How Old Are You Behaving?

“How old are you really?” my friend asked recently.

“You know my age,” I said.

“On the inside. We don’t see ourselves through the lens of our real ages,” she said.bougainvillea2

She was right.

My internal age is 17. When I lived an unfettered, idyllic life of narcissistic bliss.

I was also prone to shyness. Caught unprepared I’d blush the color of a bougainvillea.

I still do.

It can creep up on me when I least expect it.

A heat wave starts in the back of my neck, spreads to the front, then travels up my chin, nose, cheeks, and forehead. There is no controlling it. It has a power and speed all its own.

What’s worse, everybody notices and stares at the color change happening to my face. 

That’s a double embarrassment, and lasts an eon.

I want to dive under the table.

Funny. These episodes usually sprout during meals.

Maybe I should stop eating.

Calvin says, “My internal age is 1. I’m all frolic and wiggles. Take me as I am.” 

beagle

Fabio Isn’t Fab

I overheard two girls talking in the corner coffee shop. One of them said, “Why settle for a good man when I have a great man?”

That’s the mantra among the single set. Nobody wants normal. The guys want the swimsuit model and the gals want Fabio with an attitude.

I have news. The swimsuit model doesn’t eat, she lives on liquids to keep her stomach flat.

With Fabio, there’s only one face in the mirror he wants to admire and it’s not yours.

The Fabios make lousy husbands.

The swimsuits have no room in their bikinis for anybody but themselves.

So what’s a single person to do?

I say look for the person with character. Now there’s an old fashioned word for you.

It refers to a person with a combination of outer and inner qualities that sets him or her apart from the crowd. Someone with substance, an individual, dare I say, different?

That person will not be Mr. Brawn or Ms. Sexy.

He will most likely be the last one to grab the spotlight at a party and the first one to wash the dishes when everybody else has gone home.

She’ll be more interested in your mind than in your muscles.

A person with character has staying power.

He won’t trade you in for the next image in stilettos. He actually wants a wife, a family, a home. That’s another old fashioned idea.

These men do exist, so look around. He’s not flipping through his smart phone, nor is he wearing ear buds. He’s the one behind the newspaper. He still reads.

Calvin says, “Quality stands out. I only go out with other beagles. Registered. AKC. Is that too snobby?”

Very Rare

“I told Paul last night, ‘I can’t sleep your sleep, think your thoughts, or eat your food. Marriage is such an impossible state of being. It demands a oneness when all you really want is to be left alone.'” Sabrina said this as she sipped her champagne cocktail. We were having brunch outdoors in her favorite restaurant. She had called me and said she needed to talk. Sabrina rarely did anything unless there was food involved. The last time we met, it was for dinner in a new bistro. She needed an excuse to eat and talk.

“So how did Paul respond?” I asked. I poured some Pelegrino into my glass.

“Not well. He said I sounded like I wanted out of the marriage, which wasn’t what I meant at all, I was just voicing an insight I had, and needed to get it out in the open,” she said.

“And you explained that to Paul,” I said.

“Oh yes, but it left him with the doubt. Now he’s brooding over the whole incident.”

The waiter arrived with our salads and french fries and placed them in front of us. “Will that be all?” he said.

“Bring me a steak. Very rare,” she said. Then she turned to me and said, “I need to chew on some flesh. I feel angry. Every time I try to be real with Paul it backfires. I end up feeling guilty. Then I wish I never opened my mouth.”

I pierced a cherry tomato and it squirted onto my blouse. I rubbed the stain with my napkin. That smudged it even more and turned it pink. At least it matched my lipstick and earrings.

“Give Paul a few days. He’ll come out of it,” I said.

“Maybe. I swear, I’m not going to expose what I’m thinking to him any more. He clearly can’t handle it,” Sabrina said.

The waiter arrived with a very large steak on a white plate and put it down in front of her. “Will that be all?” he said.

Sabrina waved him off and dug in. Blood oozed out in all directions. She cut the entire thing into bite size pieces and then put her knife and fork down.

“That was better than therapy,” she said finishing off her drink. “Let’s get out of here.”

Calvin says, “What a tragedy! At least ask for a doggie bag!”

Conversations on the Run3

“There’s something cool about donating blood,” one woman said to another.

“Yes, it goes into somebody else,” the other said.

“And then it makes you look intently at people’s eyes on the street to see if you recognize them,” said the first.

 

“It’s a shame paramedics don’t work on commission.”

 

“Do they use real blood in the movies?”

“Yea, just head into the truck that’s parked on the lot.”

“Is it a Red Cross truck?”

“No, a Paramount truck.”

 

“I couldn’t paint yesterday. The moon wasn’t in the right place.”

 

A friend asked a recent immigrant what his first words in English were. “Paper or plastic?” he said.

 

“I’ve outgrown my hair.

 

“It’s sad that the best compliments I get are from a fortune cookie.”

 

“I sunburned my plums.”

 

“I’m the third generation of wandering souls. I’m real good at leaving.”

 

“She’s in love and she hasn’t met him yet.”

Center Stage

People don’t want to be fixed. They want to be loved. They want somebody to listen to them. They long for the spotlight. To be the center of the universe, even if the universe is a family, a club, or an office. There are some who demand a larger stage. They become actors and politicians. Where do these people go when time catches up to them? They write memoirs, of course. They believe their audience still cares. Like Tony Blair. I bought the book. I read four chapters. Yawn. It proves once again that nothing interests people so much as themselves.

Calvin says, “That’s why a dog is still a man’s best friend. We keep the illusion going.”