Monday, February 22, 2010

My Mid-Life Crisis and Other Stories

I'm having a mid-life crisis. My dad had a birthday in January. A client asked what I was doing that weekend, and I told her I was going to celebrate with my family. "Oh, that's nice," she said. "Your dad must be... what, in his 70's?" YES, BECAUSE I AM SO CLOSE TO 40 OR 50! Clients love to guess how old I am. They usually guess 30-something, leaving me wondering where on earth the last ten years of my life went.

Then they had the nerve to host a Mary Kay makeover party at work for the residents. Mary Kay told us that after twenty, we should be using a whole new kind cleansers and moisturizers. She recommended one called TimeWise. Are you serious?

Then at the maternity home I'm surrounded by girls born in the mid-nineties who are pregnant. They should have thought about unintended consequences, like chlamydia and making me feel old, before they jumped in bed with their older boyfriends.
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Speaking of old, we're putting in an offer on a house that's older than me no matter what I look like. See, it's the cutest house ever featured on this blog, and I'm prematurely showing the internet as if it's mine! As I type, Abe is faxing the offer to our realtor, and I am getting carpel tunnel trying to keep all my fingers crossed and hit the right keys at the same time. It was built in 1926 close enough to my work that I'll be able to walk. Like it knew I was coming, all those years ago. Once it's ours (God, please oh please oh please!), you're welcome to come over to help us clean up the yard, replace the siding, polish the hardwoods, and finish the kitchen.

There's a voice in my head that tells me I'll be paying for this house until I'm as old as my clients think I am. I want to find that voice and make it eat wrinkle cream.
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Yesterday I hit my ultimate Goodwill jackpot. I kept finding these beautiful high-waisted vintage wool skirts *with pockets *in my size.... which, I was alarmed to learn, was apparently a "10" back in the day. Anyway, some other 10-sized person had clearly just cleaned out their closet for my benefit - every single pocket had a neatly folded tissue in it. Gross? Maybe a little. I bought them all anyway.
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Today I went to a workout class for the first time since um, Christmas...ish (making that size 10 come true!). The instructor seemed to have me confused with bionic man. "Only one more! Push it!" One more? I was already in the fetal position. She told us all to get a set of heavier weights, and a set of lighter weights, but that was a trick so we wouldn't walk out. We never used the lighter weights. She seemed to have control of time itself so that there were always ten more minutes - enough to do just one more exercise! Every time she said, "one more set!" I died a little inside. And if you were wondering why this is such a long blog post, it's because I don't think I can stand up.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Le Chat Qui Me Fair Peur

There is a scary cat that lives outside of our apartment building. He used to belong to someone that lived here, but they moved somewhere that didn't allow pets, so they left their scary cat behind. That's the story, at least, that we heard from our neighbor, who leaves out food and a warm place for him to sleep. He thanks her by vomiting in front of our apartment door instead of hers.

Scary Cat has a meow so scary that I'm positive it means "I will slaughter you and your little cats too." His hair is falling out, and he is a little pathetic, like Arthur "Boo" Radley. (Incidentally "boo radley" is what we say in our house when we want to say "#%*#&." Abe started it, I think, which I love, because it's the first literary reference I ever heard him make, unless you count The Book of Bunny Suicides.)

I feel toward Scary Cat the way that I feel toward other unfortunate things that are outside of my control - a homeless man panhandling by the corner, children going to bed hungry, people wearing ugg boots or tights as pants. Those feelings, plus frightened.

Scary Cat used to run away when he saw me coming. He would meow his murderous "MEOWWWRRRR," glare at me, and run away. Today, I got out of my car carrying 100 groceries, and headed up the sidewalk. Scary Cat followed me. More like, hunted me. He crouched down low, and ran quickly. So I ran too. I thought I was safe for a second. When I hit the "lock" button and my car beeped, Scary Cat stopped for a second, startled... but only for a second. I am sort of ashamed to say that Scary Cat chased me up three flights of stairs, and is now crouched, waiting to kill me, outside of our apartment.

In French - or at least, in Cameroon - they have a word for these situations. It is "moeuf" (pronounced like "boeuf,"* meaning "get the boo radley out of here"), said loudly and rudely, usually thrown in the direction of a mangy street dog, sometimes along with a sharp kick to the animal's ribs. I always felt bad for the dog... until today. I wanted to "moeuf" Scary Cat all the way down the stairs, but it turns out American cats aren't familiar with the term.

*See 0:55