The Second Half

Anything goes. Within the bounds of propriety, of course.

Take it back, kid, or else! — March 22, 2018

Take it back, kid, or else!

It looks as if the universe is doing its damnedest best to drum it into my noggin that I’m old. (Which I’m not, by the way.)

First, there was the recent winter episode, which I’m now convinced is the product of unwelcome cosmic intervention into my daily comings and goings. And I suspect this planting of thoughts has been going on for some time.

Then there was some nitwit trying to manoeuver his car in front of a neighboring building as I was walking by, his frustration spilling over in “Move it, granny!” shouted in my direction. What the…?! I’m 51, you twerp! I neither look nor feel like a senior (bless their souls).

But it would appear said universe has made up its feeble mind. Its latest attempt to instill a granny mentality in me materialized a few days ago, and the agent of this misguided campaign was a kid.

On my trips to the supermarket, I pass by a playground, which is a relatively recent addition to the neighborhood and still a very bright, clean, and pleasing fixture. It’s got this deep blue fence with doors on opposing sides. They are mostly decorative, not meant to keep anyone out, and are usually open, with people often taking a shortcut through the playground.

So, there I was, striding along and flipping through my mental list of daily groceries. (Side note: I do the shopping every day or every other day, mostly because I need the exercise – working at a computer gets you all crampy and you need some leg-stretching.) On that day, I decided to take the shortcut through the playground. On approaching it, I saw the doors were open and a kid – a girl of about five – was romping about. Her mother sat on a bench, reading or something. The girl saw me draw near and made a dash for the door, shutting it under my nose.

Now, I’m not the type who turns to goo at the sight of babies or chuckles indulgently at the boisterous shenanigans of toddlers. So, I gave this kid a contemptuous look, opened the door and headed for the one at the other end, which the pesky girl had also shut in the meantime. I exited the premises and was about to resume my walk to the supermarket when I heard the child let rip an indignant scream, then run after me, slam the door in my back and squeal reproachfully, “Hey you, granny!” I hope it’s clear that her tone absolutely implied “bad, mean granny.”

I admit it: I was so shocked I froze in my tracks. Really?! OK, I get it, I’m no spring chicken. I qualify for “auntie” but “granny”??! It took me a few seconds to unfreeze and then, of course, I stooped to her level by responding, “You’re an ill-bred little shit, aren’t you?” Then I turned around and walked away.

I have a pretty good idea what most of you would say. It would be either “Shame on you!” or “Give it a rest, woman, it’s just a dumb kid and every adult looks old to them.” In fact, I don’t blame the kid; I blame the universe, which was obviously using the little oaf as its mouthpiece. Well, the universe has really gone and screwed the pooch this time, and I’ll be exacting my vengeance forthwith.

Here’s how things will unfold: since I’ve apparently been chucked into granny territory, I plan to enjoy the special privileges that go with it. So, from now on, I’ll be taking every opportunity to lecture any person under 30 who crosses my path. I’ll be harping on about manners, respect for seniors, wrong life choices, and whatever promises to annoy the most.

And you know what, my dear readers? I’ll be laughing hysterically on the inside because I’m in no way, shape or form qualified to lecture on any of those things. I’m civil enough, but I certainly can’t claim to have impeccable manners. While I respect my seniors, I’m not willing to let them always have their way or rub their perceived wisdom in my face. Wrong life choices? Heck, I could write a book about mine!

And I won’t stop at lectures – no, siree! I’ll demand a seat on the bus (dang, I’ll have to start using public transport!) and the right to jump lines. I’ll begin all conversations by detailing the havoc that the weather is wreaking on my old bones and will scrupulously list all my pains and aches.

I think I’ll start with the neighborhood kiddies to get a bit of practice, and then I’ll upgrade to annoying teenagers and smug young parents. Maybe I should join some silver surfers’ forum to prep for sermonizing…Good luck to me!

Of winter and old farts — March 5, 2018

Of winter and old farts

Can winter make you realize you’ve grown into an old, crotchety fart? Quite so, I assure you.

See that above? It’s what the landscape around these parts has looked like in the past few days. When I woke up on the morning after the first heavy snowfall, I glanced out of the window and my first reaction was, “Holy cow, this is marvelous! So white, peaceful, and clean!”

And a few seconds later: “Bloody hell, how am I supposed to wade through this to go get beer??!”

Yeah…

When I was a kid, the first heavy snowfall brought jubilation, with squeals of delight echoing around the neighborhood all through the day. We were outside till dark – sleighing, staging snowball fights, making snow figures, or just wallowing around in the white fluff, then rushing home to change into dry clothes and dart back outside for more fun and games.

Now, in my early 50s, I look out of the window on such days and the first few seconds of wonder are quickly replaced by thoughts such as, “Huge electricity bills again…I probably need to buy new boots, the old ones seem to be giving up the ghost…Will trains run on time?…Eff it, I’ll have to do without beer today cuz I’m not going out in this!”

I catch myself thinking these thoughts and I feel sad. When did I get so old, in spirit, that is? Why doesn’t the sight of this sparkling white canopy compel me to bolt out and make snow angels or engage in some other frivolous activity? Ah, never mind, I’m sure learned people have produced countless volumes to answer such questions.

But I’m not totally depressed. You know why? I can still remember how it felt and the longing lurks in there, so maybe one of these winters I’ll throw decorum to the wind, sprint out, and act in a completely age-inappropriate way.

 

 

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