I want to share of a smattering of judgemental catch phrases I am certain I uttered when I was in my youth. In no way is this list intended to be comprehensive, just a few choice picks for this Sunday morning.
"I would NEVER have plastic surgery!"
That is such a lie. If I won the lotto, trust me, I'd have it tomorrow. I'd make Heidi Montag look like OLD money. I'd get breasts with glitter and rhinestones just to show off. Something that could be seen from the international space station.
"Jeeves, if you mess up my coffee order ONE MORE TIME...."
"Why do people hire (maids, cooks, general contractors, etc) to work in their homes? I value privacy. I would NEVER do that."
Also, a big fat lie because the next thing I know, I am laying in bed asking my imaginary houseboy (he's gay, don't think like that!)
My beloved Enrique.
"Exactly WHO is going to brush my teeth this morning? I hope you don't think I am going to do it! I pay you for excellence! You do realize these legs won't shave themselves, right? Someone call the masseuse. I have a knot in my neck the size of New Hampshire from trying to manage this crew of incompetents! Speaking of, where is my breakfast?! How many times do I have to ask for 2 FRENCH ROAST coffees and ONE FREAKING CROISSANT!?"
Well, that's what happens in my imagination. In the morning. When I wake up. What actually happens in real life is something akin to being mauled by my basset hound and his sister while 25 cats jump on my head. My friend Maria refers to this as "The morning assault".
Don't be fooled by the sleeping. They are made of energy, slobber and poop!
"Where's breakfast?! Take us for a walk! Do you have cookies? I need to poop! I already did poop, can't you smell it? Why haven't you cleaned the litter box? Is that a croissant?"
Yeah. My youth was wasted not getting the education and experience I needed to pay for the life I never knew I would want. The life of the idle rich. I reflect on this with some frequency now that I am beginning to understand what all those commercials about pore minimizer products are about. I thought I had vibrant, beautiful skin because I was a good person. Not so. It turns out that beautiful skin was the result of being 16 or 23 or 35....for me, not 45. Not so for me and 45.
(Darlene? Look. I'm sorry I judged you for those blackheads when you were in your 60's. I had no idea.)
It turns out that exfoliation isn't just that "extra" touch to make your skin soft before a date. Now it's a vital part of making sure my make-up (also, no longer a fun addition but a MUST HAVE) doesn't look like it's been applied to the flesh of a corpse. I have to remove 6 inches of dead skin every morning just to prove to the world that I still have blood pumping through these veins.
Oh, Enrique. Gloria? Really?
Meanwhile, the houseboy? He's listening to Gloria Estefan and busy not picking up the dry cleaning. Why is he listening to such dated music? Because he is imaginary and I, like most old people, didn't keep up with music trends or changes.
"Why do old people lose touch with what is happening in the music world? I will NEVER do that! See? I listen to real cutting edge stuff. Who are the Sex Pistols?"
Despite the sincere efforts of my best friend, I am still listening to "Flock of Seagulls" and pretending that John Cougar-Mellencamp doesn't look like a 150 year old troll. (Sorry John).
Maybe he just needs to exfoliate? Minimize those pores?
"Why are all the cool cars driven by old, fat people? Old people should just give those cars to young, good looking people."
You got the sex appeal. I get the V8.
I'll tell you why old people have all the cool cars, Miss Pierce circa 1982. It's because you are the only one of us that gets to have any good sex so Miss Pierce circa 2012 gets the car. Deal with it. Also, get a job and start a 401k now, you idiot.
Oh, if I only knew now what I knew then. (I'd probably still have some flexibility in my hamstrings, that's what.)
Listen, I have to go. The dogs just told me that the neighbors got a new minivan. Maybe it has an 8-track player. I think I still have my old "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack on 8-track. Let's see if they will drive us to CVS so we can look for exfoliant and dog treats.
My young self was naive and she was wrong about so much but I will say this much for her. She taught me everything I know about complaining and for that, I am eternally grateful. Without having mastered the art of non-stop bitching, I would have died of boredom years ago or worse yet, forgotten how to laugh.
My younger self couldn't have imagined so many things including outliving Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Whitney Houston. I can't even begin to tell you how much time I spent staring at her picture in that white bathing suit and wishing, praying that I could have been born her and not me. Why wasn't I leggy, beautiful, confident and talented beyond my years? I was too young then to understand that life, especially the kind of life that Whitney was embarking on then, is heady stuff. It's easy to lose yourself in it...to complaining, to fame, to doll collecting or other nasty drugs. It happens to the best of us and it happened to Whitney a long time ago. At least now I am old enough now to know to say this,
"Farewell Ms. Houston and yes, you are right, Ms. Houston. You did ask for 2 French Roasts and 1 croissant. I will correct this order immediately and get someone in here to shave your fabulous legs this minute. Of course. Anything you want, Ms. Houston. Settle back and enjoy your flight, Ms. Houston. It's an easy ride from here, Ma'am. I promise."
Fame and fortune. It's not for the weak of heart. Thank you, Whitney, for being strong enough to be there for girls like me. Girls with thick legs, voices like vacuum cleaners and vivid imaginations who worked in the glamorous world of fast food. We believed in you then and the inspiration that you provided helped make us who we are today.
Thick-legged middle aged women who don't take shit off of anybody. It turns out that confidence is one inspired skill that can be learned and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Enjoy the rest of your journey, Ms. Houston.
Life. It has a strange way of not turning out at all like we planned. Maybe that's a good thing.
Scoot over puppies, Mama needs the remote. You'll have to wait for Enrique to come back from the dry-cleaners for your walk. Shush. John Cougar-Mellencamp is co-hosting a PBS special about Parkinsons' disease with Michael J. Fox.
Your ever lovin',
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