One day it hits you; you are truly middle aged, and rapidly getting older. But you can’t be you think, you’re a baby boomer. You’re vital, you’re healthy, you’re funny, you have disposal income or income you dispose of anyway.
You don’t have to put a kid through college; only save enough for you. Problem is you like to spend money. You do believe that living well is the best revenge, but you are saved from being put into the museum of conspicous spending by helping people when they’re having a tough time without being asked.
You realize all the absurdities and rationales in your thinking. Face it you’re a middle aged single childless woman who in a Barbara Pym novel would be wearing cardigans, wool skirts, wool stockings or something that they darned themselves. You’re a goddamned spinister; though you are divorced so probably technically not.
Darning socks or sewing anything is something that you have never attempted as you failed sewing in Seventh Grade even with your mother’s help.
Your mother had hated to sew because her mother made all her clothes. You thought that she should have hated to cook but she loved it, and assigned you and your sister to permanent salad detail. You have to admit that you make the best salads anywhere.
It’s just that ten years ago they made fun of baby boomers in a VW Bug commercial. Okay they always make fun of baby boomers; everything is blamed on baby boomers.
When you were 30 everybody was getting married or remarried; you were living with Zachary and wouldn’t keep knives in the house for fear that you would use it on him.
You think about this as your friend Nick comes over. He’s dressed in a fitted exaggerated pin strip suit and looks very good, with his short hair slicked back. A man’s hair has always been very important to you. You freely admit to being shallow when it comes to men which is why you really don’t trust yourself with one.
He manages a good restaurant in the neighborhood and is young enough to be your son. Actually he manages the restaurant for his Uncle Albert who was your friend years before you met Nick.
Albert’s gene pool is half Irish half Italian; he would have been good breeding material for the baby you never had. It would probably be better if he were half Greek half Italian as you’re half Irish by birth and think it’s great to mix the gene pool up. You just heard today from your half Turkish, Half East Indian friend, Jasmin. She is no longer working in Katmandu; but in New Dehli, as Director of another UN agency. She and Per had the most handsome, intelligent sons.
You and Jasmin often talked about how mutts made the most intelligent people as you partied the night away. She was the biggest pary animal you ever knew and that’s saying something. The Cambridge years were pure fun. When you think of them now, there were so many more hours in the day. You could work full time, go to school full time, actually study and go out at least five nights a week.
Once at Zeldas, a disco in Boston, some glitter from a hot sock became embedded in a blister that you got from your sandal becoming too tight as you danced the night away. Hot socks were great, but unlike boots you couldn’t keep your money, cigarettes and keys in them. Though some hotsocks were very thick and seemingly made to be a pocket book.
You ended up in the emergency room at Mass General several days later as you only had a gyn. For some reason the other women in the room all seemed to be prostitutes so when you explained that glitter from your hot sock had ended up in your toe and it was infected, you didn’t sound crazy. You had the same last name as a prominent surgeon at Mass General and for some reason all the nurses assumed that you were his daughter. You let them assume this as the prostitutes were talking your head off. Most of them knew you by sight as they and the transvestites seemed to be the only women who could afford the gowns in the store you worked on.
The store was on Boylston near Saks and on the other side The Public Gardens. It was a very easy commute from Harvard Square. You and Jasmin would laugh at the world known distinguished Harvard Professors, who were friends of her father, and would meet at the entrance to the Red Line to wait until ten AM when the subway fare went down to a dime. Was it only for senior citizens? You think not but can’t remember.
Yes during your glitter rock days you had a glitter hot sock emergency. You’re damn proud of it. And you won’t be eligible for senior citizen discounts for a long while, and damned if you’re going to look like you’re ready. After you finish your very extensive dental work, you’ll have your lip plumped. You don’t really need botox; even doctors tell you that. You’re perfect home micro dembrasion material, and you’ve been doing that forever. It just seemed right.
You haven’t seen your natural hair color in three decades; it’s something that you can’t believe you used to do for fun. Every shade of red known in the universe, and many that had never seen nature until they met your hair which had always been a force of nature. Now it’s brown with almost beige hilights. Suits you.
In your first college, almost everybody but you went to the same psychologist. The first time he saw you, he dubbed you “space chick with the electric hair.” Even at nineteen you knew there was something sleazy and not ethical about a psycholgist who discussed you with his patients, telling one what another had said. It all came back to you through the student body president and coffee house founder, who had a bad thing for you, and originated the conversation.
When you told your off again on again boyfriend or he who played a bazillion roles in your life about this several years ago he strongly disagreed with the “space chick” part. Funny, you had always found it funny because you know you can appear spacy. You both agreed “electric hair” was too perfect.
No you’re not going to go into older middle age gracefully. You’re going to be damn vain; it’s going to all be about you. You’ll make your mother’s ghost proud.
You’re a baby boomer which means that you both played by the rules and rewrote them. You can take care of yourself; you only need men for fun. And with that you look at Nick, smile, and ask what he wants to drink.
Put this in because I felt like writing it and then of course need an audience. Please don’t hate me if I don’t read blogs for a few days; please! Was a bit tipsy when I wrote it