I can’t help it. I go through my day, minding my own business, just trying to accomplish my life goals when these little “nonsense asides” start chatting me up. Like really – – the voices in my head won’t stop prattling on. So I finally made a list of ’em just to purge myself from this bizarre minutia internal clutter! (Disclaimer: It’s also a way to blog about unrelated subjects!)
The Top Ten Unimportant But Incessant Thoughts From Little Miss Menopause
1. ABOUT FOOD: I am a careful eater and I read labels. Why is there often a phrase listed under ingredients that states authoritatively, “May contain…” and then goes on to list things like “paprika, lard, egg whites, yeast extracts, etc.” What goes on here? May Contain?? Nobody is sure?? Does a factory worker shout to the Head Cook, “Hey! Look at that giant black spider on the wall!” And then (when his attention is diverted) stealthily pour a vial of sesame seeds and cilantro in the big vat the cook has been toiling over? Or quickly cracks a few eggs into the mixture? C’mon, how do they get away with this nebulous jargon? There’s no “May” – – you either are a virgin or you’re not. Lecithin is either in my beef jerky or it’s not. One piece of good news – – I’ve yet to see, “May contain giant black spiders” written on any ingredient list.
2. ABOUT NON-FOOD: This thought is related to #1 because I often observe this in drugstore type products like medicines and lotions. I like to buy sunscreens that only feature two things: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Period. (And yes, I know this causes your complexion to have a ghostly white pallor but I just smile sweetly and explain to people that I’m a Kabuki Dancer and they stop staring.) Now that’s all well and good when I buy the Neutrogena brand and it lists only those two minerals under “Active Ingredients.” But then suddenly it contains the following things: Alcohol, Cyclomethecone, Ethylcellulose, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium PCA, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Aloe Leaf Juice, BHT, Benzophenone 3 under the heading of “Inactive Ingredients.” What’s the deal? Inactive? If they’re not doing anything or performing in some way, get them the heck off my skin! I don’t want some passive, loitering bystander named “Ascorbic Acid” just sitting around viewing everything. My breasts are not a spectator sport.
3. ABOUT SHIPS: How come seeing a model ship inside of a glass wine bottle brings about mystery/intrigue but seeing a model holding a wine bottle inside of a ship is no big deal. I really do think of these things.
4. ABOUT SHOPPING: When I go into a fitting room in a department store, there is often a sign proclaiming, “Dressing Room under surveillance.” (Oh! So my breasts ARE a spectator sport?) How is this even legal? I seriously hope this is just a bluff to scare would-be shoplifters and that there aren’t three men sitting on stools behind two-way mirrors, snickering while holding up signs that say “2.5” and “1.6” after I’ve tried on two different bikinis, completely oblivious that I’m competing in the Swimsuit Olympics.
5. ABOUT KEYS: After the above saga in the department store, I often march out in a huff. Only to realize I’ve left my car keys inside. The Three Judgey Men are probably now hooting and hollering, “Wait! She has a muffin top AND she’s hair-brained too?!!” But get this – – when I go up to Customer Service, she opens a drawer overflowing with people’s car keys and asks me to identify mine. What the ? How did the owners of all these car keys ever drive home? I spy some major status symbol keychains in that drawer. Why isn’t Nordstrom’s parking lot littered with abandoned Mercedes and BMWs?
6. ABOUT TRAVEL: I fly on airplanes with a lot of kids. Flight attendants urge me to put my own oxygen mask on first before I assist my children. By the time I do this and oh let’s say helped my next three munchkins seated the closest, the last three patient cherubs will have turned blue. Well, at least they will never know I liked their siblings better.
6. ABOUT DIVORCE: I’ve been divorced twice. Both times the legal procedure dragged on a long period before it was finalized. Over the course of that time, I sometimes needed to introduce these men (that I was separated from) at various events. But there’s no name or term for this status. You can’t say, “This is my spouse or my ex-husband” because they aren’t either of those things. We need some new word in our vocabulary for that in-between stage – – I propose it be an acronym since those are so popular now. How about, “I’d like you to meet my SOB” (Soon Over Board? Someday Outa Bounds?) Wait, I know! MILF is catchy these days. MILF = Man I’d Like to Flee!
7. ABOUT THE INTERNET: “Poking” someone on Facebook is just an adult version of “Gotcha Last!” Also a “Mail Daemon” sounds like a supernatural, evil deity and I get spooked when one of these shows up in my inbox. Speaking of email – – why do so many people nowadays end theirs with “Cheers!” I understand if they’re British, but it’s definitely infiltrated into American protocol. Saying “Cheers” is something we do before clinking our champagne glasses. Therefore, I am going to sign off all my emails from now on with “Bon Appetit.” Let people wonder. And salivate.
8. ABOUT WASTE: I take a lot of walks – – many times on “Garbage Day.” It’s not that I plan it that way, but it happens. And I drink a bottle of water. When I’m finished, I toss the empty plastic bottle in a neighbor’s trash-can that’s sitting by their curb. It never fails that I get the dirtiest looks. Did my personal litter just taint their private, precious rubbish? Ohhh, I get it. I’m not recycling.
9. ABOUT TOILETS: How come when I’ve been alone in my own home for a long period of time, I walk into the bathroom and notice that the toilet seat has been left up. There hasn’t been anyone here other than me for days! What’s the deal? Did I scrub it thoroughly earlier, but I just don’t remember? Nah – – far more likely that I have a male ghost who can’t hold it.
(Sorry, I lied. Nine unimportant thoughts, but now a tenth Fairly Significant One.)
10. ABOUT LAST CHANCES: Why don’t we ever know or get some kind of advanced warning that something we routinely do will never again be done? I never thought when I finished the last package of my favorite brand of beef jerky (yes, with the “May Contain” ingredients!) that the manufacturer would discontinue that product the very next day. I would have savored it more. I never realized that the last experience nursing my sixth child would be the final time and he would suddenly wean himself and graduate to solid foods. I would have held a special little ceremony. And I never dreamed that the thousandth time I said, “Goodbye Dad,* drive safely,” to my father would be the end of my ever uttering those words to him again. Never take anything or anyone you care about for granted. Always say “I love you.”
*Written in honor of my beloved Dad who passed away nine years ago on July 11th. He was my biggest humor writing fan.
So confess — what is your oddest, most random thought??