Monthly Archives: February 2014

I’m How Old?! Say what?!

Jean dress upI turn 50 today, as hard as that is to believe. Okay, maybe it’s only hard for me to believe. But it’s true. This is my grand Jubilee birthday! My golden anniversary of life! Half way to 100 and picking up speed. There are a number of benefits to being my somewhat advanced age – not a lot, but a few – and a growing list of things from which I should now automatically be exempt.

No woman older than 50 should have to be a bridesmaid. At this age, a true friend would never ask you to stand in front of a church wearing the same dress as three or four other women. She might ask you to vouch for her sanity during a quickie ceremony in Vegas, but that’s not exactly being a bridesmaid. That’s closer to being a bail bondsman.

Women my age should no longer be expected to drive a minivan. Moms with toddlers and U-7 soccer players can swear all they want about how comfortable they really are to drive and how convenient they are to have. But by age 50, we all know they’re lying in an effort to buffer their own humiliation. Minivans are just an oversized extension of your purse on wheels with an onboard video monitor. Massive SUV’s are only cleverly disguised minivans, but women over 50 already know that, too. We should drive luxury sedans or sports cars with seat warmers, not bottle warmers.

I am now old enough to make friends with people I actually like being around, not just because they are around. My friendships are no longer simply based on playgroups, carpools or youth sports. These days, my friends have figured out that I’m beyond the reach of personality rehabilitation and have decided to hang around me anyway. We’ve all accepted that the cure for me will not be found during our lifetimes!

Around the age of 50, you’re exempt from wearing shoes that aren’t comfortable even if they go with your outfit. You are exempt from ridiculous trends like wearing pajama pants out in public. At this age, you’re old enough to know better. Same with skinny jeans, yoga pants and booty shorts. But those might apply to any age.

The best part of being 50 is that if you’re a bit off your rocker, you’ve earned it honestly and can wear it proudly. So, thank you very much, that’s exactly what I’ll do!

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What’s scarier than the Middle East?

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People who aren’t familiar with Saudi Arabia often ask me if I’m afraid to be here, if it’s not scary living in the Middle East. It’s not any scarier than being outside the Toyota Center in downtown Houston after a really bad Rockets’ game. So, no, I’m not afraid of living here. There are bigger things to be afraid of, even beyond the standards like poisonous snakes, zombies, non-poisonous snakes and overdraft charges.

I recently found out that my high school English teacher reads my column every week (online at http://www.TheSourceWeekly.com). There are few things that strike more terror in the heart of writer like me than that! I’m one big, bumbling, improperly punctuated run-on sentence fragment after another! All this time I’ve held the belief that my tens of readers never venture past the first couple of sentences before skipping over to the used car ads further back in the paper.

Now I lay awake at night knowing that there is a perfectly wonderful, retired educator out there banging her head on a table wondering where, oh where, did she go so terribly wrong! (My sincerest apologies, Miss Darling, but if I’d pursued something with numbers, like accounting, we’d have countless former math teachers on suicide watch. You understand, right?)

You know what else is scary? Snuggie blankets are scary. What kind of mind control has this company used to convince so many Americans to crawl into a fuzzy body bag that looks like a human cocoon with sleeves rather than just turning the thermostat up a couple of degrees? What if there’s a fire or you have a heart attack while wearing your snuggie? I’d be terrified to have emergency response personnel charge into my house to find me half dead in a snuggie.

Multiply that snuggie fear factor by 40 because they have snuggies for dogs, too. Making your dog wear a snuggie is an abuse prohibited under the Geneva Convention on Prisoner’s Rights. Let me be the voice for those who cannot speak: Take the snuggie off the dog.

Personally, I think drawn on eyebrows are scary in an unnaturally surprised kind of way. Pit bulls are scary; I don’t care what anyone says about them having bad press. Rutabagas are scary, because what are they really and who eats them? With all of these real fears out there, who has time to worry about the Middle East?

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