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Showing posts from September, 2011

Aging: The 60’s Are the New 40’s

First of all, if the sixties are the new forties, someone forgot to tell my bod.   The only time that aging gets to me is when I look in the mirror.   At all other times, I am still the person who dances like a native to loud rock music, cackles at outrageous situations, and shocks the children. There are times when I find myself needing a nap, when my legs swell for no reason, and I need a hand rail to climb stairs, but those symptoms are not exclusive to people my age. If the sixties are the new forties, then why do people around me treat me like I don’t exist?   Four years ago I decided to stop dying my hair chocolate brown and let the gray take over. I wanted to embrace my age and “go gracefully.” That was the day, people started helping me across the street, men started calling me “ma’am,” and every person behind a register started offering me the senior discount. What happened to me, the strong woman I still am?   I have single-handedly raised three adult children, achieved

Las Comadres

“Aye, Comadre, you take the dressing room.   I’ll wait out here until  the other one empties.” “No, Comadre, let’s share this one.   See?   It’s big.” “Bueno, s í .   Okay.” Muffled noises, hangers clinking, heavy breathing. “Aye, Comadre.   Help me.   I’m stuck.” More shuffling. “There.   Let me get the zipper.”Breathing. “Maybe they have a bigger size.” “This is my size.” “S í , pero nowadays they use less material and charge you more.   Let me go see if they have it in a bigger size.” “I need to exercise.   Me dej é .” “No, Comadre, pero como?  It’s the style of the dress.” “Comadre, por favor, I can see for myself.   The mirrors don’t lie.” “We’ll go to the gym.   I, too, have let myself go a little.” “Aye, don’t yank on it.   I don’t want to have to buy it if it doesn’t fit.” “You can keep it in the closet as incentive.” “I am not going to the gym, not looking like this.   Come to my house every day, Comadre.   We’ll work out there.   When I look better, then we will go to the gy

Blissful Ignorance

Back on July 11, 2011, I posted “Writing a Cleverly Crafted Sentence.” It advocated using mentor sentences as practice to improve one’s writing. It may not sound like fun, but let’s throw something else into the mix – passion, emotion, uncertainty. Here we are exactly two months later on the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2011. Let’s revisit this concept with that in mind. . . .   Several years ago, while I was still in the classroom, I used the following sentence with my juniors in an American Literature class.   We had just finished reading a funny, short story by Rick Reilly, entitled “Funny You Should Ask.”   I found the first sentence so curiously constructed that I decided to use it as an impromptu grammar and syntax lesson.   “Real” sentences are immensely better learning opportunities than something out of the old “Practical English Grammar” books I had as a child. Here is the sentence in a vertical column on the left broken into its word chunks (phrases, clauses, single wo

Regret and Remorse Redux

I wish I had every cent I ever spent on: ·        exercise equipment, work out videos, fat busting drugs ·        clothes choices that looked good on the store mannequin, younger or taller women, but not on me ·        cute shoes that pinched every time I insisted on wearing them ·        books I never got around to read ·        books I read that sucked after the first five pages ·        family counseling and expensive lawyers trying to save my first marriage ·        bad haircuts/fad haircuts (picture an Afro or the Kate Gosselin) ·        decaffeinated Diet Cokes ·        craft kits that I never could learn to make or finish ·        anti-wrinkle/anti-aging cosmetics ·        anything in dark blue or neon orange (I’m a winter.) ·        a black tee-shirt I would be infinitely rich.   I’d probably make the Forbes list. Funny thing about regret – it doesn’t ensure remorse.   Faced with the same circumstances, the same temptations, the same promises, I would probably squander my mo