The Brain Thief and Other Stories for the Middle Aged Woman

Warning: Spoiler alert ahead.

What in the love of God is this? Things have changed. Overnight. Out of nowhere. And uninvited. You know, on my body, in my body, all over my body. There was no warning either. Why wasn’t there a warning?

For starters, I feel like I’m losing my mind. If you lifted the top of my head off you will find little blips of memory from when I was twelve, thoughts of food, a squirrel, and the proverbial cobweb or two.

Then there is the loss of words. Simple words. Words I know. You see that word “proverbial” in the paragraph above? It took me exactly seven minutes to recall it. Usually I would turn to my trusty online thesaurus, but I couldn’t think of the word “thesaurus.”

I think and say really dumb things. Remember that riddle, “what color is George Washington’s white horse?” If I hadn’t already heard it a million times, I’m not confident I would answer correctly.

Then we have the hot flashes. They come unexpectedly and often. It’s like someone installed a furnace inside me and there is a tiny man shoveling coal into the thing like his life depends on it. I wish the guy would drop dead of a heart attack or something. No offense, tiny man.

My evenings are filled with three changes of pajamas, covers that end up on the floor until I start freezing again. And sweat. Pools of it. If only I could bottle and sell it. I’d make millions. You know, if sweat was trending.

And let me introduce to you the Mood Swing. It can turn on a dime. Like a Lamborghini. Maybe not as sexy, but most definitely as fast.

I don’t care who you are — except 1973 Robert Redford — if you do or say the wrong thing at the wrong time, you are crucified.

Like, get me some nails and a hammer and you are done for. You know, metaphorically speaking, of course.

I am predictably unpredictable. My family walks on egg shells. They know I’m gonna blow. They just aren’t sure when.

My mom has an uncanny ability to actually smell my hormonal shift and she lives 600 miles away. My husband usually wishes he was dead. My daughter tries to get another family to adopt her. And my co-workers look around wondering if they made a wrong turn and wound up at the circus freak show instead of the office.

Also, I have weird dreams. Case in point: This past week I dreamt William Baldwin was released from house arrest and I couldn’t wait to write a blog post about it. Imagine my disappointment when I woke up and realized I made the whole thing up.

Randomly waking up in the middle of the night and then not being able to fall back to sleep is a real thrill. Staring at the ceiling waiting for the Sand Man to pay me a visit is about as entertaining as listening to Taylor Swift stuck on repeat.

The facial and neck hair that seems to sprout like wildfire during the Santa Ana winds is super fun. Because I can’t see close up without my readers, I don’t always see it. Until someone else does.

And my all-time personal favorite? Muscle atrophy. I exercise almost every single day. If I did that when I was in my twenties, thirties — hell, even my forties — my body would look like Jane Fonda from her 1970s workout videos. Instead I look more like Gumby with boobs.

That just about covers it. I wish I could end this post on a witty note, but I can’t find the words for it.


One Moldy Oldie

photo
Soul Asylum. I think that’s their name.

There are many, many things I am too old for.  I’m too old for drama.  But I will not discuss that here because this blog is for fun and inspirational subject matter.  I’m too old for My Retail Job, even though I have to admit I’m having a blast among all the aches, pains and “you’re a mature woman” comments.  I am too old for roller coasters, which pisses me off because I would go on one a thousand times in a row if my brain didn’t scramble into a million pieces after the first 30 seconds of the first ride.  And as much as I love my new sport of running, I may be too old for it because my knees feel like they have been through a war.  Maybe even 2 wars.

Last night I met a friend of mine for dinner about an hour away from where I live.  A very old friend.  She’s not old, our friendship is old.  We were having a great time, having great conversation as always.  Halfway through dinner she asked if I wanted to go with her to meet some of her friends at this theater outside of town to see a band.  Who am I to pass up a good time?  PLUS it was an opportunity to meet new friends.

We trekked on over the border into the next town to see this band.  You may remember them.  Soul Asylum.  I was never a grunge band follower.  I am classic rock and moldy oldies all the way.  After singing half a dozen songs, they sang ONE song I vaguely recognized.  But every person in that room had gray hair.  If they didn’t have gray hair, it was colored I’m sure.  So, I didn’t feel out of place.  A Justin Timberlake concert I would feel out of place at.  This concert?  I just felt old among the old.  And the music was just too effing loud.  I mean, how is a mature woman supposed to have an intellectual conversation with all that noise?

Me and my old friend
Me and my old friend.  And that would be Sprite in my cup.  I swear.

Me and my new friends
Me and 2 of 4 of my new friends.  And my Sprite.

Sure, I had a good time.  Sure, I danced to music I never heard of or even liked.  Sure, I had a drink.  Ok, half a drink.  Ok, a quarter of a drink.  Because after about 20 minutes into being there, I hit a wall.  Not literally.  But the “holy shit, I need my bed NOW” kind of wall.  As much as I was enjoying these women, my new friends among my old one, I felt a very strong urge to put my head on a pillow.  In fact, if there was a pillow somewhere in that place, I would have had my ass in a corner on that floor.  Even amongst all the racket.  And it wasn’t even 10pm yet.

And the band?  They have to be at least my age.  Where, may I ask, do they get their energy?  I guess from their hair.  Because they had plenty of it.  Hair.  Good for those guys.  But I will bet any amount of money that they went home, slathered a crapload of Ben Gay on their joints and fell into a deep coma.  Because that’s what I did.  And I’m not too proud to say so.  I mean, who needs pride when you pee your pants every time you sneeze and, well, never mind.  Anyway, I think I’ll stick to James Taylor.  He gets me.

Middle of the Road

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Mentally I act 22.  Physically I feel 35 (ok, maybe sometimes).  But really I am middle aged.  There is no question.  Because no matter how much I try to act like a college student, I am not.  How do I know?  Let me count the ways.

  1. I may be in the best physical shape of my life at this moment, but if I sit in one position for longer than, let’s say, 8 minutes, my legs feel like they’ve been put through a chipper.
  2. When I’m done peeing, I’m not done peeing.  I realize this only when somehow a little extra has escaped when I least expect it.  I’m not sure why I am surprised when this happens.
  3. If I so much as look at a plate of nachos, I gain 2 pounds.
  4. I tragically mistook the guitar riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown” for cicadas.  But just for a second, until I came to what’s left of my senses.
  5. What’s with these kids listening to their music so loudly?  Don’t they know they’ll go deaf?
  6. I have the memory of a goldfish.  No really.  Wait, what was I talking about?
  7. Reading glasses are now an accessory.  Like a necklace with benefits.  Sometimes you will see me with 2 or 3 of them piled on top of my head.  You know, just in case I misplace a pair and can’t remember where I put it.
  8. There is hair where there shouldn’t be.  Like at the end of my chin.  And extra long 4″ hairs growing from my brow.  And they are gray.  If I had known they were there, I would have plucked them.  But I can’t see.
  9. I recently spent a bit too much time trying to rub an age spot off the back of my hand.
  10. My knees have wrinkles.  Even with all the cardio I do.  When I run and look down, they appear to be frowning at me.  My knees are not very inspirational.
  11. 2 drinks feel like 10.  Even when it’s just Kool-Aid.

Ok, I’m done.  I could go on, but I’m getting depressed.  And I have to go and take my Metamucil.  See you at the Early Bird Special.