The MAD Goddess writes out loud with candor and humor about the changing landscape of life for women with retired husbands,
adult children, and grandchildren. It's not always a pretty story,
but it's usually pretty funny.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gray Hair Is Not The Problem

“My eyebrows are falling off and landing on my upper lip.”

I laughed hysterically when my mother said that to me more than 20 years ago. My mom always went for the laugh. She was good at it too.

Still, her comment isn’t as funny today as it was back then. I am of south-central European heritage. The women in our family don’t have eye brows; they have great, hairy black beasts growing in a line across their forehead. I learned the finer points of plucking and waxing at an early age (and not just eyebrows).

Lately I’ve been thinking that my eyebrows have finally surrendered to the near 40 year assault. I foolishly believed the propaganda telling me that repeated plucking would result in less re-growth.

Mom was a woman of the 30’s and 40’s Hollywood glamour school. She had a real vanity, with mirrors framed by graceful wooden curves and a matching bench. As a young girl, barely a Saturday went by that I didn’t watch my mother, with fascination and admiration, sitting at her vanity to apply her makeup and style her hair before going on her standing date with my father. In later years, a triple magnifying mirror with a long, curving goose-neck took its place among other essentials on the vanity top.

Recently, I purchased just such a mirror and to my utter horror I realized that it’s not hair follicles I’m losing – it’s my eyesight.

Okay, the hairy black beast has been thinning a bit – but not nearly as much as I thought. Anybody who can still read a menu in a dim restaurant – scratch that. Anybody who can still read a menu without holding it at arm’s length in an outdoor cafĂ© with the high-noon sun over their shoulder, can plainly see that I need to schedule a waxing appointment. The sooner the better.

Worse yet, mom’s great joke is on me. Like dandelion fluff that blows in the wind and plants a million seed on the lawn, the eyebrow hairs that have fallen off have landed on my upper lip and taken root! And on my chin, and worst of all, around the edges of my nostrils.

Certain benefits accompany age – like a larger income to spend on great accessories. If you live in the north, where I do, you might flaunt your discretionary spending status on fur-lined, kidskin gloves, or maybe a fur-lined full length coat. But a fur lined nose? – HELL NO to that!

When mom grew older, she worried about spending her final days in a nursing home. She asked if I would, please, at least pluck her eyebrows and her moustache regularly.
Oh sure, I thought. I’d be holding her down with one knee on her chest while ripping out facial hair with a tweezers and she’d be begging me to stop. Behind my back, she’d tell the nursing staff not to let me visit because I hurt her.

The other day, my 19 year old daughter told me she wouldn’t be wiping my drool when I was old and feeble minded. I can’t remember how we arrived at that particular subject because I’m already old and feeble minded. I’m not too worried about the impending drooling, though. I’m sure the chin whiskers will wick it right up.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I’ve decided that, As the MA’d Goddess, I should have a chauffeur. In recent weeks, the hubby and I have been carpooling for our 30-minute (one way) commute. I rearranged my work schedule to fit his cardiac rehab appointments. We’re conserving fuel (and cash) and reducing our carbon footprint. Yeah for us!

First, I’ve had to give up some of my independence. Most husbands don’t have a lot of patience for changes in the scheduled stops. For my husband, with his lingering fatigue, running errands isn’t on the list of things to do. Second, when I do get to make the occasion solo trip (see running errands above), I’m annoyed when I have to readjust the seat and the mirrors, and tune the radio back to my favorite station.

Yet, what I’ve gained almost makes up for the loss of autonomy and small irritations– an extra, stress free hour each day while he drives and I sit back to enjoy the ride. I’ve been able to (finally) read my favorite magazines that have been languishing in stacks all over the house. I can do my nails or finish my face. Mostly, I just recline the seat, close my eyes and catch an extra 30 minutes of restful thought wanderings. All of this is much better than starting the day in a full out middle-aged sweat from running a dead heat to get myself pulled together and get to work on time.

Cardiac rehab ended a week ago. The car is all mine again. I’ve decided I now want a chauffeured Jag. Honestly, what I’d really like is one of those traveling throne thingys like Cleopatra’s, with four buff and burley guys to tote me around. Of course that would mean I have nothing more pressing to do than sit on my ample back side hanging out poolside at the palace with buff and burley guys at my beck and call.

Okay, that dream might be a long shot, and even the chauffeured Jag may be a bit far off in my future, but I am definitely prepared. I’ve got my personalized license plate all picked out –


Sunday, July 6, 2008


The picture below was on the front of a birthday card I received for the recent big 5-0. I like her. I am like her. She is definitely a MA'd Goddess woman.

I hang with a group of gal-pals who embody the MA'd Goddess philosophy. We’re a diverse group of mostly middle aged woman working to maintain a sense of balance on this roller coaster ride we call life.

Collectively, we are the Lunachics ~ a name we chose to embrace the spirit of Luna, Goddess of the moon, but also to keep others guessing.

Women in groups have always been labeled. I think it’s because it makes men nervous when too many of us get together in one place. They’re okay with PTA, altar societies and any women’s auxiliary attached to an otherwise fraternal organization.
Book clubs start to push the envelope – we might be getting wild ideas in our heads.

Men feel much safer when women meet for quilting bees, sewing circles or even to stitch-n-bitch. The reassurance that we’re keeping our hands busy with the duties of domestic chores allows them to sleep at night with both eyes closed. Idle hands . . . devils workshop and all that jazz.

As for the Chics, we’re a pretty typical group of women, brought together by common experience and bonded by the unconditional support we give to one another. Just because we call ourselves the Lunachics and we meet under the light of the full moon . . . and we have no definable agenda (at least that we admit), doesn’t necessarily mean we’re traveling off the beaten path.

Oh sure, we torture our husbands and significant others with tales of secret ritual and midnight-moonlight nude dancing, but trust me – none of us is interested in playing show and see. Like over-ripe fruit that was once solid and firm, we’ve gone from juicy to loosey.

The Lunachics remain a mystery to the men in their lives. Sometimes, we’re a mystery even to ourselves, but that’s not stopping us from trying to figure it all out.
As to keeping my hands busy, I prefer filling them with a glass of good wine and some decadent chocolate treat to any kind of needle work.


“I’m just a bitch!” I confessed.
“Oh, but you’re a good one,” she said in empathetic tone.

I’m getting closer to the day, to the dream,
of sitting pretty on my throne.

Old Biddy?
Hell No!
Let him be the King of all her perceives.
I am the Queen of my Destiny.

I’ll eat my cake, with chocolate and Stoli.
I’ll drink a toast with the Chics who know me.
I’m a bitch, and a good one at that.
Those who don’t like it, can just kiss my royal asp.