Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Embarrassing Versus Amusing

Okay, I have to admit that I've been in a strange mood lately. I'm fifty-five years old and I'm thinking of getting a tattoo on my head.

Here's the story - it's never going to look good again. My hair doesn't grow right. It just doesn't. I spent a lot of money trying to get results. Nothing. I might as well look a little funky then, right?

But a tattoo could look funky or it could look downright strange. I like how this woman looks. She looks cheerful and I agree with her. Wigs and hats are no good. Why bother with them?

Maybe the moon is in a different house. I've never really followed astrology, but if it's true, I'm out of phase, even with myself. Before I go running off to get that tattoo designed on my head, I'm going to wait a while and see what I think when I'm back in phase with myself. I am just not normal today.

'Today?' you might say. 'You're not normal today?' Well, okay. I'm really pretty far off from normal today.

And I've got chia seeds in my teeth right now. I've been putting them on my salads. They have the consistency of kiwi or strawberry seeds and they don't actually taste like anything. I like the texture. The books all say I'm supposed to eat more seeds and greens, so I sprinkle them on and they seem to help keep me from getting hungry too soon after I eat a healthy meal.

But they get stuck in my teeth along with spinach and that is so embarrassing.

Here's the thing. I think I may be passing into a new phase of my life. I used to be able to see that people, especially men, were embarrassed to be seen talking with me. I haven't been cool, if I ever was, for a long time, but it made me mad that people couldn't even be seen talking to me. I mean, really. Talking?

Those people are gone. I walked away. Sometimes I literally walked away from them. There's one guy who has a daughter at my son's school. He's good looking. You know, that GQ look that means you can never trust the guy? That guy can't be seen talking to me unless I'm with my cute perky friend who also has a kid at my son's school although he always beams in on her and tries to ignore me at the same time. I grind my teeth in his direction whenever he approaches the two of us. It might look like a smile, but it doesn't reach my eyes. You know the kind of smile I mean. This guy was once so rude to me in front of a bunch of other parents that I walked away. He didn't care, but I felt better. He was just not worth a moment of my time, not one microsecond.

And for the most part, it works. I feel fine. I forget that I'm aging badly and I just go around talking to people without a thought to my looks. What the hell, right? I can't undo most of it, so I should just ignore it and carry on. Anyone who's embarrassed being seen with me can just go to hell.

But I've noticed I'm shifting into a new phase. I'm becoming that amusing little old lady. I am. I was out in my kayak the other afternoon and heading back to the boat launch. A couple of guys walked toward the lake shore as if I needed to be rescued.

"Do you have a rope you can throw us?" one of them said. He walked to the edge of the water, but not a drop touched his shoes.

"No," I said. "I don't need to throw you a rope. I need to learn to get out of my own kayak and since this is my first time in it, this is the day I learn."

 Maybe that was a little harsh, so I let them stare down at me as I rolled out of my kayak. I just hate when people stand there and stare at me as if I am the show while I'm struggling with something new. So, I babbled on a bit. 

"I wouldn't want to grind the bottom of my boat on gravel. It'll take me a while to figure out how to do it, but I'll manage." At that point, I had leaned over, put my left hand into eight inches of frigid water and I rolled out of my boat, basically doing a face-plant. But, I was out and before too long, the show was over and I stood up and carried my lovely new kayak up to my car where I pretended I wasn't dripping where I could deflate it in relative peace. That was the only time I had wished I had been wearing a wet suit that day.

Those guys hadn't been embarrassed talking to me. They approached me. They were condescending, but I had become amusing. I saw it the other day at the sporting goods store when I bought my paddle too. I had become an amusement.

Well okay, it may be a little better than being embarrassing, so I'll take it. If I got a tattoo on my head, I'd better be prepared for people to pull out a camera while I'm doing something I should be rescued from.

Or maybe they'd think I was crazy and leave me alone.

Thank you for listening, jb

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