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Tag Archives: Baby Boomers

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: MY THIRD CHILD HAS BEEN BORN!

WELL, FOLKS, THE OLD BROAD DID IT!  My third book has arrived!

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK AT AMAZON TODAY!

(Kindle copy to be released in two weeks)

TA-DAH!

Front Cover

FRONT COVER

 AMAZON EDITORIAL REVIEW

With The Fetus Chronicles, writer and humorist Eleanor L. Tomczyk completes the trilogy she started with Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz. Her latest book shares deep insights and absurdly hilarious moments Tomczyk has collected from her life. She presents her unique humor and perspective through a fantastic conceit: podcasts to her unborn self.

Tomczyk’s voice and cutting commentary travel back through the decades and into the womb. She’s here to tell her baby self all the things she should know about the world and all the lessons she will learn.

Eleanor L. Tomczyk advises her fetus self on everything from the dangers of douching to the use of words as deadly weapons. Special podcast guest stars range from Tomczyk’s Aunt Lily—“Church Lady Extraordinaire”—to her own eyes and other body parts. When her children follow the “Little Barbarian Manifesto,” and her own organs start reminding her about the passing of time, all the reader can do is laugh out loud.

Ms. Tomczyk speaks to her past self as a Black woman, a proud (if sometimes out-of-her-depth) mother, a wise teacher, a jaded baby boomer, and the many other identities she has adopted during her storied life.

Back Cover

Back Cover: “The Fetus Chronicles”

EARLY REVIEWS

“This book has got to be the best book I have ever read, with the exception of the Bible.  However, I do not recall much humor in the Bible. In the conversations with the author’s self, The Fetus Chronicles is a collection of essays that are depicted with sadness, life’s purpose, life’s challenges, hope, and life’s lessons along the way that make an individual put up or shut up, and realize we are all put on the Earth for a purpose—all while done with such humor, laugh out loud instances, and even “Aha” moments. The humor is to die for.”J.A.

“I think that the author dealt with an uncomfortable subject of growing old with a balance of sobriety and humor.  This is a very difficult task to achieve, and all I can say is “kudos!”  Another proof of the author’s strength and tenacity.”—D.L.

“I really liked the premise of the author talking to her unborn self.  It was easy to pick up, read and entry or two, and pick up again later.  If one wanted to, one could even jump around vs. reading straight through.  I loved all the “products” that sponsored each podcast.”—K.F.

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PLEASE RUN—DON’T DALLY—TO PURCHASE A COPY OF “THE FETUS CHRONICLES” FROM AMAZON

IF YOU LOVE MY NEW BOOK—PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO WRITE A REVIEW AND POST ON AMAZON.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE “THE FETUS CHRONICLES,” MY NAME IS “CRIDDLE SMEGOFF.” 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 
14 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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ONE PRATFALL AWAY FROM DISASTER

Do you know what I discovered this week?  My body has been taken over by an alien, and it has gone into full-scale rebellion against my heart and mind.  I woke up this morning with a Charlie horse in my ass that won’t quit, and all I did the day before was squat to remove two—say it again: two—stray weeds from my garden bed.  I also have some type of weird crick in my back.  I have no idea why it happened.  All I know is that right before I temporarily turned into the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I must have pissed off the gods somehow when I had the audacity to wear my favorite five-inch heels to a social event for two hours and fifteen minutes.  (The nerve!)  Don’t even get me started about the Nazi torture that happens to me if something drops on the floor these days, and I crouch down to retrieve it.  When my brain tells my legs “You can resume standing, now that you have the object in hand, Sweet-cheeks;” my body doesn’t budge (it sticks as if frozen into place), and some demon on my shoulder falls over in gales of laughter at the spectacle of it all!  I don’t pick up anything that falls on the floor anymore.  If WW (“White and Wonderful—my husband of 36 years) doesn’t pick it up, then it will stay there until the cleaning service comes (every other week).  The last time I did try and pick up a dropped grape, I couldn’t get back up and had to do a barrel roll over to the stove and pull myself up with the ol’ right hand on the oven door, left hand on the counter, and a double-turn-grab on the freezer handle to set myself aright.  Doing so knocked my back out for hours.  OMG!

WTF people!  Can someone tell me what is happening to my body?

Getting Older

I HEARD THAT!  And I am not interested in getting older, thank you very much!  This is not what was advertised.  When I turned 65 a couple of years ago, I was told that I would be entering my “golden years.”  The word “golden” implies that one will be “rich with splendor,” “radiant,” and marked with “splendor and grace.”  Being unable to walk without a slight waddle from side to side because my joints are so stiff from sitting at a dinner table or after a long drive does not spell splendor and grace to me—I’d call it one pratfall away from disaster.  I’m only 67 years old, for God’s sake.  According to Hollywood, 67 is the new 47!  I should be running marathons, going sky diving, and leaking my chubby-ass sex tape on the Internet.  If these are the actions of my body at 67, what will it do at 87?

Old People Butts thefunnybeaver dot com

I am a Baby Boomer, and even though I “technically” know that death is inevitable, like most of my Baby-Boomer fellow travelers, I never expected it to happen to me.  Because this is where all these aches and pains are leading:  Death.  Right?  My body is slowly but surely breaking down and going back to whence it came—dust unto dust.  As the great Martha Beck says, “I knew death was inevitable, but I had hoped an exception might be made in my case.”  As I brooded over this nasty road I was traveling down, I decided to drive to Ohio and visit a friend who is twenty years my senior, and who lives in an independent/assisted living home.   At 87, my friend seems to be handling the inevitable pretty well.  I talk to her every week.  She used to be a travel agent and traveled all over the world, but now she is stuck in the independent portion of the old folk’s home.  But she never complains—is always cheerful—and I hoped she’d have some pearls of wisdom to help me with the last third of my life.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I discovered what I discovered when I talked to her.

ME:        My friend, I am really having a hard time with this aging thing.  Every day there’s some new thing happening in my body—some breakdown no one warned me about.  How do you feel about being 87?

FRIEND:  How do you think I feel?  It sucks!  I never expected to live this long.  If you had told me when I was your age that I’d live to be 87, I would have laughed in your face.  I am legally blind, can’t completely control my bladder (when I have to go, I have to go—right then and there—there is no such thing as holding it!), and I can’t hear unless people shout (even with hearing aids).  Since my heart attack two years ago, I can no longer go for long walks.  A long walk these days is down the hall to the dining room or across the building to the multi-purpose room to play Bingo.   My everyday companions are the people who sit at my table for lunch and dinner.  Two of them are nonagenarians and the third is an octogenarian.  All three of them have lost their minds.  I think the nonagenarians are having sex—at least they invited me to their wedding on Monday because they didn’t want to continue living “in sin,” but then on Thursday, the female announced that the wedding was off because she has decided she is a lesbian.  Her befuddled fiancé looked like he was going to burst into tears and left the table to go watch TV.  The octogenarian who sits at my table hides her jewelry and then complains all through the meal—each and every meal—that the shifty-eyed nurses have stolen her stuff.  I tell her every single day right before I turn off my hearing aid:  “Ain’t nobody stole your crap, Delores!  You just forgot where you put it, again!”  My only consolation is that my mind is still sharp as a tack.   But as for all the rest of what is happening to me and around me . . .  As the kids say:  “It sucks, big time.”

Cat in the Hat on Aging Refrigerator Magnet ebay dot com

Cat in the Hat on Aging Refrigerator Magnet from http://www.ebay.com

ME:  Noooooo, say it isn’t so!  But you took care of yourself.  You ate right and you exercised.  This isn’t fair.

FRIEND:  Who ever said life was fair, Kiddo?  I thought that was the number one lesson I taught you growing up.

ME:  [Sigh!]  What do you miss the most from your younger days?

FRIEND:  Everything!  Driving, reading, traveling, talking without a lisp—my dentures can’t seem to stay stuck to the roof of my mouth—a career, husband and friends (all dead, dying or losing their minds) . . . just about everything.  By the way, tell your children to take care of their teeth.  No one tells you how much you’ll miss those suckers once they’re gone.

ME:  Any advice for me on this last leg of my journey?

FRIEND:  Take it one day at a time, Baby. Count your blessings (gratitude is a great equalizer).  Do what you can do, and what you can’t control (i.e., your leaky bladder, your teeth hanging lopsided in your mouth, and people sounding like guppies talking to you underwater)—don’t fret about it.  If you can afford it, buy yourself stock in Depends, denture adhesive, and hearing aids.  And always remember:  When you wake up in the morning, and you don’t find your name in the obituaries, it’s gonna be a good day!

Senior Moments Yaakov Kirschen Dry Bones

Used by Permission: Yaakov Kirschen, Dry Bones/Cagle Cartoons

A visit with my wise friend did not help me.  I was more agitated than ever.  As I tossed and turned that night in my sleep, I kept whimpering, “Dylan, you were right: I will not ‘go gentle into that good night … I will rage, rage against the dying of the light!’”*

As I thrashed about in my sleep, I dreamt that I ran into the specter “Old Age.”  The androgynous person was seated on a park bench staring at me with an amused expression as I approached.

OLD AGE:  Hey there, I hear you’ve been looking for me.  What’s happenin’?

ME:  What do you mean, what’s happenin’?  You know exactly what’s happening!  My body is falling apart.  75.4 million Baby Boomers and I have a bone to pick with you.  Our bodies are imploding and we’re dropping like flies.  I used to be able to run long distances (three miles every day and twelve on the weekends), teach all day standing in four-inch heels, leap tall buildings, and trip the light fantastic with my man.  The last wedding I went to recently, I danced for two hours in two inch heels, and the next day I had to have a rubdown in Mentholatum Ointment and soak in a hot bath for an hour just so I could walk without doing the zombie crawl.

OLD AGEWhine, whine, whine.  Here, have a little cheese with that whine.

ME:  Shut up, smart ass.  And don’t even get me started about cheese.  Did you know that somewhere during the last year I became highly allergic to cheese but didn’t know it?  You know how I found out?  At the same aforementioned wedding, while dancing to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk You Up” I shit my pants.  Yessiree, crapped my drawers in my fancy-dance wedding outfit right on the ballroom floor! At first I thought my husband had farted, but he didn’t have his old man fart-face look.  (You know that look old men get:  “keep on dancing or walking, honey … nothing to smell here …”) It didn’t take me long to figure out that the cheese from the reception had done me in, and it was disgusting.  I wondered why people kept breaking off conversations in mid-stream with me and moving all the way over to the other side of the reception hall in search of “some more of that delicious Vermont cheese.”  (You couldn’t have let this happen to me in the privacy of my home?)   So I can no longer eat gluten because I have Celiac disease; I can no longer eat sweets and starches because I have diabetes, I should stay away from salt and alcohol because I have high-blood pressure, and now the one thing I depended on that was safe to eat when everything around me contained gluten and sugar, you stole from me.  I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, Old Age!  You threw lactose intolerance at me—in the middle of a wedding!  HAVE YOU NO SHAME, MISTER?

Every Baby Boomer I talk to hates you too, and they all have something that ails them.  By the time 75 million and counting of us are in our 80’s, there’s not going to be enough nursing homes, walkers, hearing aids, or Depends that Social Security dollars can buy to keep us up and running.   Let me shout it from the rooftop:  I HATE THIS STAGE OF LIFE!

Baby Boomers Getting Older Cardow, The Ottawa Citizen

Use by Permission: Cardow, The Ottawa Citizen/Cagle Cartoons

OLD AGE:   Hey now—look on the bright side.  I haven’t been cruel to all the Baby Boomers.  The Rolling Stones are still performing and they are older than you.  Mick Jagger is 72 years old, 140 pounds, and still has a 28-inch waist.  He can still jerk across the stage with one leg in the air while singing “I can’t get no satisfaction” and then segue into “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” like it was the 1970s.

ME:  Oh no, you can’t fool me.  That bag of rock-n-roll bones probably has to soak his entire body in Epsom salts for hours after he performs.  I bet you that Mick Jagger secretly wears a special designed Depends under those skin tight pants, too.  Either that or he did so many drugs in the 70s that his bowels are pickled and his bones are calcified to such an extent that he feels nothing and he never poops.  But I don’t believe he doesn’t suffer from you, Old Age.  You’ve cursed him like you’ve cursed us all.  Mick Jagger’s got the old age plague of a crumbling body—we just haven’t heard about the details yet.

OLD AGE:  Well, I can appreciate your point, and I do understand your anger with me.  You have every right.  However, I am nothing but accommodating.  Since you hate me so much, I can offer you an alternative.  He’s just around the corner.  Hey, Death—come on over and let me introduce you to a friend of mine.  She’s dying to meet you.

Rolling Stones Getting Old Cardow The Ottawa Citizen

Used by Permission: Cardow The Ottawa Citizen/Cagle Cartoons

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ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (“AHA MOMENT”) ABOUT AGING

I am discovering that “life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”  I saw this quote on an octogenarian’s suitcase at the Seattle airport recently.  It is so true.  Every age has something to hinder it—every age has something that blesses it.  When one is young, one usually has strength, beauty and power—but one generally lacks wisdom, grace, and the patience of a wizened old man or woman.  Fortunately, I am not as narcissistic as I’ve portrayed myself in my satirical and slightly exaggerated story.  I am falling apart at the seams, but I hope I’m doing it gracefully.  I do get the joke.  I know that gratitude is the key to growing old with perspective.  Living in the moment is the focus needed to keep one self-balanced, and the “serenity to accept the things I cannot change”** is true maturity.  Life is wonderful for me—not because it is perfect—but because I woke up this morning and my name wasn’t in the obituaries.  It is a great day, in fact!  I think I’ll go dancing tonight!

Old Dogs New Tricks

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

“You have to age gracefully. And that’s what I love about Keith Richards. That’s what I love about the Rolling Stones. They are aging gracefully. They are falling apart at the seams right before our eyes, and they are doing it gracefully. And that’s the most beautiful thing that we can do.”—Nikki Sixx

“It’s good to be here. Frankly, it’s good to be anywhere.”—Keith Richards (what he says every time he performs)

“A lot of people are living in a dream world – they want to deny that aging occurs or believe it doesn’t have to occur. They’ll hold on to this belief until the moment they die. The reality will eventually hit them.”S. Jay Olshansky

“What helps with aging is serious cognition – thinking and understanding. You have to truly grasp that everybody ages. Everybody dies. There is no turning back the clock. So the question in life becomes: What are you going to do while you’re here?”Goldie Hawn

ALL QUOTES FROM www.brainyquotes.com

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS (Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz)?  ON SALE NOW AT AMAZON!

REFERENCES

*Dylan Thomas, Do not go gentle into that good night.

** Reinhold Neibuhr, The Serenity Prayer

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/not-sucking-in-their-seventies-rock-lifers-go-the-distance-20151009

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11221724/If-Rolling-stones-can-work-into-their-seventies-so-can-anyone-Esther-McVey-says.html

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Never Gonna Be That Old

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I am in love with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  Let’s try another way of stating this:  I, a 65-year-old-evangelical-Black-woman, am in love with Macklemore and Lewis’ new video release of “Can’t Hold Us” (featuring that cutie-pie, Ray Dalton).  If you know what I’m talking about then you are probably under 30-years old and your jaw just dropped to the floor that a 65-year-old-chubby-ass woman knows and likes the writers of “Thrift Shop”—pee-pee sheets and all.  But if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, then you’re most likely a Mormon, dead, a conservative Christian (all over 50-years-old), and you’re thanking your God that you never heard of the alternative hip-hop group from Seattle’s song, “Can’t Hold Us” from “The Heist,” that is now my new anthem.  Just the musical hook alone makes you want to soar if you’ve got any life left in you:

“Here we go back, this is the moment

 Tonight is the night—we’ll fight ’til it’s over

 So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us…

Macklemore Thrift Shop knowyourmeme dot com

Scene from “Thrift Shop” video: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Remember how I told you in my previous “I Do, I Do” post that it was my 65th birthday and 34th wedding anniversary (I gave my husband to me as a birthday present), and that my husband (WW) and I were going to sit around in my garden, drink wine, and read books (not that there is anything wrong with that on any given Sunday)?   Well, forget-that-Jack.  That lasted about 2 hours.  The next thing I knew we were on a plane to California in search of great friends (translation: not boring, non-judgmental, and generous to a fault friends), good wines, and fine times!

Balloon by Eleanor

(“Traffic Jam” balloons ahead of us) Photo by:  Eleanor Tomczyk/2013

“Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt said that ‘We’re to do something scary every day,’” asked my friend as she gingerly plopped her little body (no bigger than a minute) into one side of the balloon basket and giving the rest of us the first indication that she might be scared shitless about our adventure?  I wanted to tell her that I didn’t know if the logic of that quote held up on its own because there is some pretty scary shit out there that I personally wouldn’t even want to try because of its aftermath:  you may survive it, but it could leave you maimed, crippled, brain-dead, or de-balled.  Just recently I heard about a scary fad that Baby-boomer men are doing called “tackle-tightening” (a.k.a. “ball ironing”).  It’s a new spa treatment in Santa Monica that polishes the family jewels with a laser and irons out the wrinkles (only in California, right?) to make said balls look younger.  Now the concept of this scares the crap out of me and I would never do it even if I had the equipment—I’m just sayin’.  I asked WW if he’d ever consider the procedure, and he said he’d rather go up in a hot-air balloon and crash-land (thank you very much), and there would be no more discussion about scary gonad scraping as he cupped the family jewels and fled to his man cave.  So there you have it.  Not all things that are scary should be engaged in.

Born to be wild photobucket dot com

Tweety meme from: www.photobucket.com

But I do have a “born to be wild” type of personality, so I soared over the California vineyards with my husband and dear friends and conquered my own fear (a slight problem with vertigo) by holding onto the basket railings and poles in what I perceived to be a nonchalant stance.  I was feeling pretty sure of myself until almost near the end when the pilot announced that we had drifted slightly off course, but he wasn’t allowed to land in any of the vineyards below:

BALLOON PILOT:  “Aw folks—it looks as if we’ve going to have to land on that knoll straight ahead, and it is going to be a rough landing.  Brace yourselves—bend your knees, lean to the left pushing your body into the side of the balloon, grab the rope rings, and hang onto them for dear life!”

The four passengers (my husband, my two newly married friends, and I) tried to look as cool as cucumbers as we crouched below the sight lines of the basket.  But as I sank below the rails, I caught a glimpse of their faces and I swear I could tell what they were thinking:

SHORT FEMALE FRIEND:   (“Eleanor Roosevelt:  you didn’t know what the hell you were talking about, and I even used your useless quote in a business conference to encourage women to be fearless.  It looks as if we’re headed for a crash landing, which means if we survive it, we’re all going to roll down the hill like four Jack and Jills summarily breaking our crowns.  Jesus, Mary, Mother of God—help!”)

FEMALE FRIEND’S TALL HUSBAND:  (“Maybe if we jump from this height, we’ll only break a leg or two!!!”)

BALLOON PILOT (out loud as if able to read our minds):  “Don’t even think about jumping or it will throw off the balance of the balloon and whoever doesn’t make the jump will go shooting straight up in the air and really drift off course.  Now, stop fidgeting, and do exactly what I told you to do!”

WW:     (“Oh, God:  This was my idea as an anniversary fun event, and now we’re all going to die?  Well, that’s awfully rude!”)

As for me, I went all Edvard Munch in my head and stayed that way until we landed:

The Scream

“The Scream” by Edvard Munch

Upon survival of our balloon ride, I think there is a coda that should be added to Eleanor Roosevelt’s epigraph:  “Do something that scares you every day, but regularly live your sorry-ass life to the fullest because on any given day it truly may be your last.”

I can’t remember if I was scared when the pilot finally landed our craft, but I just remember thinking that this didn’t feel like the day I would die.  We all landed without a scratch (albeit a little lopsided) due to the expert steering of our pilot, and other than the inability to climb out of the basket due to my short height and cumbersome ass (so much for my tall friend’s concept of me jumping out of a hot-air balloon in mid-air), it was quite the adventure. (IMP. NOTE:  Our pilot was a Baby-boomer with a quarter century of flying experience, and like “Sully” Sullenberger, who safely landed his plane in the Hudson River without losing a passenger, you really want the old dudes to be your pilots when you’re going down and it’s not your time to meet your Maker—this guy really kicked ass!)

But isn’t THIS ironic:  At one of the wineries the next day, I wore platform shoes (inappropriate for the events of the day, but since I was being transported by a limo, I felt I could risk dressing like a diva), and I slipped and fell on the level ground of gravel, bloodied my left leg something fierce (ruined my to-die-for-outfit), and I can hardly walk today.  It just goes to show you, that we all are going to die someday, and it could be on scary high heels or some scary-ass adventure, but since God only knows the date and time, we might as well chill and just reach for our dreams doing whatever it is that rings our bells!

Prat falls

I am discovering the reason I like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis so much is not because I’m trying to “act young” or “hip” as I used to say in my youth—it is because they inspire me as an artist—no matter what the age.  I love Ben Haggerty’s (Macklemore) backstory:

“All of their success has come in just a few months, and all of it is on their own.  They have no record label and no agents—just Haggerty, Ryan Lewis and a dream.”—ABC Nightline

Their soul-searching lyrics have become an “overnight” sensation which took 14 years of hard work and their big-tent hearts launched the career of 51-year-old Seattle-born Wanz (Michael Wansley) who had given up on ever having a career as a singer.   He had a dead-end job at Microsoft before recording one of the most memorable “Barry White-like” hooks ever:

“I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket / I-I-I’m hunting, looking for a come-up / This is fu-cking awe-soommme…”—Hook from Thrift Shop/Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

There is nothing wrong with working for Microsoft until one retires, unless you have hopes that bypass a corporate ceiling, you know in your heart of hearts that you ain’t never gonna be that old, and “you can put your hands up like the ceiling can’t hold you” to reach for your dreams and keep doing so until you’re dead!  As a Baby-boomer, I refuse to have my best years having happened in my youth only.  The good times are ahead of me, today, tomorrow, and any day after that (God willing).  I just have to stop wearing inappropriate shoes on my adventures setting me up for classic pratfalls on level ground that everyone on Earth and in the Heavens are laughing their asses over.   Grrr!

Getting Old Maxine

Cartoon by: John Wagner (“Maxine”)

“But I’m kind of comfortable with getting older because it’s better than the other option, which is being dead. So I’ll take getting older.”—George Clooney

 “Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.”― Meg Rosoff, What I Was

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to slide in broad-side, thoroughly used up—totally worn out—and loudly proclaiming:  ‘Wow, what  a ride!’”—Mark Frost

Baby Boomers grow old Horsey

Cartoon by: David Horsey

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
21 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Owning the Suck

Do you know what I’ve discovered?    A Zombie Apocalypse really is coming and our millennial offspring are going to get their proverbial asses kicked (or their souls sucked out), whichever comes first.   Every generation has an “apocalypse” of some sort.  The Baby-Boomers’ parents (arguably the greatest generation that has ever lived) had their apocalypse of WWII, the Holocaust, and Jim Crow brutality and inhumanity that cost millions of lives and shattered equally as many dreams and destinies.  The Baby Boomers had Viet Nam, AIDS, presidential and iconic assassinations, 9-11, and now economic devastation denying us the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in our golden years.  We, the Baby Boomers, sold our children, the Millennials, a bill of goods about what to expect out of life when they were growing up, and now they are ill-equipped to handle the shit that is already coming their way.

Image from confessionsoftheid.com

In our desire to protect them, we wrapped our cherubs in cellophane to preserve their self-esteem, hovered over them like they were Fabergé eggs, and decried that “there were no losers, only winners” while demanding our babies win a trophy just for showing up.  We gave our pumpkins bicycle helmets to stave off concussions (even though we would have collapsed from laughter at the thought of us ever wearing one while we rode on the handle bars of our older siblings’ bikes before we were old enough to tie our own shoes).  We demanded bigger and better Fort Knox car seats for our dumplings, we tore up asphalt playgrounds so our darlings’ little knees wouldn’t get scraped, we succeeded in declaring peanut butter public enemy #1, and we put paranoid warning labels on our babies’ $800 strollers that said:  “Please Remove Child before Storing Stroller in Trunk of Car.”

Now the Zombies are coming, and how do we tell our adult children (before they pass this suffocation on to their children) that none of that self-esteem bullshit and über-maniacal safety paranoia will stave off the destruction of their hopes and dreams or keep their fragile hearts from breaking when their lives go to hell in a handbasket?  Oh, shit!

Buckwheat Magnet/Little Rascals||image from rollinoatstampa.com

I can’t sit back and do nothing.  I must warn my fellow parents that we’ve blown it with our kids before it is too late.  I must do what I can to save our babies from the zombies by giving them the only sure-fire zombie weapon that has worked for every generation since the dawn of man:  knowing how to own the suck.  Recently, I took my “Big Mama Speaks” show on the road and held a couple of “Helicopter Moms Focus Groups” to chat with mothers who are trying to break free of the helicopter syndrome, and it was quite an eye-opener.

Helicopter Mom||image from mommaneedsabeer.blogspot.com

******

FREE RANGE PARENTS AND “OWNING THE SUCK” SUPPORT GROUP

BIG MAMA:  Evenin’ everybody and welcome.  My name is Big Mama, and I’d like to let you know that, believe it or not, I am a survivor of the “helicopter mama” syndrome and have been clean and sober for a decade.  I no longer wake up with cold sweats in the middle of the night freakin’ out that something has happened to my kids that I didn’t prepare them for or protect them from and screamin’ to the high heavens:  “Help me Jesus to fix this wayward child, oooh, help me Lord!”  Can I get an Amen?

(ROUND OF APPLAUSE AND AUDIBLE GASPS WITH NODS OF APPROVAL FROM SEVERAL IN THE AUDIENCE AS ALL RESPOND WITH A RESOUNDING “AMEN!”)

BIG MAMA:  We’re here tonight to learn how to “let go” of our kids and our fears for them and teach them how to soar without being afraid to fail while doing what I call “owning the suck.”  Does anybody know what our motto, “owning the suck,” means?

SANDY HOMEMAKER:  Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh . . . I do!  It’s a military term that soldiers use on the battlefield and it means, acknowledge the crap (excuse my French) that has come against you (being shot at, watching your buddies die, missing your loved ones), and then muster the grit and perseverance through the miserable conditions on the battlefield and rise to seize the day.  We learned about “owning the suck” from Lieutenant Colonel Tammy Duckworth who was our guest speaker last year.  She was shot down in Iraq, lost both her legs and the full use of one of her arms, for which she received the Purple Heart.  Lt. Col. Duckworth is running for Congress and has devoted her life to making the lives of injured veterans more palatable. There I think that about does it.

BIG MAMA:  Excellent Sandy!  Does anybody know what the term “Helicopter Mom” means?

SALLY HOMEMAKER:  Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, I do, I do!  Ask me, ask me!  It’s a derogatory term that means an overprotective and overly-involved mother who hovers—helicopter-like—over her children (at school, etc.) to see how they are doing, and then swoops in to give advice or aid if they seem to falter or fail, never giving them a chance to work things out on their own.

BIG MAMA:  Go on girl, with your bad self—aren’t you the smart one!   Now that we’ve clarified what we don’t want to be and where we’re going, who would like to give us an example of their bad-ass helicoptering mama ways?

SALLY HOMEMAKER:  Oh, oh, oh, oh I have a story, although it’s way in the past because I got free from the helicopter mommy syndrome quite a few years ago.  I just come to the classes to help support my friends.

BIG MAMA:  Ha . . . and what a support you are, Sally.  How about letting one of the other sistas share their stories for a bit, okay?

Image courtesy of rmsbunkerblog.wordpress.com

DOTTIE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER:    (Sigh!)  I’ll go next, if you don’t mind.  I know the definitions too, but I can’t put them into practice.  I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t let go of my son no matter how hard I try.  I’m so afraid he’s going to do the wrong thing and fuck up his life.  I finally got him in college last year but that took an arm and a leg to make it happen.  I had to fill out all of his college applications because he kept procrastinating, and then when he got there, I found myself calling him every morning at 7:00 a.m. before I went to work to wake him up (as I did every day in high school) for his 8 a.m. English Comp class.  Even with all that, he ended up missing most of his classes from what I understand.  “Just couldn’t wake up,” he said.  How is that fucking possible with me ringing his phone off the hook every three minutes?

BIG MAMA: Oh girl, you’ve got it bad—I’m so sorry.

SALLY HOMEMAKER:  Dottie, I see instantly where your problem is . . .

BIG MAMA:  Sally, sweetie, would you mind doing me a favor and going out to my car to get the door prizes from the trunk?  Thank you ever so much, Baby.  (Everybody holds their breath until Sally is out of the room and then they all breathe a collective sigh of relief!)  Go on, Dottie.  That should buy us at least five minutes.  After that, I can’t give you any guarantees you’ll get a word in edgewise.

DOTTIE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER:  Well, it gets worse than that, Big Mama.  At the end of the year, my son got an F+ in English Comp on his final paper and a laundry list of nasty comments from his professor:

  • “I’m to believe you’re the student who read Proust’s Remembrance of Things Pastall 4,211 pages—when on the first day of class you said the only book you’d read the entire summer was the juvenile lit books, The Hunger Games?”
  • “Tell your mother congrats on having read Proust’s most industrious work and her substantive dissertation about him; I recognized her syntax from all the emails she’s sent me over the semester on your behalf. For her input, I gave her the “plus” to marry your “F” for plagiarism.”

BIG MAMA:  Oh, Lord Jesus . . . I’m speechless!  You know this story is wrong on so many levels, right Dottie?

DOTTIE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER:    I know, I know, but I’m scared to death about my boy’s future.  By the time our kid figures out how derailed his life will be without a proper education, he’ll be saying, “Do you want fries with that?” for the rest of his life while still living with my husband and me until the day we die.

BIG MAMA:  Baby, I’ve got to ask you a very important question:  who is it that wants the education—you or your son?  Whose life is it—yours or his?   If he can’t “own the suck” of getting his sorry ass up in the mornin’ and won’t attend classes or do the hard work required, then you need to let the chips fall where they may, Sugah, and let him shuffle on down to McDonald’s putting an end to his Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Time to let the little dude go, Mommy, until he can acquire the grit and determination needed to work hard to get whatever he wants out of life.

True Grit Baby|image from dailysatori.com

ROSEANNA, THE RECRUITER:   Speaking of “letting go,” I have something to say.  I don’t have any children and with what I’ve seen of your offspring, I don’t want any children.  I am a recruiter for a Fortune 500 company and I am here to plead with all y’all mothers to stay the fuck out of your kids’ lives.  Excuse my crudeness, but I don’t know how else to say it.  By the time your urchins start looking for jobs, you can’t help them through the process.  The best you can do is listen to them after they have run the gauntlet of an interview session, but unless they ask you for advice, shut the fuck up!

Shadow Mom||Image from hreonline

BIG MAMA:  Hold the phone, girlfriend.   You want to dial it down some?

ROSEANNA, THE RECRUITER:  I’m sorry.  But I am losing my religion over you mothers.  Over the past year, I’ve had five mothers come to the job interviews with their Johnny or Susie—parking their asses right in the waiting room of our office building, and at least one mother came in and tried to negotiate salary for one of our interns.  A colleague of mine had a mother try to contest the fact that her kid was not given employment and “didn’t we know how fantastic he was—any company would be thrilled to have him?”   If your kids can’t send in their own résumés, or show up to interview for a job without you shadowing them, then heaven help us all, because some of these people will be our future leaders one day.  Do you know that some of my competitors are instituting a “Take Your Parents to Work Day” so that Mommy and Daddy get to see their little angels’ work environment, as if this were their kindergarten class?  This is not what I signed up for.  Somebody shoot me now!

SALLY HOMEMAKER:  I’m back, everybody.  Now who needs my advice?

******

I am discovering that “shit happens” to all generations.  It has been so since the dawn of man and it will be so until the end of time. There have always been wars and rumors of wars, unfathomable diseases, devastating natural disasters, and holocausts of man’s inhumanity to man—in other words, “zombie apocalypses.”  Much of it comes like a thief in the night, and much of the mayhem is beyond our control—no matter what the religious and political grand pooh-bahs tell us.   But all of it can be conquered by strength of character if we learn how to own the suck!

Lately, every poll I read says that the Baby Boomers’ greatest fear is that their children will not be better off than they.  I suppose that means that we’re afraid that our kids won’t get to have the American dream of a great job, a beautiful home, and 2.5 kids that can grow up to go to college and start the cycle all over again.  But what if the very threat of the loss of those things is meant to produce something else in our kids—something money can’t buy—like character!  What if our kids are meant to be heroes wherever they may end up—whether that’s working in a drug rehab in Harlem or lobbying for better medical care for veterans who have lost their limbs and minds because our kids have walked a mile in their shoes without any legs?

Tammy Duckworth||image from democraticunderground.com

Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth is a double-amputee veteran who won a Purple Heart for her service in the Iraq War.  “She found a way to turn profound adversity to her advantage. That makes her a model for other people suffering hardship. Being forced to recover from an extreme challenge amplified Duckworth’s sense of purpose. ‘I was always about other people’s approval,’ she said of herself looking back, before being shot down changed her life. Afterward, she said, ‘I had a new sense of fearlessness, because even on my worst day, nobody was shooting at me.’”—by Rick Newman, Huffingtonpost||What Joe Walsh Needs to Know About Tammy Duckworth

***

“The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.”  Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

“Difficulties show men what they are. In case of any difficulty remember that God has pitted you against a rough antagonist that you may be a conqueror, and this cannot be without toil.”—Epictetus (Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics, AD 55-c.135)

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 
23 Comments

Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Drop It Like It’s Hot!/redo

(formerly: “High School Never Ends”)

(I will be taking the next two weeks off to retool my memoirs so that I can start knocking on the doors of literary agents across the land—again!  Wish me luck!  While I’m otherwise preoccupied, please enjoy one of the stories I wrote last year, which I have revamped.  This story helped me launch my blog site and boosted my courage to become a writer.  Enjoy!)

***

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  High school never ends.

Why is it in our adult lives, as in high school, we exert so much energy trying to impress people we don’t know, won’t ever see again after our season of random internment, and who have no financial or emotional investment in our future?

I have beautiful, white girlfriends who won’t go to a swimming pool while on vacation because they don’t have the figures they had in college anymore.   The strangers across the pool from them who they don’t know and couldn’t care a rat’s ass about, might become scornful of their cellulite or less than perky boobs. When in reality, they should be embracing Joy Behar’s classic observation of things that shouldn’t matter one iota:  “So what – who cares?”

Women in bathing suits on Collaroy Beach, 1908, photo by Colin Caird

All my baby-boomer girlfriends have better bodies than I, but even though I’m at least 40 pounds heavier (when I’m telling the truth), I have a black woman’s sensibility about this issue: accent the positive, suck in the negative, and skirt the thunderous. Then bedazzle your entire goddess self with a rhinestone cover-up and rhinestone flip-flops, add a Sophia Loren hat, and “drop it like it’s hot, baby”!

“The Author” droppin’ it like it’s hot!||”WW” Tomczyk photo

Not too long ago, my husband and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary on a cruise in the Mediterranean.  It was the trip of a lifetime. Everything was better than we had fantasized: the weather was picture perfect, the people were warm and accepting, the 3,000 passenger ship was outstanding, the food was superb, and we were like newlyweds reveling in each other’s company. The only thing that seemed to cause just a tiny bit of consternation was the very aggressive touring itinerary (4 days of excursions, 1 day at sea, 3 days of excursion, 1 day at sea, 2 days of excursion, 1 day at sea) that we had been given. But I wasn’t overly concerned because even though I’m a “fat-bottom girl,” it doesn’t mean I’m not in good health. I’m a daily exerciser and had trained for this trip for 8 months.  I added strenuous hills to my daily treadmill workout, climbed the stairs at work in the afternoons, and special ordered shoes a triathlon athlete would use.

What I didn’t expect and what my research never revealed was that all of our 10 touring sites were perched on the top of hills or mountains with steep inclines to protect the ancient inhabitants from marauders.  Most accesses to these cities of antiquities were like scaling walls.

Malta||”WW” Tomczyk Photo

Every evening we’d be given an overview of the activities for the next day.  In between the instructions for the cake decorating class and the marzipan demonstrations would be listed the information the cruise director felt we needed in order to survive our shore excursions.

  • Ship Brochure: It takes 300 steps to reach the top of your fabulous destination.  There is a cable car if you prefer or you can employ a donkey to transport you up and down the ancient stone stairs.  Wear comfortable shoes. Cost: $100 – $400/person.  WARNING: The ship departs at 5:30 – if you miss the departure, you will have to make your own way to the next port to meet the ship.
  • Translation: The 300 steps are straight up the face of a mountain; the cable car often has a two-hour wait, and you will miss your ship utilizing that mode of transportation. The stairs are shared by donkeys that slip constantly on the descent and leave slippery “pooh” all over the staircase from Hell. No manner of footwear is capable of keeping you upright once you lose your footing going down – you might as well kiss your sorry-ass goodbye. Before you leave this beautiful island, the tour guide will make sure she dumps you in the shopping area that has only one way in and out to the stairs or the unreliable, overly-crowded cable car system. The shopkeepers will try to help you by relieving you of as many Benjamins as possible to lighten the load of your descent. Trying to balance yourself on a donkey while your hands are stuffed with chotzkies, however, will be proof-positive that you have lost your ever-loving mind — once and for all. Good luck, silly over-weight Americans!

ENTER STAGE LEFT: My husband (the Energizer Bunny), the gay couple (the extremely handsome, not-one-ounce-of-fat-on-their-bones Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka look-alikes), the lesbian couple (50’ish with similar body frames as mine whose bodies had each born children in their former lives), the grandmother from Iowa sporting a recent double-knee replacement (60’ish and looking like she could be my sister in height and weight, only Caucasian and blonde), and the old dude with Parkinson’s disease who shook so badly I thought my glasses where out of focus (who should have been anywhere but here — on the shore excursion from Hell).

Because I temporarily lost consciousness, I can’t remember at what point I lost my mind and reverted back to high school.  I do remember approaching a sky-high escalator in a museum with hundreds of other people in sweltering heat and watching the escalator break down right before my group got on.  Because there was a wall of people behind us, we were forced to go forward and mount a circular ramp that seemed like twenty flights of stairs that shot straight up to the heavens. The lesbian mothers, the grandmother from Iowa, the quivering dude, and I stared at each other in total horror! Hadn’t we just climbed 300 steps the day before and 200 steps the day before that, as well as an unexpected 100 steps in a museum that wasn’t listed?  Didn’t the brochure assure us there would be no more steps to climb? I could have sworn someone said we’d catch a break today.

Vatican Circular Ramp||Google Image

All I know is that my husband, who has the ability to walk faster than most people can run, took off up the ramp so as not to lose sight of the tour guide who had been swallowed up by the crowd.  (Getting disconnected from the tour guide could mean missing our ship’s departure, and the “hubby” was not letting that happen on his watch.)  As our group began to ascend the inevitable, the gay guys began telling us about a rather large, fat-bottomed woman (with an ass the size of Cleveland) who couldn’t make it up the last ramp in the previous city, and they just couldn’t understand why people didn’t read the ship instructions about the strenuous nature of the excursions.

 “I mean, really now, why can’t they ‘just say no’ if they’re too fat to complete the course without looking like they’re going to die,” said our Neil Patrick Harris look-alike cruise mate. “Personally, I feel like making an announcement tonight at dinner over the PA system.

 ‘Really people – know your limitations; because you need to cut the rest of us some freakin’ slack.

  We’re having heart attacks just wondering if you’re gonna’ have a heart attack right in front of us out here'”!

The lesbian couple, the grandmother, the tremulous old man, and I gingerly laughed along with the boys, but we silently heard the “Rocky theme song” roaring in our ears (or was it the blood rushing to our heads before the onset of major strokes as we secretly wondered if they were talking about us?).  We took off up the incline like thoroughbreds at the Kentucky Derby trying to match the gait of the boys, leaning almost at a 45 degree angle to balance our bodies on the slope. As I passed the old man at my road-runner pace, his eyes widened in terror as his lips mouthed, “what the fuck?” but my team and I had to leave him in the dust.

Beating the Adonises was all that mattered, even if it meant moving at the speed of light and losing a soldier along the way.  These bodies had born children and nursed babies. The fat on our asses, our low-hanging breasts, and puff-n-stuff stomachs were badges of honor.  Maybe the gay boys had children but they sure as hell hadn’t “had” children.

Vatican Museum Ceiling||”WW” Tomczyk Photo

The grandmother dropped out about two-thirds of the way (clutching her side) and gasping for air. My lesbian sisters and I made it to the top of the Vatican Museum without dying, but I had a Charlie-horse in my ass that wouldn’t quit. As the girls and I high-fived each other (sisters, hangin’ tough!), I could see (being the chubbiest in the bunch) that I had really impressed the boys. What they didn’t know was that I couldn’t say more than two words without gasping for air or I would keel over and die.  I didn’t dare speak without great measure.  I knew if I tried to articulate more than one five-word sentence, I’d be the gay boys’ prophecy come true: one fat-bottom woman careening into their perfectly fit, athletic bodies and knocking them back down the slope like a giant brown snowball from on high.  So I took out my Blackberry, nonchalantly leaned against the museum wall, and pretended to check messages as if I were some high-muckety-muck at a Fortune 500 company and the business couldn’t live without me.

“Some hike, huh?  Girl, you were awesome,” said the boys.

 “Uh, huh. . . ah thanks.” I whispered, as my hands uncontrollable shook while trying to fake search my emails on my Blackberry.

“Great ship, isn’t it?  What’s on your agenda tomorrow?  We’re going rock climbing!” chirped my gay companions.

 “G-r-e-a-t!” (tap) “Me doing” (tap) “pool” (tap) “volley-ball” (tap), I replied.

“Excellent!  You go, girlfriend!” cheered the boys.

Ephesus Library||”WW” Tomczyk photo

The next day found the quivering old man glued to a walker while arduously climbing into the hot tub (he was still there at dinner time).  The lesbian couple, the grandmother, and I met up at the spa first, and then we subsequently found our separate “quiet” corners around the adult pool and spent the afternoon hiding from our handsome gay boys — sipping rum punches, and napping the day away in our “rockin’ bathing suits.”

Bathing beauty from 1908||Image from “Clocks, Cancer, and the Best Time to Tan” By Elizabeth Preston

I’ve discovered that if my girlfriends (old and new) and I ever want to shake the specter of high school, we need to travel at the beat of our own drummer, because it’s the condition in which we arrive at the final destination, not the opinions of others, that really matter.  And Joy Behar really is an oracle whose mantra we should adopt when the high school spirit tries to make us forget the amazing women that we have become:  “So what – who cares!”

Mykonos||”WW” Tomczyk Photo

“To avoid criticism do

 nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Copyrighted 2011.

 
21 Comments

Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Black Don’t Crack

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  My birthday is coming up during this next week and I suddenly realized that I’m getting old—really old!  Two days ago it seemed as if I were in my twenties; dreaming twenty-year-old thoughts of grandeur (I was going to change the world for the better along with all the other Jesus Freaks of our baby-boomer generation). . .

1960’s Time Magazine Cover

Now I’m more than disillusioned by the failures of a movement that changed my life, and I can’t even sneeze without peeing my pants or take two steps without my ass exploding in a cacophony of farts, no matter how much I “pinch and hold.”  (Dairy, thou hast become my sworn enemy!)

Image from jokesprank.com

Last week I spent a lot of time having a very interesting discussion with people all around the world (online and off) about whether there was a devil (see last week’s post: “The Devil Made Me Do It”).  It was stimulating, spiritually enlightening, and mentally invigorating.  This week my mind has turned to addled mush as I try to comprehend a news article about how soon my children and their friends will be able to know that I’m within a mile of their vicinity by my “distinctive smell.”  Because, apparently, the older one gets, the riper one becomes, and wherever an old person is, his or her smell lingers forever and a day and is distinguishable from every other age group’s smell!  Think:  Nursing home smell.  Holy Mary, Mother of God!

Elderly Woman by Mary Cassatt||Wikipaintings

Wait a minute. There’s something unusual about the subway seat you just claimed. It’s awfully warm, and a peculiar odor seems to hover in the air nearby—a stale, musty odor tinged with something as acrid as mothballs. You know this aroma: it’s ‘old person smell.’”  ‘Old Person Smell’: Study Confirms You Can Recognize Age by Scent, By Ferris Jabr||Huffingtonpost.com

What is this smell the author is talking about?  Is it the smell of death?  When does it start?  How much time do I have before my children have to start hosing me off before I can enter their homes?

Well, screw last week’s blog!  Right now I could care less whether there is a devil or not—I have a more pressing issue to deal with.  I cannot get old and start to stink!  Yet, next Sunday, if I haven’t fainted dead away from the sheer horror of it all, another candle will be added to my birthday cake, ratcheting me closer to the finish line of living and toward an unfathomable, unearthly B.O that I’ll take to my grave, apparently!  Is it because I believe in a theology that marches me to the grave first and then onto resurrection at some point?  Would this “old people curse” still make its claim on WW and me if we got recycled, instead?

Horrified, I asked my husband, WW (the smartest person I know), if we could incorporate reincarnation into our theology and return in another life as something—anything—that didn’t have the potential of becoming Pepé Le Pew in our golden years?

 Warner Bros.||Google Image

But WW (White and Wonderful) just kept on playing with his new iPad and barely looked up when he answered:  “NO, absolutely no reincarnation theology—don’t start getting crazy on me in your old age.  I’ve just gotten used to your Lucille Ball zaniness in this life; I can’t imagine having to survive your antics in another life!  And besides, speak for yourself, ‘pale face,’ I don’t plan on stinking—ever!

Crap!

I don’t know what WW is so bent out of shape about.  Reincarnation simply means “reentering the flesh.”  I wouldn’t mind a do-over in life in spite of WW’s reticence.  My husband was born white and male so the deck has always been stacked in his favor.  I’d come back so much wiser and richer and take the helm with the people holding the power and the money, and see what it’s like to start off life “ready to rule.”  I wouldn’t waste my time with gnarly people or shit that didn’t matter.  And I’d take better care of my body from the very beginning so that my old age would be free of disease.  In fact, maybe I’d come back as a scientist and eliminate this “old people funk” that’s been discovered by Johan Lundström of the Monell Chemical Senses Center who, IMHO, should have used his smarts to determine whether there is really a devil and come up with a plan to eradicate mayhem and chaos from the Earth rather than giving me something else to be mortified about as I get older.  Then we wouldn’t have had horrific “devil” instigated massacres in Syria this week, “devil” inspired zombie cannibalism stories freaking me out so badly I can’t sleep, and a “devil-led” Fox News 4-minute, blatantly false, attack ad against our President—dropping the illusion that they ever were “fair and balanced.”  (Talk about something smelly this way cometh!)

But I digress.  When I did a little bit of research about reincarnation, I realized WW had reason to be concerned.  I discovered that one is not assured to return as a human on a higher plane (richer, thinner, smarter) and much depends on karma.  One could come back as a Fox News anchor or as an insect which means one could be destined to go through life stupid as all get out or squished by something as delicate as a child’s sandal on any given Sunday just because one was considered to be “icky.”   Either way, I’d be screwed.

Image from faniq.com

Since karma is a bitch, I just know given some of the stupid choices I’ve made in life (I was not always the charming person you’ve grown to know and love); I could easily come back as a really scary looking bug:

Grasshopper (Vietnamese)||Google Image

. . . or too small a bug to keep a donut hole from crushing me to death.

 

Joanhascheezeurger.com

Or, horrors upon horrors, maybe the smell issue would become all invasive because of my ungrateful complaints, and I’d come back as something 100 times smellier than an aging Baby Boomer:

joanhascheezeburger.com

SWAT!  SQUISH! RETCH!  WTF!  There goes Eleanor’s recycled life and all because she didn’t want to own and “rock” a mature old-age smell—vanity thy name is Eleanor.

I think I’ll leave well enough alone, be grateful for what I have and the God I love, and trust that I will be able to grow old gracefully and in my right mind (maybe I’ll add another shower in the evenings).  And maybe, just maybe, when I finally do die, I’ll discover that “who” and what is “beyond the veil” is so fantastic, the thought of recycling back to an Earth with a Devil, brutal despots, wannabe zombies, crazy-ass terrorists, and Fox News won’t interest me in the least bit.

******

I am discovering that part of my blessings from God in this life, of which there have been many, is that he’s included me in the Black Don’t Crack club and given me a heart that easily loves in spite of the fact that I was born a poor black child in the “mistake on the lake” city, currently nicknamed, “The Cleve.”  (Translation of ‘Black Don’t Crack’:  An urban legend that African-American skin doesn’t age as quickly as Caucasian or Asian skin due to the melanin that seems to have caused us problems in so many other arenas in life.  Go figure!)

Case in point:  old Asian? Caucasian? lady in her 80’s

Image from onemansblog.com

The African-American singer and actress, Lena Horne, in her 80’s

(no she hasn’t had any face lifts)||lifestyle.allwomenstalk.com

I’m just sayin’. . .urban legend or no, some of that non-crackin’ mojo got bequeathed to me and I will be eternally grateful!

So I may take on this alleged “eau du elderly smell” as I get older—God didn’t promise me a rose garden—but by God, I’ll still have the skin of a twenty-year-old when I die and the heart of someone who loves deeply and profoundly—that’s got to count for something when the younger generation scrunches up their noses and exclaims:  “Peeeeeuw, Grandma”!  Right?

Happy Birthday to me!

The Author:  Old, really, really old, and getting older by the day

“Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened?” —Jennifer Yane

“I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”—Woody Allen

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”Mark Twain

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
39 Comments

Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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