Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Mean Old Girls

I have a lovely lady friend who is 92 years old.  Actually, she is not my friend (tho’ I adore her, as though she was), she is my maternal unit’s friend.  But, I have to be honest… I don’t know why.  In fact, there are times I wonder why they even speak to one another.  It isn’t that the 92 year old isn’t sweet as “pah-ee” (which is exactly how the word for her favorite dessert rolls off her southern tongue), ‘cause she is.  Spend some time with her and you’ll see that just about everyone would want to be her friend.  What I cannot figure out, is the friendship between these two mature women, when lots of their dialogue seems lifted right out of the script for “Mean Girls.”  Mean Old Girls.  Whodathunk?

It isn’t the age difference that seems to be the problem, because it isn’t that great.  The elderly southern belle only has ten years worth of additional mileage, but the younger one made clear years ago that she is the alpha in their pack of two and goes so far as to dictate clothing, eating and hair color choices and, to top it all off, constantly comments on behavioral, personality and physical traits.  If they’re out walking somewhere together, the younger of the two purposely puts a little added pep in her step and accuses the elder of walking like an “old lady.”  Know that I don’t mean no downstream-walking, either.  I’m talking 11,775 square feet of Santa Monica Civic Center multiplied by three as they walked in circles during a trade show (okay, Cat Show.  But, trade show sounded so much less wacky).

Earlier this week, the two ladies took an unplanned family field trip, of sorts, with my son to not one but two thrift stores in Hollywood (my boy is on a strange and unusual quest to collect as many VHS tapes as he can, a not-so-easy task in this digital age).  As we were walking out, the steel magnolia stopped to run her beautifully manicured hand over a rack of blue jeans.

My maternal unit was aghast (which draws so much more public attention than, say, plain old surprised).   “Oh, good heavens!  Can you believe that woman is looking at jeans, at her age!?”

As one who hopes to keep a youthful gleam in her eye (and derriere) as long as possible, I had no problem believing it with all my heart and said so.  “Yes.  She thinks young.  I think that’s nice.”

With air exhalation generally reserved for angry tea kettles, my maternal unit wagged her finger at no one in particular.  “No.  She has no business wearing those and it has nothing to do with not being young and everything to do with being bow-legged.

As slyly as possible, I tried to take a gander at said bow-leggedness without being too obvious.  Let me save you the trouble: there is no way to do this.  Turning back, with little to no dignity left to my soul I whispered a weak, “I do not see this… this <insert unintelligible mumble here> you speak of.  [I wanted to use the term ‘bandy-leg” having never done so, but just couldn’t bring myself to attach it to this delightful little woman who is as nice as Tweety Bird’s Granny.  Who I believe totally isbow-legged under that animated dress of hers.]

Maternal unit shakes her head dismissively at me.  “Well, trust me.  When she has jeans on you can see it, but in nicely tailored slacks, like the ones she’s wearing now, you can’t tell.  Isn’t that so much better?!”

No.  No, it isn’t.  Because I will forever now associate jeans with Tweet Bird’s Granny and spend my days trying to determine what the cut-off point is for me being too old (or bow-legged) to continue wearing my beloved uniform of choice.  What I am hoping, is that when I’m peeking over the bedsheets at the prospect of a 100 candles on an impending birthday cake, I will not care.  Crikey.  If I am walking? And at a relatively healthy pace (not race)? So help me Hannah, I will buy myself a smashing purple bowler hat and highly polished cane and walk around my cul-de-sac doing my best Charlie Chaplin imitation to amuse my neighbors.  Or maybe just myself.  In fabulous black jeans, too — cut for a woman who obviously likes to eat the occasional slice of “pah-ee.”

When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven.  It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmm, boy!” – Jack Handy

A mother never gets hit with a custard pie.  Mothers-in-law yes, but mothers… never.”  — Mack Sennett

I’ll share my pie with you, but that does not make us friends.”  — T. Katz

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