What a Drag It Is Getting Old

I’ve been merrily living each and every ordinary day like I’m the same young, ultra-hip mom I’ve always been when BAM out of the blue Mick Jagger turns 70. I didn’t even see it coming. Did you?  Did he?  No doubt he’ll be getting a proper haircut and updating his wardrobe for something more sensible, distinguished and befitting of a septuagenarian. Or maybe not.  Forget about being young.  Does Mick realize he’s NOT not old anymore?  Were there no warning signs? And what about me?  Am I NOT not old anymore?

The Top Five Warning Signs You Are NOT Not Old Anymore

#5. You don’t care what other people think. Rap is not music and mash-ups are copyright violations.

#4. No matter how hard you try and you try and you try and you try you can’t get no satisfaction without a teaspoon of Metamucil and a strong cup of coffee in the morning before breakfast.

#3. The thought of being a burden on your grown children has a certain appeal.

#2. Brown sugar is for baking.

#1.  The first thing that pops into your head when you hear I Got the Moves Like Jagger  is puckered lips, the rooster strut, single front leg kicks, the 60’s shuffle, frantic clapping, the pelvic thrust and NOT Maroon 5.

What a drag it is getting old …


If You’ve Got It, Hide It

It’s no secret.  I have very strong opinions when it comes to grown men wearing baseball pants (See Add That to Your Rule Book).  What it boils down to is this.   Gentlemen, regardless of how handsome, well preserved, and strappingly well built you are, you must remember.  Men of a certain age simply do not belong in baseball pants. Period.

The smattering of youth baseball coaches who persist, season after season, in wearing full player uniforms is not the only thing that incites my ire.  It’s not my only pet peeve.  The spectacle of scantily clad baseball moms has the power to destroy an otherwise perfectly wonderful day at the park. Don’t act all innocent and pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. There’s one at every game – the Annie Savoy wannabe who appears to have raided some teenaged girl’s closet – and it makes me want to scream PLEASE USE A TOUCH OF DECORUM WHEN YOU DRESS FOR THE BALLPARK!

Leave the skimpy soffe shorts, halter-tops, anklets and toe-rings for the gaggles of teenaged female baseball fanatics meandering around outside the dugouts.  Ensembles like that on a grown woman are enough to make milk curdle. Sure we’ve all got stretch marks, cottage cheese thighs, migrating breasts and flabby arms, BUT THEY ARE NOT MEANT FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY.  And here’s a news flash.  NO AMOUNT OF TANNING IS GOING TO CAMOUFLAGE THE AFOREMENTIONED PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES.  For the love of Pete, take a look in the mirror before stepping out of the house.

What in the Sam Hill are you thinking?  And don’t give me that whiney It’s-hot-outside-and-I-don’t-care-how-I-look-as-long-as-I’m-cool excuse. I’ve sweated through a hefty share of baseball games over nearly two decades and any lapse in judgement I’ve suffered at the hand of attempting to beat the heat has always been accompanied by the good sense to look in the mirror. That’s all it takes to send me back the closet to trade my “Gidget Loves Moondoggie” trappings for an outfit, less revealing and more befitting of a baseball mom.

You are not giddy minor league groupies, bouncing coquettishly from one park to the next, chasing after your favorite major league prospects.  This is not Bull Durham and your fashion antics are not going to change the outcome of anybody’s collective season statistics.

You are mature baseball moms.  The operative words being “mature” and “moms.”  Moms as in mothers…as in M-O-T-H-E-R-S.  Good gracious, you are in plain view of your sons.  One would think that fact alone would be enough to keep you from leaving the house dressed like Elly May Clampett.

Sure, I long for the days when If you’ve got it, flaunt it, was the modus operandi, but that was then and this is now.  So, ladies, regardless of how old, young, or hot (literally and figuratively) you are, please remember no one wants to see stretch marks, cottage cheese thighs, migrating breasts and flabby arms glistening in the sun.  For the love of Pete, take a look in the mirror before stepping out in public and if you’ve got it, hide it.  End of discussion.

© 2011 by Antoinette D. Datoc

For more of Antoinette’s humor columns please visit the Smyrna-Vinings Patch and the Marietta Patch newspapers.

What Would I Have Done Without You

In a few days, my oldest son will turn 20 years old.  Surely I am not old enough to have a 20 year old son…or perhaps I am.  These days, I barely can recall where I last set down my reading glasses or car keys.  How then, is it possible that my memory of Christian Damian Datoc’s grand entrance into the world is so crystal clear?  How is this possible?  I remember every detail like it was only yesterday.  Okay, maybe that’s not such a good comparison since these days I barely can remember what I ate for breakfast today, let alone what happened yesterday, but you know what I mean.  I remember every detail and every year around this time, I reminisce about it.  I recount the story of Christian’s birth and it never fails to cause the release of a wellspring of emotions in me.  I recall the awakening of my protective maternal instinct and the exact moment I came to know this Universal Mother Truth: IF YOU HURT MY BABY I WILL KILL YOU.  I must, however, confess that not all of my post-partum emotions were filled with the stuff of which Doris Day movies are made.  In fact, motherhood did not come particularly naturally to me.

When I went into labor, my husband’s reaction was one of joyful excitement.  “Aren’t you excited?  Oh my gosh!  We’re going to have a baby!”  He was the oldest of four siblings and as a recent medical school graduate, had a couple of labors and deliveries under his belt.  He was very much a “baby person.”  I, on the other hand, was not a “baby person.”  I was grossly inexperienced when it came to the handling of infants.  When I realized my water broke the, “Oh my gosh!  I really am going to have this baby,”  I blurted was prompted by something quite different from Pat’s eager excitement.  It was prompted by fear.  I was 29 years old and I had never changed a diaper, never fed a baby,  never burped a baby.  The first time I’d even held a baby was when, pursuant to slapping his bottom and proclaiming, “It’s a boy!” the doctor handed Christian to me fresh from the womb.  I never played house and pretended to be the “mommy,” like most little girls.  Of course, I had baby dolls, but I chose instead to dress up my slightly over-weight Chihuahua-Poodle mixed breed in doll clothes and push her around the neighborhood in my toy pram.  As you can imagine, squeezing a dog into a onesy was no easy task and as such, my childhood memories are filled more with pretending to be Gunther Gable than somebody’s mama.

It’s true… I nestled newborn Christian in my arms and made a silent, solemn promise to him, “If anyone, anyone tries to harm you, I will kill him.”  And when that brief mother-son moment was disturbed by the sound of my doctor’s voice, “Pat, would you like to cut the cord?” all I could think was, ‘WAIT!  Don’t do it… Can’t we put him  back for just a little while?  I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!”   After several lessons from the lactation consultant and 100 or so diaper changes later (translation:  one day), Christian and I found ourselves tucked safely into the backseat of Pat’s Honda.  We were on our way home from the hospital and as I gazed into my sleeping baby’s face, one question pervaded my thoughts. “What am I going to do with you all day long…what am I going to do with you?”  The answer, of course, was simple;  I would do whatever my baby needed me to do, and I would, quite matter of factly, do so forever.  There is an amazing gift that comes with being someone’s mama.  It is the gift of being needed.  I soon realized that no matter who was around, Christian’s eyes searched for me.  I was the one he wanted to sooth him when he felt cranky, to feed him when he felt hungry, to rock him when he felt tired.  There’s a glorious power in a baby’s need.  It is the power to turn just another ordinary woman into a mother.

On the day Christian was born, the question pervading my thoughts was, “What am I going to do with you?”  Twenty years later the question is, “What would I have done without you?”   Happy Birthday, Christian.  I love you.

Till tomorrow…  Good night.  Sleep tight.

© Antoinette D. Datoc 2011

Big Ol’ Booties and Leopard Print Panties…Life Is Good

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  I call it the IYCSSN Rule.  It seems simple enough, but in order to be an IYCSSN Rule follower you need to activate an internal filter of sorts.  Unfortunately, often times this filtering is not foolproof.  It’s tantamount to looking up words in the dictionary.  Remember when you were a little kid in elementary school and you didn’t know how to spell a word?   You’d holler for your mom to help.

“Maaaaaa, how do you spell psychedelic?”

“You know how to alphabetize.  Go look it up in the dictionary,”  was the stock reply.  Am I right?

So you’d pull that gigantic dictionary off the book shelf and start sounding out the phonemes, “ssss-iyee-ka-d-d-d-el-ick,” as you simultaneously thumbed your way through something like a fillion-dillion pages, each no thicker than onion skin.  After getting to the last of the “s” words, it finally dawned on you that you likely never, ever were going to find that word in the dictionary, which meant you were not going to get your homework finished.  You probably started to cry in frustration at this point and then you might get the hiccups and the whole night would be ruined because some idiot thought it would be clever to make psychedelic start with a “p,” instead of an  “s.”  What the heck is that about and why did adults always tell you to look things up in the dictionary when they knew darn well you were not going to find them without help?  I mean really… if you don’t know how to spell a word in the first place, how are you supposed to find it in the dictionary?  Anyway, activating your IYCSSN Rule filter is a bit like using the dictionary.  You might possess the self-restraint required to think before you talk, but if you have no idea that the comment you are about to make will be perceived as NOT nice, you’re not going to filter it out of whatever conversation you happen to be having.  Allow me to illustrate this with a recent personal experience.

One day last summer I was at the ball park watching my son play baseball, when one of my best girlfriends announced she was heading to the powder room.  She invited me to go along because 1) everyone knows it is genetically impossible for women to patronize a public restroom without a partner, and 2) she needed a little help.  Of course, there was quite a long line to use the bathroom, but as luck would have it the handicap stall was vacant.  Since my friend needed help, we marched to the front of the line and together entered the handicap stall.  After helping my girlfriend, I decided to go ahead and empty my bladder too.  I really didn’t have to go, but what the heck, I was already there.

“Wow!”  My girlfriend exclaimed, making no effort to look the other way as I squatted over the commode. “You have a big ol’ booty!”

“What?”  I asked incredulously.  Did I just hear what I think I heard… didn’t her mother ever tell her if she couldn’t find  something nice to say, she shouldn’t say anything at all?!  The nerve of some people!

“You have a big ol’ booty!”  She repeated with a big ol’ smile on her face.

Yep that’s what I thought she said. “It’s not that big is it?”  I was not sure whether to laugh or cry.

“Yes, ma’am!  It’s a big ol’ booty!”  She said it for a third time, still smiling.

I briefly contemplated snapping back with a scathing if-you-can’t-say-something-nice-don’t-say-anything-at-all reprimand.  Instead, my own IYCSSN filter kicked into gear and I decided it was neither my place nor very nice, so I simply sighed and said nothing.   Reconciled with the idea of plopping my big ol’ booty back on the bleachers and sulking my way through the remainder of the game, I began to pull up my underwear.  I was startled by yet another one of my girlfriend’s gleeful whoops.

“Oh!  I loooooovvveee your panties!”

I had to stifle a smile because they were, in fact, my favorite pair of panties, leopard print bikini style, and I don’t mind telling you…rather flattering.  I was suddenly thankful that I’d taken the time to exercise self-restraint because in that very moment my girlfriend’s sweet smile and twinkling expression revealed that there was not an ounce of malice intended in her big ol’ booty comment.  She perceived absolutely no harm in stating, what I sorely faced was, the obvious fact that I do, indeed, have a big ol’ booty.  The thing is, in my friend’s mind, big ol’ booties aren’t bad, they’re simply…big ol’ booties.  I glanced at my girlfriend and watched her take my hand in hers and begin to swing it back and forth in child-like fashion.  It was a gesture that spoke volumes:   I could care less how big your booty is cuz you’re my friend.

“Come on!” she said and we skipped along back to the bleachers, hand in hand like best girlfriends often do.

Thanks to my girlfriend, I decided as long as I can squeeze this big ol’ booty of mine into a pair of leopard print bikini panties, life is good.  Perhaps my girlfriend’s filter is not quite foolproof.  Perhaps it has something to do with age… Did I mention she’s three?

"Yes ma'am! You have a big ol' booty!"

Till tomorrow…  Good night.  Sleep tight.

The Strangest Things Are Happening to Me

In less than two years I’ll be 50 years old.  I used to think 50 was old.  No wait, that’s not right.  I used to think 40 was old and 50 was really, really old.  Now I think 50 is young and 40 is really, really young.  It doesn’t really matter what I think because either way I look at it, one thing is for sure.  The strangest things are happening to me.

For example, what’s with all the flabby, sagging, redundant skin?  I’m not talking wrinkles.  I can handle wrinkles.  I’m talking flabby, sagging, redundant skin.  Oh quit your what’s-she-talking-about attitude and wipe that innocent look off your face, as if you don’t have flabby, sagging, redundant skin too.  And yes, I did mean flabby, sagging and redundant. Look it up if you’re still confused.  What do I look like a walking dictionary, for goodness sake?  Take, for instance, my neck.  Lately, there’s more skin on my neck than I need, than I’ll ever need for that matter (redundant, got it now?).  In fact, if suddenly I were to turn into a giraffe over night, I’d still have some neck skin to spare.  The same thing is happening with my eyelids.  I put on some eye shadow the other day…again, wipe that shocked look off your face and close your mouth…I do wear make up every now and again when the mood strikes me.   Anyway, I was applying this powder eye shadow, going for, you know, the “smoky eye,” which is the “in” thing for us brown-eyed girls these days.  Every time I stroked the applicator brush across my eyelid, I seemed to drag two or three flabby skin folds with me.  I couldn’t believe it.  So I did it a few more times, and yep, the skin just kept sliding back and forth over my eyeball.  If that’s not bad enough, my eyelids got droopier and droopier with each brush stroke.  By the time I was done the skin was so droopy I couldn’t even find my eyelashes to apply mascara.

Since we’re talking about eyelashes, let’s talk about hair in general.  Without warning I’ve got less hair in places where I want more and more hair in places where I want less.  Not to mention grey hair in places I where I don’t care to mention.  Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.  Okay, maybe the less hair part isn’t all that bad.  I don’t mind needing to shave my legs less often.  It’s actually liberating, but I miss my eyelashes.  I suppose I could be like Brooke Shields and use that Latisse stuff.  It is the first FDA approved prescription that induces eyelash growth.  The things people think of these days.  I mean, seriously.  Cure for cancer?  Nah…let’s invent a drug that makes your eyelashes grow!  Yippee!   Anyway as with most wonder drugs, this one carries the potential for negative side effects, one of which clearly causes users to dance weird.  Come on.  Surely I’m not the only person to have seen that Latisse commercial with Brooke Shields, right?   Brooke is dancing around like she’s the next Dancing with the Stars cast member, batting her long, luscious Latissse-lashes at her dance partner without so much as a hint of grace, rhythm or as they say, “musicality.”  As much as I miss my eyelashes, I just can’t jeopardize my shot at that disco ball trophy, so Latisse is out for me.  Truly, though, the more pressing matter to address is this business of more hair in places where I want less of it.  I’m not going to get into too much detail, but let me tell you about this one, errant hair that sprouts from my weenus.  Oh get your mind out of the gutter.  The weenus is the loose skin that covers the very end of your elbow.  Again, I haven’t got time for this.  Look it up if you don’t believe me.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, I have this single, miscreant hair, if you will, growing smack in the middle of my right weenus.  No matter how often I pluck it out, it sprouts right back the next day.  To make matters worse, it’s not blonde and fine in texture like the other hairs on my forearms.  No, no.  This thing is black and coarse and wiry, like the kind of hair you find in other places and I’m not going to say where, but it rhymes with cubic.

The strangest things are happening to me and I’m afraid I can’t stop them.   I never anticipated that certain of my body parts would so stubbornly assert themselves against my will.  These days my breasts prefer my back to my front and my buttocks prefer behind my knees to my thighs.  It’s as if they awoke one day and quite abruptly decided they needed a change of scenery and by the way, no amount of coaxing on my part has gotten them to agree to move back where they belong.   Believe me.  I’ve tried.   The strangest things are happening to me, but it doesn’t matter because I’m still me.  In less than two years I’ll be 50 years old, and still, I will be me, except perhaps for one small change.  I used to think 50 was young, but the more I think about it, I have to say 50 is really, really young.  That, my friend, is a change I’m willing to accept.

Till tomorrow…Good night.  Sleep tight.