Age is Just a Number – – Ha! Age is a Bunch of Numbers!

An actual card given to me this Saturday from some young Whippersnapper.

An actual card given to me this Saturday from some young Whippersnapper.

“AGE IS JUST A NUMBER!”  People like to quote that old bumper sticker adage when they’re in a relationship with one person who is significantly younger or older than they are.  (yet they want things to work)  Well, I cannot begin to tell you how much I wish that romantic topic is what I’ll be writing about today.

But alas, I turn 50 on Wednesday, so instead this is going to be about getting older, so I can submit it to the WordPress Prompt before I get too old to comprehend the entry rules.  Maybe it’s a contest or Publisher’s Clearinghouse sweepstakes I can win….Ed McMahon lurking?

Therefore the numbers I am going to focus on are all the numbers that younger people who like to say, “Age is Just a Number” don’t EVER have to worry about.   Are you ready to examine them?  Let’s go!

115/65 – – This is my blood-pressure.  That is, when I am not contemplating how much I’d like to teach a good, “strong” lesson to all the young troublemakers who chirp, “Age is just a number.”

210 – – This is my total cholesterol and I defy you to find two articles that agree this is a bad number without giving you some ratio formula that sends you back to 8th grade math class.  And then where would you be?  Passing, “Do you like me?” notes to cute Jeff W?  Or maybe to cute Susan M?  Because after all, “Gender is just a word.”

1,310 – – This is the number of Calories that “they” claim I can take in and still maintain my current weight, (a number by the way, that shall remain nameless numberless?)   Yeah, sure!  This is also the exact number of sit-ups & push-ups I’ll need to do, plus the # of times I must run around my block if I eat anywhere NEAR that number of calories!

148 – – The number of my friends over forty who can relate to what I’m talking about here.  At least I’m not alone. And yes, misery DOES love company.  Misery particularly loves when the company you keep makes you look far better in comparison. (Hey, everything is relative!)  You know, like surrounding yourself with older, uglier and duller – – so that suddenly you start to look pretty darn good?!  Keeping this theory in mind – – if you’re ever looking for me from this point on, you’ll find me happily posing on the sofa pictured below.

That's right!  I'll look like a ravishing bride if I get married sitting on this left cushion.

That’s right! I’ll look like a ravishing bride if I get married sitting on this left cushion.

5 – – Average number of times in a week I lose my keys. We’re coming off a high-achieving week right now because it’s actually been 8 times.  But I finally got smart and made copies so I have two more sets left until I’m really desperate.  They called me from Target on Friday and urgently declared, “Miss Menopause?? We just found your car keys in our shopping cart!”  I magnanimously said, “That’s okay.  Give them to someone more needy than I.”  Then I leisurely strolled to retrieve my 9th set from my jewelry box.

16 – – Number of times I look at my hair in a mirror per day and say, “Gray is the new Brunette.”

.2 – – This is the amount of Testosterone that courses thru my veins.  1. Google the amount in the average woman.   2. Google what kind of things Testosterone influences in your body.  3. Agree with me that I will never get remarried if I cannot raise this number.

4 – – Number of hours I sleep in a night.  This is on a good night.  This is because of a) 26 hot-flashes  b) 22 thoughts of,  “I better not forget to do such ‘n such tomorrow. c) 6 night sweats (don’t tell me this is the same thing as a hot-flash.  It’s not!)   d)  3  reoccurring, terrifying nightmares that I got remarried on that couch pictured above.  Or remarried at all.  d)  16 funny noises (not “ha-ha” like a whoopie cushion) that I think I hear at 1:45 am, which subsequently require my walking thru the entire house with a baseball bat.  e) 2 realizations that I should probably make my sports-enthusiast son a baseball themed birthday party.  f)  80 –  the number of google searches at 4 am it takes me to find a local bakery that will make the perfect baseball diamond-shaped cake.

14 and 1/2 – – The number of times someone tells me in a day that I am “a little bit” obsessive/compulsive.  The 1/2 is from someone else who also has OCD and keeps changing their mind.

2650 – – Number of piano lessons I was “encouraged” to have between the ages of 8-16 years old because my mother told me I would be popular at parties. “After all, everyone loves a good sing-along,” she cajoled.

0 (zero) – – Number of times I have been dragged to a piano and requested to play Moonlight Sonata or a Polka by ANYONE at all during some wild musical bash in someone’s home.

4 – – Number of times my mother reads my blog in a week so I can say, “See?  I told you so.”

22 – – The average number of pills YOU Dear Reader will need to take every single day  (to keep all the above numbers in control!) as you age.  Note:  I however, will NOT be ingesting any of this junk because I’ve officially changed my mind about this whole entire thing.  I don’t need to win any writing contest about aging.  I withdraw my entry! Forget it! (What writing contest?  See it’s already forgotten!) I’m doing just fine as a young spring chicken, thank you very much.

Age is a bunch of numbers (and a bunch of pills?)  No Thank You!

Age is a bunch of numbers (and a bunch of pills?) No Thank You!

What “number” bothers you the most about aging?  Can you make light of it?  Leave me a comment below!

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The Write Way To Die.

I killed someone today.  And nobody will ever even know.  Well, just one person, but she won’t tell.  Let me see if I am brave enough to recount it for you.

Mean Girl:  You’re going to turn fifty in two weeks and you think NOW, all of a sudden out of the blue, you can try to make something of yourself with writing?

Me:  It’s not totally out of the blue.  I’ve tried my hand at writing before, you know.  But something always roadblocked me.

Mean Girl:  Something?  Typical.  Gotta have that scapegoat, doncha?

Me:   Well I know it seems like an excuse, but there were kids and divorces and deaths in the family and health issues – – mental health issues you know.  Can you keep that part to yourself, please?

Mean Girl: Hah!  Your children are so easy, it’s not even funny. What do you know of kiddy turmoil?  Good grades, no drinking, no drugs, nothing! And you were a stay-at-home mom, for God’s sake.

Me:  But there’s six.

Mean Girl:  Boo hoo – – try being a working mom AND raising kids.  Try being a widowed wife, working mom AND raising kids.  Try being a widowed wife, working mom, raising kids AND being diagnosed with breast cancer.  Try being…

Me:  I get it.  I see what you mean.  But don’t forget the mental health issues.  Those were hard.

Mean Girl:  Ohhh, right.  All that silly depression.  And your lovely, (most entertaining) thoughts of suicide.

Me:  There is such thing as a mid-life crisis, you know.  It’s legit.

Mean Girl:  You’re just fat, lazy, stupid, and dumb.

Me:  Stupid and dumb = same thing.

Mean Girl:   Google it, you idiot.  The fact that you don’t know the difference just proves how stupid you actually are.  Besides, that part needed emphasis.

Me:  You’re right.

Mean Girl:  Yep, reach for those chocolate chip cookies right about now.  Time to get even fatter.

Me:  I’m not.  I’m going to write instead.

Mean Girl:  Cough, cough.  Oh….My mistake.  I meant that jar of peanut butter.  And when you say “you’re going to write,” you’re using the term loosely.

Me:  That’s really unfair.  Certain people do enjoy my kind of writing.  My humor is . . .

Mean Girl:  So redundantly boring.  Insipid wordplay, cutsey-cheesy-corny titles, unrealistic, inane plots, ridiculous top-ten lists.  But it doesn’t even matter.  Who reads blogs anyhow?  It’s a totally moot point.

Me:  Well, I do have a few more followers these days.

Mean Girl:  Will wonders never cease?!  You know what? Just shove ten cookies in your mouth and call it a day.  Tomorrow you can start fresh.

Me:  Yeah, okay.  I bought some Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies – – they were for the kids.

Mean Girl:  LOL.  Seriously ?  And you’re fooling whom with that “it’s for the kids” crap?  I know.  They know.  We all know.  So eat them, already.

Me:  I could try taking a risk with my writing, blog about something different than my typical humor. Something meaningful to me in a more serious light?

Mean Girl:  I don’t think so, babe.  Even if you dared – – you’ve still got that old-age thing going on.  When are ya gonna do something about that?

Me:  What can I do about it?  Cosmetic surgery?

Mean Girl:  Nah, you’re way beyond that.  But here’s an idea that would kill two birds – – pun intended.  (I know how you love them puns.)  Kill yourself.  And then maybe, if you get lucky, some well-meaning friend or relative will talk up your writing and some of it will get more known, given higher regard. You know the whole “Unrecognized artists who only become famous after their tragic death” thing.  Google it.  It’s real, not an urban legend.

Me:  Yeah?

Mean Girl:  Yeah.  Sound good?  Or too chicken to even go that route?

Me:  Shut up.

Mean Girl:  Come again?  What’d you say?

Me:  Shut up.  Shut the hell up.

Mean Girl:  Oh, it’s getting interesting now.  A  big-talking loser.

Me:   You’re the loser.  What are you, like 15 years old?  Like the Mean Girl from middle school.

Mean Girl:  I WAS born in middle school.  Good job.

Me:  Born at age 15 – – thirty-five years is a long enough life for you.

Mean Girl:  Ya think?

Me:  Die.  Die, bitch.

Mean Girl:  You’re the one who feeds me.  You’ll have to starve me.

Me:  That’s too slow. I’ll put my hand over your stupid ass voice right now and squeeze the life outa you.

Mean Girl:  Yeah. Suffocation. Works every time.  If you have the guts.

Me:  Guts?  I hate your fucking guts. There’s no use for you around here anymore. You. Are. Dead.

Mean Girl:

Me:  There.  How was that?  That okay?

Therapist:  Well done,  Stephanie.  Well done.  It was self-defense.

Note:  This was an atypical posting for me.  My blog is humor based  (with an occasional anchoring of seriousness) so if you need a laugh after this, please see my most recent posting – – about the Academy Award nominated movie, “Her.”  Just click  HERE

UNUSUAL BOOKS FOR THE NOOKS (And Crannies in Your Life)

Bonus if you know why this image correlates with the title of this post!

Bonus if you know why this image correlates with the title of this post!

Disclaimer: This topic has no author turning over in his grave. It’s all in fun.

Let’s turn “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” into “If You Give Your Spouse Some Nookie.” I think books should grow with us as we age. I don’t want to keep packing up my beloved classic children’s literature into cardboard boxes to be rummaged through by sticky hands at garage sales for a quarter. Any writer expecting to have their children’s book become a Classic AND sustain a permanent place on our bookshelves needs to offer an intriguing 2nd Half-Of-Life version. We are no longer wearing footie pajamas and reading in our bean-bag chairs. Now we’re donning housecoats (what IS that type of apparel for, anyhow?) and reclining in our Barcalounger chairs.

In that spirit, here are some new “Grown-Up” Title modifications and a few of my recommendation notes to the Author.

SELF-HELP SECTION

Goodnight Prune (Good Night Moon)

Are You My Udder? (Are You My Mother?) This one should be carefully illustrated so as not to offend certain body types.

Withering Nights (Wuthering Heights)

Les Menopausals – Hey Vic – – You were so close with the whining women, the depressing outlook, and the frumpy dresses.…just kill off that pretty little Cozette.

Are You There Bod? It’s Me, Menopause (Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret) – – Self-explanatory content but I suggest the Dust Jacket have a fun-house mirror on it.

Poky Little Progesterone (Poky Little Puppy) – – Hurry back home, sex drive!

Mopey Chick (Moby Dick) – – On Depression

The Legend of Weepy Wallow – – On Grief and Sadness

Scratch Her In The Eye! (Catcher In the Rye) – – Yup. When the Depression Fades, There’s Rage!

STILL MORE  SELF-HELP SECTION! (And we need it…Oy!)

Shred Bag to Discourage (Red Badge of Courage) New Tips For old Shopaholics

Calm Lawyer (Tom Sawyer) A list of Divorce Attorneys who don’t yell.

Struck Thin (Huck Finn) The latest “Lose 10 pounds overnight” diet book.

All of Her Lists (Oliver Twist) Household Organization book

All of Her Cysts (Oliver Twist) Medical Diagnostic Manual

PURE FICTION

Kvetcher and the Rye – – An older Jewish woman visits a Deli

The Middle Spouse I’ll Remarry Series (The Little House on the Prairie Series) – – Includes Titles:  The Middle Spouse on the Contrary, Middle Spouse is Scary & Middle Spouse is on Dairy – – about a Lactose Intolerant Hubby who falls off the wagon with ice-cream.

Games the Defiant Teach (James and the Giant Peach)  – – Spy/Espionage novel about rebellious grown children who give aging parents wrong directions on how to play Words With Friends and Candy Crush.

Sale of Two Pretties (Tale of Two Cities) – – A couple of well-preserved, middle aged women become Call Girls

Pat The Money! (Pat The Bunny) – -Latest Wall Street Thriller…comes with a velveteen dollar bill.

Nancy Drew a Most Wanted Photo, to Help Police Find Her Deadbeat Ex-Husband – Enough said? Mystery solved!

Bi-Curious Georgia Series – – Includes Titles:  Injurious Georgia, Spurious Georgia and Luxurious Georgia (after the divorce settlement)

Court or Oy! (Corduroy) Yes, Lots of lawsuit books coming out.

Ramona the Best Chest is Never A Pest!

Henry Huggins & Henrietta Kissings – A match made in Beverly Cleary heaven.

Wilma Wantsa (Dark) Chocolate (Satis)factory (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

PURELY ADULT SECTION

(For those of us who haven’t thrown in the sheets just yet.)

Where the Wild Flings Are! (Where? Where??)

Charlotte’s Web of Sexual Deceit!

Pat the (Playboy) Bunny!

Rebecca Of Little Blackbook Charm

The Sketcher and the Thigh (That J.D. Salinger, gosh he sure is prolific!) – – Here I’m envisioning a coffee table artistic book of classy nudes.

Hop On Cop – – Dr. Seuss meets strippers in uniform!

Lean Legs & Gam (Green Eggs & Ham) – – yeah, I could have gone for an exercise book here, but Fetish seems more fun.

Challenge: In a comment below, Think of your own fave child/teen book and try to “Adultersize” a new title. Or leave one for me (to try!) to do.

I’ve Dropped So Many Eaves – – I Need an Entire New Roof!

photo-141
I know, I know…Awful Title. But “Confessions of an Eavesdropper” seems to be way overdone. And I feel the need to come clean, (maybe purge some guilt?) about my past transgressions before a certain consequential birthday hits me in March.

“Hello. My name is ‘Little Miss Menopause’ and I’m a Snoopaholic.” (No, I am not obsessed with Charlie Brown’s dog.) Unfortunately, I have listened in on so many phone calls, read so many diaries, pressed my ear to so many walls, and glimpsed so many text messages that even a 12 step program cannot help me now. Besides I’d probably just spy on my “Higher Power.”

Next Stop…Eavesdrop!

I believe this obsession started unintentionally, dare I say even innocently? Back when landline phones adorned every kitchen wall, and those phones had other attached phones connected to the same line (called “Extensions” for you youngsters) in faraway upstairs bedrooms – – where eavesdropping could easily happen quite accidentally. Well let’s just say if you were ten years old, listened to a certain radio station where you simply HAD to be the sixth caller when the DJ played a sound-clip of The Fonz grunting, “Heeeeyyyyyy” (so you could win tickets to the County Fair) you might suddenly snatch up the receiver and . . .and…. instead of finding out you’re going to the fair, find out your older sister is actually HAVING an affair.

“What was that? Did you just hear a click like someone picked up the other line? We better hang up now, just in case. I love you, Alan…”

Of course there was only one thing for me to do the next day….

And the miniature key was right in the little padlock!

“Dear Diary,

Today Alan kissed me and then confessed to being a married man. This is so Marsha Brady/Dr. Dentist-like! (Oh God! I had just watched that Brady Bunch episode with her last week!) He gave me a locket and told me to wear it under my blouse and never show it to anyone. But today I noticed my ten-year-old sister staring at the chain. (I had been staring at her boobs, wondering about my own.) She is so obnoxious. And fat too. Gotta go study, Diary… (Nooo! Right at the best part?) college finals are a bitch.

It’s Not Always About You. (Yes It Is!)

Wait, forget the affair. So now I was fat?? This was news to me. Obnoxious I knew, but how many pounds did I need to lose? That was the day I learned something very important. You never really know what others truly think about you unless you eavesdrop.

I’m not trying to justify my actions, but don’t most people do this sort of thing to dig up dirt on others? From that moment on, I just wanted to find out the truth about MYSELF. Make sure I was living in the real world. I was dying to know what else was being kept from me.

The next day I played at a neighbor’s house (twin girls a year older than me) and decided to try a little experiment. In the middle of playing Barbies, (nobody ever calls Barbie “fat” behind her back!) I excused myself on the pretense of needing to use the bathroom. I made sure my footsteps could be heard stomping down the hall, then silently tiptoed back to listen through their bedroom door.

“She smells like tuna.”
“I know. And she always wears her hair in that stupid fat braid.” Great, now my hair was chubby too.
“Let’s tell her we have a piano lesson and can’t play anymore.”

They should just have an “Evil Twin” lesson and call it a day.

Sheesh, this was a terrific week for my self-esteem. But now I was completely hooked.

I Was All Ears Thru The Years!

As the years passed, I fine-tuned my nosiness. When I was dating my soon-to-be fiance, we went to a party at his brother’s house so he could introduce me to some of his buddies and even his parents were invited. I was nervous but as the evening wore on, I seized the moment on their couch to sort of “drift-off.” Uh huh. I had a glass of wine. Hey, it could happen! And I was a good actress, earning high marks in Fake Sleeping 101.

“So….what do you think of her?”

Yes…JACKPOT!!!

“She’s pretty nice. I’d say she’s a slight improvement over Vanessa.” Vanessa? Who the hell was Vanessa? Don’t blink, don’t blink.

“But does she always wear her hair like Farrah Fawcett?” Man, I can’t seem to win in the hair department!

“Well Michael, I’ll say this – – If you’re really gonna propose to this one, make sure she knows I get Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Her side of the family can do Groundhogs Day and Washington’s birthday. Oh and I get Christmas Eve too.” A control freak future mother-in-law?

“Ma, she’s Jewish.”

“Really? But she doesn’t have the big nose.” An ignorant, anti-semitic, control freak future mother-in-law. No thanks.

After that, I got much more daring with my “detective skills.” Once in my thirties, after a horrible fight with my married sister, I got the idea to telephone her home but then not say a word when she answered. I figured maybe I’d get to overhear her using some choice words about me to her husband. How could it hurt?

She answered on the third ring, sounding like she’d been crying. Wow, I guess our fight upset her more than I realized.

“Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?! I can hear you breathing. Bitch.”

Silence. What juicy tidbit would I find out about me now? Maybe they think I’m a horrible cook, my kids are brats…or…

“Alan, why don’t you tell your Mistress to stop calling our home at night before the children are in bed.”

Silence. Wow. Talk about full circle. I sadly hung up.

Snoopology Technology!

But then came email. And text messaging. And Facebook. A veritable SnoopFest Smorgasbord.

In fact, it’s thanks to an unprotected password on my sister’s cell phone that last week I saw an entire text conversation about my big upcoming birthday that I mentioned above. (Okay, okay….I’m going to be fifty soon, blech.) And there’s going to be a surprise party. Or there would have been a surprise party. But now I know everything. Maybe I can pretend?

You’ll be happy to know that today I finally got my comeuppance. Unbeknownst to me, as I sat in the beauty salon, (I must’ve jostled my sweater pocket) my cell phone somehow stealthily dialed my sister. And can you believe she listened spellbound to my entire conversation with the manicurist, even overhearing me describe which dress I would be wearing to my own surprise party? And now, well now my birthday has been cancelled.

My name is Little Miss Menopause and I’m a Snoopaholic. Thank you.

PS. If I leave this blog right now, are you going to talk about me in the comments section??

PPS. Yeah, my hairstyle is still stuck in the 70’s.