Musings, reflections, wisecracks from a somewhat creative mind

Archive for the ‘Maturity’ Category

(Nearly) Middle-aged Homecoming

October 14, 2011. Picture it. Dusk. 7:15 p.m. A suburban high school football field, 70ish degrees with a clear sky, the players running onto the field, the crowd rowdy, M-80’s going off, teenagers running every which way. I’m (close to) middle-aged and out of my element, in my convertible, top down (the car), and I’m early. I wasn’t supposed to get there until half-time. I open my cell phone.

“Carla! I’m here! Where are YOU?”

“Uh … you’re EARLY.”

Me, “OK. What do you want me to do?”


Carla, “I’ll be right there. Don’t MOVE.”

Who am I?

Back story: A coworker and friend, Carla, asked if she could borrow my convertible and, well, ME, to chauffer one of her daughters with her daughter’s boyfriend around the football field at half time as part of the homecoming celebration. Naturally I said yes.

I’m so glad I did. And I’m glad there was a communications gaff that placed me there early because I got to witness a high school football game once again.

Well that’s not entirely true. The game was a “fond-memory-type” backdrop to the HOOPLA going on in the stands. Holy Toledo!

The Drum Major! The band! The Pep Squad (peppy indeed)! The cheerleaders! The cacophony and the sheer mass of high school students relentlessly moving and shouting and squealing, having decorated themselves with glitter and paint and bright yellow spandex. Did I ever have that much energy? Had I ever entertained the notion of a painted glittering handprint on my thigh … in maroon?

At one point, I turned to Carla and said “If you notice me quivering, it’s only because I’m way over-stimulated.” (shiver)

Those young adults were so alive and glowing and, whatever their inner travails might have been, they were happy that evening. And it was joy to witness.

None too soon the time came to descend from the stands and start the car. It was ready to go: The top was down and Carla and I placed beach towels over the seating area and the back seat. The Deputies lined us up with the other convertibles and we waited for the end of the first half.

As an aside, I’ve NEVER seen a football game so one-sided. The opponent (and guest!) was being slaughtered! Poor things! The score was 49 – ZIP at the end of the half.

So the homecoming candidates were assembled. I won’t pretend to know what all was going on. Someone else was in charge. Yippee. I chatted up the other convertible drivers. One had a schweet, cherry 442. Purrrr.

Next, the kids were going through the pomp and circumstance at the 50 yard line, being presented to the crowd. Meanwhile the cars moved around the field at a moderate pace to get in position. We slowly cruised around to the stands. Carla was in the passenger seat. (As IF I would do this without her.)

Worthy of note, Carla had by this time, taken approximately 547 pictures of her daughter and the boyfriend. And they looked lovely, beautiful and happy.

So the field ceremony comes to a close and the homecoming kids (runners up, too) climbed into the 5 or 6 waiting convertibles and endured the paparazzi and screams of delight.

First up, the yearbook staff snapped numerous photos. Now … remember Carla and I are in the car, too. So … uh … we might be in the YEARBOOK!!!  Ha ha ha! BWA ha ha ha!

And heeeerrrre's US!



Then I am signaled to move forward, following the vehicles in front of us. What a hoot! I grinned the whole time. The high schoolers lined the fence around the track/field and shouted “We LOVE you!” over and over. The two kids in my car kept saying “I feel like a movie star!” And, indeed! Why not? Who could blame them. They were!


Twice around the track then back to the stable for me.

I came away from the event feeling connected and so glad I could help some fine young people have such a great evening. The feeling of community and family was heady for me.

I thank Carla and her family for including me. And I want that yearbook photo!!

The Slower Side of Life

Have I mentioned that Amber (the mini-poodle) is 17 years old? That’s 119 in People years. (Actually, I think the formula is different for smaller dogs ….) But she is O.L.D.

It takes Amber a LOT longer to do things than it takes a younger dog. It is something like the movement of a tectonic plate.

Waiting for Amber to walk through the door to or from the outside is one example. She ambles.

Here are some things a person could do while waiting for Amber to move:

  • Have a full manicure including drying the top coat.
  • Read a novella.
  • Recite a Psalm from the Bible, including finding said Psalm.
  • Prepare hard-boiled eggs.
  • Take a shower including shaving the legs.
  • Change the oil in your car.
  • Write a novella.
  • Watch paint dry.
  • Migrate north (if you are a bird).
  • Migrate south (same same).

I love my old lady-dog. She is genuine. Her behavior is trying (on the patience).

Tonight she stood and made barely audible whining sounds because she couldn’t reach Chloe’s dish of food, which she knows I don’t want her to have. I caved. I gave it to her. She’s a bitch but she’s my bitch. *sigh*

What’s that expression? “Older than God”? Here’s to being old. May you have a loving, caving person to care for you. Cheers!

Since when is ZZ Top EASY LISTENING??

I don’t usually listen to the radio in my car. It can be so noisy and frantic with the fast talking DJs and the hyperbolic ads and news. I have a CD player and happily listen to my own mix of tunes. Riding in my car is like “Sing Along with Mary”, harmonizing and imitating instrument sounds badly … and then laughing at self.

Lately, the CD player has become unreliable. Let’s just say it takes unscheduled work breaks. Without sufficient funds or time to have it fixed or replaced, I find myself driving in silence. Silence is good. Silence means I’m thinking, planning, analyzing, and so forth. Silence can also be not-so-good when I find myself obsessively OVER-thinking something.

It was during one of these moments that I found myself turning on the radio, pressing and pressing the “seek” button to find agreeable music to distract me. Ahhhh. Easy listening sounds of The Eagles, Elton John, The Police, Foreigner, ZZ Top … BRAKE! BRAKE!

EASY LISTENING? What the … That’s “parental music”, not mine! Who authorized calling my music “easy listening”? ZZ Top = easy listening? Seriously? Nobody asked me for my opinion on this.

Waaa waaa waaa. Pity party in my car. Someone thinks I’m old. Really? I can’t believe it. I won’t. I am youthful.

OK dear reader. You are thinking:

  • I’ve been in denial. (True.)
  • You weren’t as shocked as I was when this first happened to you. (Uh huh.)
  • You don’t feel sorry for me. (Admit it, you brute.)
  • Perhaps I missed a major life stage, like parenting. (Wish I hadn’t.)
  • You’re thinking perhaps I should quit whining and grow up. (I don’t want to hear it.)

What’s that thing we’ve all heard recently? We have to grow older but we don’t have to grow up. I agree. I’m going to write a letter to someone and complain.

As long as I behave responsibly where it counts, don’t expect me to act “grown up”. Being childlike, playful, imaginative, positive, loving – these are all healthy things and we are meant to actualize them. I have that on good Authority.

Sorry! I got “all serious” on you. I’m not going to write that letter. It’s Saturday. I’m going to go play, maybe listen to some Pink Floyd or Steely Dan. TTFN!