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November 21st, 1999

Phillip Morris is a Friend of Mine!

Quick note before I begin my ramblings, kudos to my daughter, Sarah Liane, who brought home A's and B's on her report card! For the past two years I've watched her struggle and worked with her in an effort to make it happen and she did it! Sarah, honey! Mom and Dad are proud! You go, girl!

Also, after all of this parental pride, I today came to the sudden realization I am tragically unhip.

Dressed up for a night on the town, my teenaged son told me I looked "phat". I slugged him with my purse.

What happened to me? I don't recall making a conscious choice to become a square. Look at me, even the use of the word square is dating me.

I imagine it happened somewhere between peeling Maxipads off a toddlers head and sitting in an emergency room letting a child puke into my hand because I'd run out of other receptacles.

This morning I sat in the living room and watched my aging husband "air-guitaring" along to Bad Company's ,
"Juke Box Hero". Great song but nothing is as tragic as a man in this thirties desperate trying to relive his youth. In fact, guys, it wasn't pretty then and it isn't pretty now. Just stop doing it.

We're grown-ups, now. Bonafide adults with a mortgage and responsibilities. We creatively juggle bills and design the most astonishing meals from left over hamburger. We're in charge and it's time we take a firm grip on it.

That's it. No more attempting to be "in" and "cool". Those days are far behind me. From this point on, I assume my deserved status as a woman to be reckoned with. It's time to slap on some polyester, sensible shoes and make a soufflé.

Shoot, it's my turn at the Nintendo. See you tomorrow.

I'm a smoker. Take a moment all you nonsmokers to gag and make faces and then pack your bags for a weekend at my house. Book a return trip to Havana because by the time your visit is done, you'll be heading for Cuba with a Zippo in your hand.

I stopped by the convenience store one early morning to grab a coffee and some smokes. Unable to resist, I loaded up on snack foods for the office and while I was checking out a surly faced teenager behind the counter chided me for my choices.

"Snack foods this early in the morning? What a well balanced breakfast."

His mother must be proud.

"Well, I don't intend on eating them till after nine so I think that's okay. And I plan to swill them down with vodka so it'll almost be like a dinner meal for me."

He stuffed my purchases disdainfully into a bag.

"Can I get a pack of matches from you? I may want to set something on fire later."

Once back in the car, I extracted a smoke much to my eldest son's disdain.

"Ew, Mom. Did you know for every cigarette you smoke you take 30 seconds off your life?"

Living with this child is like sharing a home with Cliff Clavin from Cheers. He is forever bombarding me with useless facts and wildly unsupported information but, when coming from his mouth, it sounds like pearls coming from a swine's ear.

"That's okay, dear. I figure by that point I shall be too senile to tell time so what'll a week or two mean to me?"

Undaunted by this rebuff, he moves along:

"Mom, if you were on a plane about to crash and you clenched your teeth it stands to reason they would all break at impact. You'd be better off keeping your mouth open."

"I think it is safe to assume if I were on a plane ready to crash every orifice in my body would be open, so you need not concern yourself with my teeth."

A few more months of this and I'll be ready to ship him off to a European orphanage. The one thing holding me back is that I am afraid I'll have to spend hours writing his name in all of his shirts and one pair of underwear until my hand cramps into a fetal position. I mentioned this in passing to a friend and he assured me you just set them down naked behind a barbwire fence. That made me feel better.



Unless otherwise specified, all material
Copyright 1999 by
Marijke Hildreth



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