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Posts Tagged ‘Aging’

When Vladimir Putin isn’t being an international jerk, he’s at Market Tavern singing “Sweet Caroline.”

Dear Hanley Market Tavern Regulars:

You sure know how to make a girl feel special. A little bit too special in a zoo exhibit kind of way.

When my friend Nick told me there was a “rough” pub in town that featured karaoke on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, I was agog.

Afternoon karaoke at a “rough” pub?

Yes, please.

Jesse’s Divide was opening for Nashville Pussy in Hanley, so I decided to go.

As they were playing on a Wednesday, I made a little trip to Market Tavern before I met my friend Hannah at the show.

I walked in to someone warbling a song I didn’t recognize. Then I realized it was supposed to be “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” That’s a bad AND good sign. It’s a good sign of bad karaoke.

Perfect.

I got a drink and chose a seat at the back of the bar where I could sit alone and not draw attention. Smart move.

It was in front of the men’s room. Not a smart move.

My first gentleman caller was a man with a fully tattooed face. Think knockoff version of The Enigma.

He asked me if was going to sing.

At least, I think that’s what he asked me.

He could have asked me if he could dismember me in the Gents, and I wouldn’t have known.

He was 102 and drunk with a very thick Stokie accent that was hard for these American ears to understand.

My view from the hostess stand for the men’s room.

My next new friend was a man with four teeth and four iron cross tattoos. Delightful! He also sported a Confederate flag wristband.

He wanted to know if I had a boyfriend.

I toyed with the idea of saying, “Yes. He’s a Jewish man of color from Poland.” I think I could have made him explode “Raiders of the Lost Ark” style.

An older woman at the next table came over.

Her: Are you alright on your own there?

Me: Oh, yes. I’m fine, thank you.

Her: You’re American!

Me: Yes. What am I doing in the middle of Hanley, right?

Her: Well, yes.

She went to the loo, and I checked my phone for word from Hannah. I suddenly felt hands touching my shoulders. I yelped and turned around.

Creepy George: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.

Me: Well, you did. Please do not touch me.

Didn’t mean to startle me? Someone who doesn’t know you and has her back to you? What did he expect? “Hi handsome! Please come back to my temporary accommodation for stranger boning.”

When I went to the bathroom, I took my drink. Women know why.

Meanwhile, the show went on. It was definitely a crying-in-your-beer kind of vibe.

I Recall a Gypsy Woman” by Don Williams (!) was about the peppiest thing.

I knew it was time for me to leave when I heard what sounded like Fozzy Bear singing “Love on the Rocks.”

Leaving was cemented as a plan when my last gentleman caller insisted on a conversation:

Him: You’re an American.

Me: Yes.

Him: You’re drinking Guinness.

Me: Yes.

Him: I’m going to get you one, and I’m going to talk to you.

Me: (checks watch) I’m leaving in three minutes.

Him: Then I’ll take three minutes of your time.

My lady friend heard this exchange. “It’s because you’re new in here,” she said.

Yes. It was like Fisher Price: My First American.

I waved goodbye to her and the insistent fellow getting our drinks and headed out the side door.

Thank you all for giving me fodder for this blog.

I’ll be back.

Your new American friend,
Beth

* No one sang anything by The Carpenters, sadly.

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Dear Sue,

You win.

Your water fitness class almost made me tap out. That would have been a first.

I don’t know if it is because it has been a while since I went to a class (<cough> six months <cough>) or whether it is because you are hard core.

Either way, I had jelly legs at the end of the class.

So thank you.

This pool is great for families (see water slides) but not so great for fitness courses in the deep end. I actually accidentally touched another participant because of the proximity. EEEK.

Not your fault.

I laughed when you shouted, “We always like men in here” to the man picking out a water noodle. To be fair, he did suggest he could be a shark among the mermaids (yuck).

And I appreciate that you gave the chatty ladies hell. (No, lady with pink hair, I don’t want to hear another word about your elbow, thankyouverymuch.)

Anyway, as that great sage Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “I’ll be back.”

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear Snow,

I love you. I do. I just don’t know what to do with you yet.

I got home from Costa Rica to plenty of you.

There’s a snowdrift in my backyard!
At least two toasted raviolis deep.

I didn’t even own a snow shovel until yesterday.

Lime green, no less!

Interestingly, I apparently wasn’t alone in that: St. Louis was all sold out. I had to go to Illinois to find one.

I waited too long, though. You had morphed to ice in many places.

This was the best I could do.

Now I know why people have heart attacks shoveling snow.

Anyway, I’m better prepared for next time.

Hope to see you again soon!

Your friend,
Beth

*Yes, that’s a Foreigner nod.

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Dear Netherworld:

For some reason, I’ve never had a burning desire to visit you. I guess I prefer “real” haunted houses/places.

“Fake” ones rely on jump scares, which are too much like pranks for me.

However, when your children — whom you haven’t seen in almost two weeks — want you to go with them someplace, you say, “Yes.” Or at least I do.

Our group consisted of three moms and five teenage boys, ages 15-16.

Someone needs to shave.

Here are the things that I found scary upon arrival:

  • The ticket price. It was $30 each. Yikes!
  • The porta potties outside didn’t have lights inside them.
  • The lack of masks indoors. COVID isn’t gone, y’all!

Once inside, there were other things to scare me:

  • Just as I started to walk in, the dude pulling back the curtain stuck his hand in front of my face. I screamed from shock. Then giggled because HOW DUMB?!?
  • A huge animatronic demon face bum-rushed me and shoved me into a wall.
  • The floors were designed to match the “rooms.” Squishy flooring to represent grass in a cemetery, for example. What’s scary about that? The broken-ankle potential. I don’t need that again.
  • There was a corridor of clowns. HORRIFYING. I loathe clowns.
  • Each of the two haunted houses ends with a chainsaw-wielding madman. Or three. I loathe chainsaw-wielding madmen. (That comes from a certain movie seen at an impressionable age.)
  • One of the boys’ friends putting on a badass act. “What? I can’t help it if I’m not scared.” OK, then, Buzzkill.

I did have a good time, though. One of the best things was the boy banter.

Dominic: Gideon, be careful they don’t put you in one of the exhibits.
Gideon: What?
Dominic: “Oh, here’s another skeleton.”
Dylan: More bones, all Fernbank style.
Gideon (laughing): My superhero name can be Bones.
Dominic: I feel like this right here is a villain origin story.

I’ll probably see you next year.

Happy Halloween!
Beth

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I Tetrised the heck out of my stuff to get it all to fit in my tiny trunk.

Dear Readers:

I’ve been keeping this blog for 12 years. I started it because I was about to make a class of students start one. I figured I needed to practice what I preached.

Anyway, though I’ve traveled all over the place and written about my adventures, my home base (i.e., where I get my mail) has always been Georgia.

That changes today. I’m Missouri bound.

Q: Um … why?
A: I got a great new job, and I’ll be based in St. Louis.

Q: Isn’t that where your birth family is?
A: Yes. The universe clearly has something to say. It’s also where I have loads of adopted family.

Q: Is your family excited?
A: Excited for me, yes. But Eddie and the boys aren’t coming with me right now.

Q: What?
A: Yeah. Eddie did not thrive when we moved to Atlanta. He missed Savannah, his job, his friends. So he went back to work at his old job. He’s much happier. The boys are staying in Atlanta with friends until winter break, then they will join him. I’ll be back with them as often as I can, and we’ll work it out.

Q: You think this is the right decision?
A: I effing hope so. We had many family discussions. We decided on this plan together.

Q: You’re ok?
A: Eh. In general. I watched two episodes of “Intervention” last night because I couldn’t sleep. Of course, I convinced myself I was scarring the children. I told Gideon that this morning. He rolled his eyes at me. So maybe I’m not scarring the children.

Q: But what if you are?
A: What if I am? This is the path we chose together. At least the boys will see their parents doing jobs they really like.

Q: When do you start?
A: Monday. I’ll be staying in university housing for two months. My plan is to find a permanent place this week, so I can make arrangements to get all my stuff moved up there.

Q: And you’re sure you’re ok?
A: Well, there’s been plenty of ugly crying. I made a road-trip playlist. I got to “Wide Open Spaces” around Chattanooga, and lost my shit.

If you are inclined, send positive thoughts my way as I (we) embark on this new journey.

I am looking forward to writing about a new environment. I’m sure the Show Me State is named that for a reason.

Meet me in St. Louis,
Beth

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Dear Readers,

You KNOW I love a guest post. Today’s comes from a friend from my performing arts days. I know you are going to love it. And ladies, I know many of you will commiserate.

I’ll be back Sunday with a rage post. 🙂

Love,
Beth

Image stolen from this site. It has loads of tightening tips!

Dear Makeup Guru Friends:

Do any of you have advice for hooded eyelids? I’m not talking about what makeup influencers consider hooded eyelids.

I’m talking about 40-year-old, wrinkly, swamp witch eyelids on a solid decline to medically necessary blepharoplasty.

Even when I cake the eye makeup on, it just disappears as soon as I open my eyes.

Is there a special tape for this?

Do I just Gorilla Glue these suckers open?

Will false eyelashes help, or will my lids just move them around until I have a unibrow?

Do I just need to Botox my eyebrows two inches higher to stretch everything out?

And don’t go giving me the “Don’t rub your eyes when cleaning; just tap, tap, tap the eye cream on” advice either. That advice is for 20 year olds and gals with eyelids like SharonSaysSo. These droopy dogs are 100 percent genetic. No amount of gentle touching is going to save these turkey gizzards.

Asking mostly for my right eye, but ol’ lefty isn’t too far behind.

What I’m really asking is this: When I’m 45 and am using binder clips glued to my glasses to keep these monstrosities in place, will you guys still love me?

I hope so.

Your friend,
Afton “The Eyes Have It” V.N.

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Dear Rick Springfield,

Thanks for the chat this week. It was … surreal to talk to you on the phone. It was even more surreal to say this to my family:

I have to turn on the ringer on my phone; I’m waiting for a call from Rick Springfield.

But these are the perks of being a freelance reporter.

Granted, my angle — your seething hordes of rabid female fans — is a little unusual.

You were bemused by my questions, I could tell. But I made you laugh, so that’s good.

Thanks for being gracious and humble. And a 71-year-old heartthrob who’s clearly still got it.

Why do I know this? Because I saw your fans in action at Chastain Park in Atlanta in August 2018.

This is you braving the crowd. I was impressed.

See you Friday night at the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Block Party!

Your fan,
Beth

*Yes, I took liberties with the song.

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Dear Dominic,

Imma be real with you, Chief*:

I’ve had a great time with you this week, even though it wasn’t supposed to be just us hanging out together.

You were supposed to get off work so we could all go out of town.

But despite the fact that I told you the dates four times (🙄), you didn’t ask for time off.

So your brother and father went to Savannah without us.

That’s ok. We made the best of it.

We watched all of “Sexy Beasts” together, and were both very amused.

We went kayaking on the Chattahoochee.

We teased each other mercilessly.

Me to you after you made me wait an hour to start “Forged in Fire” with you: Let it be known that you’re the worst.
You: Oh, I know.

You even learned to ride Marta to football practice as I was working and couldn’t take you.

You even cleaned up after yourself in the kitchen and cleaned your room.

Maybe your prefrontal cortex took a developmental leap this week.

The reason doesn’t matter. The outcome does.

It’s been great. And I’m glad you sometimes enjoy spending time with your mom.

I hope to do it again soon. Maybe more “Forged in Fire” tonight?

Let me know via text (that’s your way, even when you are just in the other room).

Love,
Mama

*Dominic said this to me no fewer than three times this week.

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Dear Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross,

We’ve been together for more than 25 years. I know some people don’t like you, but I do. (Yes, I know some parts of your lives are problematic.)

It took me a while to start hanging out with you. But after Episode 6 of Season 1 (“The One with the Butt”) in Fall 1994, I couldn’t ignore you any longer. We have my friend Heidi to thank.

Heidi: Do you watch “FRIENDS?”
Me: No. Should I?
Heidi: Yes. You are Monica. Monica is you.

That is the episode with the shoes.

Heidi isn’t the only one who has made the connection over the years.

In my defense, I lived with a complete pig my first year of college. She was the kind of person who would spill milk and just leave it. She wore my clothes, got beer all over them, and put them back in the closet.

Shudder.

The worse she got, the more I cleaned. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I don’t like to clean, though. I just hate clutter. If everything is put away, it doesn’t LOOK dirty.

But I digress.

Artifacts from your lives arrived in Atlanta, so I had to go see them. I took the family. I’m definitely the biggest fan in the group as I met you when I was at the same stage in my life as you.

And yes, I do see myself in Monica. I also like to cook.

Anyway, thanks for the memories.

Your friend,
Regina Phalange Beth

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Dear 36-hour Tina,

Thank you for always choosing time with me as your birthday present. I can assure you that I love the annual family trip to Cape Cod for the Fourth of July.

This year was rough for everyone. We ALL needed the long weekend.

I haven’t laughed so much in a while.

It started on the way there.

The airline staff made the announcement about early boarding for parents traveling with children in car seats.

Me to Dominic: What if you were your size, but you still had to sit in a car 
seat?
Dominic: (Snorts)
Me: Safety first!
Dominic: His bones are brittle!

We got there expecting nice weather so we could hang out on the beach. I don’t know why. Even a cursory glance at the forecast would have told me to expect indoor activities. And I’m a meteorologist! Yes, I’m suitably embarrassed. Like I said, I packed aspirationally, not realistically.

Thankfully, you had Cards Against Humanity, Family Version.

It started with this:

What killed Old Joe? 
Stuff.

Continued with these:

Soon, you were laughing as hard as I was.

And don’t forget the saga of the stick wine (aka Baboon Wine). (I still don’t remember how that name came to be. It’s because I had too much of the stick wine, I know.)

And wearing a “comfy” for an evening stumble walk on the beach.

I enjoyed all of it.

It was great to see you and hang out with Matt and the kids. I’m totally cool with Elsa and Gideon getting married. 🙂

Hope to see you in March!

Love,
LaBethya

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