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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Monday, October 27, 2008


Okay, it’s true that I was a child bride and I chose to start a family as soon as I became a Mrs. When my oldest daughter was married at the same age that I wed her father, and then she gave birth to my first grandchild before I was forty, being a grandmother was a novelty. Nobody believed me. They all insisted I looked too young to be a grandmother. Let’s face it, I was too young.

Now, my fourth grandchild is on the way and nobody bats an eye when I say that. The novelty has worn off and there is no more basking in the notion of being too young. I am a grandmother.

I accompanied my middle daughter on her recent visit to the baby doctor. I wanted to be there for the first listen-in on the heartbeat. My daughter wanted me there to corral her soon to be two-year-old son.

There is not a button, knob or switch that my grandson doesn’t have to push, turn or flip. He knows that doing so makes things happen. Lights turn on, radios blare, garage doors open magically. When the nurse rolled in the ultrasound machine, being restrained from all of those buttons and switches was just too much for him to handle.

I dragged him down the long hallway back to the reception area, screaming all the way – him, not me. Even if I’d wanted to scream (which I didn’t because a grandmother doesn’t give a hoot in Hades if a whole reception room full of patients think her grandchild is a brat), I didn’t have the energy. The kid had already worn me out and we’d barely begun the day.

There is something wrong with this picture. There was a time when I was the mother with one child in tow and another on the way. My own mother and I would pack up the stroller, put the babe in her car seat, go to my doctor’s appointment and then spend the rest of the day shopping, lunching and just having a ball. My mother kept up every bit of the way. Even more astounding, she was almost 20 years older than I am now!

Maybe it’s this whole menopause thing that’s sapping my energy. I was the baby of the family and unlike me, Mom was no child bride. By the time I came along her menopause wasn’t far behind. Thinking back, she often commented on how tired she was raising me. I wish she was here so I could ask her if she had a renewed burst of energy when she hit sixty.

I’m hoping that’s the answer because at eighty-five, mom was still working half a day in her garden – and complaining that she tired so easily. I’m lucky to hold up for an hour of weed pulling, flower planting and fertilizing before I call it quits. At this rate, if I make it past seventy, let alone eighty, I can only imagine I’ll be little more than a fat-cat napping in the sun all day.

Still, judging from the two felines in residence at my house (better known as the furry couch-doilies) that might just be the fat cat's meow.

. . . . . . mid
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Sunday, October 19, 2008


In a few weeks, I have to attend a fundraising event benefiting the museum where I work. This Black & White Social is a trendy affair (think Carrie Bradshaw and her peeps) sponsored by an upscale salon and spa. Our staff will be treated to complimentary salon service the day of the event and we’re expected to dress in trendy attire.

Can a pleasingly plump middle aged women pull off trendy?

I’m hip. I saw the premier of the Sex In the City movie with my 20-something daughter (the one with a shoe closet the size of a small bedroom). I’ve got a bead on up-to-the-minute style. What I don’t have is a size 4 body on a long, leggy frame. One thing I noticed in the movie, Hollywood starlets may grow up but thanks to personal trainers they never grow out – of their designer wardrobes.

This is a weighty issue for most of us real-world, midlife divas. Sure, if I could afford a personal trainer to haul my wide load out of bed for a 6 a.m. jog around the park every morning, I’d be looking pretty good. So what’s keeping me from lacing up my tennies and hitting the pavement anyway? My first guess would be that there is no beef cake with sculpted pecs and buns of steel waiting to put me through the paces. Let’s face it, that’s the real motivator.

And how can I be sure that these silver screen goddesses haven’t had a nip or tuck here and there? Say I resist the lure of the snooze alarm, commit to at least 40-minutes of sweatin’ like an oldie every morning and I still can’t fit into my skinny jeans?

Yesterday I raided my daughter’s shoe closet. I’m hoping that the Steve Madden gladiators with three-inch heels will put me over the top for trendy.

Actually I’m just hoping I don’t fall off of them. Wish me luck.

. . . . . . mid
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