Posted by: Catadromy | July 6, 2013

Coastal Latitudes

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When I am old, I shall live by the sea.

This summer marks my 30th year of going to Hawaii for vacation.  We don’t go every year; although one lucky year, we went twice.  Of all the islands I’ve visited, Maui is my favorite.  We returned there this trip, after an absence of 13 years.  Things haven’t changed very much, other than the island has gotten more built up and there are more people than ever.  But Maui is still, at its heart, a small town that happens to be spread out over an island.

I’ve been to Kauai, which I love, too.  But it’s small.  Kauai offers lots of diverse climate and breathtaking scenery.  I find that once I’ve done the things that Kauai is known for, I don’t want to go back and do them again.  At least, not that visit.

We returned to Kauai after 20 years last year, not having been since the island was devastated by Hurricane Iniki.  Things were much changed, as if business used Iniki as an excuse to clear away a lot of the old ways that were no longer working.  But the old familiar favorites were still to be found, as well.

In the past, I used to love to go to Shipwreck Beach.  The only way to get there back then was to drive through a cane field.  The beach wasn’t safe for swimming, due to the strong currents and riptides.  There was a very large rock that I used to lie on and watch the water.

Now there’s a Sheraton and the ocean has been somehow tamed.

But Spouting Horn and the gimcrack gift stands are still there, unchanged.  Waimea Canyon is as breathtaking as ever.  Hanapepe is untouched by the passage of time, as if preserved in amber.  Not usually ones for touristy types of things, we took a cruise, up the Waimea River to the Fern Grotto.  We’d done it before, on one of our earlier visits, when it was still possible to go inside the grotto.  It is no longer.  Recent heavy rains collapsed the hillside and it is now unsafe to do so.  We had to comfort ourselves with standing on a wooden platform about 40 feet in front of the grotto itself.  But it was a nice day for a ride on the river and there was a bonus hula lesson.

Then, there’s the Big Island—the island of Hawaii.  There’s a stretch of road that runs through fields of black lava just south of the turn to Waimea, where there are no street lights and everything is pitch black.  The sky is like velvet.  One of my favorite things to do late at night when there are no other cars around is to turn off the headlights and the interior lights of my car and sail, as if invisible, through the inky blackness.

We have a friend who works at one of the resorts on the Kona coast; she gets us the kama’aina rate there.  She even got me a staff badge with my name on it so that I could go pretty much anywhere I liked within the resort.  My favorite beach on the Big Island is Hapuna Beach.  It’s wide and shallow a long way out, so it has no waves, no rocks and the water is usually warmer than at the other beaches on the island.

Ka Lae.  Ka Lae is the tip of the Big Island and the southernmost point of the US.  The beach is covered by green sand, due to the olivine that was formed by the volcanic eruptions and then eroded into sand by the ceaseless action of the waves.  There’s nothing but open ocean at Ka Lae, no land until you get to Antarctica.  Being there is like being at the End Of The World.  The ocean shows its power and might.  Standing there, on the green sand and watching the majestic waves, I felt so small and insignificant.  I wanted to spend a lifetime there, just watching the ocean.

I think of Oahu as more of a transit point; in the old days, we used to have to change planes in Honolulu to get to the other islands.  Once, coming back after a hurricane, there were no direct flights back to the mainland so we spent some time touring Honolulu waiting for our next flight.

There was one trip when we stayed in Waikiki for some nights.  I settled into a routine—I would have my breakfast in the open-air lobby of the Hilton and then go to the beach, where I would rent a beach chair and an umbrella from the beach boys there.  I would speak pidgin with them, much to the chagrin and utter embarrassment of my teenaged daughter.

I would set up my little encampment on the beach, equidistant from the hotel and the water and read and people watch.  There were pasty-faced, fat-bottomed tourists from the mid-west carrying on loud conversations on their cell phones.  And the subject matter—Aunt Myrna’s hernia, Uncle Henry’s hemorrhoids.  I wanted to scream at them as they marched down the beach, ‘Look around you.  You’re in Paradise.  Talk on the phone later.’  But I didn’t.

There were 20-something white males with large tribal tattoos covering their arms and shoulders.  What tribes do they belong to, I wondered.  Epic beer consumption does not a tribe make.

I don’t much care for Honolulu.  It’s just another big city with horrendous traffic, but really nice weather.  Except for the hurricanes and tropical storms.

This brings me back to Maui.  My first return in some time.  It was comforting to do the things we’ve always done on our frequent visits there.  We even stayed at the place we stayed when we first began visiting.  Although much upgraded and refreshed, it’s still familiar.  There are more conveniences—a market across the street—but things are pretty much the same.

We went to my favorite beach.  Not just my favorite beach on Maui.  My favorite beach in all of Hawaii.  Disappointingly, the foliage has been groomed so that the high-end villas that have been newly-built facing it may have uninterrupted ocean views.  But the basics of the beach are still the same—sand, water, waves, available rocks to weight down the blankets.  And limited parking to control crowding.  My favorite time of day is the late afternoon, when most of the crowds have gone, the heat has dissipated and the sun sparkles on the water like diamonds.

We like being on Maui for July 4th.  Lahaina is like every other small town on that day.  The main street is closed to traffic, there’s a fair in the park, rides for the kids and public fireworks from a barge in the harbor.  We ditched the car and took a bus.  Parking was near impossible that night.

We ate in the familiar spots, drank the usual drinks, marveled at the sunsets, the near-daily rain showers and the rainbows.  I caught up with my former dive buddy.  He’s a lot grayer, but still teaching tourists the fundamentals of scuba.

Time basically stops for me when I’m in the Islands.  I gaze out at the endless Pacific and the limitless sky and think about nothing.  Except this…

When I am old, I shall live by the sea.

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Posted by: Catadromy | April 15, 2013

All You Need Is Love

Music has always had a powerful effect on my life and I was especially reminded of this the other day as I attended what was billed as a ‘musical journey…from the ‘60s to the present’.  Maybe because I came of age in the ‘60s, but it seems to me that was the most interesting time in which to be alive.  There was a sea change in America then and the music of the time underscored it.  The music  then was transformative and actually contributed to the political movement for social change.

The two major events of the ‘60s—the push for civil rights and the anti-war protests—shaped the political landscape for generations.  But what stood out for me was the push against the war in Viet Nam.  The Civil Rights movement was a few years too early (LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964) and I was in the Northeastern part of the US.  Viet Nam, on the other hand…

Viet Nam was being fought on the 6 o’clock news every night.  My friends were subject to the draft as soon as their student deferments ended.  As a History major, the internal departmental politics were intense.  The Departmental Chair was a CO during WWII; one of the professors in Western Civilization denounced another to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee; one of my Poli Sci professors was with the CIA and involved in the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953. There were teach-ins and demonstrations on campuses all over the country.  And there was the music.  The music of protest and rebellion.

The Airplane, The Band, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Peter Paul & Mary, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Grateful Dead and, of course, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

The music is so evocative.  I hear an old track from then and instantly, I’m transported back in time.  I smell incense, see people wearing tie-dye and see billows of tear gas.  The hippies, the Yippies, the politics of change and rebellion.

Graham Nash…”We can change the world, rearrange the world.

Won’t you please come to Chicago? Or else join the other side.”

Buffalo Springfield…”There’s something happening here.

What it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s a man with a gun over there. Telling me I got to beware.
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound?

Everybody look what’s going down.
There’s battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.

Young people speaking their minds. Getting so much resistance from behind.”

I have seen so much change in my life.  There’s an old curse that says, May you live in interesting times.  I have.  I was born for these times.

Posted by: Catadromy | October 29, 2011

But Wait, There’s More

So, I’m watching the CBS Evening News on a Saturday, no less.  (The story of my sad social life will have to wait for another time.)  These days, the network evening news on the weekends is all about infomercials.  Generally, I find infomercials to be a source of some amusement.  They’re formulaic, pitching some product or other of no or very little practical use for a reasonable price and then the pitch is broadened to include a doubling of the very self-same offer without an additional charge—except for a twofold increase in shipping and handling.  Of course.  And then they’ll throw in something else extra just to sweeten the deal.  A recipe book, a specialized slicing knife, a decorating kit.  So if I want to make a giant cupcake or perfect brownies (without having to get them out of the pan with a wood chisel—which NEVER happens to me or anyone I know) or a fat-free meatloaf or hang up an entire wardrobe of clothing—including purses!—in a teeny little closet, I know I’ll find just the thing I need on some infomercial running somewhere.

But it was the infomercial I saw today that’s moved me to write.  It was for something called the Pajama Jean.  What fresh hell is this?  Apparently, Pajama Jeans are sweatpants done up to look like actual jeans.  They have contrast-stitched rear pockets, contrast stitching on the side seams and where the front fly would be, ‘brass’ rivets and they’re blue on one side and gray on the other, so that you can roll them up to make cuffs, just like real jeans.  And they’re so comfortable, that you could sleep in them, just like pajamas.

OMG!  These are not jeans, Dear Readers!  They’re sweatpants.  As my mother used to tell me, when you wear sweatpants out of the house, it’s a mark that you’ve given up on life.

The infomercial showed a model wearing her Pajama Jeans traveling, shopping, exercising and more.  (More what, I shudder to think.)  The model, well, she looks like a model.  Maybe a size 2.  However, you have to know that the women who will buy these things aren’t size 2.  More like a size 22.  And the shopping they do will be at Wal-Mart.  Sizes for the Pajama Jean range from XS to 3XL.  Do you have any idea how big a 3XL is?  According to their own size chart, a 3XL translates to a size 26-28.  That’s not a traditional jean waist size, that’s a clothing size and that’s B-I-G.

The people who would wear these things outside of the home exist in a universe that is unknown to me.  I’m not the world’s most careful dresser, I’ll admit.  I sit around the house in my Yankee pants, a logo T and a pair of Uggs.  But I would never, ever, NEVER even think of leaving the house dressed that way.  My mother would haunt me to the end of my days if I did.  Besides, I have a minimum of self-respect.  Still.  I do, I really do.

Posted by: Catadromy | September 16, 2011

I Don’t Care How She Does It

Read More…

Posted by: Catadromy | June 7, 2011

The Druish Princess–A Fable

Once upon a time, far, far away in a remote part of the forest known as Penn’s Woods, there lived a Princess.  This Princess was very special, in the way that Princesses generally are.  She was also just a tiny bit rebellious.

Oh, who are we kidding?  She was hell on wheels.

But that’s a story for another time and place.

Back to our fable…

Our Princess had been feeling badly for quite some time, ever since the Season Of The Big Snow And Ice had begun and couldn’t understand why.  She’d been treated by the finest doctors in all the land (these things are relative, you understand).  Even though she’d had pneumonia the Winter previously, her current doctor failed to recognize the signs of the recurrence and never conducted any of the proper sort of tests.  Even though our Princess kept telling him she felt like she was drowning every time she tried to breathe and even though our Princess was coughing up blood.

How messy!  How very un-Princesslike!

Things rapidly came to a head in the Spring.  Our Princess was traveling in the Royal Coach with the King, Queen, younger Princess and the Prince (of course, he became a doctor—what else would he be?) when she became alarmingly ill.  The severity of her illness and the escalation of her symptoms necessitated a hospital stay for treatment.  As her current case of pneumonia had gone undetected and untreated for five months, what was once a simple illness was now something much more serious.  Our Princess had pleurisy and abscesses on her lungs.

I swoon at the writing of these words.

When it came time for the Princess to present herself at the hospital for admittance, she was asked the question all new patients are asked—What is your religion?  The Princess thought long and hard about her answer.  If you recall, the Princess dwelt in a remote part of the forest and there was only one clergyman of her particular faith available for pastoral calls.  The Princess knew him well and was not especially enamored of him.  ‘Decline to state’ was not an option.

So the Princess said simply, ‘I am a Druid.’

The hospital admitting office, being in a remote part of the forest, had no idea what that meant.  Being clerks, they had to check off every entry on the form and asked the Princess what religious practice was this?  She replied, ‘We worship trees, we paint ourselves blue and we believe in human sacrifice’ at which point, she made the fiercest of fierce faces as if she had fangs with blood dripping from them.

The admitting office clerk wrote ‘None’ in the box under Religious Preference.

The Princess had a peaceful hospital stay, uninterrupted by pastoral visits from over solicitous clergy.

Yes, I’ve always been this way.

Posted by: Catadromy | April 26, 2011

Going Home

I was raised in an atmosphere of wealth and privilege.  Not that I even knew it at that time; but as I see it now, through the prism of experience.  Material wealth, surely.  But also the intangible kind of riches–the kind of wealth that cannot be counted.  Freedom to run loose on a fine summer’s day; to ride my bicycle through the neighborhood, heedless of the sidewalks or any property boundaries.  Freedom to do nothing at all, if that was my choice.  If I wanted to run in the woods across from my parents’ house and collect bugs in a killing jar for a school project, I did.  If I wanted to scavenge the neighborhood for leaves from all the different trees that grew there, I did.  If I wanted nothing more than to lie on the freshly mown lawn and stare at the clouds until my eyes began to water, I did that as well.

Surely the big houses situated on vast swaths of green lawn, studded with tall, leafy trees speaks to the quiet accumulation of material things.  These family men, home from the conflicts in Europe and the Far East, wanted to (and did) prove themselves as able to provide material things for their families as they fought so hard keep their nation free.

Going home is always problematic for one whose life’s focus was always on escaping the tedium and censure of a small town.  A place where everyone not only knew your name, they knew the names of your parents, brothers and sisters and precisely how much your father earned.  Now, of course, I see things differently.  There is security in small towns, in the awareness of neighbors.  As children, we were never out of sight of home, no matter how far away we might have gone.  There were always watchful eyes on us, ready to take over when needed.

Going home this time was an opportunity to re-experience my childhood through the eyes of my own child.  As we walked up the street on which my parents still live, I was able to relate to her the stories of each family that lived on my block, for, indeed, I knew them all.  The house where tragedy struck in my freshman year, when the boy who lived there was killed in an automobile accident (the first of several during that time and the most traumatic).  The house that once belonged to my friend Claire, who spent one entire year in a full body cast.  The house where one of my best friends lived, and where we had Girl Scout meetings and played a highly-imaginative game involving Pharaoh and ancient Egypt.  The house where the neighborhood gossip ruled from her front porch, complete with phone, to report to all the comings and goings of everyone on the block.  And then, at the top of the block, the elementary school that I attended for five years.  A school no longer, it has morphed in several incarnations, the latest of which is an office building.

As we turned the corner and continued on our walks, we passed other houses whose inhabitants I once knew.  After all this time, there is no one left that I remember living in these houses.  Although from the outside they are the same, they are only shells of memory.  If I listened closely, I could hear mothers calling the names of their children.  But the mothers and their children are long gone.  Small towns offer security to the young and only memories and loss to the old. All seek to escape once they understand that contradiction.

As we made our way up to the shopping center (not a mall, but literally a cluster of shops and small businesses) for our daily lunch, I was able to recall for her the businesses that once were and mourn their loss.  Where the five-and-dime was and where you could buy live baby chicks, dyed purple for Easter (and where I bought my first lipstick–Tangee) is now a liquor store.  Where the bank was is now an accountant’s office.  The beauty salon is now a pizza place, the pizza place is now a laundromat and the library is now a beauty salon.  The Dairy Queen is unchanged and the bowling alley remains.  The super market is gone entirely, replaced by gravel and weeds.

As we walked back to my parent’s home, we passed the very first house we lived in when we first moved to this town.  Red bricked and small, it loomed so large in my recollection.  The rose bushes clustered in the side yard, which were a rich source of iridescent Japanese beetles, still remain.  In a case of things coming full circle in life, our very first neighbors eventually bought the house next to where my parents moved (and still live) many years later.

I was able to show my daughter where I caught tadpoles and where I went to junior high and where my friends and I would hang out after school ended.  I lived just short of the boundary that would have made me eligible to ride the bus.  Most days, I would walk to school and then home again.  This gave me the freedom to go at my own pace and timing.  I was able to show her the synagogue where I passed through the rituals of my youth–Hebrew school, Bat Mitzvah, Sunday school, confirmation.

We had dinners at the country club; a place, which my family and many others viewed as Moses saw the Promised Land.  A place that we could see but could never enter.  Only as the population began to shrink, did they admit Jews.  I wonder if they regret that decision now that there is once more a waiting list.  My father enjoys playing golf there, the course stretching like a green, grassy river below the windows of the formal dining room.  At the country club, I hear echoes of the past.  I see the college-age waiters and waitresses in their uniforms of khaki shorts and dark green polo shirts.  I see the faces of the Establishment, with their Northern European ancestry writ clearly on them.  What do they think, these fresh-faced people with their lives in front of them, of the passing parade?  My father greets his golfing buddies, men with names like Crichton and Hall.  Tall men, with white hair and blue eyes and a birthright of entitlement.  Men who once ‘ran things’ and have settled into their old age with quiet dignity, still maintaining their sense of purpose.

Not that we didn’t have our own country club.  We did, of course.  Not a championship-level course, but one that was good enough.  There was a pool where my friends and I used to baste ourselves with a mixture of baby oil and iodine and broil in the hot summer sun, constantly turning over, like chickens on a spit.  The Swiss-born manager, in a fit of pique, torched the clubhouse.  Maybe we weren’t good enough for him.  No matter, the clubhouse was rebuilt, better than before, although all the rustic charm it once had was totally lost in the restoration.  The club never really recovered from losing the clubhouse, even temporarily.  The members either died off or deserted the club and it was eventually sold to the Elks.  My father, who would do anything to play golf in those days, joined the Elks so that he could continue to play.  Then the town itself began to shrink and he joined the club he goes to now.  He took me downstairs to show me the card room where he plays twice a week.  It was once a bowling alley, now there are tables whose tops are the last remnants of the lanes.  My twenty-fifth high school reunion was held there, at Sunnehanna.  I half-expected the walls to crumble when I walked up the main staircase.  Everything is all so changed now.  And everything is still the same.

We ate out every night.  Some nights at the club, some at restaurants.  One thing about small towns, you may rely on seeing someone you know everywhere you go.  Most of my parents’ friends are gone, having either died or moved away.  Yet, there are still enough of them there so that I was on display, along with my child.  I almost think of these people as contemporaries.  And it comes as a shock to realize that I babysat their children.  Those children who now have children of their own, some older than my daughter.

Small towns are paradoxical.  They pull you in and push you away at the same time.  The draw exerted on me is strong.  The opposite is true, as well.  I slip back into routine and familiarity and struggle to get free at the same moment.  Like from an elderly aunt whose welcoming embrace is followed by a pinch on the cheek.

Posted by: Catadromy | April 25, 2011

You Blinged Out Your Yaris? Seriously?

So I’m driving along Coldwater Canyon one day (for those of you who don’t know, I live in El Lay) and I spot a car in front of me, waiting to make the left turn onto the freeway.  It’s a Yaris.  A white Yaris.  So far, so good.  But what do I see, sparkling in the sunshine?  Bling!  Lots and lots of bling.  Bling on the logo.  Bling around the license plate.  Bling on the hubcaps.  On a Yaris.

Which leads me to wonder about the type of person who does such a thing?  Is this his first car and he’s really proud of it and he wants to show it off to everyone he drives past?  I’ve seen Escalades done up like this and that’s a whole other thing—but a Yaris?  Is this a hipster making a cool statement of irony, as in, ‘I know this is an econo-box of a car, but I’m going to bling it out and make out as if it were an Escalade’.  Or is he a Junior-Pimp-In-Training, with car to match his current level of, um, stable?

As Yul Brynner was known to say (as the King of Siam), ‘Tis a puzzlement’.

Posted by: Catadromy | February 6, 2011

In Loving Memory

I read the paid obituaries in the New York Times every day.  I fell into this habit a few years ago when one of my cousins died and, due to her philanthropic work—which was quite extensive and covered many, many organizations—she merited a large number of these, spread out over several days.

I’ve grown to love these life stories in miniature and look forward to reading them.    Some of them are placed by co-workers, law firms, medical facilities, schools and the like.  Some of them are mundane tales of ordinary people, whose families loved them, miss them, want to hold onto their memories and create a patch of immortality for them, no matter how small, for a brief moment.

When my mother died, I asked my father if he’d like to place one for her in the Times and he declined.  However, when Dad died, I did place one for him.  It was my way of paying public tribute to his memory and securing for him that momentary patch of immortality.

Most of these obits are stories of people who have lived long, full lives and died well into their eighties, nineties or even past the century mark.  Some of them died when they were my age or younger, eliciting a wince from me as my own mortality flashes by.  A few of them have died shockingly young, sending me to my computer, seeking further details on the circumstances of their deaths and those are indeed tragic.

Sometimes, these tales are unintentionally hilarious.  Names somewhat altered out of respect.

What to make of Peter Cambridge, who ‘was never happier than in a hotel suite where he could smoke his cigars and eat his favorite  “junk” food (typically hot dogs with lashings of mustard and vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce).’

Oh, Peter Cambridge!  No wonder you’re gone at the age of 72.  Your favorite food was hot dogs a la mode.

And you, Henry Lippincott, who has listed among his survivors, his four horses.  By name, no less.  His human survivors didn’t get that level of attention, though.  I doubt that the horses wrote the obit (or paid for it), so the onus for this one doesn’t fall on the horses.

Kudos to Gertrude Prescott, who died at the age of 94 while on vacation in Greece.  She obviously lived her life to the fullest and seized every moment.

Here’s to you, Linda Elinora Mainbaugh, whose obit aside from her family members, includes pets, current and deceased—by name—thereby earning each one of them an obituary in the Times.

Honorable mention goes to Horace Linton 82, who died peacefully at the kitchen table, surrounded by his wife, children and sisters.  This leads me to ask the question–did he plop face first into the mashed potatoes?  Was the family playing a rousing game of Scrabble when Horace decided to take his Final Pass rather than play out his tiles?

Posted by: Catadromy | February 6, 2011

My Momma Done Tol’ Me (with apologies to Johnny Mercer)

My mother said a lot of things to me, most of it untrue, provincial or just plain annoying.  But she also gave me a lot of rather sage advice.  She’s been gone over three years and I miss her every day.

Herewith, some of my mother’s words to live by:

You should only speak good of the dead.  He’s dead.  Good.

Don’t spend other people’s money.  Meaning—don’t question what someone else does with their money or how they prioritize their spending.  If they’re not asking you for your money, then their spending is not your concern.

Just because someone asks you a question, doesn’t mean you owe them an answer.

Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done.

Why do you care what other people think?  Do they care what you think?  If you’re a good person, kind and considerate of others, that should be enough.

Vaseline cures everything.  Sore spot inside your nose?  Vaseline.  Chapped lips?  Vaseline.  Little bit of flaky skin on your arm?  Vaseline.  Minor burn?  Vaseline.  (One would think she owned stock in the company that makes it.  One would be wrong.)

Sweatpants are not appropriate to be worn outside of the house.  Ever.  Wearing sweatpants outside shows that you have completely given up.  You should especially not wear sweatpants if you are so fat that all of your rolls of fat will be accentuated and visible.

Posted by: Catadromy | January 13, 2011

Jews For Jesus

Recently, I was at a major sports event (OK, it was the Rose Bowl).  Events like these tend to attract all sorts of crazies and this was no exception.  As we were walking around the Rose Bowl toward the tunnel to our seats, we passed a youngish person who was handing out pamphlets, encouraging people to find out about Jews For Jesus.  Not only wouldn’t I take one of his pamphlets, I called out ‘Loser’ as we passed him.

The principle tenet, the core belief, of Judaism is that the Messiah has yet to come.  Jews For Jesus believe that the Messiah has already come in the form of Jesus Christ.  Well, you can’t be a Jew and also believe that the Messiah has come.  What these people are, are evangelical Christians, disguised as Jews, talking the language of Jews, in an effort to woo Jews away from Judaism.  And only Jews.  They don’t try this garbage with Christians.

And that’s another thing.  Jews are forbidden from proselytizing.  So this cult is committing two sins, two rather grievous sins.

While I’m discussing Things That Aren’t What They Appear To Be…

I was at Michael’s a while ago, looking for table glitter for a party I was having.  I found what I needed and went up front to the cashier to pay.  There was a line—there always is, especially at Christmas—and there was a person ahead of me.  At the moment, I had a rear view.  From the top down, she was wearing earmuffs made from hot pink bunny fur over long, tangled, curly ash-blonde hair; a black, fur-edged, hooded shearling jacket; an embroidered lace mini-skirt, patterned tights and zebra-striped Uggs.  She was small and thin and looked to be about 14 or 15.  She was certainly dressed as if she was.  I tapped her shoulder and asked if she was on line to check out.

She turned around and it was all I could do to not drop my basket.  She must’ve been at least 70 and she looked ever day of it.  I know that I kept my shock and surprise out of my voice.  I wish I could say the same about my face.

Remember how people used to describe the mullet as ‘business in the front, party in the back’?

How would people describe this person?

I can’t even.

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