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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Aging ungracefully. And damn proud of it.

I woke up this morning feeling as if I'd been run over by a truck.

In the first place, it was already hot. Now heat, in and of itself, isn't my favorite thing in the world but it's summer and it gets hot (at least in this hemisphere) and it's Labor Day. It's just the way it is.

It's the brightness. Instead of waking up, slowly, floating towards the surface, opening one eye, stretching, sneaking a peak at the clock in the grey light I find myself jolted into consciousness as if I've been hit upside the head with a 2 x 4, trying to get my bearings in the blazing light pouring through the impotently closed vertical blinds, wondering how I could possibly have slept until 1pm only to find out it's 6:45.

I got up and staggered to the kitchen to turn on the coffee. Every night, my older son grinds beans, fulls the coffeemaker with 12 cups of water and leaves it for the first person up, all one has to do it push the on button. Nothing. No water. Dammit. Well, okay, we got in late and he went right to bed, okay, I'm not that pissy.

Until I found out we were OUT of coffee.

I've been noticing that lately, when I get up in the morning, my feet don't seem to flex. I waddle out to the kitchen like a two year old, still not fluid in his gait. It seems to take a room or two before I start rolling on to the front of my foot as it leaves the floor instead of just picking the entire thing up and slapping it down again, flat and stiff. This morning, however, it was worse. Not only didn't they flex, they hurt. My knees didn't seem to be in good shape either.

I poured myself a glass of iced tea and waited for god knows what because I certainly had no clue. Everything I had hurt. I looked down at my hands and discovered the palms were swollen and bruised and I remembered. Friday night, the Hollywood Bowl. Earth Wind and Fire. Somewhere between them opening with "Shining Star' and the last frenzied set which, I'm embarrassed to say, started with me jumping to my feet and screaming "DO IT!" as I sensed "September" finally coming up and ended with "Hearts Afire" I not only tore up my vocal cords and abused the good natured blood vessels in both palms I also, in retrospect, most likely made an idiot of myself.

Yeah, like THAT'S never happened before. Fortunately, when one goes ape shit at a sold out outdoor concert it's nothing you have to really live with. I mean, everyone else is doing the same thing. Well, except the hubster, which is partly the reason I'm in this condition today.

Seven of us made out way Friday night to the not quite but might as well be the cheapest seats in the Hollywood Bowl. I walked to the market Friday morning, stocked up on chicken, bread, hummus, pita, tea (for the iced tea) and all kinds of long Labor Day Week-end crap. I had so much I couldn't haul it home and had to call a cab.

It's not a long ride, by any means, but in the interest of frugality I told him to drop me off at the corner, which saved me about six bits in cab fare. My son called his father and asked him to meet us at the corner and help haul the bags home. The hubster, unbeknownst to us, had decided to ride along with my younger son, who was on his way to the computer store to have his laptop fixed.

Had I known this I would have sprung for the extra buck for the cab, as we were lugging 4 2 liter bottles of soft drinks, several cans of chili, 10 pounds of chicken pieces and 24 rolls of toilet tissue. We grabbed everything we could juggle and ended up leaving the toilet paper under the tree in front of the apartment building on the corner. Fortunately, it was still there when I went back for it.

I sprawled on the coach in front (kind of, it's in the path anyway) of the air conditioner and watched a movie on cable I'd never seen. It started out on Cape Cod or Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard or someplace like that. Very rich and a lot of beach with very cool breezes and an ocean to walk in. I hated those people.

My son came in. Without his father. Who had, for some reason, decided that, as long as he was on the west side he might as well go to Pasadena and have some cuff links polished. We have tickets for a concert, we're going with another family who is picking us up at 6:30 and it's now 5pm and he's in Pasadena having cuff links polished. So it's hot, and I'm now baking chicken stuffed in loaves of bread so the oven's on and I didn't get it in as early as I wanted to so I'm worried about not being ready to go when our friends show up at 6:30 and I have no idea why he picked THIS afternoon to have cuff links polished.

Well, it turned out fine. Our friends didn't leave their house until 6:30, I had plenty of time to get the chicken out of the oven AND find a place to pack it, as the picnic basket I had been assured was in the storage bin downstairs was actually a magazine basket. I guess when you're a guy and you've seen one wicker basket...

So there we are, seven us us, finally having convinced the people who were sitting in our seats that they WERE in our seats and then having to explain, many times that yes, we DID want to sit in them sitting down RIGHT as the lights went down. I'm fumbling in the dark trying to get plates and unwrap the chicken, which I can't really see. The hubster is holding the canvass tote with the insulated lining, which he held on to the entire concert. I mean, as in his LAP. I wasn't able to get the hummus or the pita chips out. Or the cookies I bought for dessert. I finally was able to pry the top off and get some plastic forks out.

Our friends had opened the wine they had brought and were, nicely, asking about the plastic glasses I had brought. Which were...yep, you guessed it. In the tote in the hubster's lap. That took 10 minutes. We then embarked on the ritual "my wine is better than your wine" I"m trying to applaud but my lap is full of chicken and paper plates. I finally decided to hell with it and just started showing everything under the bench seats, chicken bones, used plates, leftover chicken, you name it.

Well, we sorted ourselves out at intermission, my son's girlfriend found trash bags, the hubster opened bottle number three and I was able to finally sort everything out. He was, however, still clinging to the insulated tote. I kept asking for the hummus and chips and decided it was a lost cause.

Now, unless the hubster has chosen the show he spends every play or concert sitting firmly in his seat, exhibiting little emotion other than boredom, although this was the first time he spent three hours with a cooler in his lap. I tend to feel foolish responding with enthusiasm when I'm sitting next to him and usually sort of shrink into my seat.

However, about 15 minutes in to the second part of the evening bottle #4 was uncorked, at which point I figured pretty much everyone else in the Bowl was on their feet and dancing, what the hell? There was Earth, Wind and Fire. There were fireworks. I didn't HAVE a cooler to hug so I just sort of vamped.

We staggered in about 12:30am. Yes, that USED to be an early evening, hell, coming in at 12:30 used to mean it was a work night. Now? Yeah, not so much. It was a fabulous evening but at 12:30 all I knew was that my feet hurt, my back ached from being squeezed into a seat next to a guy sitting with a beer cooler in his lap, my hands hurt and I had to pee something awful. This maturity thing really sucks at times like this.

The boys and I ate the hummus and pita for breakfast and discussed going to see Pink Martini at the Bowl next week-end. I gave my son my bank card and send him down to the local coffee house for a bag of beans. The hubster finally emerged a little before noon. The pounding sinus headache I woke up with started easing up about two hours ago and I finally came out of the bedroom. My eyes stopped burning too. I've obviously had some sort of allergic reaction to something blooming around here, brought on by the warm nights and sleeping with the window open.

Because it sure as hell couldn't have been the wine.

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