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A Slow Roll –and Halt–to Neutered Mom Town

I look like I’m having a midlife crisis, wearing my 8-year-old daughter’s Mexican floral blouse as a dress with matchy-matchy dangling earrings. It’s like a cross between Frida Kahlo and going out for margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. This got me thinking: what is up with my mom gear?

“I’d like salt on that margarita, along with female empowerment and pain”

I may need an intervention. This first occurred to me a few weeks back when I found myself shopping, for real, in the Chico’s store. I mean, when you’re shopping at Chico’s in your 40s, you may as well just put on an adult diaper and call it a day. No, that’s mean. Chico’s is fine—for someone else. Ha, that’s like when someone insults something you have in your closet, and they say, “No, it’s fine! It’s just not for me. I can see it’d be amazing on you!” No, you can’t; you’re just a bad liar. And not my friend anymore. Kiiiidding.

I recently went through my closet to pare down, realizing I was saving dresses, pants, and jeans (so sad…I will miss them) from my 20s and 30s that I will never fit into or wear again. During this cleanse, I was frightened by the number of Lilly Pulitzer dresses in my closet. It’s like someone barfed neon flowers in there. And, worse yet, I think I kind of hate Lilly now. Wait, for me, I mean…it’s fine on you.

I also have been dog-earing pages in the Talbot’s catalog. First of all, who even reads catalogs anymore? Well, I do, because it’s the only mail I actually enjoy, and magazine subscriptions are a thing of the past. Second, who dog-ears them? Like, make a decision. Buy it now or never. Third, Talbots is just one small step closer to Chico’s. It’s maybe a little more “profesh,” as in “I get my work clothes there.” But, that’s not true, because I legit just bought a cardigan there for my trip to Charleston that had pink, green, and blue buildings on it with green trees, and it looked like a South Carolina landscape. (LOL) I mean, it could be worse. I almost bought the Capri cropped salmon-colored jeans that matched it. I had them in hand and realized I was in neutered mom territory. That’s not good terrain.

Typically, swimwear choices can be an indication that you’re going down elderly lane, like when you have a one-piece with a skirt, or something with a ton of scrunching around the waist and a padded underwire. I haven’t gotten there yet. In fact, I may have gone the other way, because my son told me yesterday that I was wearing a “hooker bathing suit,” because there’s like this mesh, see-through material over part of it. I know that sounds kinda gross–the see-through part, not that my 11-year-old called me a hooker. Well, that’s a whole ‘nother issue. And also gross. But, yeah. Maybe I should toss that in the donation bag too.

Me: Who wants to go SWIMMING???

I did just splurge on some Prada sunglasses, which is beyond wasteful and stupid. It was more for retail therapy than anything. I wanted to make myself feel better after trying on a miniscule floral sundress at H&M that was skintight and 2 inches below my underwear. I looked like Blossom in that 80s sitcom, Blossom. I mean, I have no business shopping at H&M anymore. However, I DID find a cute leopard blouse, which I bought, and I probs look more like a cougar than a leopard in it...Note to self: don’t wear that to a bar after 8 p.m.

All this is to say, I am reevaluating my clothing choices. It’s easier to focus on this, of course, than to focus on the multitude of other more important things in my life, like wanting to get my book published or making more money…but, hey, at least I’m being productive!

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She Persisted: My Failed Attempt at Cooking a Nice Dinner

“So maybe I should just stick with chicken nuggets?” This is what I asked my kids as they crinkled their noses and stared at the sauteed shrimp skewered on their forks and turned it round and round, like a pinwheel.

“Sorry, mom. I just don’t like garlic,” my sons says, trying to be nice. He actually, I think, felt bad for me, since I’d make a big deal about cooking this special dinner since we woke up this morning. See, this is an aberration. I am not exactly known for my culinary skills, and, truth be told, I’d be happy having chips and wine for dinner. But, I tried to be all maternal and decided I’d watch the Food Network and start making actual meals. Typically, I have a rotation of pasta, veggies and rice, steak, and chicken. As my son James says, “Mom, all you cook is chicken with a different sauce and side.” The grill is my friend: easy and fast, and the mess is outside. No lingering smells in the house, and basically no dishes!

But, today, I went to Roche Bros., equipped with my recipe and took to task. Of course this Spicy Fennel Shrimp meal ended up costing twice as much because I had to essentially buy a spice cabinet–the one I had included salt and pepper, nail polish remover, dog treats and gummy vitamins. This was my amazing basket. Oh, and see that random vegan stuff in there? Well, I decided I might try going Vegan for a week and see how it goes. So far? The smoked vegan cheese is dis-GUS-ting. Note to self: no fake cheese.

So around five, I decide to give it a whirl and take out the shrimp. Alas, what the hell is deveining??? I read this on the recipe. And, by the way, anything with veins? I don’t super want to eat. However, I watch a You Tube on how to pull the legs and shell off the shrimp and then cut a line down its spine to pull out what is essentially poop. I mean, I have goldfish, and this “vein” looks very similar to the bottom of their tank. I thought to toss them right then and there but, as Chelsea Clinton wrote, “She Persisted.” I persisted and cleaned those babies.

Well, I made quite a tasty dish, I must say. Here’s a pic:

But, when I had the kids try it, all fired up, saying grace, staring at their scared faces, all I could say was, “Should I stick to the nuggets?”

And I did.

I ate the shrimp, and I’m writing this as the nug’s cook. Round two on dinner…

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Retirement Ain’t Just for the Birds!

Since I retired a few weeks ago, life as an unmarried housewife has been, well, delightful! For starters, I have a savage tan. It brings me back to the days I used to pump gas as a dock master (er, “master” might be a stretch) and wear my royal blue Body Glove bathing suit on the beach without one drop of sunscreen in the 80s all day. My freckles speak to that, and I think I might even be growing some more. Punky Brewster is back! The wan and sallow glow I had in summers’ past from my overhead cubicle light is now gone. I’m more Baywatch than Dilbert–well, minus the you knows on Pam Anderson.

Okay, so what else has changed? Oh, I realized I have no clothes. I used to get dressed for work in the morning and put on my Mary Tyler Moore knee length Talbot’s skirt (super hot), a blouse, pearls, and some flats. Now, that look doesn’t quite jam when flagging down the ice cream truck on the beach or buying beach chairs and umbrellas at Christmas Tree Shop.

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Before Retirement

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After Retirement

Speaking of jam…I really might try to bring back Jams. Remember those? Those like flowered longer shorts from 1986 that look more like a man’s Panama Jack bathing suit than something any eighth grade girl would EVER wear now (well, yes, because they actually COVERED me, unlike the midriffs and short-shorts girls wear now). Jams? Might not be so hot on Tic Tock. And it’s all about the likes. Am I right? I could try to bust into a midriff now, but probs not the best idea when picking up the kids from camp. Wait, did I say pick up the kids from camp? Bwahah! What camp? No such thing! It’s back to Up my Grill camp here at Al’s, just like the good old days when the kids were toddlers, and they stayed in their pajamas till noon (okay, more like four), and I was the entertainment.

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Jams

 

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Dinner outfit=Same as breakfast outfit.

 

Okay, so what else has happened in retirement, besides the obvious attrition of my bank account, and not just from Roblox purchases? Well, I’ve enjoyed the crap out of my days. And the days go a heck of a lot faster when I’m not sniffing white out. Wait, what? I never did that. But, it’s been so nice spending time with my family and friends. I’ve also taken up gardening and am sewing a lot. Ha! Kidding. Come on now. Have we met? I still enjoy a cocktail at 3 and pretending I’m in St. Barth’s drinking rose while sitting on my backyard swing set. It’s almost the same thing, especially when I call the dogs in French.

So! So far, so good! I think I might ride this out a bit longer. Retirement is not for the birds. It might just be for me!