Sunday, March 27, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

A famous movie star passed away this week and I teared up. What gives? I’ve never been a groupie or read any of the tabloids shouting at us in the checkout line. Magazines like True Romance or Movie Fan or Screen Stories were a no-no in my house when I was growing up. Still, I didn’t live in a glass bubble and yes, even in the small farm town in Iowa, we all knew about Elizabeth Taylor with her exceptional beauty and her scandalous romances and marriages.

What made this famous actress so special to me? Because, in spite of her natural beauty and stardom, she didn’t live that Hollywood perfect life that we early baby boomer gals had been taught to believe really existed. She had affairs and was a home wrecker. So was the wife of the owner of a store in our little town and the father of my best friend. Liz Taylor was a divorcee who remarried. So was a couple who moved into our town and was not welcomed in a particular church society. My mother immediately changed churches to one that welcomed everyone into its arms.

Elizabeth Taylor was a sexpot and a lady at the same time, a concept foreign to young teenage baby boomers in the 60’s. She wore furs and tiaras but had to fight weight problems like many of us. She married eight times and we never considered her a failure. Yet I considered myself a failure after my second divorce.

It wasn't her beauty but her failures, her successes, her weight problems, her health problems, her zest for life, and her randy laugh that made her real to us on screen and in our lives. She was a classy and a bawdy fighter to the end. Elizabeth Taylor was an oxymoron. But aren’t we all? I can only hope.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lesson Learned

I missed the Supermoon last night, darn it, and it wasn’t because I was doing anything important other than finishing hand scrubbing my kitchen floor and playing on the computer. There won’t be another Supermoon until 2029. Whether I’ll be fortunate to see it then, I don’t know but I do know there are plenty of other things I can look forward to:

The aches and pain from scrubbing floors on my hands and knees,
The painstakingly clean floor being muddied with tiny paw prints within the next twenty-four hours,
The weeds in my front yard mocking me with each gentle pollen-carrying breeze,
The dust bunnies under the stove and my entertainment center coming back out to play,
Laundry to do and dishes to wash, groceries to buy,
Income taxes and bills that need to be paid, and ….

I wished I’d watched the Supermoon last night.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Morning Ritual

After spending Friday evening and all day Saturday with 28 other women at the 3rd Annual Ladies Only 42 tournament, I am beat. Who’d think that having a blast can be so exhausting? I thoroughly enjoyed the games, meeting women I’d never met before and reconnecting with those I had. However, (a fancy “but”) as much fun as it was, the nonstop conversations and laughter echoing through the acoustical-lacking club room were over stimulating and I looked forward to my Sunday morning quiet time ritual. Coffee and the Sunday morning paper.

This ritual, handed down to me by my parents, is probably a universal ritual for most of us baby boomers. In my house, my parents still got up at the same time they did on a work day, started the coffee maker, and retrieved the Sunday morning paper from the front porch steps. I’d come downstairs to find the house quiet, the only sounds being the rustling of paper and the soft chime from a silver spoon meeting the side of a china cup. Conversation was held to a minimum with the occasional, “Hum…. What’s the world coming to….more coffee?”

Breakfast would follow, and then church, Sunday dinner, and naps or Sunday drives. The Blue Laws were still in effect back then meaning no stores were open, no malls to roam in, no errands to run. I miss the Blue Laws. It made life so much simpler and peaceful. Saturdays were days for housework and shopping. Sundays then were truly a day of rest, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Much needed downtime for the busy workweek ahead.

I’ve managed to keep part of the ritual: coffee and the Sunday morning paper. This is my quiet time. I refuse to turn on the TV, the radio, the CD player, or the computer until after I’ve finished reading my paper, my only distraction being a noisy woodpecker outside my window or one of the dogs pawing my leg to be picked up and held. I don’t often follow reading the Sunday paper with church and that bothers me. I say I don’t have the time which is a poor excuse and only partly true. But that is another blog for another time. Still, the demands for my Sunday time are legit, especially this Sunday that starts daylight savings time and steals an hour from us. There is housework to do, laundry, grocery shopping, yard work, dog walking, etc. And oh yes, a nap.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Doing It All

I’m pooped this blog-writing morning and my back and wrists ache from the part-time job that I hired myself to do yesterday. Yesterday being Saturday and one of my only two days off from my regular full time job. I was paid $4.00 an hour for two strenuous hours of manual labor that included cussing, sweating, panting, huffing, and wondering what in the world had I been thinking. I am sitting on the results. A new desk chair that actually supports my back while not spewing screws whenever I leaned to the side like my old chair did making me feel like I was on a tilt-a-whirl ride most of the time.

I’ve been wanting a new chair for quite some time but hated to spend the money on something that would make me more comfortable. I also knew that when I went to make this purchase I would face another dilemma; how to get it home. I had looked at several stores and it appeared that all the task chairs came unassembled and contained in large boxes. I don’t have a hydraulic lift at home or even a dolly. I also assumed that I didn’t have the physical strength to even assemble the chair once I got it out of the box.

Never assume. I found a chair on sale yesterday that offer support for my sway back. The store clerk would even assemble it for me for $8.00. Woo hoo! Get out the charge card. One small problem. The salesman assured me that if assembled, the chair would not fit in my car. However, the boxed one would fit in my trunk. He even offered to take out to my car (with his dolly) and put in my trunk for me. He did not offer to follow me home and get it out of my car though. So much for going that extra mile customer service. lol

Now I could have called my friends who’d already offered their services and SUV, or my son, or my helpful neighbor but I have a stubborn streak. I wanted to do it myself. This has been an-ongoing problem with me. I still remember the time that my mother hired moving men to move some furniture from our home to our lake cottage. I was fourteen and I was determined that I was going to do my part. It was a struggle, but I got the twin mattress down the stairs. I didn’t have to work nearly as hard to get the box springs down. Not after it escaped my grip and bounced down the stairs and crashed through the window on the landing.

I could entertain you with many more Betty Oops stories but my point is that as baby boomer, I grew up in the era where I learned that “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man.” We baby boomer gals not only were encouraged to do all with cute ads and songs, life circumstances like divorces, bad economies, and deaths forced us to do it all. Along the way, we worked hard to obtain equal rights and to make our own decisions. Yet, with all that we have accomplished, it seems that some of these rights are being threatened to be taken away by Texas legislation and the Federal legislation. I’ve never presumed to know what is right or wrong for someone else or have all the answers, but I do know it feels like we are taking giant steps backwards and that scares me.