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Dear Readers,

I’m so excited that my badgering has paid off. Here’s another guest post. The Royce had a birthday last week, and it prompted some reflection.

I’ll be back next week with a story about the eldest. Parents with teenagers will relate.

Love,
Beth

This is The Royce in his natural habitat.

 

Aging vs. Old: A Rant
Guest post by The Royce

So, yesterday was my birthday. And that’s good because, hey, another trip around the sun, right? But somewhere along the way — in the last, oh say, few years or so (I don’t know whatever) — it occurred to me that, while I am not old (yet), I am, in fact, aging. Maybe I’m finally “of a certain age” — whatever the hell that entails — because, while I’m definitely still an easygoing person, little things are starting to grind my gears just a bit.

Like those damn neighborhood kids walking in my yard! LOLJK. (Note from Beth: I don’t think he is, in fact, JK.)

Though it’s commonly *cough* invariably *cough* attached to middle age and miracle creams, signs of aging actually applies to things other than crow’s feet and smile lines.

I’m talking about the less-obvious, non-physical signs of aging. Because like it or not, every day of every year, you’re aging. You just don’t notice it.

Until you do.

And then you notice it again. And again. It’s a lot like buying a new car that you thought was unique and rare until you drive off the lot and there’s three of the same vehicle waiting at the first intersection you get to.

On Jan. 13, 1974, the Super Bowl was on my seventh birthday, and I got to watch my favorite team, the Miami Dolphins, become two-time world champions against the Minnesota Vikings. Not a bad day for a kid.

In 2020, the game is three weeks later, two hours longer, and the pre-game show lasts half a day. WTH?

When did that happen?

You see, that’s not old. That’s aging.

Recently I went out with my lovely wife to meet some friends visiting from out of town. We arrived a few minutes early and looked over the drink menu while we waited.

I’m sorry, but WTF?! How did a cocktail get to be $14 in this town? (Note from Beth: They live in Savannah.) Did I teleport to Manhattan when I walked
through the door to this place?

Again: Not old. Aging.

You know why people don’t go out as much when they get a little older? It’s less about being tired and more because we don’t want to get bent over paying those ridiculous prices every time we feel like having a nice meal somewhere. Hey, how about we go out for dinner and have a couple glasses of WELL SHIT THERE GOES A HUNDRED BUCKS.

No, it’s not denial. Old will, with some luck, arrive eventually.

But for now … nah, not old. Merely aging, just like I have every day of my life. And considering the alternative, I’m fine with that.

Seriously, though. Would it kill the little cretins to stay off my lawn?

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Dear Readers:

My last post resonated with a few of my female friends. A college friend, “Sue,” wrote the following that she said I could share as a guest post. (And you know I love a good guest post.)

See you Monday with fresh content from me, courtesy of Gideon.

Beth

My own non-resolutions
By “Sue Buckley”

This year, I will not:

  • Keep those heels I think that I might wear just one more time. You know the ones. My knee and ankle … done.
  • Brexit quietly or vote for Trump. I demand IQ tests with a score range of at least superior or gifted — depending upon the scale — for all voters.
  • Wear all that odd jewelry I’ve accumulated over the years. In fact, I may give it away.
  • Obsess over the last time I changed the kitchen sponge. (Trust me: This haunts me.)
  • Blurt out what I “really think” during a video call. It’s impossible to hide my face. Learned this from experience, and it’s easier without the visual.
  • Say yes when I mean no. I was taught this during my formative years, but it wandered back in. I don’t have to spend my time anywhere or with anyone if it’s not valuable (true friends and family excluded).
  • Not shut up about menopause. I don’t care how boring it gets. They don’t tell you this shit. 
  • Not finish my book. (Beth and I have the same goal.) It’s happening this year.

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Dear Friends and Family:

It’s Jan. 2. People have already broken resolutions, or never made any to begin with.

I don’t usually make resolutions, as you know. If I decide to do something, I just do it. No need to wait until the new year.

This year, I’m declaring things I WON’T do:

  • Keep makeup I don’t wear. Coral lipstick is not for pale people like me, and frosty pink is for preteens.
  • Retain books on my Kindle I won’t read. “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments” by David Foster Wallace is a supposedly fun read that is not. Byeeee!
  • Put up with less than I need/deserve/worked for, etc. I am not a “Welcome!” mat.
  • Save money. Yeah, I know I should, but let’s be honest: I won’t.

  • Stay home. I want to say “absof–kinlutely” to adventures near and far. Dream scenario: I get paid to write about it.
  • Continue procrastinating on my book. This is the year I finish it, write the proposal, and find an agent. If E.L. James can become rich and famous off her trash Twilight fan fiction work, so can I.
  • Lose more than just five more pounds. I’m calling that my “wine cushion.”
  • Stay in this place with the small kitchen. When it’s a pain to make things as fairly easy as Scotch eggs, it’s time to upgrade.

  • Ignore show suggestions from certain like-minded people. I resisted watching “Killing Eve.” I was stupid.
  • Let people try to make me feel even slightly embarrassed about my love of bad taxidermy. Those uptight people can shove it. My obsession is Hando approved.
  • Vote for Trump. Duh.
  • Stop writing blog posts at least twice a week. I’ve been keeping this pace since April, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

What are your anti-resolutions? Tell me in the comments.

Love and kisses,
Beth

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Dear McKinnons,

Every time we stay with you, we have something to laugh about. From Petra trying to fatten us up like Thanksgiving turkeys to Patrick disappearing in the middle of the conversation to go to Home Depot, it’s always an adventure.

On Thursday, I walked into your house with the family. Patrick took one look at me.

Him: What’s on your pants?
Me: Serial killers.
Him: Is that a band?
Me: No. Real serial killers. You know. Like Charles Manson.

(The leggings I mentioned in this post.)

This time, even Ryder and Mia gave us a laugh.

After I tagged along on the guys’ outing to see “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Friday (the bros and a bra), we discussed the finer points of some key deaths. (No spoilers.)

Ryder went back into the vault to describe Obi Wan’s death like this:

His towel dropped.

I laughed so hard, I was wheezing.

(Ryder then asked if he was going to make it into my blog finally. Yes, my young padawan.)

Mia, who has a competitive streak like her father, did not want said father to win the Uno game Friday.

She turned to me, sitting next to Pat as I always do.

Her: You got something for him?
Me: I do.

She plays a color she knows I have. I throw down a reverse. She wins the game. We high five, because she won and not Pat.

Evil. I love it.

Saturday, Petra and I were having a serious conversation about the deaths of our fathers and subsequent guilt.

Here comes Pat to vacuum right behind her.

Petra and I looked at each other. Shocked. Then started laughing because OF COURSE HE HAD TO DO THAT RIGHT THEN.

Then last night, we all played a Pictionary-like game called “Buzz Draw.”

Naturally, someone yells out “penis” if anything is remotely phallic. (Like there is ever going to be a penis prompt on a family game card.)

Gideon drew “winter.” He thought at first that no one got it.

Mia: I said ‘winter’ a long time ago!
Pat: But I yelled ‘penis’ at the same time.

Speaking of penis, your dog Angus took an unusual interest in me.

I feel like I need a restraining order. Counseling at the very least.

Here he is rubbing his slobbery toy all over me under the table.

It’s better than what he usually rubs on me. (Hint: See theme of the game above.)

Perv.

Anyway, thanks for letting us stay with you this weekend. And thanks especially for the laughs.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Santa,

Though you didn’t come through with anything on my previous list (in fact, my eye is worse), you worked through my family to ensure I had a great Christmas.

Just look:

I coveted this shirt. Eddie has one from his pals at CrossFit Steadfast in Savannah. I donate to Goat Yoga Lisa‘s fundraising campaign every year. Now I have a shirt of my own!

This is the gift that will keep on giving. Not only am I excited about learning how to do this art at the February class, but I can write about it. I’m going with Revell, the guy who cuts my hair. So that should be a hoot.

Behold a perfect gift for any Murderino.

That gift is from the kids. They know I listen to “My Favorite Murder” as I walk to work. Eddie reports the following conversation.

Him: Those are really expensive.
Dominic: They are for someone who deserves it. She deserves it. Plus, I’ve been a jerk.

And suddenly both my eyes had issues.

So thank you, Santa. Like Bono’s girl, you move in mysterious ways.

Love and kisses to you and the missus,
Beth

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Dear Santa,

I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you in person this year. I tried. The line was just too long at Santaland. I had other places to go, and people to see.

(It occurs to me that I’m actually lamenting the fact that I didn’t get to sit on some some old dude’s lap. Holiday traditions are weird.)

As I’ve been (mostly) good, I’m hoping that you can still help me out with my wish list. Items are a little tricky this year, I’m afraid. Not sure the elves can handle these things.

Anyway, here goes:

    1. Some kind of cream that will make the itchy spot on my right eye go away. The dermatologist is stumped. I use the same products on BOTH EYES, but my left eye is fine. Please help. I look like Hitch.
    2. Guests in our Airbnb condo who will actually read and abide by the house rules. It’s not like we are asking for much. Just take the trash out of the place, and send it down the rubbish chute right outside the door. We aren’t asking for gold doubloons as tips or anything. Although …
    3. A money tree would be nice. Have you seen how much Dominic eats? Or how leggy Gideon is getting? At least they can’t wear my shoes anymore, so that means mine stay clean. I promise I will share the harvest with friends and family. Well, most of them.
    4. Expansion of Marta. Or at the very least, a change of heart for the car-focused people of Atlanta who keep voting against it.
    5. People who are driving at or below the speed limit to STAY THE F out of the passing lane. You have a reindeer-powered sleigh. You do not know the horror of I-16.
    6. Another season of “Schitt’s Creek.” Season 6 is supposed to be the last one. But you can make Daniel Levy change his mind, right? RIGHT?!
    7. The ability to speak Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese fluently. I dream big, but you’re Santa. It’s not like you are starting from scratch. I’m at toddler levels for the first two. And I know key phrases for the others. Look, you never know when you need to tell a Japanese person that he’s taken the last Band-Aid.
    8. A stop to the entire country of India requesting to add me as a contact on Linked In. I really don’t know anyone in India.
    9. More followers for this blog. It’s not an ego thing (although an audience is great). It’s an expanding-my-circle thing.  I’ve met some of the most interesting people via this blog — folks I never would have met otherwise.
    10. Guest posts. I’m still waiting for posts from Julia, Royce, Kerstin, Nick, TJ, etc. I’m not holding my breath, though.
    11. Patience. Lord knows Dominic regularly uses up my limited supply.
    12. Someone to make these for me. I’m a great cook, but kind of a crappy baker.
    13. The cute blue cheetah-print jeans I gave away when I thought I’d be fat forever.
    14. More early-morning water boot camp classes at the Y so that I won’t ever be fat again.
    15. For Origins to bring back the Spring Fever scent. Please! I can’t be the only one who has asked you for this.

I know it’s a tall order. Just do what you can. Thanks, Santa! I appreciate you.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Students,

I love many parts of my job, but I like teaching you the most. When the semester is over, I’m actually sad (not relieved as many academic types are).

Public Speaking may be my favorite course to teach for three reasons:

  1. I get to know you extremely well through the topics you choose.
  2. You show a large amount of growth in a short amount of time. Each of you improves.
  3. I end up learning plenty.

In fact, this semester, I learned about child labor in smartphone construction, conspiracy theories about Kurt Cobain’s death, the House of Chanel, Chris Jericho’s career, and why you should exercise 5-6 times a week for 30 minutes (as opposed to 3 times a week for an hour, which is my routine at the moment).

I’ve written about student evaluations before, but here’s a recap: It is a little scary for me. There’s always someone who hates me and/or the class. But then I get feedback like this, and it takes out the sting:

(And her heart grew three sizes that day.)

Remember that I’m here for you long after the class ends. Yes, you have to climb a few flights of stairs to see me, but I’m also just a quick email away.

Best wishes,
Dr. Beth

 

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