As The Woolly Worm Turns

Monday night my Dearly Beloved asked had I ever slept with a 71-year-old man.

Umm, that would be a definite NO.

Well, starting tomorrow night, you’re going to.

Turns out he was wrong about that.  WHY is a convoluted story:

One of the good things about living in Charlotte is that one can think “beach” or “mountains” and reach either in two to four hours.   For years, we always headed to the coast since we had a house there, but the mountains have been calling us lately and we went twice in one week.

The first time we went to Waynesville, a sweet town just beyond Asheville.  We stayed at an inn on a golf course.  One sunny day, one cloudy day, and both were lovely.

At the end of a sunny day, the clouds began rolling in...
At the end of a sunny day, the clouds began rolling in…
The next morning, the mountains had disappeared.
By morning, the mountains had disappeared.















DB went to a junior college the first two years of his college education.  He’s mentioned driving up to see it several times, so when his class announced their 50th reunion, he decided it would be a good time to attend.  Two of the girls he went to high school with were also going.  We made reservations for the four of us at an old farmhouse B&B.


The football practice field was now the soccer practice field, but the mountains beyond were the same.  It was easy to see why he’d loved this place.

All three of them were horrified to see that the nearby diner was now a service station.  I was horrified to see that we were too early for the wooly worms, since there wasn’t much else to do around there.


There was a women’s clothing store with lovely things in the windows and a huge SALE sign, but it was closed.  Turned out that the SALE was the store, not the merchandise.

So we walked around the campus until time for their reunion party that night–which is getting around to explaining why I’m not sleeping with a 71-year-old man.

I have mentioned before that DB considers himself to have been a very good shag dancer  in high school.  Do watch a bit of this video link to see how popular it The Shag was back then.

Now picture it still being a favorite of the 50th year reunion attendees.


(There are plenty of Learn to Shag videos on the internet now.  DB says to plan to spend time practicing with the closet doorknob or the bedpost if you try it.)

For the first time, we had a chance to slow dance together in his college environs.  Then, at my urging,  he did a couple of shag dances with his old schoolmates.   When he felt some early creaks and pains, he thought it was because he was just getting warmed up.  It was his Double-back Suzy move in the second dance that wiped him out completely.  They laughed while they were dancing, but by the time we arrived home the next day, his back and knee were assuring him that it was the pain that had been doing the warmup.

Since he must lie in careful corpse position, he’s sleeping alone until it gets better.  His birthday has come and gone with only the dog by his side. . . and she’s on her own bed.  So no, I’ve never slept with a 71-year-old man, but I’m willing.

DB now considers himself a “recovering, former shagger.”   That’s okay with me.

The slow dances are still all mine.

His favorite dance quote:

“If a man doesn’t know how to dance he doesn’t know how to make love, there I said it!  

–Craig Ferguson

My favorite:

“When you do dance, I wish you

A wave o’ the sea, that you might ever do

Nothing but that.”

– William Shakespeare

Cutting Corners

Finding a new dermatologist here (having left a perfectly good one behind when we moved) has been so aggravating it’s surprising I haven’t developed pimples.

My first round dermatologist pick in June was a dud.  Dearly Beloved suggested that for my annual checkup, I try the one he’s seen.  He thought the doctor was excellent and his nurse was very nice.  BUT, after I made the appointment, he began offering advice that made me wonder why he’d thought I should go there.

Comments like, “He doesn’t like small talk… Don’t tell him any jokes.  He won’t like your jokes.”  

When I showed up for my appointment–early, per my worrywart husband’s instructions– I was surprised to find the reception desk manned by. . . two men.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The one that assisted me reminded me of an unpudgy William Shatner with Steve Martin’s hair.  Curiously, he was wearing flip-flops.  Ever seen a female receptionist in flip-flops?

I’d planned to don their gown and be serious as a judge, but I couldn’t, since they didn’t supply gowns.  Instead, I attempted to burrito myself inside the crackly paper ‘blanket.’

When I asked was there something that would make my eyebrows grow, but ix-nay any chin hairs, the doctor looked at his nurse and named a drug.   She said, “No, no.  I tried it and it makes hair grow anywhere.”

She turned to me and said, “I’d turn over at night and wake up, very uncomfortable.”

She looked at me meaningfully,  as if I should know what she meant.  I hadn’t a clue.  Where could she have been growing hair that would wake her at night?  Would asking be considered “small talk” or worse, a joke?  I didn’t risk it.

Once he’d completed the exam, the doctor told me that the nurse would go over my prescriptions with me, then left the room.  I asked her was there an OCT cream that would help the bags tender skin beneath my eyes.

Instead of answering right away, she opened a wall cabinet and pulled out a bulging  accordion folder.  “There’s not a cream that will help that,” she said, handing me a brochure about some treatment she said would help that problem and last for 12-18 months.  $750.   She dug back into the folder and came up with another brochure, this one for a treatment that would help the lines around my mouth.  She said.  “This will make the corners of your mouth turn up in a smile instead of down.” 

I hadn’t asked.

While the treatment might help, hearing the $750 estimate for that one only deepened my “down” corners.

A treatment to even out my skin tones was currently on special for half price, she said, then added that it would “probably take two treatments.”   Rack up another $750.

There were more brochures, more Before and After photos.  I asked had she had any of the procedures and she said, “Oh yes.”  

She looked 70-ish.  I would never have told her that, of course, and I was very relieved that she didn’t ask.

Once back home, I told DB that I didn’t have any suspicious moles, but did have eye bags, mottled skin, and a droopy mouth, in case he hadn’t noticed.  He wanted to know what I thought of the doctor, besides the implications that I was wrinkled, splotchy, and sagging.

“He was okay, I guess, but  I’m not sure that’s the place for me.”  I couldn’t help asking,   “How old do you think his nurse is?”

He surprised me by saying “She told me:  she’s 74.”  AHA!  Small talk!

But seriously?  Bless her heart, she’s barely treading water with those treatments.

I tossed the brochures.  I’d rather buy a new sewing machine.  The thought gave my drooping mouth corners an uplift;  I smiled.

Sitting In The Electric Chair

My motto around here is:  When the going gets tough, it’s time for a pedicure.  A good pedicure is right up there with chocolate when it comes to indulgences.

English is not the first language of the people who work at my salon of choice, so conversations between customer and manicurist are minimal.  Plenty of smiles and ahhh-inspiring leg and foot massages make conversation unnecessary and the experience blissful.

Generally, it’s something like this:

Want manicure or pedicure?


Pick color.

As the queen of indecision, generally I head for the pedicure chair with a polish bottle clutched in each hand.  Something like Monkey Butt Red and Hotter Than A Pepper Sprout Crimson.  I’m not into the blacks and blues.

Today, as usual, the nice young man puts a dab of each polish on a nail and then points to one. “You like this one best,” he tells me, matter-of-factly.

I agree.  I always agree.

What makes today different is that new pedicure chairs have been installed since my last visit.  Excellent!   The old ones were fine except for my last visit, when I sat in one where the massage mechanism had been left on Knock cycle, which I didn’t know existed, so I didn’t notice until my teeth began rattling from all the whacks on my back.

This new chair has an iPad-sized screen of fancy settings mounted on a stand by the right arm rest.  When I strain to read it, the young man takes control.  “POWER,” he informs me, reaching over to push the button.

All goes well, if a tad too vigorously, for the first few seconds.  The book I’d planned to read is bouncing around in my hands as if I’m riding a horse.   Part massage, part mechanical bull.

It is the next cycle which raises my alarm bells.  Hells bells, it raises everything!  The heretofore flat chair cushion begins creepily rising a few inches on the sides, squeezing inwardly on my hips and thighs to lock me in place.

Then, if you can believe this, something begins rising from the center of the chair and takes me with it, raising my bottom like a cake about to be frosted. The “Thing” is pressing practically into my. . . .yowsah!   I try to find what I’m experiencing on the Options Chart.  I’m looking for phrases like Crotch caress… Vaginal Vaa-voom.  This had to have been  engineered by a wannabe gynecologist.!

It is not unlike the sensation of sitting down in a chair and realizing that you’ve sat on the cat. . . then discovering that said cat is bionic as it stands up, lifting you in the process.

I look at the guy in wild-eyed terror.  “Have you ever SAT in this chair?” I gasp, pointing at the horny machine.

“No.  New.  Nice, yes?”

I look around to see if anyone else is experiencing this.  No, they’re either engrossed in a magazine or diddling with their phones.  Their chairs are not moving.

I am the only one being goosed.

Finally, the sides release my captive hips and flatten to normal cushion size.  “Thing” sinks  back into the seat bottom.  There is a small sigh as all this happens.  From the chair, not me. It sounds pleased with itself.  The bouncing has stopped and I can read the fine print now.  Something about “seat airbag.”  Hah!  Nary a word about the mechanical fist that, believe me, was not just air.

In fact, I check my receipt to see if there is a charge for a pap smear.

One more minute and I’d have been ready to swear out an assault warrant.


In the opening scene of the old movie, Hopscotch,  Walter Matthau, with his droopy, basset hound mug, looks around an outdoor cafe and strides over to an attractive woman (Glenda Jackson) who is sitting alone at a table.  She shows no sign of recognition, but nevertheless,  he bends down and kisses her lustily.

When he steps back, she asks in her dramatic British voice, “Where have you bee-e-n, you Old Goat?!”

I use that line often (with or without the kiss) on Dearly Beloved and have been advised that some of my blog friends are starting to wonder the same thing about me.

During my own “aging spurt” this summer, the extended service contract on my laptop, Granny Smith, expired.  Within weeks, Granny had an aging spurt of her own.  I would turn her on, only to hear three warning foghorn-like blasts.  I’d quickly turn it off and try again.  She’d eventually start, but a grey shade would fall over the screen and a black box would appear with an ominous warning.  In few words and about a dozen languages,  it advised me to shut down my computer immediately.

I left her with the Genius Bar folks for several days and was less than satisfied when she was returned to me.  The fog horn still blew sometimes, the scary black box still appeared, but now Granny had developed a new tic:  she would drop the first letter of every word.  For instance, when I could finally manage to get her started, she’d demand the assword for ary ee.  

I have bellied up to the Genius Bar several times since then.  The last time she went in for an overnight stay, they either inserted two new sticks of RAM or rammed in two new sticks of something else.  I can’t remember what they said.  Perhaps it was B-12.  At any rate, she’s still ornery, but working better, so here I am.

I’d better write fast.

Miss Piggy, too, is feeling her 16 years.  She can hear only the loudest sounds now and cataracts have clouded her brown eyes.  We have always thought of her as…um… not smart, but are rethinking our opinion.

She doesn’t beg to go out, we have to beg her.  We stand in front of her dangling her leash and gesturing wildly.  Eventually she relents and agrees to accompany us.  Once she’s on the sidewalk, she enjoys it, sniffing the leaves and grass, ever hopeful that someone has dropped a crumb or crust.

We try to get her to go outside frequently to prevent the leaks that sometimes appear on the rug.  Arrgh!  She won’t squat in wet grass for me unless I stand in it with her, as if she is demanding that I realize what I’m asking her to do.  DB is cleverer; he simply gives her a treat whenever she produces.   That dog can duckwalk in a full squat the full width of the front yard, trying to convince him that she’s Beggin’ Strip-worthy.

She refuses the chewable tablets for her leaks and her joints unless we encase them in Pill Pockets, along with a pain pill for her arthritis.  She ignores her dry food unless we serve a sauce, like warm beef broth.  The liquid from a can of tuna is her absolute favorite.

Dramatic as ever, she wanders the house at night, wailing and moaning loudly as she looks for places to hide her chew bones from unseen thieves.   She snores.  She smells.

She melts our hearts.

Dearly Beloved and I have thought this autumn to be especially beautiful.  We smell the roses, crunch the leaves, and enjoy morning coffee in front of the fire instead of obsessing that the house needs painting, the bathroom needs updating, and the shrubbery is reaching for the power lines.

We love mornings, but bedtime is pretty darned nice these days.  After years of lecturing to me that the bed was for only two things, neither of which was reading,  DB now goes to bed early because it has become his favorite place to read.

I try not to be smug.

Carpe diem?  Of course!

It’s just that now, we also carpe naps.


The weather report says it’s 105 here right now with a heat index of 118.   If I could teach the dogs to use the toilet, I wouldn’t go outside at all this weekend.  No need to whine about it though; it’s probably hot where you are, too.  And if it isn’t, nobody wants to hear about it.

It isn’t just the heat that’s making me steam.

In fact, I need to say a word about that.


Furthermore, UTERUS!

You’ve probably heard about Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown who shocked… shocked, I tell you!… some of her fellow legislators by saying the word vagina during a floor discussion about anti-choice legislation.

Commercials about erectile dysfunction, lubricants, penile implants morning, noon, and night … and uterus and vagina become the impolitic words?  How can I ask this delicately…  why is it only the presumed …um… destination that is unspeakable?

Oh, the irony!  Those of us who grew up with poopies and peepees thought it was a good thing to tell our children the correct name for their own body parts.

How can it be that there are some state legislators– grown-ups— who are offended by the words?  I’d lay odds they couldn’t find a uterus on a female anatomy chart.   And while the word vagina may shock them, I’ll bet that most of the men could come up with at least ten slang terms left over from their adolescent years.   Arrested development.  Pity the spouses.

Are women supposed to be embarrassed?  They’re trying to shame us?

That horse left the barn so long ago that even the glue factory shut down in the 70’s.

How can there possibly be any serious discourse with such ninnies?

So, I’m trying to spread the word.  Words.

Sing along with me.     Vagina… vagina… I’m teaching the word to my mynah.

Try this one:  

Nothing could be finer than to un-legislate our vaginas in the mor-or-or-ning.

Nothing could be more ridiculous than censoring the word uterus in the morning

Where the wing nuts gathered… on the legislative floor…

Demeaning women… we’ve heard it all before.

Honestly, the situation makes me hot to do a bit of name calling myself.  A pox on this bunch of posterior fedoras.  Note the anatomical correctness.

Otherwise, I’d call them asshats.

Reunited And It Feels so G-o-o-d!

Dearly Beloved and I attended high schools 200 miles apart, so we didn’t know each other during our teen years.  I don’t mind at all.  That way, I can believe without any doubt that he was as terrific a football player as he says, as Troy Donahue-handsome as his mother says, and as hard-working and industrious as his friends tell me.

In contrast, he pictures that I was not the plain, skinny, mixed up girl I remember (an awkward stage I didn’t outgrow until my 30’s.)

Would I attend one of my own class reunions?  I’d sooner empty Miss Piggy’s anal sacs.

On the other hand, Dearly Beloved’s class reunions are held locally, so it’s easy for him to attend.  He has another one coming up this month– the big 5-0.  I’ve attended two of them and know that the record of the couple who produced four children in three years will remain intact and that the guy who had been divorced four times may have increased his lead, since the astonished expression on his new bride’s face at the last reunion revealed that she was unaware of his dubious distinction.

If they recognized the guy in the best physical shape, DB would be a strong contender.  Sure, his medical records have as much ink as the rest of us, but his exercise regimen–walking a couple of hours a day– has him looking as trim and muscular as he must have been in high school.

Earlier this week we were driving somewhere when he pointed out to me that the sport shirt he was wearing was one he hadn’t been able to wear for some years because it had been too tight.  To show me, he said confidently, “Reach over here and button the collar.”

I leaned over and gave it a try.  No dice.

“It’s not going to work because of your turkey wattle,”  I told him.

“My WHAT???”  He looked genuinely stricken.

“This,” I said, reaching under my chin and flapping my own seductively at him.

“You and I don’t HAVE turkey wattles,” he said, quite definitely, yanking down his visor to confirm his statement in the mirror.

See?  Rose-colored glasses!  I love that about him!

He reached up and buttoned the shirt himself.

“LOOK!”  he said smugly.

I nodded quickly so that he’d undo it before his eyes started bulging.

“Oh yeah.  Lookin’ good, Babe,” I answered.

Here’s a question for you:  Is it a waddle or a wattle?  If you want to waste an afternoon on the internet looking into it, let me know what you decide.  I tried, but stopped to try some of  the exercises one could do to get rid of it, like bending your head from side to side but not touching your ear to your shoulders.  The cellophane sound popping in my neck was so annoying that I moved on to Option B–something about rubbing female testosterone on it.  I couldn’t imagine DB being interested and, since we plan to waddle through life together, I looked no further.

Maybe I’ll knit him an ascot.  They worked for Cary Grant when he could no longer button that top button, not to mention Elvis.  Heck, he couldn’t button down to his waist some days.

Nah.  DB wouldn’t wear it and it doesn’t matter anyhow.  His reunion is the week before Thanksgiving.

Gobble, gobble.






(Fabulous photo of the ascoted turkey is being used with the kind permission of LynnGuppy.  Her blog is LynnGuppy: Live Music, Fine Art, and General Mischief.  I’m not sure whether this is art or mischief.)

Looks Like They Covered Theirs!

Asses, I mean.

Maybe I’m just grumpy on a Monday morning, but doesn’t this look a bit excessive to you?

Wait, there’s more.  That’s only Page 1.

No, it’s not pattern directions for putting together a pre-fabricated house. That, my friends, is a Patient Information sheet for a vaginal cream.  (Ah, the land of mystery…!)

Odd, because the gravitational pull of the moon on tidal forces can be explained with something like this:

\vec F_g = - \hat r ~ G ~ \frac{M m}{R^2} . . . , and . . . \vec a_g = - \hat r ~ G ~ \frac{M}{R^2} . . . ,

Funny, that with all Newton knew about full moons, he felt no need to cover his.

Happily Before the After

A couple of weeks ago I had a little thingie removed from one of my lower eyelids by an ophthalmic surgeon.  While I was waiting for the Novocaine to kick in, I looked at the Before and After photos on his walls,  a cosmetic smorgasbord of procedures completely unrelated to eyesight.  I have no idea what was done in those photos–it was all Greek to me and I didn’t see the word Botox anywhere, but whatever was used to smooth out the hollows and wrinkles of the ordinary women in the photos certainly looked natural.  I was intrigued.

Subsequently, I came home and spent some time in front of the lighted magnifying mirror and believe me, it was not to give myself admiring glances.  There is much going on there, very little of it good.  I am a Before photo waiting for my knight with shining laser.

My children would probably say that the vertical lines encircling my mouth stem from all the warning, pursed lip looks I shot them when they were growing up.  It’s punishment time, so tracks of lines now point emphatically toward my thinning lips.  I’ve tried creams, slathering them on thickly in an attempt to fill in the cracks.  Dearly Beloved looked at me recently after one of my treatments and gasped, “What’s wrong with your mouth???” 

“It’s a cream.  I’m trying to get rid of the wrinkles.”

“Thank goodness.  I thought you had rabies.”

Not that he gets a pass in the image department.  The man can grow a walrus tusk overnight.  Unfortunately for him, I don’t usually notice those errant nose hairs to point them out (with all the enthusiasm of a K Mart Blue Light Special) until we’re in the car, where he’s reduced to attempting to yank them out at traffic lights.  Without tweezers, battery or otherwise.

As Jerry Seinfeld used to say, however, “It was NOT A PICK!”   

The magnifying mirror usually reveals any escapees in my own nostrils.  After menopause, women’s eyebrow hairs become bored with their location and migrate south, down into our nostrils.  Next thing you know, they’re hanging out, waving at our chin hairs.  It takes daily pluck to keep the post-menopausal nasal landscape tidy.

If there is one thing I don’t understand, it’s eyebrow physiology.  Mine are so thin that they peter out shortly after my brow arch, yet men’s eyebrows grow thick and wiry. Why?  If they need eyebrows, why don’t we?  Which one is Mother Nature playing a joke on?

My frump slump continued until one day this week when I happened to see Dyan Cannon on the Today Show.  I was aghast!  That was enough to put me off any thought toward a hereAfter.

I’ve since looked online at some of the Before & After photographs of other Hollywood celebrities and have to tell you, they are downright scary.  Either they all go to the same doctor or they all held up the same photo for the doctor to copy.  The similarities are striking, but sad.  Really.

If this is the Hollywood look, it’s time to bring back the floppy hats.

I’ll tell you the names, you figure out who’s who.

Dyan Cannon, Suzanne Summers, Meg Ryan, Loni Anderson