You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘musing’ tag.

What would happen if I woke lost in the woods?  Well, there’s a bit to take into consideration when pondering such a dilemma.  There are some rugged individuals that love the wilderness and “roughing it.”  That’s not me.  I deem “roughing it” to be staying in a hotel that doesn’t have room service.  I don’t want to wake up to the sounds of wildlife just beyond a thin piece of polycotton fabric.  I don’t want to wake up to animal noises at all!  I want Eggs Benedict delivered to my room, not bacon half-cooked on an open fire.  Besides, when is the last time anyone managed a decent 24-ounce soy, vanilla latte without the assistance of a well-trained barista?  It just don’t happen people!

I have needs, especially when I rise in the morning.  There are things I have to do before I’m ready to face the world.  Believe me, the world wants it that way.  The first requirement to start any day is a shower.  Standing naked in a cold stream, river or lake is torment, not cleansing.  Any proper shower includes hot water, lots and lots of hot water.  The purpose of this ritual is to slowly re-introduce my psyche to consciousness.  I must have a minimum of 30 minutes of basting in perfectly-regulated, temperate H2O to wash away the wicked witch that occupies my body upon waking.  She is not something any human or animal wants to make contact with . . . trust me on this.

I further find it essential to have another 30 minutes for my hair care regime.  In addition to applying the necessary “products,” any hair dryer must have the requisite diffuser to effect proper styling of my hair.  I am in complete agreement with The Sheeple Liberator when it comes to the inadequate nature of hotel dryers and find it necessary to transport my own hair care appliances with me wherever I go.  These devices only operate with electricity.  Last time I checked, there are no electrical outlets available in the woods.  This is really ironic when you consider, the only hair style obtainable without electricity looks rather like I’ve stuck my finger in a socket.

Lastly, I put my face on in the morning.  It is for the protection of small children and those easily frightened.  I’m considerate that way.  I wouldn’t want to scar anyone for life.  I know what I look like without the benefit of Loreal, Cover Girl and M A C . . . it’s not pretty.  It would be a crime against humanity to run around without making every attempt possible to protect the general public.  It would only be good manners to extend this courtesy to woodland creatures.  I have also learned I need a mirror with very good lighting or I’m liable to look like Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?  Still, there is an argument to be made for that being better than nothing at all.

The outcome to my waking lost in the woods is fairly easy to predict.  There would, of course, be the screaming . . . ear-piercing screaming with intermittent pitiful wailing.  Anyone tracking down the source of the shrieks and cries would come upon a very ill-tempered, smelly ogress obscured by a mass of unruly hair with a terrifying visage dominated by wild eyes.  All trace of humanity gone with the loss of my modern conveniences.  I would surely be mistaken for some long-lost missing link.

Now, this train of thought brings me to a simple conclusion.  There is a mythical monster that roams the woods issuing strange bellows; angrily bashing the woodsy foliage; covered in a coat of matted, stinking fur with glowering orbs.  What else can be made of this?  Big Foot is nothing more than some poor woman forced into a wilderness vacation – most likely by some Bear Gryllis-wannabe spouse – unexpectedly awakened in the forest . . . lost, scared and deprived of the most basic necessities.

Written for The MindSlam Write Wednesday prompt.
Week 9 Idea: Create a short little story about you waking up in the middle of the woods being lost…make it scary or fantasy.

The time is fast approaching for Mum to return to her own home.  It’s been nine months and the experience has been rather like a pregnancy.  The first three months were not terribly remarkable.  Sure, there was the queasiness in the morning.  Mum was in the habit of rising at an ungodly-early hour, such that I was sure I would ralph daily that first few months before the nausea abated.   The second “trimester” changes became even more noticeable and intrusive.  In lieu of an ever expanding waist line, I dealt with the escalating encroachment of Mum’s “things” into my space.  The past ninety days the discomfort and annoyance has grown daily.  At this point, not unlike a pregnant woman, I’m counting the days . . . the hours . . . the minutes until the blessed event. 

The preparations for sending Mum home are in full swing and it’s going to require the precision and coordination of a military maneuver; ergo, I have taken to referring to it as Operation Relocation.  How can this possibly be such a behemoth undertaking?  I’m glad you asked.  Now, I wouldn’t classify Mum as a hoarder exactly.  She just likes her stuff and never gets rid of any of it.  In rebellion of growing up in such an environment, I tend to be rather Spartan in my decorating style.  I’m not much for knick-knacks or an over abundance of furnishings; thus, providing Mum the opportunity to bring more and more and more and more shit to my house the longer she stays.     

It started small, but then it always does.  Mum arrived with one large suitcase and enough “creature comforts” to fill to capacity the back of my Kia Soul.  I know it’s a small car, but it has a significant amount of cargo space with the rear seats down.  Really, it does.  I have no idea why they don’t make a bigger deal of that in their sales pitch, but then I guess rap hamsters have a greater appeal to the car buying public.  “You can get with this or you can get with that, but this is where it’s at” is a powerful argument for choosing your next vehicle.  I bought mine for the retro red and black interior and the great gas mileage long before the rodent campaign was launched.  Anyway, Mum’s house is only a two hour round trip, so we made regular runs in the beginning each time filling the Soul.  Mum needs a copious collection of chattels to console her.  She is also a faithful practitioner of retail therapy.

I know you’re thinking, “Why doesn’t dim Dee just start taking the junk back a little at a time starting now?”  I would LOVE to.  The problem is that Mum can’t part with any of it now that she has it.  The portable air conditioner is a perfect example.  The overly large contraption is forever in the way.  October has now ended and we’ve had a surprisingly mild summer only reaching 90˚ a couple of times.  I figure this is a great candidate for a return load.  Mum doesn’t want to let it go yet.  “You never know” when we might have a freak heat wave.  The story is similar for the port-a-potty, she never used (thank God).  I only have one bathroom and “you never know.”  There is also the new vacuum cleaner she bought during a recent Costco visit.  “You never know” when both of mine may break.  Did I mention she wears the same shoes whether they match the outfit or not? She has at least ten pair as backups; because, “you never know.”

I believe I can do it in one trip with strategic packing, use of a full-size pickup along with the Kia and Mum’s Buick.  The now-not-so-new recliner – a powered model that motors up to a standing position for easy egress which Mum bought and had delivered when she first arrive – will necessitate the truck.  Should I be unsuccessful in conscripting one, I checked and, though I’d rather not, I should be able to strap the gargantuan beast to the top of the Kia.  Truck or no truck, I should be able, with adequate preparation, to complete Operation Relocation in a single weekend and proceed directly to my Relocation Celebration.  What’s my Relocation Celebration plan?  Nothing fancy, I think I’ll sleep in my own bed until noon; drink milk straight from the jug; eat Chinese morning, noon and night; turn the volume on my music up to 11; sit at my laptop writing for as long as I like; dance bare-ass naked through my half-empty house; and, oh yeah, burn the baby monitor.  I’m a simple woman.

The first job I ever had was working as the “nurse” on-duty in the snack bar for the Big Sky drive-in theater.  I know what you’re thinking . . . okay I don’t know exactly what you’re thinking, but skepticism would not be unreasonable at this point.  I’ve scoured the internet and can’t find a single reference to this lauded profession.  If I hadn’t lived it, I wouldn’t believe it myself.  So stay with me and I’ll try to explain.

Teenagers in Ancient Times often hung out at the local drive-in theater.  It provided the perfect venue to get away with all manner of mischief . . . drinking, smoking, hooking up, brawling and general mayhem.  Theaters frequently catered to the demographic by playing horror flicks . . . always popular fair with the youth of America.  When I was about sixteen it became fashionable for these masterpieces of fright to be advertised as so terrifying that – to assure the safety of the general public – a “nurse” would be on duty in the snack bar during the showing.  Yeah I know, these days there would be a huge legal liability associated with such a claim, but remember we are talking about the Stone Age here . . . a nostalgic era prior to torts and class-action law suits.

Of course, it wasn’t a real nurse, rather some unfortunate, young girl in need of making a couple of bucks and I do mean a couple.  A friend of mine had the job before me.  She was given an opportunity to advance to a position behind the counter provided she could find someone to take over as the “nurse” on-duty.  Enter moi’.  The only requirement for the job was the ability to fit into a “uniform” consisting of a very short, plaited, white skirt and matching halter top that was closer to a bikini top than any kind of shirt I’ve ever seen.  Ownership of a pair of white boots was preferred.

My interview for this lofty occupation was donning the costume and doing a couple of twirls for the manager.  I started that same night.  I had to lie about my age, but you could do that in the Olden Days.  Nobody asked you to prove who you were or whether you were a citizen or held a valid green card.  I don’t even know if there were green cards back then.  I was issued a nurse’s cap and my life saving tools . . . a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer (Say that six times fast).  Thus equipped, I was literally thrown to the wolves.

There wasn’t normally much to do while the movie ran.  Once intermission commenced, it was a different story.  A horde of pimple-faced boys and middle-age perverts would descend on the snack bar.  These male miscreants had inevitably been so scared, they felt the need to be attended by a nurse.  This basically amounted to applying and pumping up the blood pressure cuff while protecting your womanly virtue.  Not once, in my time plying this trade, was it necessary to care for a female victim of the gruesomeness on the silver screen.  Go figure.

Needless to say, I survived the rigors of this employment experience with little more than a few bruises and blisters from the boots.  I can’t remember just how long it took to follow in my predecessor’s footsteps eventually landing the much sought after rank of ticket booth cashier, but I will always be able to say I was a teenage drive-in theater snack bar nurse.  How many people do you know that can lay claim to that?  Do you think I should add it to my resume?

You can be 35 or 55.  It doesn’t matter.  We either die or get old.  It is, however, feasible . . . in this youth centric society we have evolved . . . to forestall the obvious signs of aging for an indefinite period of time.  I mean, really, have you seen the 60+ ladies in the “Lifestyle Lifts” commercials?  These “old babes” are putting the 50-year-old Bowflex hottie from a few years back to shame.  Don’t get me wrong.  I believe in doing anything that makes you feel better about yourself.  Kudos to these with the means and the balls to fight off the ravages of time for as long as possible.  Still, no matter how much we workout, nip, tuck, plump, lift, cover, “yada, yada, yada” . . . there are still a few sure signs that “maturity” is settling in. 

“Submitted for your consideration.”

  1. You find it necessary to negotiate with your beautician or barber the percentage of gray hair you have.  A dear (and younger friend) was recently informed that her tri-foiled locks were — if left untreated — more than 50% “arctic blonde.”  If you are among the uninitiated, “arctic blonde” is the new “PC” term for gray.  How bad is it when we can’t even call it gray hair anymore?  Still, it is a true sign of encroaching age when you are confronted with being grayer than you think or can possibly accept.  Girlfriend reached a compromise with her stylist settling on an “arctic blonde” ratio of only 25 to 30 percent.  Hey, I’m not gray . . . those are arctic blonde highlights! 
  2. You don’t mind that couple of extra pounds, if it means your butt don’t sag.  If you’re there, you know what I’m talking about.  I never gave it any thought until happily losing some unwanted pudge, I caught a horrifying glimpse of my backside.  Sure, you expect some things to “go south,” but really?!?  You struggle to keep the “junk in the trunk” to a minimum only to one day realize the “junk” is all that’s propping it up!  Thank goodness we live in the 21st century.  All it takes is a pair of Booty Pops to make everything right with the world.  Wonder bra . . . check.  Booty Pops . . . check.  William Shatner-style girdle . . . check.  I’m never taking my clothes off again!
  3. Cheaters!  Not spouses that are fidelity challenged, but those cheap reading glasses.  You can’t deny them.  You can’t disguise them.  There is a distinct correlation between qualifying for AARP membership and the cumulative length of time they are on your face in combination with the number you own.  Mine once served more often as a hair band, less as a visual aid.  Now I can’t function without them, so it’s a pair in each room of the house, the car, my purse, the computer tote, the garage, even a couple in the miscellany drawer.  Of course, I’m not old enough to go to the optometrist to get bifocals.  God forbid!
  4. Hair that grows where it shouldn’t.  This affliction differs person-to-person as well as between men and women.  The universal indicator of encroaching decrepitude is, however, the unruly eyebrow hair.  I believe they spontaneously appear and aren’t visible in the privacy of your own home, but you get out in public . . . you will see it in any reflective surface you get near.  It’s generally half inch longer than the rest of your eyebrows, the consistency of wire and sticking out at some bizarre angle.  It will also be impossible to discretely pluck.  I have found long bangs to be the only sure method of hiding one until it can be ripped out with a stout pair of pliers.
  5. Last, but not least . . . your off-the-cuff references mystify those still in possession of their youth.  You qualify as an oldster if any of the following apply.  You remember when Johnny Depp was on 21 Jump Street and Tom Hanks was on Bosom Buddies or Sean Connery was 007 and Roger Moore was The Saint.  You used aluminum foil to improve TV reception or 8-inch floppies in your IBM XT.  You owned an Atari, Commodore 64 or Apple II.  You ever did the watusi, the hustle or the twist; Moonwalked with Michael; Cloned with Molly; or Superbowl Shuffled with the Bears.  You can see where I’m going with this, right?  “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” 

All of that said; I reckon knowledge is power.  Thus empowered, I figure with constantly changing beauticians, meticulous personal grooming, proper foundation garments, never reading in public again and keeping my big mouth shut . . . I’m good for at least a few more years of being one of those women of undetermined age.   Well, that’s my plan for now . . . maybe a consult with the “Lifestyle Lift” people . . . of course, I don’t need one yet . . . perhaps just a little resurfacing or Botox . . . was that an anti-aging cream ad in the sidebar?

Telephone Pole

Image by Nicholas Smale via Flickr

Cryptic contact
No rhyme or reason
What’s it really all about?

The call, a query
Inane conversation
Harmless seeming banter

“Hey, what’s shakin’?”
“How have you been?”
Sly code seeking new status

Nothing implied
No point or promise
Merely checking now and then

“Husband is well”
“Yeah, wife’s good too”
Nothing more to speak of

She knows she’s changed
That life long gone
Why cling to that persona?

He’s different too
Intent not known
What’s he seek to find there?

Farewell for now
“We’ll talk again soon
Catch you on the flip side”

“Sure, later babe
Must keep in touch”
Shades of disappointment

Beg your pardon?
What was the purpose?
As much to blame as he is

This trip they make
From time to time
Down a path that leads them nowhere

Just enter your email address and some computer somewhere will send you an e-mail when there's a new post.

March 2023