Like many people today who fit in the same general census demographic as myself, I have increasingly become obsessed with food. Not in the typical Main Line, Starbucks-toting, “I’m on a diet” kind of way, but more of an over-thinking way. Seeking organic, while avoiding processed and factory farming, being a locavore, kind-to-animals-and-the-earth, ethical and quasi-vegetarian kind of way. And being this way has really started to feel like a neurosis. It’s also time-consuming and a lot of work.
I think I look tired. And it’s slowing me down. Not because I actually am tired and moving more slowly, but because I’ve been spending so much time looking in the mirror, studying the fact that I look tired. It was bound to catch up to me eventually. You can’t get away with being over 40 for long before some signs of aging start to creep onto your face. Frankly, I think I’ve been kind of getting away with something up until now. Nothing is sagging (above my collar, at least), and I don’t have serious wrinkles yet (that I can see without my glasses, that is). But one day, not long ago, I realized I look tired. Which has become exhausting.
I really want to travel by private jet, but not for the reasons you’d think. I’m not after the champagne and shrimp cocktails, no lineups or better treatment—although those things would be awesome. I’d like a private jet so I could travel with my dog on my lap, safe in my arms and not in a cage in a cold, noisy cargo hold. I recently read a story in the newspaper about Snickers, the cat who froze to death in cargo on a Delta flight due to a malfunction in the heating system. When, exactly, is our society going to recognize that pets are not cargo? Pets are family members. Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. For thousands of years we’ve been domesticating animals to be our companions and live with and love us, yet we continue to subject those who cannot speak to incredibly inhumane treatment when traveling by air.
I just returned from a trip to the mall where I passed a new lingerie store with a window display filled with silky underwear on mannequins. Not unusual. Except these weren’t your standard-issue mannequins. They were the new and improved mannequins—the Rubenesque variety. Why is it that new and improved is rarely improved? These mannequins were right up there with New Coke.
I’ve spent a lot of time this winter trying to figure out if I’m smarter than a fifth grader. So far the results are not looking good. It seems that our school district has chosen to adopt a cutting-edge, trendy new math program called "College Preparatory Math," a.k.a. CPM. Yes, in fifth grade in Lower Merion, you are apparently already preparing for college. No pressure though. And, in spite of my B.A., I may no longer qualify for college with this program. I just hope my alma mater doesn’t find out and take my degree back.
I feel like all I’ve heard on the news this winter and last are nonstop reports of upcoming possible snowstorms that have been built up to sound apocalyptic only to result in relatively minor events. Welcome to winter in the Northeast. It snows sometimes. Big news.
I think I have a New Year’s Eve curse. I’ve had it ever since I was old enough to go out for New Year’s. Every year it’s something. Fortunately it seems to be lessening in severity as the years pass. Or maybe my expectations are lower.
I’ve been purging my closet a lot this year. I feel like I’ve spent a fair amount of time and gas making regular trips to our local Goodwill. And somehow I leave feeling ashamed. I’m not sure my former wardrobe items are luxurious enough for our local Main Line depositories.
I was sitting at a red light close to a Main Line high school that was letting out for the day recently, and I had an opportunity to observe the crowds of kids crossing the street. There in the hoard I spotted something that stood out: one white teenage girl with long dreadlocks. And that was pretty much it for deviation. I was gripped by a chilling thought. What kind of place is this that kids have stopped rebelling with their appearance? Where are the physically identifiable cliques? John Hughes, where are you?