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Humor December 2014

The Old Gal

Three Simple Things

By Anne Ashley

I have not stopped to smell the roses, gone with the flow or learned not to sweat anything, let alone the small stuff. Who are these slackers that can adopt such an ease to things going wrong just because they’re in their twilight years? How do you go from anxious and annoyed to warm and fuzzy overnight, at the stroke of 50?

There are three things (well, three things for today. I don’t have enough space to list my entire catalogue of gripes) I’m increasingly aware of as I get older. First, no one is happy with the way things naturally smell any more. Next, reality TV is here to stay regardless of how mindless the theme is or its lack of appeal. Last, toilet door designations (male/female) are getting harder and harder to decode.

I have heard people say that you mellow as you get older, that you gain tolerance and patience in your dotage. That you learn not to sweat the small stuff and appreciate the little things more.

If I’m lucky, I’m only ¾ of the way through what has been a pretty exciting life so far and I see no signs of any of that applying to me. I have not stopped to smell the roses, gone with the flow or learned not to sweat anything, let alone the small stuff. Who are these slackers that can adopt such an ease to things going wrong just because they’re in their twilight years? How do you go from anxious and annoyed to warm and fuzzy overnight, at the stroke of 50?

Far from laid back and blasé, my fuse is shorter than ever. My long suffering husband will no longer accompany me while grocery shopping, such is my wrath when I’m confronted with some half-wit taking up an entire gangway with a loaded cart, 5 kids and no idea she’s in the bread aisle, looking for milk. And don’t even get me started on waiting at the register while someone seemingly pays with pennies…. or 100 coupons.

The latest confirmation that I should be forced to wear a warning sign when out in public came about when I was approached by a store employee and asked if I was satisfied with the scent of my clothes. Middle-aged or not, had she not been wearing a store badge I’d have … well, never mind. No need to give the other half more ammunition. (Incidentally, my daughter actually had a t-shirt made for me that read: “Don’t sell this woman anything” on the front and back and only agreed to go out with me if I wore it – brat!).

Anyway, I was promptly informed that my laundry should positively exude scent long after I have washed it and should notify the world that, even though I am old, my clothes are fresh and alive and young, and smelling of meadows and lavender and anything but cloth (that might be a paraphrase too far, but not by much). Similarly, I was further educated, that I can now “complement” my rooms with a waft of yuletide spice, lest my real Christmassy scent is not up to sniff. Tempting though it may be to smell like I’ve frolicked in the meadow or like a pinecone, I passed.

When did the need to improve the scent of everything indoors, outdoors, upstairs and downstairs occur? What’s the matter with the original, natural smell of things? If your life stinks, I dare say it will take more than an air freshener spritzing cinnamon and spice into your hallways or a cap full of floral goop into your rinse cycle.

I watch less and less television these days. At the first hint of anything Kard … Brittan … Dance with the … I’m done. The less said about these reality TV shows, the better. Like any other reprehensible modern trend, this one’s going to come back to haunt us. If we don’t act fast to put an end to the money-spinning humiliation of mankind, or the exploitation of fame-hungry morons, in future folklore, we’re going to be known as the era of civilization that would do anything to anyone for money!

Last but by no means least.... I hate the modern use of symbols and slang instead of simply male or female on restroom doors. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve mistakenly walked into the men’s toilets instead of the woman’s because I was confused by the alchemical symbols for male and female? By the time I realize that what I actually wanted was the circle with the down line and a plus, not the circle with the up arrow, I’m standing in front of urinals!

The male silhouette sans skirt is just as bad. The annoying vernacular used to label the doors is my most common mistake, though. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve ended up in the men’s room with the Caballeros. I’m middle-aged. I’m set in my ways. If I have to endure my house smelling like a roll in the hay because the smell of real life is no longer acceptable, if I have to tolerate my TV being full of nothing more than second rate thespians raging and ranting at the unfairness of being born pretty but stupid, can I at least be rewarded with the plain FEMALE or MALE on the restroom doors? Is that asking too much?

 

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