SLEEVES

What the hell happened to short sleeves on women’s dress clothes?  Somewhere over the last ten years, while I was busy working in my jammies, someone—with a penis, no doubt—decided it was a great idea to remove all the sleeves from women’s professional dresses and blouses.  Side note:  does anyone say blouse anymore?

Exhibit A:  A search of Women Career Dresses on Amazon.  Note that of the eight dresses I find on the top panel, one has long sleeves, one has short sleeves, and six are sleeveless.  Also notable is that the short sleeve dress looks more suited for a luau than a day at the office.

Exhibit B:  Women Career Tops on Amazon.   Different search; same result.  Well, except for the part where there are a lot more long sleeved shirts, which makes perfect sense because it’s Spring.  Wait a minute….  Also, again, please note that most of the tops do not appear to be work related unless you are working at a luau.  Or as a call girl.

Here’s the thing…  I am a “mature” woman with arms that are over half a century old.  When someone comes into an office, no one wants to see those arms exposed.  Not the flab, not the bat wings, not the wrinkles, not the skin tags and moles, not the sad blue veins that are struggling desperately to pump enough blood to the tips of my arthritic fingers I can continue typing this rant.  No one wants to be greeted by that.  No one.

What’s the only way this could be worse, you ask?  Well, let me tell ya…  Farmer’s tan.  Now that the snow has finally melted, I enjoy spending my non-working hours outside.  While doing so, I am dressed in the standard redneck uniform of sweat pants and t-shirt.  Since t-shirts have short sleeves (because the person who invented the t-shirt 1. doesn’t have a penis, and/or 2. hasn’t gone completely insane), my upper arms are not exposed to the sun.  What happens when you wear a t-shirt in the sun all weekend and then put on a nice Kasper dress for work on Monday?  It is a look kindly described by my total bad ass husband (PTST) as ‘’interesting.’’  WTF?

Here’s what I came up with this weekend:  safety pinned my t-shirt sleeves to the shoulders of my t-shirt so I could get sun all the way up my arms.  Granted, some of the neighbors puked when they saw me gardening, but I figure better them than the clients that create my paycheck.

In my attempt to come to work appropriately dressed while facing this crisis, I have taken a tip from my fashionable co-worker (who I have nicknamed Stacy London, for obvious reasons).  She recommended cardigans.  So I have purchased myself a handful of cardigans to cover my arms to keep the clients from running from the building screaming when they see me at the reception desk.  Sadly, this has been met with limited success.  Yesterday before leaving home, I checked out  my new Springy, large floral print (because large floral print is on trend; small floral makes you look dated–who knew???), flowing, sleeveless blouse with a nice cardigan on top and thought I looked office-suitable.  The first time I went to the office restroom, I thought perhaps the light in my bedroom mirror was too forgiving and I looked not so great in public.  The second trip in front of the office restroom mirror had me coming out of crapper announcing I looked like Dorothy from the Golden Girls.

So there ya have it.  I am destined to either cover my arms with sweaters and jackets through the entire summer and hope I don’t die of heat stroke, or I throw in the towel and join the unsleeved.  Wonder how many clients have to throw up when they see my senior arms before I get fired…

STRANGERS TO THE BLOOD

Here’s something new I’ve learned that can be filed under RPP (Rich People Problems).

Many people, especially as they get older, become concerned (read: obsessed) with what will happen to their money once they are dead.  Determined not to let the hard-earned (?) money fall into the wrong hands, they spend their final years, months, days, tracking every penny and ensuring not one brown coin is left misdirected.

I was dubious of this activity when I first heard about it because 1. You will be dead, so what the hell do you care?;  2. My estate planning is defined as ‘’that will be the next guy’s problem’’; and 3. When closer to the end of life than the beginning, who would choose to spend time counting pennies instead of petting puppies?

Nonetheless, I have it on pretty good authority that this is a real thing, and it’s a common thing.  Apparently, it is all part of turning old-age crazy.  You know, when you start to believe everything on Facebook is real (spoiler alert:  it’s fake); when you watch Fox news and complain about it being too liberal; when you worry that America is going to go broke and all the banks will close and you can’t get your money so you keep it under your mattress; when you are planning for the Zompoc.  Wait a minute; that last one is really gonna happen…

But back to the title of this piece.  Here’s the thing:  people actually pay other people (read: lawyers) money to ensure none of the former’s money is given to anyone outside the bloodline once they are dead, hence the phrase Strangers to the Blood.  Officially, it is Strangers in Blood, but it’s more fun to yell Strangers to the Blood while shaking your fist and making fun of the whole idea.  Legally, the term is to identify someone in a will that is outside of the direct family, identified as Next of Kin.  So, inside my head, it would be easy enough to scratch out a will that says “I give all my worldly possessions to my Son, Ralphie, and nothing left to any other next of kin or strangers in blood.”  Simple, right?  Apparently not so much.

It seems the (irrational) fear is that someone who is linked to the family somehow (Married? Divorced? Lost a bet?)—but not by blood–accidentally falls into a sweaty wad of cash from the deceased that the deceased did not care for said recipient to have.  So, before kicking the bucket, people are spending their precious time, and a whole other sweaty wad of cash, to keep outsiders, aka Strangers to the Blood, from their precious coin.

Here’s the other thing:  it doesn’t work.  According to my reliable source, once you are dead, you are dead.  Also once you are dead, you no longer have control of your money.  So you can finagle and scheme all you want to point your inheritance directly to your blood; knock yourself out.  If your beloved son to whom you bequeathed a nice, healthy sum wants his (ex?) wife to be rewarded for putting up with your crazy shit while you were alive, he will simply collect his inheritance from you and stroke her a check.  Side note:  I usually use females as my example since I’m a girl (despite my name; thank you, Mother), but I figured if you’re bat shit crazy enough to do this, you are probably going to deny anyone with a vagina any money as well.

And now here’s the (hopefully) last thing:  this is too sad.  It makes me too sad to think that someone who is over the age of 50 is spending a vast amount of time on her personal countdown clock worrying about what will happen to her hundred dollar bills after she is dead.  Here’s a tip:  it doesn’t matter.  You are dead.  Let the cash fall where it may.  And because I don’t feel like yelling about this anymore, I will quote someone else…

a-hundred-years-from-now

Now I need to go spend some time with my Nugget.  Priorities, people, priorities…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUBBY

My total bad ass husband (PTST) celebrated his birthday this weekend; he’s now 38 years old.  That’s right–fourteen years younger than I.  There are some disadvantages to being married to a much younger man.  Being called his mother by strangers is not my favorite, but that is decreasing as the number of gray hairs on his head increases.  The number of gray hairs on my head is also increasing, but you cannot tell I am aging because I color.  Yeah, yeah, I know, BandAid on a bullet hole.  But it’s all I got.

My beloved likes to celebrate his birthday the same way he celebrates every other day—by sitting in his chair in front of the TV while petting the dog’s head.  Sometimes with the TV on; sometimes not.  As his grandma liked to say, he was born a little old man with the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen.  The eyes are still as blue; they are just harder to see now through the glasses lenses thick as the soles of my orthopedic shoes.  But he remains the old man as which he was born, and these days you can add ‘curmudgeonly’ to the description.

Of course, since he is only 38, he is not entirely ready for the retirement home.  He still loves his Wars, both Stars and Trek.  (Full disclosure:  I stoled that line from 30 Rock.)  He can still do some home renovations, as witnessed by our beautiful newly-updated half-bath.  But the most childlike thing about my husband is his love of presents.  He likes to pretend to be an adult and not want presents, but I stopped falling for that after this exchange one holiday season:

Wife:  How would you feel about donating money to a charity instead of exchanging presents this year?

Husband:  I’d feel robbed.

So there ya have it.  Although the gift requirement is firmly in place, each gift giving occasion requires me to participate in the ‘’I don’t want gifts” game until, as occurred on Thursday, the question, “What presents did you get me for my <insert occasion here>?” is asked.

Because I love this big stupid butthead more than life itself, this year he is getting a recliner that will officially be ‘’his chair.’’  Not that anyone else would want to sit in it after he fouls it with his stench, both body and body function-style.  But every man should have ‘’his chair’’–or ‘’the king’s throne, as my dad refers to his recliner—in which to relax and stare at the blinds, another favorite pastime of my honey.

Unfortunately, this gift coincides with the advent of our crazy idea to build a cabin in the woods, so his time for chair relaxing in the coming days is limited.  But winter will be upon us before you know it, and he will be able to fire up the pellet stove, hunker down in his La-Z-Boy under his Mountaineer throw, snuggle buggle in with his little nugget dog, and watch Fletch to his heart’s content.  And hopefully he think that it’s worth putting up with my crazy ass for a little while longer…

BATTLE OF THE BULGE

Last week, when I RTFd (Random Thought Friday–not to be confused with Random THOT Friday, a completely different thing) about losing 3 pounds in my kankles, my dear cousin emailed me a very sweet and uplifting note about how proud I should be for losing any weight at all and how hard it is to lose weight and to hang in there and stick with it.  I would have gladly heeded her words, had I not already regained the three pounds by going to a birthday party.  Side note:  someone advised the correct spelling is cankle, calf to ankle.  In my case, it goes knee to ankle, so the spelling as kankle is correct.

Anyhoo…  You read that correctly.  The weight it took six weeks to lose showed back up on my scale after ONE not-so-healthy food-related event.  (Yes, I know I’m yelling.)  How bitter am I?  I’m sure you have an idea.  Unless you are in the minority of people who are underweight instead of overweight.  Then you should be eating a cookie instead of reading this anyway.  Side note #2:  the weight regain did inspire me to throw out the leftover party chips.  Shortly thereafter, I came to my senses and it took everything in me not to George Costanza them.

Here’s the problem with trying to lose weight:  food tastes good.  At least the food I shouldn’t be eating does.  The food I should be eating tastes like dirt.  Literally.  If anyone says a brussel sprout tastes good, it’s because:  a. they are high, b. they are insane, c. they are eating it cooked with bacon, or d. all of the above.  A brussel sprout eaten au naturel tastes like dirt.  Ditto kale.  Which reminds me, can we be done with the kale already?  Move on to the next fake super food, please.  And don’t make it brussel sprouts.  Just sayin.

Potato chips taste good.  Cheese tastes good.  Cake tastes like heaven, especially with lots and lots of icing.  You can make anything taste good by adding bacon.  Or cheese.  See above.  When you eat a cookie, it’s like little angels come down from heaven and bless your belly.  Know what doesn’t feel like angel blessings?  Exercise.

I’ve touched upon this before, but it bears repeating.  Exercise is of the devil.  Not all exercise, just exercise for exercise sake.  You know, the kind you have to go to a gymnasium or fill your basement full of (unused) equipment to do.  Inside my head, the only reason a human should run is because she is being chased by a bear.  I get plenty of exercise walking the dog and loading and unloading the dishwasher.  Sadly, my doctor says that doesn’t count.

To put it politely, my doctor is disappointed in my lifestyle choices.  This is why I am back on cholesterol medication.  She, along with Spike Lee, recognizes that it is difficult to do the right thing.  However, I have been advised that my bad cholesterol is at a level where something must be done lest my heart explode before I finish this sentence.  She also recognizes that not everyone enjoys exercise, but when I went on a rant about how much I hate it and even the exercise I like (Zumba and running) I still can’t force myself to do and when I actually go to the gym or do some sort of cardio everyone says I’ll feel better when I’m done but I don’t I just feel worse and angry and filled with exercise hatred and then asked ‘’Is that weird?”  Her response was, “A little bit.”

So there you have it.  I took my new Zetia prescription and went to Walmart.  Where I had to walk past an estimated 900 miles of St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes and cookies to make it to the pharmacy to get said prescription filled.

At this point, I’d like to add that Oprah Winfrey has all the money and the world, and she is still fat.  She could pay someone to snatch the cake out of her hand or claw it out of her mouth like I used to do with dead rats and birds in Molly’s mouth.  She could pay a bear to chase her.  She could pay her doctor to tell her that it’s not weird to hate exercise so much that you want to punch anyone who talks about enjoying it.  But no.  Oprah has joined Weight Watchers.  All the money and the world, and this is her only hope to lose weight.  Wonder if she is doing it on line or going to meetings?

My point is this:  if Oprah can’t stop being fat with all the help money can buy, what chance do I have?  You should ponder that while I go eat some chips…

UNRETIRED, TAKE 2

So…  I’m back to work.  Once again, I gave it my best shot, but retirement didn’t take.  I made it through the summer, mostly because I was half-comatized by cholesterol medicine and had a calendar filled with physical therapy appointments.  But once winter hit, I was back to feeling like my entire day was devoted to loading and unloading the dishwasher.

The first time retirement didn’t stick, I went to work at TJ Maxx.  (Refer to blog END OF BUMDUGGERY for details.)  I lasted less than a month before my body fell apart, proving it is a bad idea to begin a career involving physical activity after the age of 50.  This is how my summer calendar got loaded up with PT appointments.

I tried hobbies.  I dove into the pallet trend full force.  This resulted in a sadly crooked bench and a lot of splinters in my hands.  Then it got too cold to be in the garage and the pallet hobby became more of a pallet hoard.  Side note:  those little buggers are way harder to get apart than it looks like on YouTube.

I went to a Paint and Sip class, hoping to learn how to turn my hoard of pallet wood into art.  Alas, I learned that painting is not for me.  I just smear, as my mother likes to say.  (She likes to add that I get it from my father, not her.)  My fellow paint class attendees created beautiful winter scenes on their pallet slabs.  My painted pallet slab is as sad as my pallet bench.

I started a scrapbook.  I have completed four pages.  That was in November.

My total bad ass husband (PTST) cannot wrap his mind around my desire to work.  (He does, however, concede that being retired gives me ‘’too much time for thinking’’ because he does not enjoy coming home after a hard day working with computers to hear me talk about how we should tear down the wall between the dining room and kitchen and expand the kitchen into the dining space we never use.  Enter nine billion similar ideas here.)  His dream in life is to spend all day, every day, doing nothing.  So he cannot envision a world in which a human would chose to work when she doesn’t have to.  I liken it to my inability to understand how he can walk right past a pile of crap on the floor and not even see it, much less think about picking it up and putting it where it belongs.  But I digress…

This time, I decided to get back to my roots.  So I am working four hours a day doing admin work for a CPA.  That’s right; the woman for whom–due to my inability to add, subtract, multiply and/or divide–the phrase ‘’Rob math’’ was invented is working in an office dedicated to accounting.    Fortunately for everyone involved, I have no accounting responsibilities.  Yet.

Since I am on month two, I have already outlasted my TJ Maxx length of employment.  I’m confident this is because I spend most of my time at the new job sitting on my ever-widening ass.  I am still adjusting, which means it remains a struggle for me to show up without stains on my clothes, but so far so good.  And I’ve already spent my planned future income on a vacation.  Fingers crossed this one takes for me, unlike retirement.  Not gonna lie, though; if I hear a ”we’ve come a long way, got a long way to go” come out of my boss’s mouth, I’m outta there…