Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nineteen seventy five

...Is when I graduated high school. I'll do the math for you: that was thirty five years ago. With the advent of facebook and, we cannot hide. We get invited, and we have to go. Well, I do because I managed to move back to my hometown, and only recluses or people with far more options than I can beg off. So what now?

I do what everyone else does--try to find a former classmate to go with me so I don't have to sit by myself OR make introductions all night. I have a handful of truly wonderful old friends who have in the past few years gathered annually, including the official reunions; which has been so much fun and also, parenthetically, kept us from having to sit alone at the lunch table--er--banquet table. This year, unfortunately, we were unable to pull together a quorum to attend the reunion. It threatened to be just me. Alone. I imagined crouching in my car identifying carefree classmates as they entered, laughing and yoo-hooing and hugging and confident they picked the right outfit and have cute hair and great shoes. (Actually, though, I remember entering the venue at our 25th reunion and being mystified that someone had invited all our parents; which of course was not the case. And then at our 30th reunion the chairperson [whom I will not identify] scoffed at the notion of photo-nametags. Some of us desperately wrote our names on our shoulders or throats with a Sharpie so people wouldn't avoid saying hello because they had no idea who we were. I am not making that up.)

I pulled out my stash of dresses, all a little dusty on the shoulders, and tried them on. I came up with just two possibilities --they fit, don't make me look too lumpy, and I have shoes that go (I've surrendered to the sorrow of having to wear flats--heels are no longer an option, but that's another post). Then I turned around to see how I would look as I crashed frantically out the exit. What happened to the other side of me? Who's fanny is that? It looked like I had on a full money belt, but I did not. What is that hump on the back of my neck? I thought I was taking some expensive drug to prevent me from becoming Quasimodo. I flapped my arms in horror and recoiled as my heybabies (think offspring of a flying squirrel and a camel) wobbled and shook. I wished it were next week. Next week is my vacation.

The closer it got the more excuses I thought of and the less appealing the idea of witnessing the sad decline of all those formerly vibrant children became. But the fifty dollar ticket won and I went after all. And as soon as I went in, two or three friends whom I was certain would not be there WERE there, and people were cheery and chatty and said I looked young and my newly silver hair was striking. A handful of compliments is great medicine. There were photo nametags. There was not, however, dinner, despite the fifty dollar dinner ticket. There were several tables of tasty finger foods, drinks IF you brought even more money, but no dinner. We went around the tables a few more times to fill up, said our goodbyes, and the reunion was over for five more years.

I'll start saving up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

where the cat lady lives

I have arrived. I am the cat lady. With Lillian's departure to the windy city, the cats and I are the sole occupants of this house. Add a few dozen piles of tight clothes, old magazines, useless electronics and castoff furniture and there you go: the cat lady.

For the last few weeks all I could think about (except my teeth) was getting her out of the state with everything she needs. She left behind everything she doesn't need, some of which she thinks she might possibly want someday, and the rest of which I am free to discard. Enter my first project: discarding things! Some can be dumped and some can be passed along to charity so someone else can bring it home to clutter and clog another house. Someone else's house.

If, after that, I'm still boiling with the urge to jettison unnecessary junk, I personally own about twice as much stuff as I actually need and use. Out it goes! Whee! I can see the spare, organized rooms now, and they are beautiful. Not like a foreclosure with a meth lab in the yard.

The cat lady has a whole list of projects; but let's start with this and see how it goes. I'll try to be done by the end of the summer! Hey-the cat lady works terrible hours and needs to rest and read so don't be critical of my timeline.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hot lava is everywhere

I know why we still have that useless house phone. Same reason as you: I always know where it is. I do not always know where my cell phone is. I try to keep track of it but as everyone knows, cell phones are too small and too slithery and get lost all the time. I know I am not the only person to use the hot lava rule: you can put your phone HERE or THERE but everywhere else is hot lava. My phone is permitted to go in my purse, in a suitable pocket on a garment I am presently wearing, on the bathroom counter, on the coffee table, or in the cup holder in the car. Period.

There is a perpetual series of events in my life that make me certain I am gradually losing my grip on reality. The unreliable whereabouts of my cell phone is one of them. In order to help me maintain a little control, there is a list taped to the door to the garage: Phone, lunch, glasses, nametag [needed to get into my building], coffee, other. I'll bet you have a list, although you may foolishly believe you can have a mental checklist that works just as well. Of course it does not, so write it down. You're welcome.

This morning I patted my pockets and read the list out loud and had everything, so off I went. It is Friday after a terribly busy week, and I knew I was punchy and worn out, but I have a LIST and was confident.

I worked like a stevedore until lunch (late, very hungry by then) and went to check my messages but where was my phone? Hmm...well, I didn't want to waste my rest minutes so never mind. Too busy to rummage around, and by day's end I thought I probably left it in the car. It wasn't there, so I decided that although I was SURE I'd had it when I left in the morning...maybe I imagined it and it was on the bathroom counter. When I got home I looked everywhere and it wasn't there. I decided to go back since it's the weekend. When I arrived at work, everyone else was gone and I had forgotten my nametag (the magnet strip unlocks the door) which lives in the car UNLESS I forget and it hitchhikes into the house, which it apparently did today. I peeked in through the breakroom window in case I had left it on the table which I couldn't have-probably-I couldn't remember now...Essentially out of options, I was pleased to discover the phone hiding between the car door and the driver's seat. Pleased but boneheaded.

Lillie translated: Phone try to be where you look. Phone try to tell you it lost, but Phone on vibrate. That's pretty close to the truth. Half the time I forget to put it on vibrate until it rings when I am working; breaking the rules. I should add "Phone to vibrate" to my garage door list. Anything else is, of course, hot lava.