Friday, October 29, 2010
Going through "The Change"
Last weekend, my husband was trying in vain to reach a twenty-something co-worker by phone with an urgent change of plans. While he was busy calling and leaving voice mail messages, I was busy trying to remember what we did before the time when everyone was available at your fingertips twenty-four hours a day. (I decided that I prefer the simpler times when friends didn't have the option to call me while sitting on a public toilet in a noisy restaurant.) After hearing that he was having no luck contacting Mr. Young Guy, I said, “Did you text him? Kids these days don’t always answer their phones, and they most certainly never check their voice mail, but I’ll bet he’ll answer you right back if you send a text instead.”
And, then the unbelieveable happened.
It took a minute for my brain to process what was happening to me. I felt weak. Everything looked woozy and wavy, much like going back through a dream sequence in a bad '70’s sitcom. A wave of cold sweat washed over my body, rendering me weak in the knees. My mind was racing wildly as I thought the unthinkable to myself, “Did I just call a twenty-four year old man a 'kid'?” Oh. Dear. Lord. I really had. As clarity started to return, I came to realize what had just transpired: in less time than it takes to find a rerun of “Murder, She Wrote” on cable, I had become My Mother.
I should have seen it coming. The signs were everywhere, like when I uttered the phrase, “Well, for heaven’s sake” to my kids a while back or when I stuffed some tissues and mints into my purse that I purchased online from QVC. It should have been clear to me that the transformation was imminent the night I was watching a recap of this year’s MTV Music Awards, and I couldn’t correctly identify a single artist who won. How could I not recognize the shift in my shoe collection from “spiky and sassy” to “comfortable and supportive” as a sign of the coming apocalypse? I even made biscuits from scratch last week. And, to top it all off, my television is on the Weather Channel more than any other station lately. This can't be true! I'm too young to be warning you about an approaching cold front!
In reality, it’s not like this recent shuffle in hierarchy is really going to affect me much. I don’t go out trolling for college guys or hang out in bars frequented by the I-Have-Never-Even-Heard-Of-Max-Headroom set. (By the way, did you know that they let pre-teens attend college these days? It’s true! I see those youngsters milling about at the university every day.) The last time a cute, young guy even looked me in the eyes was when he was asking me if I wanted whipped cream on my Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’m sure he has no idea how close I came to slapping him for calling me “ma’am”.
There is an upside to this new chapter in my life which, by the way, I have deemed “The Matlock Years”. I am no longer required to suck in my stomach when I go swimming. It’s perfectly acceptable for me exhale loudly and let it all hang out as I bend over to retrieve the tortilla chips from my pool bag. I may even grunt when I get up from my lounge chair. In addition, all thong underwear are now strictly prohibited because no one looks at a Mama’s butt to see if her granny panty lines are showing anyway. And, if I want to blow my nose and tuck the Kleenex into my bra, then I am now officially licensed to do so.
Consider yourself lucky now that you have me as the go-to person for Starlight mints, old wives’ tales, and neck-pain-induced weather predictions. I have the credentials to decide if you are wearing too much make-up, dating the wrong guy, or spending your money foolishly. I get to eat dessert for breakfast and watch as many reruns of “CSI” as I choose while “resting my eyes” in the recliner. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that, yes, your face will, in fact, freeze that way. Now, tell me… how come you never call?