This Getting Older Thing isn't going to be a walk in the park, is it? I mean, one second I'm sitting at my desk, checking my email and making pithy, relevant comments on my friends' Facebook statuses, and the next second I feel like I'm sitting in a pizza oven, sweating like a whore in church and completely unable to focus. WTF? as the kids say.
Combine the hot flash with the gynormous pimple I've sprouted on my forehead, and let's just say it's a bit confusing being me these days. Hot flash = old person. Zit = adolescent. And this isn't just a tiny zit that's slightly annoying. This zit is so big that I'm pretty sure it ordered its own drink at breakfast yesterday, since the waitress brought an extra juice that she swore up and down she'd heard we wanted. Hmmmm.
So, you know, great. Now I have visions of myself in the nursing home, wrapped in a badly crocheted afghan, smelling slightly of Ben-Gay and urine, my face covered with patches of unevenly applied Oxy-10 while I stuff bars of chocolate in my face and shriek about how I can't hear my stories on the television.
I'm gonna be an awesome old person.
And in the spirit of getting older, and because I'm crabby, I'm dwelling a bit on all the stuff that drives me crazy. My pet peeves, if you will. I could never make a complete list, of course, because I'm one of those people who gets irritated randomly by very stupid things, but here are just a couple of things (in no particular order) that are sending me over the edge a bit these days:
- Gum chewers/snappers. I can't think of anything more annoying than listening to or watching someone chew their gum. I understand why people chew gum--hey, even I need a little breath freshening now and again and have been known to pop a piece in my mouth. But a gum-snapping receptionist or clerk? A gum chewing Eucharistic Minister? No, no, no, no. I'm sorry you have some sort of oral fixation that didn't get worked out when you were a toddler. But why should the rest of us suffer because of your developmental issues? It's disgusting. Stop it. Oh, and wrap your gum in something before you throw it out, please.
- Disrespectful kids. I was going to say kids in general, but since I'm a parent I think I'm supposed to act like I enjoy children. And I do, actually, for the most part. I like hanging out (in a non-creepy way) with my kids' friends. But mouthy little buggers who talk back to their parents or, worse yet, to other non-parental units? Uh-uh.
- Excessively skinny people who say they're starving, order a salad, and then only eat half of it while complaining about how fat they are. How are these mammals not set upon and dispatched (I'm currently reading a novel set in medieval times, in case you were wondering) by the rest of us hungry humans?
- The odor emanating from my son's room. What is that, exactly? Why doesn't Febreez take care of it? You know that commercial where the blindfolded people walk into the scary, dirty, disgusting room and they think it smells like a meadow or a fresh sea breeze? Yeah, well, you want a real challenge, you get yourselves over to the Skoog house and try to eliminate whatever that is coming out of the room at the top of the stairs. I guarantee you no one's going to say, "Oh, it smells like I'm in a field of flowers!" because I don't care how many spray cans you use or how many candles you burn, it's still going to smell like a garbage dump mated with a boys' locker room in there.
- Mirrors that allow their owners to go out looking like that. You know what I'm saying, right? You see these total Glamour Don'ts wandering around with their ill-fitting clothing, bad hair, stuff hanging out in all the wrong places, wearing poorly matched outfits and you just know they think they look okay. My own mirror would never let that happen. My mirror says things to me like, "Hello, you're in your late 40s!" or "Don't you dare leave the house with that on!" or "Really?!? Like you didn't think those extra brats and beers were going to catch up with you?"
- People with loud, annoying voices who are also (bonus!) either really, really boring or incredible know-it-alls. Today, as a matter of fact, I listened to a woman drone on and on in what was quite possibly the most irritating voice I've ever heard about her countertops (she might be going with the granite, but the poured concrete is good, too, and then there's the natural stone that's not exactly granite but isn't marble...). Since I was trapped in the beauty salon, I started trying to imagine how I could get her to shut the f up without using an actual weapon--kind of a MacGyver-type project. I finally settled on a strategy that utilized a hairbrush, a curling iron, tin foil, and the bowl with the animal crackers in it. Unfortunately, she left before I could put it to use, but if you ever find yourself in that situation let me know and I'll share my plan with you.
Those are just a few things that bother me. Today. And don't worry, I completely understand that I, myself, am a really annoying person. As a matter of fact, in college, after a particularly trying time romantically and socially for both of us, my friend Sue and I devised an entire system where we could eliminate all the people who drove us crazy. It was kind of complicated, but it boiled down to this: Everyone got five kills. But if you didn't want to kill someone, you could maim them. Three maims equaled one kill, and if you used one maim you had to use all three or lose them. We had it all figured out where, in our world, you could check out a pocket flame thrower using just your Marquette ID (why not? you could check out a vacuum--how is that different from a flame thrower?) and take care of that one guy who blew you off or, even better, the one skanky girl who was hanging all over that one guy who blew you off.
Yeah, we drank a lot in college. A LOT.
But you know what the problem was with our plan? No matter how we worked it out, we realized that as soon as it became operational, we had maybe a day before someone used up a maim or a kill on one of us. And, bottom line, we weren't actually homicidal. We were just annoyed. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference when your irritation is fueled by beer and hormones, you know?
So here's what I've learned. The older I get, the more there is to deal with--emotionally, physically, and, yes, spiritually. I sometimes think about those two college students, sitting on barstools at the Ardmore, calmly planning out the demise of a few perky blonde coeds, inept professors, and overly preppy Biffs over dollar pitchers of Miller Lite. Can you imagine if either one of us had a hot flash during one of those planning sessions, or, worse yet, during an encounter with one of those intended victims? Gives you pause, doesn't it?
But, um, on a totally unrelated note, does anyone know where you can pick up a pocket flame thrower?