Divine Wine

ImageThe Goose said the other day that, truly, alcohol was the cause of most of the trouble in the world.  I was shocked that he would say that to me.  I felt personally offended.

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I sound like a bigger lush than I am.  I would say I am low to medium in the world of 45 – 55 year old women who love wine.  I feel like wine ranks in the top ten list of things necessary to a good life, but not in the top 5. I think most women my age feel wine is what KEEPS trouble from happening. I’m sure that during those scary mid-winter evenings, when my child announced he had a project due the next day, his father was working late and our printer was out of ink, a small tipple is what kept me from committing a harmful crime upon a child. I have no doubt the Wright Brothers mother, after watching her children take to the skies, turned to her best friend and said, “well, I think I need a little something”.  I feel certain the reason so many marriages stayed together in the 50s is surely because of that golden slice of time, “the cocktail hour”.  How many women would have made it through visits from mother-in-laws without a little help?

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That said, it HAS caused problems.

The Goose’s and my favorite thing is the crime blotter from the little paper from the town near our lake house.  Each and every one of these brilliant crimes is alcohol fueled and causes us no end of mirth.

Here is just a sampling of some police blotter incidents, not all from our town:

  1. Man said ex-girlfriend broke into home when he was not home and stole all the sheetrock from his house.
  2. Police responded to a report of a drunk man who had broken into a store.  Upon entering the store, the officer shouted out “Marco”, to which the suspect, who was hiding, responded “Polo”.
  3. Police responded to a man who claimed someone was in his bedroom, standing in the corner and looking at him.  When officers turned on the light, it was discovered that it was a cardboard cutout of Arnold Schwartzenegger.
  4. Surveillance cameras showed a man weaving through the pet store and shoving a baby alligator down his shirt.

And my favorite of all time:

5.  A woman on 37th street called 911 and reported that her boyfriend refused to BRING HER A CASSEROLE.

Okay, we’ve all been hungry and number 5 might be understandable.  I once cried because The Goose would not leave work to bring me dumplings when I was pregnant. Clearly, though, each of these perps was out of his mind, most likely on MD 20/20, that low rent standby.

It’s true that alcohol does make some people fight more (not me, I love everyone and by that I mean, everyone) and it has caused countless mad bouts of slurring karaoke at office parties that has made millions call in sick to work to avoid embarrassment the next day. But, on the flip side, it has caused billions and billions of mothers, throughout history, to glance at the clock while toddlers drool on their pants leg, puppies poo on their floor and husbands call to say they’ll be late shudder with glee that 5:00 has come again and they can sit quietly and sip a glass while Mr. Rogers plays softly in the background.

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It prompts stories to be retold, year after year because someone does something stupid involving jello or shaving cream.  It allows us to know deep dark secrets because someone belts out their inner desires at a party.  Someone I know, but will not name, once went back into a bar, at closing time, went into the bathroom and fell asleep on the toilet not to awaken until she was found locked in the next morning.   That’s a good story, years later, that wouldn’t have happened if she’d been pounding diet Coke.  She grew up and became, guess what, a fabulous, stylish and respectable attorney.  See?  It all turned out just fine.

Yes, it does give false courage and cause self respecting women to pour dish soap into neighbor’s tacky fountains.  Okay, it pushes some women to call up ex-husbands while their good friends egg them on.  (I’m sorry.)  It whispers to some idiotic ladies, while lingering over a glass at dinner, to tell their children that one of them was conceived in their grandparents’ swimming pool.  Geez. It’s possible The Goose had something there.

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Like the saying goes, no good story ever started with “hey y’all, want a salad?”.  I’m not promoting booze, and I’m not talking to folks that truly have a problem.  I’m just musing about it and repeating the conversation I had with The Goose when he uttered his proclamation.  I agree, it’s not for everyone.  It causes beaucoup problems for many, but most of us keep it in its place and in perspective. I’m sharing with those women who call each other up right in the middle of helping with math homework and say “Hey, wanna come over for a quick glass?” and the response is “Oh, thank the Lord in Heaven!”.  Speaking to those of us who have sometimes wrapped a waiter in a snuggly hug when he arrives and announces that he has La Crema by the glass”.

In any tee-totaling argument I always pull out the trump card when I whip out this doozy:  The first miracle was water into…what’s that?  Oh, yeah, wine.

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Wildlife Woe

ImageYesterday, I went to a fun football party.  Not fun because of football, which I don’t understand nor have any desire to watch, but because it was with lots of old high school friends and included jello shots and Triscuits, my favorite things ever.

On the way home, the Goose was driving (as usual as it would threaten his masculinity otherwise) and I yelled “Stop! There’s a good one!” and we pulled over to bag up a juicy piece of roadkill.

Uh huh, roadkill.  This is all because I had a black vulture waiting in the barn for me at home.

I don’t accept birds. I know almost nothing about them. I work with small mammals and deer.  The only thing I know about birds is that if someone finds small birds on the ground NOT to move them, they haven’t fallen from the nest, they are fledglings and their mom is somewhere nearby in a panic because some fool is messing with her babies.

Even knowing nothing, I took this bird because some super nice people called me after striking out with 11 other rehabbers.  I caved in and told them to bring him over. He was beautiful.  I’ll admit that some of the vulture’s manners are less than perfect, but they really are cool birds.  I called the bird guru, The Pagan Raptor Goddess, but she wasn’t taking vultures.  She is a wealth of info and I always want to give a shout out to her organization, Hawktalk.org.

This morning, after having my hand shredded by this glorious creature, I finally got him down to Chattahoochee Nature Center.  The only good thing about the bloody injury on my part was that my son’s friend with diabetes jumped forward and gave me a quickie blood test, which came out a little low but he suggested it was a left over jello shot problem. Saved me a $35 annual physical copay.

The good folks at the nature center, who do great work with wildlife and are responsible for sending me Tortellini and Tiki, our emu, were happy to take him and I felt great when I left. On my way home, top down, radio up, sun shining, I got the call that his wing was shattered and he was being euthanized at that moment.

Now, I’ve grown a thick skin over my years of rehab.  I’ve had to put down lots of animals and my poor Goose has helped me with even more.  It’s horrible but necessary.   Some stories, though, just get to me.  What got to me is that I had spent the entire ride telling this magnificent bird to just hold on, help was close by.

Of course, I KNOW he didn’t understand, I get that a bird that can’t fly will mentally fall apart and I accept that this was the only option.  It just caused a deep sadness.

I spent the rest of the ride listening to depressing music, being angry at the drivers ahead of me, regardless of my new kind thoughts toward others, and thinking back over the sad cases I’ve had. I once had a summer when a virus took 7 of my little fawns.  Only one survived.  The last one, the smallest, writhed and screamed in my arms for an hour until I finally had to concede he wouldn’t make it.  He whimpered and wept like a baby and I cried along with him.  After that summer, I took the next year off from animals.

I know the sad losses I’ve seen cannot compare with the sadness of others.  My friend who held her son while he passed away, the family that lost their sweet little girl a few weeks ago, the Trophy Wife’s friend who lost her 16 year old son just yesterday to an accident, these tragedies are beyond my comprehension.

Mine are just little sadnesses that cause a heart to get harder and stronger, but sometimes, a little crack appears like today and I spend a half an hour or so being mad at God and not understanding why animals, who are wholly good, have to suffer.

I don’t have an answer or an upbeat ending except to think that all the years I’ve spend in church I’ve heard Jesus’ quote that “in my Father’s house there are many mansions”.  I don’t want a mansion.  What I’m desperately hoping for is a big beautiful barn where the souls of all the precious creatures that I’ve lost are finally safe, happy and whole.

Never Too Old To Party

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Last Sunday we had a really rockin’ sermon on finding time.  I say rockin’ because we now go to “church lite” which comes complete with a rock band and disco lights.  I can’t complain about the content because our pastor delivers the most loving, funny, informative sermons I’ve ever heard.  I just miss the old hymns with all four stanzas in three quarter time, with the music director making those Baptist music gang signs as we sing.

This message pertained to how we live our lives and use our time.  In it he quoted a book by a woman who has worked in hospice for years.  The book is all about the regrets of the dying.  Of course, everyone wishes they’d lived their lives differently and used their time for different things other than work.  This caused the Goose to roll his eyes a bit and ask who would have paid for things if he hadn’t worked so hard, but the rest of us got a lot out of it.

I had already been thinking of this and have been trying to have more fun and less stress.  The Goose will be really be rolling when he gets to this line because, apparently, I have a stress free life anyway.  I am less stressed because I’m made that way.  I am optimistic, usually see the bright side (except for those sad dark weeks of January) and know things will usually turn out okay.  Still, it’s easy to slide into the drudgery of everyday life.  Most mornings, my friend the Trophy Wife will call to see what i’m up to.  Every day, I mean every single solitary day, we say the same dialogue:

Good morning!

What’s up?

Nothing, cleaning up the kitchen, you?

Same.

How does this happen?

Because no one knows where anything goes but me.

Same here, or to paraphrase, word to your mutha.

It’s said by every woman everywhere at exactly the same time.  While men in other countries are simultaneously bowing toward Mecca, woman are muttering “why can’t anyone put anything where it goes?”. Someone really should work on getting us synchronized and it’d be a lot more fun.  Maybe someone could add music like they did for that guy who said “hide yo kids, hide yo wife”. .

One of my favorite movie lines is from the Addams Family where someone asks Morticia how things are going.  She replies, shrugging her shoulders, “oh, you know, I just wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish brigade”.  I feel her pain.  There is just no time for anything it seems.  I am not half as busy as I was 10 years ago, but seem to get nothing done.  Saturday night we had three delightful invitations, all would have been great, but 8:00 saw both the Goose and me, in our jammies, in the bed, watching mindless tv.  This just is not right.

This sermon has made me renew my efforts for fun with great devotion.  I’m really not sure what he was going for was that we try to party more, but that’s what I’m taking from it.  This year, I’m going to have more fun whether my house is straight or not.  While I am going to continue to berate my children into cleaning up their mess, I’m not going to restrict them from having friends over until a 24 hour “clean quarantine” period has passed after maid day.  I’m going to sit in my yard, drink more wine and watch my animal kingdom cavort.  I may or may not pull out old prom dresses, or I might try something new.  This might be the year for big hats. I’m going to go OUT, into the big world, after 8:00 on some weekend nights. I’m going to wear my good shoes in the rain and not save them until my dog chews them up.  I will use my grandmother’s crystal every time I have a pretty drink and sometimes just when I’m having water.  I will visit friend’s houses and not look at the clock, feeling the need to pull a “homing pigeon” and run home to see that a stray crumb has not fallen on my floor.  There might be days when I don’t make my bed, but most likely not as I want to enjoy life, not live like someone from 16 and Pregnant.

I am NOT going to lie around, in my lovely lavender bed jacket from Neiman Marcus (take heed, Cricket, the one that matches my purple earrings) and not have any (more) wild secrets to tell my hospice nurse.  I want her scandalized enough to be unable to look me in the eyes.

World beware, I’m pulling out some stops.

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I Love _____________

I just read a book that left me with two interesting ideas.  In the book, anyone with a pain, a wound, cancer, any kind of hurt really, experienced a phenomenon in which the pain would shine a light or glow.  Sounds kind of ridiculous, but, as I read, I adjusted to the silly thought and I started to think what a great idea this would be.  So many nights, as I rub on my Ben Gay, I tell the Goose that I wish he could feel how my knees hurt.  I think it would make us all so much more sympathetic.  The worse the pain, the brighter the light.  It would allow us to know what was going on inside those who we perceive as just jerks.  I can’t get this out of my mind.  It has caused me to question the snippy Kroger bagger, the complete ass of a teacher that has made both The Boy and me smack our hands to our heads.  It might explain those driving 10 miles under the speed limit in front of me.  Honestly, I have been a little bit nicer having considered this.

The other great thing that came out of the same book has caused a lovely trend in my own house.  I should have saved it to do around Valentine’s Day, but I couldn’t wait.  The man in the book left a declaration of love for his wife each and every day.  Not a big “I love you, you are my soul, my spirit” kind of mushy crap, but a lighthearted thought that let her know he noticed her.

Yesterday morning I left one for the Goose that said “I love the way your hands look”.  It’s true.  He could be a hand model.  I’ve never seen more beautiful hands but when, in our real life, am I going to look at the man and tell him that?  He would leer at me or roll his eyes.  Those of us with a man can well imagine the comeback comment. This was just a fun way for me to tell him that I’ve always thought he has pretty hands.  He turned it over and wrote to me that he liked my cute little nose.  The Goose has never, in great inebriation or in passion, mentioned my nose, especially as a “cute little nose”, although I guess it is a little cute.  Today, when I was at the grocery store, my most hated of chores, I thought about this and laughed out loud in the nut isle.  It has made me happy.

To my kids, it’s hard to say “I love your crazy sense of humor” without following it up with “but your room is no laughing matter”.  It is causing me to just say something nice without starting to whine and rattle like an angry tea pot about their cloud of mess that follows them around.  Today I told Cricket that I love that she loves school supplies.  That kid, a junior in college, can still get into a happy twist over new pens and notebooks.  She left me one that said “I love that you don’t wear mom jeans and that you smile when you’re yelling at someone”.

I love that the Goose says to me every day “this is my idea of the day”.  They’re not always great ideas, but I love that he has them and that he shares them.  He probably didn’t know I enjoy that as I usually just say “uh-huh”.

I love that Cricket thinks Peeps are the height of fine desserts.

This is a chance to tell my loved ones the quirky things I love about them that makes them interesting without having to make a big lovey-dovey smushy deal about it.  Wouldn’t it be fun if this trend took off?  I’d love to tell my friends the little quirks that make me love them. I love that the Empress twirls her hair when she talks, that the Trophy Wife draws out her “s” sound at the end of a word when she’s still thinking about what she’s saying and it makes it sound more important and sort of delicious, like a cookie.  I love the way the Sweet Talker says “awww” every time I mention any animal, just like I would, and gets a wistful look in her eyes, wishing she could get her hands on them.

I wish my parents were still here so I could tell them how much I love that they always held hands and that my mother’s favorite exclamations were “Land o Goshin” and  “Jumpin‘ Jesophat”.  That still cracks me up.   I love that their house smelled like Lemon Pledge and coffee.

Next month, I will start yelling about the mess again, but this month, I’m going to really enjoy all this mushy stuff. I think, in the midst of this gloomy weather and winter misery, it could make everyone a little happier.

Oh, Gosh, I Might Be Tacky

Remember that crazy phrase that went around a while back, “you might be a redneck”?  I snickered right along with everyone and never, not once, associated myself with any of the redneckisms I ever heard.  Tonight, as I lie in my bed at the miserably dark hour of 6:42, bloated, salted and sugared, in elastic pants the day after Thanksgiving, I’m seriously starting to question that maybe I didn’t listen hard enough.

Yesterday at our Bastards Thanksgiving day, things started out beautifully.  I had several tables seating between six and eight, all laid with my mother’s sterling, multiple generations of crystal and china, napkin rings, candlesticks and flowers.  Lovely music played.  I wore an antique Bavarian crystal necklace and earrings, my mother’s gold bracelets and had clean hair.  My house was in order, animals removed from the kitchen.   It smelled heavenly.  Things went along swimmingly as friends arrived, hugs were had and drinks were poured. Folks stepped out onto the front porch to admire the beautiful day.  Then, I heard it, that incongruous shout back into the house, “Hey, y’all, come outside and watch.  There’s a kid riding the sheep around the pasture and that big ol’ emu is chasing around a wiener dog”.  Things just went right on downhill from there.  I blame the Goose.  Not the Golden one this time, but the Grey.  One particular couple, you see, arrived at my house bearing not only two casseroles and a banana pudding, but also adult jello.  I’m sure someone yelled out something about showing a body part at some point.  I am hoping it wasn’t me.

What is it about holidays that never end up the way we envision them?  Does anyone’s? All week I dreamt that my first home Thanksgiving would be a House and Garden worthy event.  When a kid walks into the house with filthy feet holding a hen and proceeds to thrust his hand into the dinner rolls, something has gone astray.  Chippendale chairs ended up outside in the yard and someone lit a fire in the fire pit by pouring gas directly into it and shouting “watch this”, accompanied by much verbal abuse and encouragement. We told story after story of growing up.  Bunch of inbred folks that we are, we all married someone from high school and we all know everyone who is anyone from our hometown and are more than willing to talk about them in their absence.

I only hope my mother couldn’t see any of this and was busy elsewhere in Heaven supervising dinner done correctly.

In the paper today, I saw that a woman had been arrested for stabbing someone at her dinner table with a meat fork.  No one who saw that headline can possibly blame her.  I’m sure the woman had a dream day in her mind and the poor man just used the wrong utensil or, like the kids’ table at my house, failed to use even one.  Nor did any napkins at that table come out of their rings and the glasses remained clean so apparently no one there drank anything or wiped their mouths.  Although I have asked repeatedly, my son claims not to know how the consumption of dressing and gravy was accomplished without a fork.

Tonight, as I lie here, fat and sad that yesterday’s laughter and golden sunshine is over, I am answering an email from the editor of a paper who wants to come over tomorrow to photograph my pig, Babette, and this, more than anything, has caused me to question the sophisticated life I’ve always believed I was living.  Unless this pig can land the cover of Vogue or Veranda, I’m going to have to believe there might just be a problem here, not redneck, but possibly…tacky?  But just like the fact that I saw one of my friends yesterday make the decision to eat cake with an olive fork, I’m going to chose to ignore it.

Thanksgiving Schmanksgiving

ImageI need everyone to know just how normally we began.  I keep saying this! I mean, my family was NORMAL! I grew up normal, the Goose and I were normal when we married.  When I had babies, I was a really good mom.  They had schedules, both slept all the way through the night before three weeks, ate right, took baths.  I read a story every night, we listened to Wee Bible Songs in the car.  They had my parents as the best grandparents who ever lived.  I believe this could the at the heart of the issue. 

When my parents passed away, we just went to hell in a monogrammed handbag.  

Also, my house might have something to do with it.  We moved out here in the sticks before the wave arrived.  The house, ugly and sprawling, sat for two years without anyone making an offer.  Thank goodness one of the only three talents I possess is design.  I was in the business and the Goose has “an eye” as well (oh, I’m going to catch hell for saying this) and we saw through all it’s scary bluster and blue carpet.  That said, it has been a monster of a house that my mother in law said I would never be able to keep clean.  I refuse to make a snide posthumous remark here. It would just be too easy and those of you with monster-in-laws can fill in the blanks. 

If it were just us four, we might have held it together.  But no, living with us we’ve had one snarky foster child, one bi-polar uncle, two hospice patients, Shep’s traveling circus of friends, Cricket’s boyfriends, 25 fawns, numerous opossums, snakes, squirrels, two house rabbits, two house pigs, multiple dogs and cats, way too many housekeepers with personal issues, visiting relatives, oh and a frog that escaped and was seen for years just sitting in the sun in various rooms. We have played thousands of games of sardines in the dark and have managed to retrieve each and every person without much damage to their soul or body. There has been more covert smooching in my basement than anywhere in the county, I shudder to think. Kids have ridden mattresses down the stairs. At least one million drinks have been spilled by probably one million kids. There have been so many bonfires that the smell of woodsmoke is ingrained in our very hearts. Things have been launched, set afire, catapulted and a coconut bra was thrown through a new giant tv.  A sheep has run through my house on more than one occasion,  not to mention the craziness that goes on in my barn. It is insane.  

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I’m planning for Thanksgiving now.  Growing up, I only ate downtown at beautiful hotel buffets for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, the ones with omelet makers in tall hats ready to jump to satisfy my gastronomical desires.  Just my little family, well behaved and nicely dressed (I was an only child). There was always a harp playing, artichoke salad, little tarts for dessert.  As an adult, I’ve run the half marathon most years downtown.  This year, though, I am lazy and out of shape and so we are having a “bastards” dinner here for those of us without families in town, or whose loved ones have gone.  The diversity in our group is enormous.  I would have never imagined that my “family” would grow to be what we are but I love it.  Stop asking yourself what I’ll do about cooking.  With heartfelt apologies to the two turkeys, Arlo 2 and Marlin, and two pigs, Orson and Babette, in my family, you know I’ll order in for the carnivores at my table.  Kids will be drinking Kool-aid from my grandmother’s crystal and that will be okay.  Adults will be telling stories, exaggerating, and loosening their belts. There will be laborious cocktails in silver shakers, wine will flow and things will get broken. Some will take walks.  Sheep will graze on the lawn and all will be right with the world.  

Judging by television, maybe families aren’t the same normal they were when we were growing up.  When I look at my list of guests, I feel so blessed that, even though my everyday group of friends are with their families, there is always room for other friendships to grow and become closer and we can fill in for those who we miss so much it hurts, like my mother and dad. I am so excited and hoping to add anyone else who wants to come. I don’t care if people have to eat on the stairs, I want a real Thanksgiving, because sometimes I think we all forget to be thankful. This year, I am going to stop and be thankful in the moment that anyone loves me and that I have all of these people to love right back. 

Everyone is invited. I can tell you this, there will be lots of non-poisonous food not made by me, barrels of wine, tons of laughter, music playing in the background (probably Jerry Garcia, not a harp, but anyway…) and time to be thankful for all the love for which this creaky, lovely old house with hidden rooms and uneven floors has had the room. Ya’ll come on, ya hear, and bring a casserole! 

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Old Friends

ImageWhat is it about old friends?  I have lots of friends, some close, some acquaintances, some “uppity”, some downright hillbilly.  I enjoy all of them.  I can pull myself together when the need arises to be as uppity as I need to be and, heaven knows, I can sink to some depths best not remembered.  There’s something about OLD friends, though, the ones we make when we’re young, that cause all of us to let down our guard and regress right back to our youth.

I have a friend from fifth grade that I see maybe once a year, the Hollywood Glamour Girl. When we get together, we spend about an half an hour discussing what’s going on and telling each other how great we look and then one of us throws out a name from fifth grade, we both lean in and we’re off.  We are still verbally dissecting that big bully, Brett, to smithereens and we still laugh about the time she stuck out her foot and tripped a boy named Fitz into the fireplace.  Once, I looked down and she was wearing knee highs under her jeans, which made her ankles look tan, pink pom pom socks and new Adidas tennis shoes and I almost swooned with fashion jealousy.  We still have to talk about that.  Every time.  When she reads this, she will contact me and we’ll talk about it again.  You’re laughing because everyone does this.  It just feels comfortable, like often washed jammies.

(In a total aside, spell check told me to check the spelling of Adidas and I had to go back to school in my mind in order to spell it.  Remember when people said it stood for “all day I dream about sex?”  I once wore a t-shirt with Adidas on it and a boy pointed and yelled that and I almost called my mother to bring me another.  Now, of course, I’d just smack him but my fifth grade self was not as confident, what with the headgear and such!)

Last night, the Empress came to stay with me.  I met the Empress when we ended up in the same beach house with a bunch of mutual college friends.  Our old college group calls each other “our decent friends” said with a sneer and an accent. I despised the Empress on sight.  I mean, I loathed her, that bitch.  By the end of the first night, we were hanging all over each other and singing.  I believe there was some table dancing in spandex skirts.  She showered me with abuse about my clothes and I told her how she could improve upon her hairstyle.  There are photos of our 80s glamour, our giant earrings, enormous hair, shoulder pads, swim suit tops that could stand alone on our frail 100lb. bodies and these should remain hidden.  In typical 80s fashion, there was a LOT of time spent in hot tubs with this group. Those pictures have hopefully been burned (right Empress?).

When the Empress arrives, we circle each other for a minute or two and immediately start in on a conversation that does not take a breath for the entire time she’s here.  The Goose loves the Empress and especially likes to hug her, often, needlessly, and a little too long, with a little too much caress, but even he has to make a retreat from us after a while.

We made our hair as large as possible and squeezed into our glitzy pants, put on heels and and went to a bar to watch our friend’s brother’s band last night.  This friend was there when I met the Empress.  Our diminutive best Lesbianese friend (she is not gay, but there is someone from Lebanon way back in her history and somehow, this whole thing got twisted) was in our group as well and I will not take the opportunity here to say that I once saw her and the Empress so altered that they were eating chips with ants on them off the sand at the beach.  I would never do that.

ANYWAY, what is it about old friends that causes us to regress?  The dancing we did last night has left us sore and achy (but not achy brakey). I know we did NOT look as good on the dance floor as we did in our minds, but who cares?  The Goose sat and laughed at us all night, shaking his head like the old man that he is. My decent friends are my only group of friends who know that when someone yells out “boom boom” you immediately shout out loudly, and with gusto “out go the lights” and think it’s poetry.  I’m sure I saw a glint of a tear when the band pulled out AC/DC.  This was our music and our time. We say the same old things, talk as little about our kids and jobs as possible, revert to the same college behavior and crude humor and still see each other as wildly attractive, even though we are 50ish. It’s possible this is because of our diminished eyesight, but I’m choosing to believe otherwise. There are a lot of suggestive comments bandied about and it causes me, for one, to toss my hair around and bat my eyelashes.

You know fantasy football?  I have a fantasy retirement compound that I’m constructing in my head.  I am slowly filling it with those I love and would like to circle the wagons with when we get to retire. Pretty houses and gardens, lots of animals and, as the Goose likes to tease me, opossums and martinis hanging from trees.  I am definitely filling it with my old friends, and only hope we can survive it and that those others around us that weren’t there back in the day will either join in or choose to be tolerant.  Disclaimer: Were not as young as we used to be and there DEFINITELY won’t be any hot tubs!