I had ten minutes to kill last night. I was sitting in my car, waiting to pick up my daughter and ferry her to an event downtown, and I was, as the Brits say, knackered. Why they say this, I don’t know. But I was short on sleep. My eyeballs sagged and squished and spilled out of my sockets with fatigue; ugly sight. Not wanting to scare anybody, I dropped down the car seat, lowered down my eyelids and tried to doze.
I was maybe two minutes into this endeavor when I heard a flock of kids walk past, flapping their lips about nothing of interest to me. But apparently I was of interest to them. Apparently the sight of a snoozing, hoary-headed 50-year-old lady-thing reclining in an electric-blue Honda was too much for this group of proximate man-lings, who felt compelled to express their interest with the aid of an ancient and useful term that I’ve been trying to keep off of this blog. (I want you to know I made no such valiant efforts at self-censorship when writing my batshitty little book, or, more recently, when I burned my elbow cooking this evening. And sorry, I am not going to attempt to explain how One might burn One’s elbow cooking, though it’s safe to say it demands the flexibility of a world-class gymnast. But you’ll just have to imagine that for yourself.)
So the bevy of boys whooshed past my car. I sensed their presence. I smelled their testosterone. I heard their voices, though I cared not what they said. Until they started saying things about me. To me. Colorful, pithy things.
Things like: “Look! She’s sleeping!” (Which they’d obviously never witnessed before. No one they know EVER does that.)
And: “Ha ha ha!”
And: “Hey! Wake up!”
And again: “Ha ha ha!”
And finally: “Wake the (insert word or related Dutch cognate here) up, Grandma!”
With a conclusive: “HA HA HA!”
And then they walked away, leaving a cloud of testosterone behind them.
Before I go any further, I want to be clear on a few points. One: I am not anti-testosterone. If I were, WOULD I HAVE CHILDREN, PEOPLE? Second: I am not anti-teenager. I have a few of those myself, I’ve known many such creatures in the course of my life, and I once spent several years in very similar embryonic state, although I’m pretty sure I never tried to rouse a gray-haired lady from a power nap, with or without the forceful slang. Third: I am not anti-cursing, though I’m guessing I didn’t need to reassure you on that point.
Fourth: I really didn’t care. In the slightest. I wasn’t offended. In the slightest. I wasn’t sure why until it occurred to me that, hey, I might well be a grandma at this stage in the game. People are. But until that moment, until that pack of hormone-spritzing guy-lets strutted past my car, stating the obvious with a nice, fat, vulgar flourish, I hadn’t actually thought about it. I hadn’t considered grandmotherhood as something within reach.
Holy aging matriarchs! I could be one. I could have grandchildren, and I hope and pray I will — though not yet, no hurry, it’ll wait. But someday. And when I do, I’ll be sure to wake the eff up.