Labor Day has passed, signaling the end of summer’s leisurely pursuits. It’s time to get organized for autumn. So, I’m clearing the deck – and my inbox – for a fresh season of writing. And from that inbox, here are a few tidbits that I didn’t develop into full-fledged stories, but still, are designed to amuse! From Kardashians to musical buffalo and the disappearance of our e-signatures for purchases … I hereby opine!
Number 1: First a question: Would someone … please, please, please … explain America’s fascination with the Kardashians? I don’t get it. They seem devoid of talent save one, the ability to garner non-stop media attention. Correction: They clearly possess a second skill, knowing how to leverage that publicity savvy to generate tons of cash!
And to think it all started with Kim’s sex tape. Well, hats – and clothes off – to the K Clan, but I still don’t get it. Explanation, please!
Confession: I guess I’m hooked on the Ks too! A few months back, I saw a newspaper headline, “Trump and Kim Want Denuclearization, but Disagree on What that Means.” Imagine my deep chagrin when I realized the Kim in question was Kim Jong-un. Not Kim the K!
Number 2: Speaking of misreading headlines, I saw something about the Buffalo Symphony, and at first glance, thought it was about a symphony with buffaloes! Clearly, I need to take a break from binge-watching Deadwood. Sincere apologies to the musicians, indeed the entire city of Buffalo, New York.
Number 3: Here’s another “why” query. There’s a shop in my hometown called NY Cake. This place, pardon the obvious pun, really takes the cake, because as the sign in the window forthrightly proclaims “We do customized dummy cakes.” Why?
You name it and, for a couple of hundred dollars, you can “bake” it in Styrofoam and other non-edible material. I read an article about this business three times and still don’t completely get the point of a fake cake. It seems wrong – akin to crossing your fingers when taking your vows. “I promise to love in good times and bad, in sickness and in health – maybe?”
Number 4: Here on the West Coast, my new stomping ground, the Golden Gate Bridge recently received a clean bill of health for structural integrity.
That’s the good news. The bad news? The 81-year landmark needs some enhancements – paint and other “cosmetic” work.
Yes, after eight decades, the Golden Gate Bridge has some “freckled” rust, corrosion and cracked paint. I dunno. After 81 years, I’d be thrilled to be considered structurally sound. Besides I’ve had freckles since I was five and I like them!
A Few More Endnotes
Number 5: Even as I struggle to find my place as a middle-aged woman in a society that prizes youth and beauty, I was struck the other day by, of all things, a travel story about the town of Istria in northern Croatia.
In the words of the story’s author,
“‘I have a friend here who has lived in four different countries and never moved.’ A 100-year-old Istrian, for example, would be able to say that she was born in Austro-Hungary (which ended in 1918), came of age when Istria was part of Italy (until 1947), spent most of her adult years as a Yugoslavian, and, finally, starting in 1991, became Croatian.”
Now that indeed would give a person pause. One lifetime, one town, but four countries! I moved constantly as a child and went to 22 different schools. All those moves were fun, but also challenging. Yet, that four-countried woman in Istria’s definitely has got me beat. Middle-aged, multi-moved me has nothing to complain about!
John Hancock would be Appalled
Number 6: In the category of “just wondering,” do you feel sad that personal signatures are less and less frequently required when we swipe our credit cards? I know those electronic signatures we provide are ridiculous and don’t look a bit like our penned names, but still, the fact that stores don’t require our signature as proof of identity feels so wrong, so impersonal.
I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, I spent hours practicing writing my name in script. I confess – I also practiced writing my name with the various Mr. Rights along the way, seeing if I liked how my name looked with “his” last name.
Long before I met Handsome Hubby, I decided not to change my name when I married. I’m a creature of habit and I take a lot of pride in the name my parents gave me. So, I proudly stuck with Karen Michelle Galatz and the fancy way I penned my name. Yet, now that loopy, elaborate script and even my sloppy e-signature are becoming obsolete.
I am Appalled
Number 7: Also going obsolete? Me, at least as the source of all wisdom and knowledge for my children. Long ago, they turned to me with their questions. They peppered me with “Why? Why? Why?” until I was exhausted. You remember those days fondly too, no doubt.
Now, however, when my kids have a question, they just shout, “Hey, Alexa, what’s _______?” or “Siri, how do you _____?”
I have been replaced by technology! But I guess better Alexa and Siri than the Kardashians!
Number 8: Here are great lines from a woman I started talking to while standing on a line to a theatre restroom –
“My back goes out more than I do!” “The only exercise I get is jumping to conclusions.” “I’m still the same height I was in college, at least with heels on.”
Drum roll, please! And with that, my inbox is empty. I’m organized and ready for autumn!
To all my dear middle-aged muddlers, I hope you had a joyful summer.
Here’s to a healthy, happy fall season.
(And not to rush things, but how many shopping days till Christmas?)