Added later: Okay, so this guy here tells my daughter, listen, let’s take break until you can somehow get your act together. She borrowed money from him, being in a tight spot with a job change. I had to tell her. He doesn’t love you. Do you get it? She did get it.
This is a new idea, mothers. You just get a great snapshot of your son or daughter with their partner, write a fantasy wedding announcement and send it to the local paper and the New York Times. You must create your own reality. Fake it till you make it, as they say. I need grandchildren to kill time with. I can’t remember the last time I played Barbie or Legos, changed a diaper, pushed a carriage. As the grey hairs sprout and everything begins to sag, I realize it is only the promise of another generation that encourages me to take Calcium supplements. Why is grandma in the corner sucking her thumb? my future grandchildren will ask. Why is grandma drinking all day? Why was grandma caught holding up a 7-11? Why doesn’t grandma ever laugh? Don’t grandmothers laugh? Don’t they bake pies and can tomatoes? On second thought, a grandchild may not be the answer. A mother-in-law apartment might be the answer. I have got to feign a limp so that I can get some sympathy. I’ve let my hair go gray to remind people that I am retired and tired. They should give me their seat on the bus. Stop feeling me up. Where are the garden parties, the bridge games, afternoon tea with other battle axes? Let’s get on with it. Suddenly I am middle aged forever and ever. Monotonous dont you agree? It used to be that we were young for a brief period, and old for a long period. Old worked. It was the end of the road and enlightenment came easily– as it does when you are forced to give up. Recently middle aged people are starting new careers, going back to school, writing their first book, marrying younger people, traveling to India, opening Italian restaurants. Reinventing themselves instead of fading away, content with soup and TV. The stakes continue to rise, rise rise. Grandchildren are no longer enough. Knitting doesn’t make the grade. The pressure continues: Do something. It’s very unpleasant. I just heard of a woman to told everybody she had cancer so they would get off her back about doing something. She was finally able to relax and read. People sent her get-well cards and casseroles, life was pretty good until they got frustrated with the lengthy remission. I thought she was supposed to die. I am tired of being generous and patient with her. Why doesnt she just drop dead and get it over with. My daughter and her beau were here last weekend and already I could feel the slight pull towards the grave. I was yesterday. They were today and tomorrow. I did not want to be a burden. Just the mother-in-law apartment and a few bottles of Gin and I could make it through, and yes, watch the grandchildren and play Barbie and Legos. Tell friends I have cancer but am going back to school to get my Master’s in Drama Therapy. Smile bright thanks to a lightening kit. Should I order new internal organs while I can hold a pen or type? Or will the grandchildren do that for me, and can I kiss them if we are both wearing oxygen masks.