A Convert Comes Clean

They say that converts are the worst.  Reformed carb addicts have been known to snatch a piece of still warm baguette from your hands while shrieking, “You’ll THANK me for this!”  Reformed smokers complain the loudest when a whiff of a stray puff so much as crosses their nostrils.  And I may be the worst convert of all – because I, too, am reformed.

I’ll admit it; I’m a former Hug Hater.  Now without warning I may embrace you in a bear hug like Joe Biden on the campaign trail.

hugging

This conversion is particularly noteworthy because I was not raised by a family of Huggers.  My tribe has never been prone to displays of affection.  Not that we were Luddites or lacking human emotion, but all of us would agree our personal space needs are bigger than most.  Hugs were an expression deemed acceptable only on special occasions.

Most of my life I wished I could deploy an Anti-Hugging Vest.  Much like the airline safety floatation device, I could pull the rip cord on the AHV which would inflate in the event of an unexpected hug.  The AHV could provide that body space buffer zone to make that awkward encounter a little more tolerable.

I was perfectly content with all acknowledgements expressed in the form of Hug Substitutes. An animated wave, a hearty handshake or even a high five were totally acceptable.  But when anyone attempted to breach my space bubble by coming in my direction with outstretched arms, I’d freeze in place, most likely with my face frozen in a look of complete horror. [Read more…]

Confessions of a Fashion Tween

I’ve hit that magical age of clothes shopping, when you’re no longer able to shop in the Junior department with a straight face but not yet ready to give up the fashion ghost to polyester tiger print slacks, a fanny pack and K-mart slippers and white socks like my grandma used to wear.

Because it’s next stop Alfred Dunner separates.

It’s the Twilight Zone of women’s clothing where trying to be too hip leaves you looking like you are pathetically clutching the shards of your youth.  Catalogues offer the only thing that comes close to middle-age appropriate wear but that’s just not good enough to satisfy my inner-impulse shopper.

The clothing choices for us middle-aged tweens are pathetic. Because now inseams are now measured in centimeters rather than inches.  Some of the skirts are so tiny that I’d need two, one for each thigh.  I held up one of these microscopic garments, roughly the size of a car visor, and wondered who on earth could actually wear it.

Because if I tried it would look like I was wearing a neck warmer on my meno-pot.

Jeans are no better.  The low cut, low riders, so popular in my teenage years have reemerged on the scene.  While a thong may look cute peeking out of the top of these, it’s a safe bet that seven inches of the Granny Panty do not.

I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing those cutesy, tiny shorts with Cheer! or God forbid, Sweet Thang emblazoned across my rump.  But now seizing the booty-licious advertising potential, everyone including the college marketing folks have gotten in on the act.  Now I see young women at the gym sporting Bobcats on their fannies.  My alma mater is no exception.  Unfortunately those in my size are a little too informative: University of Louisville, est. 1798, Home of the Fighting Cardinals, For season ticket information call: (502) 852-5555.

They even dare to market belly shirts to women of my age.  While there are about 4 of you out there who could pull it off, I think it should go without saying: if you have a belly, just say no.  If I dared to don one of these and put my middle-age muffin tops on public display, I’d be cuffed and stuffed by the fashion police.

[Read more…]

It’s A Girlfriend Thing

When it comes to your girlfriends, women just know – we are there for each other.  A wise friend maybe said it best when she told me, “Friends help friends move.  But girlfriends help move bodies.”  Now before you think this was a Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” Hefty Bag moment, think again. This conversation was about having to help her best friend move her elderly mother to a nursing home.

Women have known that we are each other’s strength since Eve was dishing to her BFF about Adam.  Guys, we love you but there’s not a one of you who can take the place of our girlfriends.  And that’s exactly how it’s meant to be.

Quite frankly, I’ve always been a little pissed off that Helen Reddy made me think that as a woman, if I wanted to roar, I had to go it alone.  I somehow had the impression that I had to embrace my inner two-year-old, stomp my foot and yell “Do It Myself!” without a little help from my girlfriends.  And boy, was I wrong.

Girlfriends know what to say and when not to say it.  Girlfriends know when to just listen.  Your BFF is there when you tell her in disbelief that your husband is now hiking the Appalachain Trail along with Govenor Sanford.  Girlfriends hold your hand after you’ve had a miscarriage.  They cry right along with you after you discover that you can’t have children at all.  Girlfriends come sit with you during the chemo that you both pray is blasting your breast cancer.

One of the things that mom girlfriends would agree on is that we don’t take time for ourselves and our friends.  We blame being too busy, work, our kids’ hectic schedules and being downright exhausted.   And that is a pity.  Because we need each other.  So when a friend announced, “We’re having a mom’s night out – no excuses,” I was totally there.

So as we sat around catching up and refilling our wine glasses, the conversation naturally turned to lamenting about all the changes that have accompained our kids’ transition to the teenage years.  Many of us with boys are adjusting to our new role of being The Wallet and The Car Keys during this in between place. And I, for one, am just a little bit sad that the relationship with Older Boy has moved (hopefully temporarily) on to waters I am unsure how to navigate.  Commenting on this new, strange parenting land we’ve entered, one mom said, “What we are now is the glue.  We hold it all together for everyone.  And I’m okay with being the glue.”  Now I don’t mind being the glue, I’d just like to be the hot glue.

So when your girlfriend calls, let her know how much you care.  Because she’s got your back.  And a shovel and a Hefty Bag, if you ever need it.

 

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