Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Man-ho, Ho!

I had a co-worker, Jim, who was a Navy man since before “It's Not Just a Job, It's An Adventure” was the official slogan. All it took were three little words - “See the World! – and it was “Anchors Aweigh!” for Jim. At the time we worked together, he was in the Reserves, waiting for retirement. But to a sailor, even a landlocked one, shore leave is shore leave: Jim likes the ladies, and the feeling is more than mutual. 

Frankly, I would call him a “hound,” except that hounds have been known to lick themselves. Jim has the ladies do that for him.

I was always dazzled by the Monday morning tallies at the nursery where we worked, and wondered if the house plants were blushing. I was even more impressed with his masculine finesse as he would catch a smoke near where the bags of soil got loaded into ladies' cars. Trust me, it wasn't the only manure flying around. These ladies, who definitely had fertilization on their minds, would arrange with Jim to “meet later.” However, I'm sure these encounters were anything but “garden variety” (aren't euphemisms fun?).

But of all Jim's stories, one in particular blew me away: being assigned a girl for the weekend – no dates, no promises, not even money exchanged. WTF?

Jim had visited an old “swabbie” buddy in San Diego where, apparently, there is a breed of girl who “follows the Navy,” another way of saying “Fleet Groupie.”

Understand, I do not mean that in a derogatory fashion – I completely know what it's like to go weak in the knees over a hot bod in tight white pants – I came of age in the era of Disco, after all. I'm just being blunt about how easy it is to turn a hobby into a lifestyle. I'm no one to judge: I, for one, can say without shame, that I am an “It's a Wonderful Life” collectible Whore.

It seems that on said visit, Jim was assigned a “Follower.” “Bro,” his buddy informed him, “Tiffany's gonna take care of you this weekend.” Apparently, Tiffany was more than happy to comply and they were off to the races. No muss, no fuss, not even money was exchanged – just Jim and Tiff partying all weekend long. Sunday night, he stepped back on a plane, a grin plastered to his face the whole ride home.

It's here I must cry, “No fair!”

What I want to know is: where, oh where, is the correlating party for the ladies? Not the faux-fun shriek-fest known as the “Bachelorette Party” - why would an impending marriage be a reason to celebrate? No, no,no, I'm talking about a weekend visit to the home of a dear friend who knows my preferences. She puts my hand in the large hands of a tall, gorgeous man and says, “Stephanie, this is Francesco. He'll be taking care of you this weekend.”

Francesco's warm blue eyes would lock into mine, he would gently kiss my fingertips, and the rest would be a blur. Neither of us would feign interest in each other's lives. No pointless “get-to-know-you” chatter. No wondering, “Where is this going?”, since I'd already know. Just Francesco and me, and more Francesco.

To answer your timeless question, Dr. Freud: that's what women want. I mean, penis envy? Really?

For once, it would be nice not to worry about who makes the first move, and who's being too forward and all that. It would be especially nice not to have to endure attempts at seduction, a la Pepe LePew. Case in point – and this is just the introductory email, mind you – a Europlayer tried to lure me with this response to a profile picture I posted of myself, san makeup.

“I am empressed (sic) . . . What a wonderful idea it is to be naturally yourself. I like it. By the way, why wear makeup at all when you are blessed with beauty? Ah! Being beautiful naturally has its benefits. Look at the money saved not buying makeup . . . Something about me . . . When I meet a woman and begin to know who she is, I would ask to see her without the makeup. You see, if and when two people become involved, a time may come when the two of them may share the night (sic!). So here comes the morning, that is when you see each other at your best (sic!!!). I feel you are understanding what is to unfold. So this is why I am so empressed (sic) with your truth – and I await your reply . . . “

I hope he's not still waiting.

I'm flattered that Pepe is “empressed with (my) truth,” but I don't think his “understanding (of) what is to unfold” and mine are remotely similar. For starters, let's just say that, “comes the morning,” I am definitely not at my best. Let the Good Ship Le Pew sail on without me.

But you never know: a Francesco just might wander by while I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay, someone who knows what it means to care of an “empressive” woman.

Francesco will understand: it's not just a job. It's an adventure.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Miss Thing is Delighted to Announce

It just hit me: I've been having sex for more years than the cute guy who bags my groceries has been alive.

There I was, admiring his behind, visions of scented oils
dancing in my head, when he suddenly turned around and
 flashed me a mouthful of braces. “Ma'am?” he asked, concerned, “Ma'am, are you all right?”

Don't you “Ma'am” me, whippersnapper!

Up until that moment, I foolishly believed that the world could look past a few extra chins and see me for the Fabulous Vixen I Truly, Truly Am. I mean, I could still be considered “fair game,” couldn't I? All I would have to do would be to sling a backpack over my shoulder, wander onto any college campus and I'd blend right in. I might even get my own still-fine behind checked out. Right? Right?

But then I thought about it: that one-night fling some gal my age had after the A Flock of Seagulls concert (you don't know her!) could have produced the stellar young guy that stands before me. The one who now shaves, drives a car and is eligible for jury duty. And that his lovely behind? Could've been one I diapered.

When did all this happen, exactly?

The buildup is as gradual as a new laugh line and the result is just as hard to get rid of: I simply wasn't aware of it until it was too late.

And how about the fact that when Mother Nature turns the heat up on our 40-something hormones, she winds up scrambling a few brain cells as well? On the same day I was entertaining lewd thoughts about the bag boy, I simply could not remember what time I was supposed to pick my kid up from karate – or was that a music lesson today?

Meanwhile, the song stuck in my head was the one Wilma and Betty sang to Fred and Barney when they disguised themselves as car hops – and I knew every word. (“Here we come, on the run, with a burger on a bun” – oh, you get the idea.) If anything, my long-term memory has gotten sharper: I could be blind- folded and find every light switch in every house I've ever lived in, all the while reciting dialogue from “Gilligan's Island.” Tell me, what is the use of knowing Carol Brady's maiden previously-married name (Martin) from decades past when I can't find the car keys that I was holding in my hand five minutes ago?

It's as if an invisible finger hit the “Delete” key in the memory section of my brain, vaporizing vast stores of vital information like names of co-workers – or, for that matter, my children. How come useless factoids stick like ticks?

By the way, the Bradys' dog was named “Tiger.”

What's going on?

It's Mother Nature, that's what. You would think a mother would be more sympathetic to women as they age. I ask you: who would put a hormonally-challenged woman, who checks out bag boys and can't find her wallet but knows the entire theme song from “My Mother, the Car” – in charge of teenagers?

Mother Nature would. Mother Nature does.

Mother Nature is not a nice lady.

Well, two can play at that game, MA'AM! What I lack in sex appeal and short-term memory, I more than make up for in attitude. From this day forward, the Fabulous Vixen I Truly, Truly Am will no longer accept the dreaded appellation of “Ma'am.” In fact, in celebration of my Fabulousness 2.0, I hereby declare that the hideous word be banned from the English language. Can I get an “Amen!” on “No More Ma'ams!” Truth be told, I'd rather be called “Sir” than “Ma'am.” Yes, well, at least “Sir” connotes a royal title bestowed for some lofty accomplishments, not to mention a boatload of serious swag. Yeah, now we're talkin'. Hey, if Elton John can be a “Sir,” I can darn well be one, too.

Ooh, wait, I take that back: call me “Miss Thing!”

According to the Urban Dictionary, “Miss Thing” is a gender-blending slang term used by male homosexuals.” And as we all have seen, know everything before the rest of us do, bless their hearts. Apparently, it can be used negatively (“Miss Thing thinks she's all that!”); it can also be a positive thing, the gay equivalent of “homes”: (“Hey, Miss Thing! Look at you, girl!”). I would rather be called “Miss Thing” than “Ma'am any day. With “Miss Thing”, there's some wiggle room: is it being said out of admiration, or spite? There's nothing ambiguous about “Ma'am”. It only means one thing: “Hey, you with the cellulite and the bags under her eyes – pay attention.”

But more to the point: I want to be called “Miss Thing,” cause, honey, I am All That – and More!

I know, I know: I sound like one of those pathetic older broads using the expressions the kids use today, but I've freakin' earned that title.

Yeah. I say: “Miss Thing” or Nothing! Because if you call me “Ma'am,” frankly, I'll just ignore you.

Either that, or I genuinely won't be able to hear what you're saying.

However fabulous I am, you'll have to speak up. “Miss Thing's” hearing isn't what it used to be, honey.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

If Insecurity Were a Handicap, I Would Qualify for Disabled Parking.

(This is a "repeat treat" from earlier this year.)

Guess what? I am not shy. I love interacting with people. Put me in the game, Coach!  
Still, I can't help wondering: am I like that big dog that forgets it's not a puppy and jumps into people's laps and licks their faces? Yes, folks indulge me, but do they secretly wish I would jump down and chase some squirrels? Their thin veil of politeness keeps me from finding out whether I'm genuinely connecting, or merely being tolerated, the way you would with a guy blowing his nose next to you in the elevator.
In other words: how do I know when I'm too much?
This occurred to me when I realized that, in living alone, I may have lost some of my discomfort-detecting skills. Believe me, there are many blessings to living alone, like eating directly from containers (you betcha!) and relaxed personal hygiene (Showering? What's that?!). But there is no one there to tell me if I have spinach in my teeth, or I'm wearing my t-shirt inside out. I'm free to do as I please - wheeee! - but then there's always that lingering doubt: do I look OK? More to the point, Am I likable? When you're by yourself, you start to wonder whether you simply chase everyone away with your poor people skills. My critical inner voice begins to chime in and there is no "Off" button (please see my essay, K-F&%K). Worse, the echoes can be deafening.
There is a garbage truck that comes every week to pick up the trash. How about a reassurance truck that takes needless worries away and leaves compliments? I've got barrels full of insecurities that need to be taken away and replaced with kind words.
I used to be at the center of activity, steering the riverboat and blowing its whistle. Now, I'm just one of those silly ladies waving her handkerchief from the dock. My friends don't have any time for me with all their pesky family obligations. How selfish of them to think only of their loved ones and not allow me to complain about my miserable life! 
Hm, this neediness wouldn't have anything to do with the number of invitations I'm not receiving, would it?
I've come up with a name for my condition: Pervasive Insecurity Stress Syndrome (PISS). My Medic Alert bracelet would say, "Apply ample amounts of approval." I could start a 12-step program for all my fellow PISS sufferers and call it "PISS Off!" We'd conduct meetings like AA: "Hi, I'm Stephanie and I'm insecure." The others would shift in their folding chairs and chant in response, "Hi, Stephanie, you look great today." Our fundraiser would be a 5K, and every participant would have someone assigned to run next to them, chanting "Wow! Great job! You can do it!"  
The money would go to research: we could discover a Reassurance pill! Chant with me now:  Find a Cure for Insecure!
But first, a shower. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Showcase for Fabulous Vixens!

As some of you may know, this website was originally called "Fabulous Vixen." My intention was to celebrate us "ladies of a certain age" who are still rockin' it at 40+. I got sidetracked by the hideous profile pics of men claiming to want girlfriends, but never forgot my Vixen roots. 

Well, it's time to highlight the beauty and splendor of my "Vintage Vixen" Tribe! I will be posting pictures of Vixens (or "Vix-Pix") who radiate joy and a love of life. If you're feeling down about yourself (and isn't every ad, magazine, TV show and movie telling you you MUST?), seeing these feisty, fabulous females might be just the thing to inspire you.

Who knows? You may see your own fabulous picture posted here soon!

Featured above is my friend, April. She made this her profile picture on FB, and here's her quote:
"I don't care how old I get - I'm ALWAYS gonna wear band shirts!"

All I can say is: Rock on, April! (I'm of the age where I can still say "rock on," thank you). You are an inspiration to us all!

Feel free to send me your pictures with a quote (one or two sentences, not a manifesto).  I would be thrilled to post them. But most of all, please become a Member of this blog so that I can increase my revenues and buy SHOES!

Stay fabulous, Vixens!

aka "Mama Vixen"