybe Disney Channel would be a better choice.

The Verdict: The specimen that was collected from the deep recesses of my face on the end of that ten inch Q-tip has determined I am Covid-19 negative. Should have done the cover test (see meme above).

The Year of the Pity Party

I am a self-proclaimed Party Animal but these days the party is more of the pity type. I used to “party” as they say, but something by way of a pandemic has put a stop to that.

Who am I kidding? Lately, the animal in me has been of the taxidermic variety anyway, but it felt weird saying Party Dead Animal.

Oh never mind.

Ok, so it’s not just MY party but I was invited against my will so that gives me the right to cry about it. Credit for meme goes to weheartit.com. Also, yes I see the typo.

With the exception of the first ten, maybe eleven weeks of this year, 2020 has been a complete asshole. Aside from the obvious, there have been more things cancelled than any of us care to discuss.

In my own personal life the first thing to go was my only child’s graduation from college. It was disappointing enough not to be able to see her walk, but then not seeing family and having to cancel our swanky rooftop restaurant reservations just added to the frustration.

I sent the event coordinator at said restaurant an email stating, “I’m sure this will be over in a couple weeks so let’s discuss then.” If an email could collect dust, I can assure you it would look like those stuffed animals your mother always complained about.

Anyway, it wasn’t over in a couple weeks. It wasn’t over in a couple months. In fact, here we are over eight months later and not only is it not over, but I feel like we are going backwards. We are nearing December and there is no proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not necessarily afraid of the dark, but tunnels scare me on a good day, forget it if the lights go out.

What was I saying? Oh right…cancellations.

Then there are the birthday celebrations. Perhaps not as heartbreaking since we all get a birthday each year, but still disappointing nonetheless. I was going to put my pandemic birthday on the list of things to tell the grandkids one day, but it turns out we will all have a pandemic birthday. Some of us will get two. If we get to three I’m leaving. Although there really is no place to go except the middle of the ocean or the moon.

Seeing that the only thing that will keep me above water is a weak doggy paddle and the fact that space travel scares me more than dark tunnels, I’m kind of in a bit of a situation.

Weddings had to be cancelled, postponed or relegated to a field with the happy couple and an officiant with a bullhorn.

Ditto for funerals. Except without the happy couple and bullhorn. The non-funerals make me sad most of all and does nothing but conjure up thoughts of Eleanor Rigby.

Then we had some cancelled holidays.

Easter came and went without so much as an Easter bonnet. Our traditional family gathering was cancelled. The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus had to be contained to a 12″ computer screen and chocolate from our stash of leftover Halloween candy.

The Fourth of July for us consisted of catching a peek of some dime store fireworks the neighbors lit off. And that was only if we were lucky enough to be looking out the window at the right time.

Thanksgiving would be normal, right? Wrong.

Another large family gathering cancelled. I was not happy about this development because now I have to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in my life. I don’t even know how to defrost a turkey. Is there such a thing as Thanksgiving chili? I’m pretty good at that.

Then to add insult to injury, after much deliberation and anguish, the only child I was speaking of earlier had to be uninvited to come home because it was too much of a risk. That brought on many, many tears from me. Sure, some of my emotional distress could be blamed on menopause. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Finally, we have the mother of all holidays — Christmas. The resurrection of Jesus had to be put on the back burner, but no way will we still be in this pandemic for His birth. Or will we? I guess there could be a Christmas miracle. A Christmas miracle in the form of a vaccine, perhaps?

I could go on and talk about New Year’s Eve, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We rang in 2020 and look where that got us.

Pause the Meno

It’s like a cruel joke on the human female body. Generally, I love being a woman. I think we’re smarter, more logical, better looking, we have better clothes, and can have babies, just to name a few. But this nonsense of menopause is just a bit over the top, don’t you think?

Not to get graphic or anything, but the majority of us start with the menses at an early age. I know the reason for it. I don’t need a theological or health education refresher. I get it. But why for the love of all things sacred does menopause have to last longer than an unwrapped Hostess Twinkie?

By my unscientific calculations and some early grammar school math I will have suffered, from beginning to end, for over forty years. That is if my menopause lasts for as long as a recent study determined it can last for — fourteen years. Fourteen years. The magic number when I became a woman. How ironic.

Since November, when a blood test confirmed my current state, and since the last time I complained about it, my “symptoms” have increased exponentially. How, you ask? Oh, please allow me to do the honors…

Perfect example of menopause brain. I don’t know anyone who can drink from their eyeball, do you?
  • I trust my menopause brain about as much as I trust gas station sushi.
  • My thermostat works as well as the 1980 Fiat Strada I had when I was seventeen.
  • I not only feel like an old jalopy, I’m starting to look like one, so to speak. Just take a look at my unmaintained hair. I have more grey’s than a cloudy day.
  • I am sleeping almost as much as a bullfrog, which is zero in case you didn’t know. File this under “random things you find on the internet when you can’t sleep.”
  • God help you if my mood changes and you’re standing directly in my path. You would be safer outside during an electrical storm. On your roof. Holding a metal rod.
  • Random itching during the most inopportune times. It’s like the tooth fairy except instead of money, she’s leaving little droppings of itch dust directly on my skin. I wonder if that is the bullfrog’s problem?
  • I went from not needing to wash my hair for four days to my roots looking like they took a dip in a McDonald’s fryer after two.
  • As a typically extroverted person, I am amazed at how introverted I have become. Oh wait. That’s because we’re in a pandemic. Never mind. Phew. That was a close call.
  • I am alarmed at the amount of hair that falls out and into the drain during a shower. The good news is the one lone chin hair that has been sprouting for years has magically disappeared.
  • During a flush, my face could be used as a steam iron. Black & Decker has nothing on me.

I feel like I have been spending the last few months complaining about this, but I believe I have earned the right. So, buckle up. It’s going to be a long ride. Ten months down. Only 158 more to go.

Spanx Me

Image source: NatalieDee.com

Remember back in the day when we could go do fancy things and wear fancy clothes? Like, for a wedding or formal dinner? Ho hum, me too. I sure do miss you, any year before 2020.

Although I have to say I have grown quite accustomed to wearing yoga pants and not wearing a bra or makeup — with my hair up in what I call a messy bun, but may look more like the home of a black-billed magpie to you — I sometimes long for somewhere decent to go besides the McDonald’s drive-thru and ShopRite.

Somewhere to go where I can actually take the time to put on makeup and look presentable enough to see the Queen. Or at least her housemaid.

Unfortunately for me, the little black dress requires some extra help these days. And it comes in the form of the household name called “Spanx.”

The Spanx I do not miss. Although it does lie in wait for me — sharing a drawer with my most private undergarments — I do not look forward to shoehorning myself into those items again anytime soon.

One of the last weddings I attended was that of a nephew. This was before I lost weight (and gained it back again, as I do). I took the time to curl my hair with the same hot roller set my mother used in the ’70s, and applied my makeup with such precision anyone could have confused me with Michelangelo during the painting of the Sistine Chapel, I’m sure of it.

Everything looked good from the head up. In my opinion, anyway. Now to do something with the below-the-neck portion of myself. I couldn’t very well go to this event bodiless now, could I? No, that most likely would have stolen the bride’s thunder.

I couldn’t help myself. Photo courtesy of sites.psu.edu

My little black dress fit like a glove — you know, of the O.J. variety. If it didn’t fit, then why didn’t I quit? Because, like I said, I had something in my arsenal that I hoped would help.

Enter The Spanx, stage left.

Now, of course, like most women in my situation I have more than one to choose from. I have the high waisted brief, the bodysuit, the shaping cami, the thigh slimmer…just to name a few.

Now, to make the excruciating decision of which garment to wear, umm, under my garment. I tried on several and quickly discovered that just one pair of Spanx wasn’t going to cut it.

It was made abundantly clear there was only one way to tame the beast. And that was to double up.

In the end I decided on the bodysuit and the high waisted brief (yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds). The bodysuit OVER the high waisted brief to prevent the brief from rolling down my body like a roller shade.

Brilliant.

Except it wasn’t. You know, brilliant.

Have you ever worn armor? The kind that is made of steel? Me neither. But I imagine it must be pretty darn close to what I created for myself that day. It was total torture.

Don’t let the smile fool you. I was crying on the inside..

Once I got everything pulled on and pulled in, I thought I looked pretty good. But what I didn’t factor in was sitting down, bathroom breaks, the damage I was potentially doing to my internal organs, and umm, living.

I’m not really sure how the ladies of the 18th and 19th centuries survived this nonsense. It’s a wonder the corset survived more than a day let alone several hundreds of years.

Also, I don’t know who came up with the cliche, “beauty is pain,” but she should have her tongue cut out.

Fun fact: Can you believe a woman invented the first corset? She probably died of internal bleeding.

Not a mere few hours prior I was channeling Michelangelo. Now I was channeling a pregnant women overdue with a literal village. Bending at the waist was a near impossibility. It was not going well.

Trying to use the facilities was a whole other story. Although unintentional, I was suddenly a physical comedian. Lucille Ball had nothing on me. Unfortunately, the show was wasted on the inside of a 2’x2′ bathroom stall.

Anyway, I survived the night. Mostly because I gave up and pulled the darn things off altogether. I could hear the collective deep sigh of relief from my ovaries to my liver.

These Spanx may not have fit nicely under my little black dress, but they sure did fit nicely in my little black bag.

Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

When I was in the throes of teenage-dom, you couldn’t pull the phone out of my hand without the assistance of a grizzly bear with a crowbar. This was during the hormone-induced-boy-crazed stage of my life where every ring of the telephone meant the difference between life and death. I’m sure I burned more calories running for that 1982 telephone than I do during HIIT class.

The rotary phone wasn’t easy to talk on either. Ours was stuck to a wall which was a challenge all on its own. The dial was what nightmares are made of, and the handset was attached to the base by a curly cord that would twist up into itself. Unless you took the time to unfurl it, the basic act of moving was a near impossibility.

But that curly, twisted-up, wired cord was my lifeline. And I was dead without it.

I got that cord so stretched out, I could practically talk in any room of our modest little home. My favorite was stretching it from the kitchen to across the hallway and into the only bathroom we had. I would lock myself in there and talk until a member of our five-person household was banging the door down.

I would talk for hours upon hours on that phone. So much so that my ear would sweat itself into hives. More often than not I would be interrupted by the sound of an operator coming onto the line with the news that my mother was trying to get through. Anything short of a natural disaster did not an emergency make.

I nearly died and went to heaven when the push button was invented. Then the party line became a thing where you could have three people on the phone at once. That right there was just short of orgasmic. To make things even better, the cordless came along and changed everything.

Of course, that was followed by the digital phone where you could actually see who was calling. I think they call it “Caller ID.” That was almost better than the invention of bread.

Obviously, the telephone has evolved over the years. Enough to want to make Alexander Graham Bell roll over in his grave.

What we didn’t see coming was the invention of the car phone. Everyone remembers their first. Mine was no lighter than a baby seal and came in an attractive case that resembled an oversized toiletry bag.

Now we have cell phones that are so small they fit in our back pocket, and are smarter than most people I know. They have the capability to contact someone without actually calling them, order dinner, book a vacation, count calories, teach CPR, and take better pictures than a Nikon camera.

These days you don’t even need a landline. The cellular phone has taken over.

Poor Alex.

Like the telephone, I too, have evolved.

I am no longer a fan of talking on the phone, unless it’s to my daughter, parents, or a friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time. And even then it’s questionable.

I’m not really sure what happened. Perhaps it’s due to my overuse of the thing when I was fifteen and the novelty just wore off. Or it could just simply be because I’m sick of talking.

It sounds like an oxymoron of sorts allowing those words, “sick of talking” to pass my lips. If there is one thing I have a gift for, it’s the gab. Although, mostly that gift is put to use during a movie, long car rides, and inopportune times that have forced people to ask me to close my trap. Can you imagine?

Anyway, these days I prefer texting to calling. It’s more convenient, faster, and not such a time suck. Sure, I run the risk of misspelling a word or using the incorrect use of “your,” but that’s a chance I’m willing to take. Even if it is blasphemy.

I guess my point is don’t call, text.

Just kidding. You can call. 

Just text first.

Generational Language

I have come to the conclusion that Generation Z can, by all accounts, bamboozle the hell out of my generation just with their own special language.

Let me give you an example:

I wrote on my private Facebook page a couple weeks ago that my daughter’s university had shut down for the remainder of the year due to the coronavirus. There was a response from her boyfriend that went like this, and I quote, “rt if u cri erytm.”

At first, I was concerned that maybe he had a stroke and thought I should call 911. But then other kids from his generation started answering, “oh you’re so funny” and “don’t encourage it.”  There were “likes” and “LOLs” in response to his comment. Clearly he was speaking their language. None of it was lost on any of them…except me.

So, I asked a simple question, “why are you speaking Latin?” To which he replied with one of those ROFL faces (“rolling on floor laughing” for those of you who don’t know — please don’t think me a traitor). I’m not sure what he thought was so funny. Personally, I thought it was a “wicked” good question.

In my day we had phrases like, “gag me with a spoon, “you hoser,” “wicked” (see above), and my personal all-time favorite, “no duh” which I still use from time to time.

What can I say? Old habits die hard.

The generation before me used lingo like, “daddio” and “far out.” Although I’m certain their parents thought it was ludicrous, they could at least somewhat decifer it. As I’m sure my parents could.

But these kids today? I feel like they have their own village. This language is so foreign to me I need a passport, in addition to a translator.

“Bae” still puzzles me even though my dear child has tried to explain it to me time and time again. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even really know herself.

And what the hell is “yeet?” Say it loud and fast, and it could be mistaken for the mating call of a wild bird from Madagascar. Upon looking up the meaning though, it appears it’s some kind of battle cry. A battle cry to go along with their village.

The one that baffles me the most is this “VSCO girl” business. At first I thought I was hearing “disco” girl and got super excited because although two thirds of The Bee Gees are long gone, I sure would love for them to make a comeback somehow. I’m not embarrassed to admit disco is one of my favorite music genres. How deep is my love? Pretty deep.

Alas, “VSCO girl” is not disco. It has something to do with the Hydro Flask. Unless there is wine in that Hyrdo Flask, I’m not interested.

Then they have acronyms like:

ilysm — Could they mean “I’ll leave you smoking, ma’am?” No, too violent.

brb — “Bring real beer?” Nah, kinda been done already.

smh — “Send my homey?” Hmm, I may be onto something.

I give up. Go ask a teenager or young adult. My brain hurts and I’m frustrated. If you need me I’ll be crying into my wine-filled hydro flask reading the latest version of “Tiger Beat.” If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? Yolo.