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Archive for April, 2010

This will be me soon.

As I fast approach a milestone birthday, I can’t help but notice that the Sultans of Political Correctness have slipped another label into our lexicon. The term “middle-aged men and women” has been stealthily replaced with “men and women of a certain age”. Did you know this? When did this happen? And what exactly does that mean? 

I looked it up. Thefreedictionary.com defines “a certain age” as a term “used to avoid saying that a person, usually a woman, is no longer young but is not yet old”. And a secondary usage within the same web page indicates it is “used to avoid saying middle aged or old”. Is it me, or are these two definitions in direct contrast? 

Okay, so my birthday is this Thursday, and I admit, I am “no longer young, but not yet old”. Let’s leave it at that. I have had fantasies of letting the day go by with little fanfare, but that plan has been thwarted by family and friends who insist on commemorating the day, which is why they are called “family” and “friends” as opposed to “acquaintances” and “distant relatives”. So I decided to embrace the obligatory dinner which may or may not include iridescent orange, yellow or red balloons with the tongue-in-cheek “over the hill” emblazoned on them and a cake with only two candles in the shape of numbers, one of which will most likely be a zero. Including all the candles all at once, plus the one for good luck, will violate local fire codes. 

I also decided to do something different. Let’s face it, some “certain-aged” men put on their hair and invest in fast cars and fast women who are as old as their oldest granddaughters. Some “certain-aged” women get a group of their contemporaries together and go to Las Vegas for a weekend of debauchery because, after all, “whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” … AND the Twitter public timeline AND friends’ Facebook updates all before it even finishes happening

I’ve already been to Vegas and it’s not all that. And I enjoy a beautiful (if I do say so myself) head of hair and the vim and vigor of women half my age.  What to do. What to do. I have learned from experience, some all too tragic, that life is more than merely being alive. It is about living. So, I have decided to do something that would give me stories to tell and quite possibly pants to replace! What better way to celebrate being “no longer young but not yet old” than jumping from an aircraft approximately 10,000 feet above the ground relying on a piece of cloth deploying at just the precise moment to avoid an undesirable landing. 

I know. Some of my loved ones think I am a few french fries shy of a Happy Meal™  for doing this, and yet others are emphatic about how way, way, way, way, way cool this is. Nonetheless, I am armed with a sense of adventure and a signed 7-page waiver and will take that leap (pun intended) into that “certain age” with panache and courage. Stay tuned for an update in the days to follow. We hope.

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Spring is in the air. We know this to be true because of the telltale signs. The snow has melted. Birds are chirping. Eyes are watery, noses sniffely, and we suffer monsoon-like conditions on a weekly basis. And of course my all time favorite – daylight savings time. Yes, it’s the time of year when you add one hour of sleep to your day. Also known as the time of year you spend the lion’s share of about a week messing with every wristwatch, clock, appliance, and electronic device in the house and engaging in the thrill-a-minute task of attempting to remember which menu and submenu is going to get you to the part where you can reset the time because it’s not the little button that says “reset”.

Trust me. It’s not.

Some devices make it easy and set themselves, like the cable box and mobile phones. It may be the only time a service provider actually provides a service. But resetting everything else can be a little daunting, especially for me because my assortment of watches, kitchen doodads and electronic thingamajigs is rivaled only by my collection of shoes, handbags, and earrings. (I’m a woman! ‘Nuf said).

I, however, have a surefire system to combat the doldrums of daylight savings time which doesn’t include moving to a place where they don’t observe this activity like Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands or America Samoa. I simply don’t change the time. Nope. I just resign myself to the fact that six months out of a year, I will either be very early or very late to appointments. That’s right. If the air conditioner is on, I’m early. If the heat is on, I’ll be tardy. Some of my time pieces will be accurate, and others will result in an intense mathematical session. It’s just that simple.

But if I really want to know the time with accuracy I ask a teenager.  Think about it: do you even know one who owns a watch? I mean really, we men and women “of a certain age” (we’ll talk about this new term in another blog posting sometime soon) raise our forearms when checking the schedule. But ask a young adult the time and the first thing he or she will do is check his or her holster or pocket for the cell phone. Go ahead. Test this theory. Ask one the time. I’ll wait. I have about an hour to kill anyway.

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