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Posts tagged ‘Say Yes to the Dress’

The giant hamster wheel of life

It’s Friday night. I’m on the couch in pajamas, eating pizza, alone, catching up on my DVR backlog.

If time-traveling 20-something Wendy were to appear right now, she would die. Oh, the horror! Friday night. At home. Alone.

Current Wendy could not be more content.

I used to consider it a failed weekend if I didn’t have something fun to do both nights. “Fun” = going out, unless I were having a party or some kind of social gathering at my abode. Now that would kill me. Or at least leave me exhausted and in need of a weekend. Today a quiet weekend at home with Ruby Dogwonkafonka is one of my favorite things, and if I go too long without one I get twitchy.

What a difference 10 or 20 years makes.

It’s convenient that I’m happy staying in, since at the moment I don’t have a lot of extra dough for going out. 20-something Wendy, I blame you – if you had stayed in a little more, maybe we’d have more cash reserves now – see, this is all your fault!

I’ve been contemplating age and aging and the giant hamster wheel of life for a while now. I feel like somewhere in my early 40s (which is where I still reside) I reached a point of clarity or something. I’m not young anymore, in spite of what people think. This is not a bad thing, even though when I refer to myself as “middle-aged” people recoil and assure me that I’m not. Hi, yes I am. In the US the average lifespan for women is something like 81 years, and I can do math. I’m also not old – I recognize this. The math thing, plus I have a 97-year-old grandma. She is old. She also reads my blog, so hopefully she isn’t offended by that statement. She shouldn’t be. Oldness has nothing to do with awesomeness, and the timing of this rambling contemplation could not be more fortuitous, seeing as tomorrow she is receiving an honorary doctorate from University of St. Francis. She is not your grandmother’s grandmother. (That makes me giggle.)

This awareness of what is and is not old seems to be one of the universal stupidities of young people. I remember saying things like, “I’m sooooooooooooo olllllldddddddd” when I was 25. Or 27. Or 32. And I hear/see on Facebook people in their 20s and 30s say things in this vein all the time. And now, I realize how stupid they sound. They’re not old. They’re aware of the passage of time for maybe the first time ever, but they’re obviously not old. And there’s no getting this message through, because they think they know everything.

Now that I’m in the middle and looking both directions, I don’t at all assume I know everything – that is one thing I have learned. You think you do, and then you get older, and you realize how stupid you were when you thought that. There seems to be a lot of realizing how stupid I was. It’s amazing that our parents don’t roll their eyes at us more often than they do. I can’t wait to see what I’m doing now that makes me laugh at 40-something Wendy ten or twenty years from now.

One pattern we seem to repeat is in thinking that our generation has it sooooooo much harder than any previous generation, and nobody understands our experience, and we are so maligned by the generation ahead of us. And then we get older and turn on the generation behind us because they’re whiny and they feel maligned and misunderstood. Except you’re not actually anti-the generation behind you, you just wish they understood all the things they could be learning from the benefit of your experience and hindsight instead of waiting 20 years for their own hindsight, but hi, they’re young and know everything. Hamster wheel.

I was reading a thread on Facebook last week with some millennials talking about how maligned they are by older generations (I really need to find another word for “maligned”) and it prompted me to send this note to another Gen X friend who I knew was also reading along:

Dear Millennials,

Here’s the thing…

It’s not about the label.

All young people are stupid. And not in their own way. In EXACTLY THE SAME WAY EVERYBODY ELSE WAS, BUT JUST A LITTLE BIT WORSE, because internet.

And someday you will get really, really, really old (like, 42) and you will realize what an idiot you were in your 20s, and you will see it in all the people who will currently be in their 20s, and you will laugh, and you will understand your parents better, and everything will be fine.

Love,

Gen X and the Boomers

 

I have a lot of friends who are younger than I am, and I hope you know that I love you, and I look forward to you pushing me around in my wheelchair someday. I truly don’t think you’re stupid except when you’re talking about being old. 😉 And this isn’t supposed to be a “young people are idiots” post. It’s intended to be about how great it actually is being in that dreaded over-40 zone. Or how funny the passage of time is. Or who knows. It’s possible I lack focus tonight. It’s possible this is because I’m also watching Say Yes to the Dress while writing this. It is Friday night, after all. (20-something Wendy is dying of shame right now.)

But my 40s are great. So far, anyway. Another cliché proves itself to be true: so far every decade is better than the one before. I’m not so hung up on stuff like what do people think or what everyone else is doing. I’m less concerned about “should”; I’m more interested in what makes me happy. I remember clearly the night that happened, too. I had been invited to a going away party for some casual friends who were moving. The time had come to get myself together and as I was walking upstairs to change clothes, I realized I didn’t feel like going, and then it clicked that I didn’t have to. So I didn’t. I stayed home, and it was so nice that I started refusing invitations more often. I got way more selective about whom I spend time with. If I spend time with you now it’s because I really want to. I’m not sure why it took me so long to catch onto that one.

I thought I had a funny cartoon set aside about aging or clichés or something along those lines to accompany this, but I can’t find anything in my “hold” folder. What I did find is this picture of snuggling lions. I have no idea what I saved it for, but it’s adorable, so what the hell. When I find the cartoon, I’ll save it for the lion post that clearly I intend to write some day.

cuddling lions

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Argh.

I have not had time to blog.

It’s stressing me out. I have a handful of blogs I read on a regular basis, and I haven’t been reading those, either. Because reading other people’s blogs makes me feel guilty about not having written anything in a while. Which is kind of ridiculous, because I do this for me, and no one knows better than I do that I’ve been insanely busy. And then I’ll have a free hour and I’ll think ok, I should write something, but by the time I’ve checked what’s happening on Facebook and looked at my email and whatever else, I’m too tired or it’s time for bed, and I feel guilty and the cycle continues. Gah. How long has it been, I don’t even know…. let’s go peek. Yes, I avoid my own blog because if I pretend it’s not sitting there languishing, waiting for my attention, it’s not really happening, right?  May 10. Oh holy crap. That’s way too long. I’m sorry, blog. I promise I’ll be better. My goal when I started was to post about once a week, but I’ll settle for an average at the end of the year.  It’s not even like I don’t have things I want to write about, because I do. Sigh. Stupid time, or lack thereof.

So tonight I’m shaking it off, letting go, moving forward, getting back into the swing of things. I’m still busy, but I recognize this is a priority for me, so I recommit to making time for the project. You’re my witnesses. 🙂

Wanna catch up a little? There are some random things floating in my head tonight I feel I should share. And by “should”, I mean “want to”, as I’m sure you’ll agree once you see how silly they are.

I had a big salad for dinner tonight with fresh blueberries. I love blueberries in salads. Love. You should try it. Seriously. Like right now. Go make a salad. I can wait.

(whistling…….)

(Are you back? Ok, good.)

I’m camped out on the couch tonight under three (THREE!) blankets because hello, it’s COLD. And I am stubborn and refuse to turn the heat back on, because hello, it’s JUNE. And I am, of course, watching “Say Yes to the Dress”, because it’s Friday and I can’t stop myself. How is it possible that there is someone named Lindsey on every episode? Sorry, friends named Lindsey, I’m not bashing your name at all, just had no idea it was so….prevalent.

I have not washed my hair in two days, and it is enormous. It also looks marvelous. Seriously. I would post a picture, but it’s only my hair that looks awesome, the rest of me looks like I’ve been camped out on the couch all night.

Tonight I was also browsing the web for pot brownie recipes. For a friend. Truly. And I found this great site that had an illustrated recipe. I don’t know why I’m so tickled by it; it’s just so thoughtfully done. Look how cute this is. Honest, not for me though.

Did I mention there are THREE NEW EPISODES of “Say Yes to the Dress” on tonight? It’s a banner night. And also, the three blankets have worked, so it’s time for ice cream. I’ll be back soon. I mean it. In the meantime, what’s new with you?

Friday Night Bliss

 

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

That is the sound of me, sitting on the couch. Ruby Dogwonkafonka is at the other end of the couch. We just ate a delicious cupcake (ok, I ate it, she licked the plate). “Catch Me If You Can” is starting on TBS. I have had my jammies on since 6 pm. Snuggled up with the laptop. It is Friday night. And this is perfect.

There was a time when I would have been mortified by this scenario. Home, alone, on a Friday night??? What’s wrong with me??? Lately, though, Friday evenings have become a cherished opportunity for ME time. I can work a little later (which I like – tonight I was in my office till almost 7) and still have plenty of time to make dinner (ha ha), relax, watch a movie, read, blog, whatever I want, without the tick tock of the clock hanging over my head on a “school night” when I feel pressure to go to bed at a semi-reasonable time. (Run-on sentence much, Wonkafonka?) (Yeah, I just made “run-on sentence” into a verb. Cuz I’m talented like that. And I now think I have more parentheticals in this post than, um…..non-parentheticals?)

I originally had plans tonight with Sunshine and Mourtney, but one of them is under the weather so we rescheduled. And even though I was disappointed, not having seen their lovely faces in far too long other than at the gym, part of me was secretly delighted. It has been seven weeks since I spent Friday night on the couch by myself, and I was starting to get twitchy. Everything I’ve been doing has been fun and wonderful and something I wanted to do, but I didn’t realize how much I’d come to depend on having Friday nights to recharge and just chill the eff out.

My favorite Friday-night guilty pleasure is “Say Yes to the Dress”. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a TLC show about women shopping for their wedding dress. The original is at an expensive boutique in NYC, the spin-off at an expensive boutique in Atlanta. And tonight’s spin-off of the spin-off, shopping for bridesmaid dresses at the Atlanta store.  It’s ridiculous how much I love this show. I think I like it because it makes me feel sane; the kinds of crazy this show exposes are plentiful. Here’s a sampling from tonight. A bride was having her seven-year-old sister as her maid of honor, and another sister, age 25, as a bridesmaid. The 25-year-old was being a total wench because she wanted to wear a strapless dress, even though, hi, a 7-year-old doesn’t have anything to hold up a freakin’ strapless dress. Another bride had eight million bridesmaids who had all agreed they wanted a dress <$200. The bride identified the dress she loved, and the maids pitched a fit because it was SIX DOLLARS over budget.  Six. Dollars. Maybe two coffees at Starbucks. And for that, you’re going to be pissy to someone you’re close enough to that you agreed to stand up in her wedding, and you’re going to throw this tantrum in front of a TV camera no less? Yeah, you make me feel pretty balanced. 🙂  I never want to admit that I watch it (until now, apparently) but inevitably something so cuckoo happens that I can’t keep it to myself and I have to text Mourtney to rant about it. Which makes her question why I don’t change the channel. But it’s Train Wreck Syndrome – can’t look away!

Fortunately, about as many episodes as they air in one sitting is about as much brainless time that I need before I can move onto something more engaged, like blogging. Or sleeping.   Which I will be doing shortly.