TIME AND OTHER NONSENSE
Sometimes you gotta share the truth, even when it’s embarrassing as all hell. Remember back in the late 60s and early 70s when everyone of a certain age was smoking? And I don’t mean tobacco. I mean pot. Grass. Weed. Whatever you called it, virtually everyone was doing the stuff. Rolling joints, passing the stash. Experiencing mellow, and the hungry horrors. Man, that weed was groovy. Laid back and cool.
Everyone but me. To this day, it is literally impossible for me to chill. I am the most uptight chick on the planet. Back then, I really was trying to get high. It’s not that I didn’t try. I mean, I tried to dig that scene as much as anyone. But the truth was, I couldn’t inhale. I could not force my lungs to breathe in that grey smoke, that foreign material that might as well have been composed of neon red lights screaming: STOP! DO NOT PASS GO! DO NOT COLLECT $200!
So now you understand why I wasn’t, shall we say, the most popular girl in town. In fact, I had to be one of the most lame, nerdy, geeky kids in school. They didn’t use those terms then. Those are 80s, 90s, and new millennium words. What were the words? Uncool. Uptight. Weird. One of the smart kids – social death for a girl. Okay, and for purposes of full disclosure, I was a theater kid too. I could emote. I could debate. I looked ahead and tried to ignore the eye rolls and snickers behind my back as I dressed like a hippie but somehow never pulled off the look. A virgin in the days of the sexual revolution, scared to death of any contact with a male creature. A girl who didn’t go out in the woods to party, to drink and get smashed or laid. A complete social flop.
While I’m admitting to my teenage indiscretions, I’ll skip to my late 50s and say that it was only a few years ago that I first and ever rode in a limousine. Nowadays, people hire limos for 12 year old birthday parties, for crying out loud! Girls have ridden in limos six times by the time they are sixteen! But somehow, that doesn’t seem quite so bad because my 60s hide an even worse secret…
Here is the embarrassing thing I want to admit today. Last week was the first time ever – ever! – that I had a manicure in a salon. My daughter was in town and she wanted to treat me to a facial or a massage, neither of which I have ever experienced before. But I couldn’t bear either one. The manicure seemed the most mild, the least invasive of all the choices. The most true to my body, to those lungs that couldn’t inhale, to that girl who was too uptight to get high, and who never got her groove on.
I chose Bora Not So Boring Pink nail polish. An all-dolled-up 57 year old woman who was probably a Victoria’s Secret model only last year scrubbed my hands, arms, and nails and chattered nonstop while I realized just how short, plain and overweight I really am. I’m a senior citizen with wrinkles! It was like being in middle school again. But I have to admit, she was quite nice and didn’t mention my frumpiness. She acted like my new BFF! She pretended my nails weren’t so ugly as I imagined them to be, and she polished them till they gleamed with Bora Not So Boring Pink.
I spent a few days staring at my newly pretty hands. And attended a wedding where not one person even mentioned my nails. What’s with that? Now the polish is beginning to wear off at the tips, and I am returning to my real self. The one who never inhaled because her lungs refused to allow foreign objects to invade. The one who went to proms in the back of Dad’s old car. The one who was afraid to walk into an upscale day spa just down the street. So uncool, chipping nail polish is. Reminds me of my high school days. Maybe next week, once the blisters on my over-danced wedding feet heal, I’ll walk back and ask for a touch up. We’ll see. I don’t know. Will think about it.