60

Dress shopping for my son’s upcoming wedding has reminded me I’m not young.

All of the dresses that make me say, “Ooooooo!” are ones more appropriate for a  17-year-old at her prom.  The stuff under mother–of-the- groom dresses is matronly — the kind of thing you wear with sensible shoes.  I haven’t worn sensible shoes, aside from the broken foot incident, since my mother had me in corrective saddle oxfords in second grade.  I still blame her for my shoe addiction.

I’m turning 60 year this.  Years ago, I was quite certain that turning 60 would bother me.  None of my other birthdays, save the 25th one, did but my 25th surprised me with its sucker punch.  But, I said all along, “I think 60 will bother me.”  So far it hasn’t.  I have until August to have a meltdown, but mostly I’m just astonished that I’ll be six decades on this planet.  I throw that in there because my 25th birthday brought a meltdown that, long story short, resulted in the birth of my son against all odds – the same son who is now getting married and presumably will produce grandchildren during my lifetime.  Old or not, I’m wild about the idea of grandchildren.

As a young person, I was never able to imagine myself as old.  I couldn’t quite get past the idea of 40.  When I turned 50, I had a surprise birthday party and was flummoxed that so many friends came so many miles to help me celebrate.  Fifty didn’t bother me in the least.  But like 60, I just didn’t know how it could be true.

60.

Dresses on Amazon, my go-to place for clothes that will actually fit me, for the 60-crowd are gray.  Or navy blue.  What is it about older women that they think we want blend-into-the-wall colors?  If it weren’t a wedding, I would wear black.  My go-to formal color.

After much trial and error, I’ve settled on two ensembles.  Neither of which are in my possession.  I had to custom order each of them from China.

My mother and I spent an afternoon taking my measurements.  One’s measurements in centimeters are depressing.  One’s weight in kilograms is not.

One outfit is the quintessential mother-of-the-groom ensemble if one is a little edgy.  I’m a lot edgy, but the ensemble won an informal Facebook poll as the most me.  It’s gray.  Lace.  Chiffon pantsuit with a skirt overlay.  It’s stunning.  But it is only suitable as a mother-of-the-groom outfit.  I’m not likely to wear it again.

The second is a dress that I found just today.  It’s an ocean blue sheath with a cowled back and a rhinestone criss-cross-y bra strap kind of thing.  It makes my heart go pitter patter.  I ordered it too.  It’s suitable for my age, but is plenty edgy.

I am so tired of looking for something to wear.  I have the shoes, the purse,  the jewelry.  I just need the dress.  I  now want to enjoy the anticipation of my son marrying his love in Spain.

Between the two ensembles, some seamstress in China with my exact measurements in centimeters will surely manage to fit my unusually tall body.  Surely.  Please.

I think both are age appropriate, but maybe not.  I’m not usually appropriate.  I still feel 25 and I still gravitate towards dresses more appropriate for the prom crowd.  When, pray tell, does one begin feeling their age?  I’m about to turn 60 and am astonished that’s true and yet I still feel 25.

Happy Valentine’s Day

When Chef Boy ‘R Mine was a wee lad, Valentine’s Day was a high holiday.  We had to make a big deal out of the day or the kid would have just died.  Below is a card he made for me in school before he could even write his name.  I have cherished it all these years and present it here for your admiration.

jerremy-valentine

He was such a cute kid!  I especially love the inside of the card.  The heart person complete with heart ajeremyvalentine-2rms and legs just crack me up.  I think it was supposed to be his signature.

This year, I am my own Valentine.  I generally love being single, but there are days, today one of them, when I wouldn’t mind someone to send me flowers or give me a card or let me know that they love me.  Still and all, I’m happy.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

 

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

momwristSo, my 75-year-old mother broke her wrist while roller skating.  She fell.  (I’ve been instructed to point out that she fell in the most graceful of ways.)

Go ahead and laugh.  I did and so did she.  She even laughed when she found it was broken in two places and required surgery.  She laughed during pre-op and laughed post-op.   She laughed when she viewed the x-ray showing her dandy new titanium plate and pins.

I ferried her about for a couple of days while we got the medical stuff taken care of, but she’s been pretty self-sufficient.  Luckily, it was her left wrist.

Orthopedics have come a long way.  She’s not in a cast; she wears a brace which allows her to move her hand.  In fact, she has exercises she must do requiring her to move her hand this way and that.  Initially, I was worried she wouldn’t do the exercises.

Oh pshaw.

She does them near constantly in between doing stuff she probably shouldn’t be doing:  like using her cordless drill to replace a large board in my fence.

Mom’s a character.

On the other end of the spectrum, Chef Boy ‘R Mine has been having trouble with his back.  It’s pretty serious and he has a referral to a surgeon.  I’m pretty wigged out about it all.  He’s only 30.

Step One is for him to have a steroidal lumbar injection to help manage the pain.  I’m leaving for Atlanta on Wednesday to be with him and act as his chauffeur the day of the procedure.

Me?  I’m more or less intact.  I just did a freelance project on self-care and I’m all hyped up to be good to myself.  I’ve been doing a pretty good job of it.  I had a lovely week at the beach with my best friend.  I’ve been getting out and about much more than I have in the past couple of years.  I’m active with a book club and a writing group; and starting to hang out in Charleston again.

Although I’m worried about the kid, it’s mostly good to be me these days.    While the rain has been unrelenting this summer, I’m having a good time.

How can I be this old?

chef jeremyToday is my baby boy’s 30th birthday.

I don’t know how it is possible that I am old enough to have a 30-year-old child.  Life is one, big goofy trip.

I had a rough pregnancy and he was 9 weeks premature.  After he was born, I only got to hold him for a minute before they whisked him off to a NICU isolette.  In that minute, I fell irretrievably in love with him.

Suffice it to say that Chef Boy ‘R Mine is the love of my life.

He has turned into a marvelous man and an exceptional chef – I honestly don’t know how it was that we were surprised by his decision to become a chef.  The evidence was there all those years ago.

Happy Birthday, Punkin’, I love you.

Frauleinen Gertrude Von Whomper

jeremyandtrudySo, a week ago Frauleinen Gertrude von Whomper left us.  She’d been diagnosed with an enlarged heart and heart failure in December.

trudyandmeI was a wreck just before Christmas.  I was afeared her diagnosis was a death sentence and it turns out it was.  I knew her death would take a toll on me and annihilate my son.

Trudy, as she was known, was my birthday present 12 years ago.  She was a red dachshund and a spoiled brat.

She was our second dachshund.  In a tragic accident, I ran over Frauleinen Stephanie von Whomper. I seriously did not know if I could live through her death.  I grieved and I grieved hard, especially as it was my fault. Stevie was a Cracker Jack and I mourned her hard.

After a few weeks, we couldn’t stand coming home to an empty house any longer and we “rescued” Willy the Italian Greyhound from a local pet store.  Six months after that, I was ready for another dachshund and Trudy came to our home from a trailer in South Point, Ohio.

trudybratAs dachshunds are wont, Trudy was independent, needy, spoiled, and a complete delight.  She had the prettiest eyes.    She and Willy bonded.  They were quite the pair.  More importantly, she and my son bonded.  It was the Great American Love Story.

A few years ago, my son called and said, “Yo, Mom.”  Any conversation that starts with “Yo, Mom” is to be taken very seriously.  As it turns out, he was working up the courage to ask me to let Willy and Trudy come live with him in Charlotte.  He really wanted just Trudy, but she and Willy were a bonded pair.

Chef Boy ‘R Mine and Stevie had been very close.  We got Willy because he couldn’t handle another dachshund.  When I wanted to bring Trudy home, he said, “Whatever.”  Who knew that she would become the most important creature in hi life?

They fell in love with each other almost immediately.

As it turns out, I was ready to let Chef Boy ‘R Mine have the two dogs.  It was the right time and they were better off with him than me.

Trudy went into heart failure a week ago today.  My son had to make the horrible decision to have her euthanized.  Evidently, he tried to call me in the moments of grief but it was late.  I was sleeping and didn’t hear the phone ring the four times before it went to the answering machine.

I hate that I wasn’t there for him.

We’re going to miss Trudy.  She was something special.  My heart just aches.