While growing up, the “worst” thing to happen at home was Dad going grocery shopping. No matter what, no matter the season, Dad came back with four things: milk, bread, oranges, and potato chips. And not good chips, like Doritos, but the kind that came in a box. Boxed plain potato chips.
The “worst” thing to happen for dinner, was when Dad would put Swiss steak in the crockpot. The kind with stewed tomatoes. Second only in nasty factor to when Mom made a noodle hotdish with tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup, and mushrooms. The rubbery ones in the can.
I also remember Mom wearing a lot of navy to work. Mom has always been a proponent of wearing colors that “look good on you.” I’d ask her why so much navy, and she’d tell me it went better with her hair (my mom is blonde, can you believe it? I get my hair from my dad) and it was a required clothing color at her job. Way back we agreed navy wasn’t my color against my dark hair.
Mom and my Aunt Lea used to get so mad at the way I wore my pants. We all wore lowriders back then (matter of fact, I didn’t rid of that bad habit until not too long ago) and bootcut jeans that drug under your heals. In my 90s juvenile mind, if you wore highwaters that meant you were “poor” and no one loved you. And if your pants didn’t nearly always show butt crack, you were old and boring.
I’m not sure if people are still into what colors look right on you or if that was an 80s thing? I also don’t know if people still have winter and summer purses (maybe an old lady thing, but I subscribe to it)? But I do know that trends change and tastes change. And I’m now left to question whether my drastic changes are: 1) a direct result of my AE-induced upended life; 2) my search for a new and improved me, or 3) because I’ve turned into an old lady.
Let’s start with the facts we know:
I have caught myself driving, and while possibly confused about something or squinting, have then turned down the music;
I’m wearing a lot of navy. It’s all I want to wear;
I’m pulling my pants up to my ears and if I can’t do that, I give the pants away;
I just gave away my last pair of sweats from college and law school, and I’m not super upset about it;
I do still have some socks from 7th grade;
I love high water jeans;
I only want to eat sandwiches or salads at lunch, so I can obsessively eat Ruffles potato chips;
I’ve moved away from so much black to focus on brighter colors;
I eat weird and gross candy, like orange slices;
I carry a grocery list into the store. Like a real list. On paper. That I wrote on with a pen;
Our kid car is a van, and we love it.
I mostly blame all weird things in my life on AE. But the other day, I got to thinking: maybe it’s a midlife crisis? Maybe I’m starting to look and act like a mom?
It all seemed to make even less sense to me this week, when my list of menu items for dinner consisted of Tuesday night’s noodle hotdish with canned mushrooms and Thursday night’s Swiss steak.
As I write this, I’m only wearing shades of blue and navy, down to my new bracelets, and high water, high waisted jeans. And for lunch today, a nice healthy chef salad and a boatload of potato chips.
AE – you got nothin’ on me! I am a mom. A mother of three.
And I am getting older. Ready or not forty, here I come!
“There’s a big old goofy man
Dancing with a big old goofy girl
It’s a big old goofy world
“Kiss a little baby
Give the world a smile
If you take an inch
Give ‘em back a mile
Cause if you lie like a rug
And you don’t give a damn
You’re never gonna be
As happy as a clam” ~ It’s a Big Old Goofy World by John Prine