Not getting any younger? Says who?
Last night I did something I had not done since about 8th grade. I took a ball-point pen and wrote a message on my hand so that I would not forget an appointment. Big blocky letters now speak to me from my wrinkled, liver-spotted, collagen-deprived dishpan hand.
Two days ago I also did something unbecoming for a 48-year-old woman; I kicked an inanimate object. I kicked the crap out of a vending machine that robbed me of $2.70 of the $2.80 worth of couch cushion money I had shaken from my purse. I am not a violent or hot tempered person. But here is how it happened:
At 3 o' clock Monday, a tiny, sinister voice spoke to me at my desk.
"Must have chocolate. Must have chocolate NOW."
I crept to the downstairs vending area, a dark place only frequented by the science grad students pulling all-nighters. I was in luck; the machine had been recently filled with sweet and salty snacks for the tired and the desperate.
I pushed two crispy fresh dollar bills into the money slot before figuring out this machine must prefer shiny coins. Coins did indeed do the trick, but alas, the Reese's Cup I had actually chosen based on the fact that it looked the least likely to get hung up in the machine did precisely that. At this point, I felt nothing but rage. I banged my fist on the machine's plexiglass front, hoping to disengage the overpriced treat. I bumped it with my hip. Twice. Finally, even though I knew my phony kung fu would get me nowhere, I gave my best drill team high kick to the machine's mocking face, hoping no one would witness this useless (and stupid-looking) gesture. I was so exasperated I actually pulled out my cell phone and called the number on the sticker above the coin slot.
"Hello, I am just calling to tell you that I am a gentle, middle-aged mother of two and that your malfunctioning machine has pushed me to violence. I have no money, and no chocolate!"
The woman who answered the phone was a pro. She practically purred, "Oh! Ma'am, I am so sorry! What building are you in? I will let the technicians know. And you can go collect reimbursement from the business office over there and we'll take care of that."
"Um, thanks. I think I'm okay now. I just wanted you guys to know this thing isn't working."
I felt like a crazy woman talked down from the ledge. I must have looked it, too, because my editor took pity on me and maternally walked me over to the nearest 7-Eleven for a candy bar. I guess I'm living up to one of my favorite quotes by Odgen Nash:
"You can never be young again, but you can stay immature indefintely."