ACCORDING TO HER, IF YOU’RE OVER 53, THERE’S THE PASTURE

Boomer Judy checks the casting notices daily. Blood pressure medication is required.

“Brand Ambassadors: 22-53
Seeking brand ambassadors for a high-energy indoor sporting event that benefits rare cancer research.”

WAIT. WHAT?

“there will be no sitting positions this year. All staff must be okay with standing the entire time.”

OOOOOOOH, of course! THAT explains the seemingly random age cap on this one.
Usually, the rude and ridiculous age limit is a round number, and I’ve been recently BOOMERJUDY-ING (yes, it’s a verb, a gerund, for you grammar freaks) the usual nonsense of limiting the age of perfectly capable AND EXPERIENCED actors at 50, or if the gatekeepers are in a more expansive mood — or possibly speeding down a highway checking out the MPH — 55. Yesterday I railed against a post that decided no one over the age of 40 could possibly be qualified to act in their non-union, non/unprofessional project. But what’s with the 53? Does something suddenly happen to the human body on the 54th birthday that I don’t know about? And most importantly, did it happen to me? Without my knowledge, let alone consent?

Look, I’m not suggesting that the inexorable (but arguably somewhat correctable) pull of gravity doesn’t pick up speed right around that time, but geez, that’s a bit specific, isn’t it?

Don’t worry kids, you’ll have use of your pins til
the day of your 54th birthday

Back to the weird ad: the event they want to staff with the “53 and under” crowd is for a “high-energy indoor sporting event,” so the AA (ageist a-hole) might suggest that’s why they picked that number (still random, ffs!) but this is for STAFF, not participants.

Okay. They then explain (probably as a way of justifying their ageism) that whomever they hire will have to stand throughout the event. Ergo, anyone born before March, 1965 does not have the ability to remain vertical throughout the entire course of this “high energy sporting event”

Look here: the event is actually going to “benefit rare cancer research!”
Elementary, Emma Watson! The rare cancer hits on the 54th birthday in the knees, preventing cronies from standing! NO! Because according to Ms. Welsh (I buried the name here, tee hee) no one over the age of 53 need apply, so that means it’s not a rare cancer. BUT, since it’s a charity, I’m going to ask some of my close friends if they’d like to help at the event, you know, the way celebs like to do.

[5 MINUTES LATER] GUESS WHAT? THEY ALL SAID, “YES!” MY WHOLE SQUAD said they’re delighted to help out at this exciting high energy sporting event benefiting rare cancer research, because they are charitable, philanthropic and they all have gorgeous new designer duds they’re dying to twirl around in! It’s a win-win! And hang on, Shellie, I saved the BEST for last! GUESS WHO has agreed to be a SUPER SPECIAL GUEST? Okay, wait. I’m over excited. First, here are all my besties that are super excited to show up at your super exciting event:

ROLL CALL: Lizzie! SJP! Vivi! & Lil Tea!

My TEAM! We’re called FOX FORCE FIVE cuz we FIERCE!

OH, NO! SHELLIE! We were just about to order our stretch Hummer Limo (cuz if you’re gonna do it, you might as well tear a bigger hole in the ozone, amirite?) and then FOX FORCE FOUR (that’s what they call themselves when I’m flying around fighting ageism) saw that your arbitrary age cap excludes them! They all have the horrible misfortune of no longer being 53, in fact, in a weird coincidence, they’re ALL 54!

And, OH, NO, AGAIN! My super secret special surprise guest who was all ready to show up and bring her ball and chain with her (cuz he stans her just like we do) can’t come either, because she happens to be three years past your arbitrary age limit! Darn it! And the “ironic” part (in the Alanis sense of the word) is that my girl can STAND! On both her feet! For a very, very long time! Despite being so critically past your cap.

Too bad, so sad. But I’m sure you’ll attract a staff of highly professional, attractive and of course most important YOUNG people to work your event. Especially at your (sadly) adequate pay rate of $18 an hour. May you have all the luck with this event you deserve, Shellie, and please consider from now on not putting a limit on the age and instead using a plus sign after the lowest age like this: 18+. It’s that simple! And it’s SMART, GODDAMMIT, not just because Boomers are constantly discriminated against, making it close to impossible to find work when we need it most, but also so you don’t have to suffer the Wrath of Boomer Judy!

Now I have to go call my other bestie and tell her that you won’t let her work your event because she’s too old. How sad she’ll be. But that’s okay. She’s got other stuff to do.

Michelle really wanted to be there


When Dreams & Mothers Die: My Weekend with Marc Maron

From the doorway I scan the cluttered, filthy living room of my mother’s apartment, mouth-breathing in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the smoky stench. Large pieces of mismatched furniture are buried under layers of towels and clothes. The desk is piled Jenga-style with books, papers, plates, cups, ashtrays, and more books, all of it frosted with dust. The only source of light is a small, curtainless window that accentuates the accumulated misery.

All this to take in, and so much more: the kitchen, with its bounty of rotting food, zoetic with crawling and flying critters, and of course, the porcelain jewel in the festering crown: a dump of a dump hole, eco-rich with mold, mildew, and its odors.  All of it was mine alone to deal with, and I was already too exhausted to do anything other than stand in the doorway and survey the squalor.

Two days earlier, my brother called with the follow-up news I had been anxiously awaiting for half a day:

“Yeah, I found her.”

“Oh, thank god!” My muscles, taut with hours of tension, deflated with relief. Since his call that morning, I fretted, and frantically did the only thing I could from three states away: informed the nearby hospitals and local police stations that my elderly mother, whose short term memory had been a problem several times before when she ventured out of her house, was now missing. Since this was the only time she hadn’t eventually made it back home, I had never imagined such a phone call, but it was clearly one that those on the other end of the line were accustomed to: they would excuse themselves for a few moments, then let me know in a sympathetic tone that they had no news for me. With each call, my fear and stress climbed. But then my brother called with the uplifting news that she had been found.

The one way to tell your sister that Mom’s dead that’s worse than my Bro’s

“Oh, thank god! Where was she? Is she okay?”

“No, she’s dead.”

And that’s how my brother informed me of our mother’s death. He explained that she hadn’t gone missing; she was on her bed, covered by her quilt, which is why he missed her when he checked her apartment earlier that morning. Because her home was so disgusting, he scanned the area quickly and left, and it wasn’t until nightfall when a savvy cop asked him to check all the rooms again that he found her.

Mom's house looked very much like this
Mom’s house looked very much like this

He found her, and dealt with the body, and then called me. And now here I am, staring at the shabby remnants of my mother’s life, and I’ve got the weekend to empty her apartment, because Bro told the landlord it would be ready for painting on Monday. He can’t deal with any more of this right now, and the unspoken but very strong undercurrent that runs through all our discussions is, he not only dealt with her dead body, but he dealt with her alive, which was probably far more devastating, as she had become, by her 77th year on Earth, pretty much an unpleasant pain in the ass that everyone avoided as much as they could.

But he couldn’t: he was her son and she had moved all the way East from California to be with him and his family, who were now treating her like she was a zombie covered in Ebola. I dealt with her when we both lived in LA, when she had come out of a heart attack-induced three day coma with a brain injury that caused an extreme personality change. This is common enough so that there’s been a Lifetime movie of the week about this, but when it happened to my mother it was vexing. Very, very vexing  And after I did my time, including acting as her conservator rather than allow her to give her money away, and having had escaped, and there was enough of a buffer between us so that I only had to tolerate excruciatingly tedious phone calls filled with detailed minutia: “so I got in the car, and saw that I needed gas. I drove over to the Shell station on Connecticut…”

Now I was in her doorway, she was suddenly gone, a fact I could not possibly integrate at the time, and I had less than two days to empty out what remained of her existence, all of which was covered in dirt, dust, crumbs and ashes.


HE “DIAGNOSED” HER THE MINUTE HE LOOKED AT HER

Condescending Egomaniac, MD

Pompous Egomaniac, MD

Diane’s knee has been hurting for years, but like so many of us, her plate was full of other peoples’ problems and more pressing issues that always took priority, so when she finally had the chance to talk to a doctor about it, she was distressed at how the exam went. After some poking and prodding, he informed her that there was nothing wrong with her knee.

“Really? How can that be?” She was bewildered. “It hurts so bad that I can’t –“

“You sound disappointed,” he snapped, as he scribbled on his electronic clipboard. Read More


ME to Men: Waving the White Flag [2015]

It was right after I sent a return text to Derek the Englishman, who was canceling our first face-to-face date scheduled for that evening with a clumsy and insulting excuse that I’m repeating verbatim: “I was just awoken [sic!] by a call from my son, reminding me we made plans for tonight. oops. can u and i do next saturday?” I texted him back with a vague, “yeah, sure,” which I was hoping implied that his excuse deserved that response, but I really didn’t care. I was tired. Tired of getting my hopes up with flirty, tummy-fluttery phone calls that resulted in disappointment.

This was by far not the first, but it was now going to be the last in a series. So I decided: I’m done. I’m waving the white flag. Clearly, my ability to repel men has not only returned, but perhaps even gained in strength since the last time I’ve sent them running  in the opposite direction.

Wait! You don't even owe me money! Yet!
Wait! You don’t even owe me money yet!

This time, I offered myself no bargains, promises or deals. I was ready to end the madness. Perhaps it was because unlike the retreat of Ben, Jeff, Sidney, Rich or any of the other in the Parade of Penises that had entered and quickly exited my life recently, this guy had so many red flags that I was actually relieved, although of course insulted, to receive his rejection.

Whether I wanted to see a fellow or not, even after the most boring, eye-rollingly awful first date, I was always insulted when I didn’t receive the opportunity to reject first. And although Derek was very sexy and funny, and even the most inane comments sound better with a British accent, he apparently didn’t appreciate my candor when I asked him to be so kind as to not burp into the phone every few minutes as we chatted. I never had the nerve to do that when I was younger, and now that I did, it didn’t matter: he ignored me. But that wasn’t a red flag so much as an extremely annoying habit; the weaving of dreams is what made me realize that he was not of or on this world, just sort of floating, and I’m just too long in the tooth for a floater: a 50 year old guy who is a messenger by day, a musician at night, and talks about someday buying a bar on an island. You tolerate that when a guy is thirty, unless you like his music. He shared his on Soundcloud, and it sucked. So there you go. And there he went.

floating feet
Derek was a floater, and I need a guy with at least five toes on the ground.

And then, within the next few days, after the withdrawal jitters had abated, I was delighted to discover that since I had waved the white flag I had so much more time on my hands! The time that I had been spending searching for, responding to, getting ready for, meeting, having sex with, and obsessing about men, was now? Mine, to do with whatever I wished.

And time, I finally realized, is exactly what I need, to attempt to understand those mysterious creatures and those exciting experiences. Perhaps I might even reflect on my own behavior that sends them running, but to do so I’ll have to take a trip down memory lane looking at some recent and not so recent experiences.

Boomer Judy’s erotic escapades continue…


As a Marriage Ends, a New Life Begins

my-marriage-splitIs there a word for the anniversary of the beginning of the end?

It’s been exactly one year since he left. We had spent the previous seven thousand six hundred days together; twenty years, although the last two felt like dog years. On the day he finally leaves, we’re both surprised at how civil we are as I drive the packed car up Route 80, his clothes, computer and boxes filling the back. We stop at a Dairy Queen and agree he’ll pay for lunch since I paid for gas, and at the time it doesn’t occur to either of us how odd that is. For two decades it was our money, our lives, our home, our family. And in less than an hour I will be driving home, alone, weeping. Read More