Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When I am old, I shall wear Spandex and a Dolly Parton wig which does not go and does not suit me

When my friend H and I were little we planned our dotage. While most little girls were planning their weddings, we were planning our retirement.

We'd plan up until the end of college (where we would share a dorm room and have a pet rabbit) and then skip ahead to our sixties. Apparently, we must have assumed that the middle forty years would take care of themselves. No discussion was ever had about husbands or children. No conversations about divorces, job losses and allegations of physical abuse. No long talks about the near-death of a child, of miscarriages or infertility. No planning of jobs, of home ownership or how last those last two days before payday. We just believed, in the way children do, that everything would be fine. There would be jobs, children, houses, husbands, summer vacations, a mini van and happily ever after.

So we concentrated on after. We would retire from our powerful, fulfilling careers as hairdressers (her) and best-selling authors (me) and move to Bar Harbor, Maine.

Why Maine? I don't recall, other than it was a far from Seattle as we could get. We'd buy a condo in Miami for winter, a big old champagne colored Cadillac and spend our days a bingo. I would tint my white bouffant purple and she'd tint hers blue and we'd wear leopard print and velvet and carry huge Channel quilted bags with gold chain handles. We'd drink mimosa's every morning and eat at buffets and torment our children (the doctors, lawyers and professors).

I guess we thought we were going to grow up to be old Jewish ladies.

Since I only have about thirty years before the party starts, I'm thinking I better practice. Kind of like the Red Hat ladies, but, well, wilder.

Here's my list of items to work on –

1) Wear more animal prints. Leopard, zebra, tiger and pony. Stay away from cow print.
2) Wear more jewelry. The bigger and more ostentatious the better. Bonus points for anything from Tiffany's.
3) Have bigger hair. Weekly visits to the salon for a wash & set, manicure, pedicure, massage, waxing and mud baths given by guys named Sven are a must.
4) Eat dinner earlier. Try every buffet in town. Learn to like caviar. Learn to pronounce words like Foie Gras and don't ask what's in dishes that contain them.
5) Collect trolls, key chains and a little jade Buddha for my bingo table.
6) Develop a signature, generic term of endearment like "Puddin' Face" or "Huggy Buns" and call everyone by it.
7) Start practicing saying "My daughter, the Doctor, says…."
8) Learn to play poker, roulette, craps and other casino games. Get players cards from all casinos I can, wear them on a stretchy key chain that matches my visor & acrylic nails.
9) Buy a really ginourmous quilted purse. Make sure it's big enough to take home napkin wrapped left-overs and has room for my little foo-foo dog, Mimi Van Dogenstein.
10) Insist everyone call me Dot or Babs or similar.
11) Develop raspy voice and vodka habit.
12) Start saying "Oy!"
13) Store up a lot of stories about "when I was a girl…."
14) Buy a lot of life insurance for when I get drunk and slip off the casino balcony and break my neck. That way I can make sure all the best cocktail waitresses get a "little somthin'" to remember me by.
15) Pick an ethnicity to have affairs with (Italian men are so over done, don't you think? I'm thinking I'll develop a strong affection for…..um…..hm. Well I'll have to see who's got the best reputation in the sack….)
Dang, I'm better get busy! I'll see you all at the Early Bird buffet with my Jazzy Scooter!

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