Chapter Seventy-four: Ma’am is just mediocre…..

What’s wrong with being mediocre? I am so tired of seeing those bumper stickers announcing how great or smart one’s child is! Why can’t there be a bumper sticker which reads: My child is mediocre! and be proud of it? What’s wrong with being average? All of these awards and accolades which in my opinion are completely overrated. Who cares if little Johnny can spell? I mean nowadays  does anyone need to spell with autocorrect. Little Jenny wins the penmanship award. They don’t even teach penmanship anymore! Everything is typed! They can’t write, nor even spell penmanship, but they don’t need to again thanks to autocorrect. Yet are still receiving awards! EVERYONE gets an award! Just for showing up. WHY?!

There are no more conversations. The art of conversation is lost! No one can communicate without emoji’s anymore. Just texts back and forth even whilst sitting next to each other in an Uber. Gone are the days of riding bikes and talking. I wonder how successful Uber is in the Netherlands?(Must Google this). Therefore, because of these lack of skills I say, have the mediocre bumper sticker fastened proudly on your car. Let the world know that your child is mediocre, and you are proud of it! Don’t set the bar too high for little Johnny, that way when he still lives in your basement at 25 you are not shocked. Don’t lie to your kids and say: “You can do ANYTHING!” unless you have tons of money “ANYTHING” isn’t about to happen. Be realistic, without a  trust fund, the kids are going to be saddled with student debt, and unable to live in a swanky apartment on their own. They will either have to live home whilst searching for their dream job, or in a fifth-floor walk-up with ten other mediocre kids who didn’t realize they were mediocre, like thousands of others who, had been told by their parents that they were special  all competing for the same job. The sooner your kid realizes that it’s okay to be mediocre the better off they will be. Think of it this way: Your child is an ordinary kid, with the potential to do extraordinary things. They don’t have to be the best, the brightest. They can be smart, and kind and still be special in your eyes. Perhaps I say this, because at the end of the day, I am just mediocre too……

Chapter Seventy-three: Ma’am’s Happily ever after……

I cannot even fathom dating as a middle aged, menopausal woman! My poor friends that are either divorced, widowed, or just never found “the one”. I look over at my prize and watch Confused husband yelling at the tv and scratching his crotch. Is it worth it to overlook these small short comings and savour that I don’t have to be out there on Tinder? The horror stories I hear from my single friends such as: He is fifty and still lives with his mother. He doesn’t know how to do his own laundry. He watches reruns of Little House on the Prairie and gets aroused every time Nellie Olson comes on the screen. He only can make Ramen. He sleeps with a C-pack and didn’t know you had to clean it. He wears his old football jersey from high school, which is now more like a tube top, because he’s put on over forty pounds since then. He talks about his winning touchdown in high school and makes my friend call him Biff during sex. I mean the list goes on and on…

Over margaritas, my single friends inform me: “How lucky I am.”  That I am not out there in the dating trenches. Do I dare burst their bubble and tell them that Confused husband’s idea of foreplay is smiling and saying: “You want to do it?” Maybe they imagine us long time married woman or “lifers” as I refer to them, have some kind of fairy tale happily ever after?  That we are inundated with roses? Like a scene from a Disney movie and we dance non-stop with our Prince Charming? That our days are filled with bursting out in song and announcing how happy we are!   Do I rip off their rose-coloured glasses and say: “LOOK!  we have our own horror stories! and then take them on a reality tour of marriage.  Admissible evidence #1) toilet seat perpetually up! #2) Point out the empty toilet paper roll and the full roll of toilet paper on the floor inches from it? Because apparently it was too exhausting to put a new roll on. Do I dare venture into the laundry room and show them the dirty undies, rolled up socks strewn about where ever they land once tossed? I mean, at least in their situation, they can block the calls and they aren’t living with them. I tried to block Confused husband from my phone, and then had to explain when he came home after work. There is no escaping Prince Charming in my house! Marriage is a give and take, unlike being out there in the land of singledom and Tinder, there are no surprises. Chances are at this point, Confused husband is not a serial killer, doesn’t have a mistress, and isn’t a compulsive gambler. I’d say that my odds are way better than my girlfriends cast out into the sea of the unknown. Bobbing along whilst not knowing what lies underneath.

No matter what position us middle aged woman are in, we all have struggles. We sweat profusely   and then are handed a card by a whackadoodle holy roller that reads: Fighting addiction? Seek Jesus! Whilst I scream back at him: ‘’I am a menopausal woman having a hot flash you moron! Not a crack addict!” We have all kinds of spanx action going on under our clothes, we are not without flaws.  We come with baggage and wrinkles and all the things middle age brings. I suppose in some ways; it is easier for me. There are no expectations, no surprises at this point. The façade of: “Yes, I look this perfect when I wake up!” Is LONG gone! There are real questions such as: “Did you see my moustache bleach? “Where’s the Preparation H?” I mean it’s REALITY! No hiding the fact that you DVR Lifetime movies, and Yes that ice cream in the freezer IS mine.

Going on double dates with single friends and their latest paramour is a WHOLE other ball of wax! On the way to the meeting place, I must grill Confused husband on what he is allowed to say and not to say. For example:” Do NOT mention how single girlfriend has many cats! And   NO mention that single girlfriend has been married three times! Also, do NOT tell funny story of single girlfriend perhaps having a restraining order filed on her, by last boyfriend because she wouldn’t give him back his George Foreman grill! All I hear are sighs of frustration from Confused husband who not only thinks that is a riot but has benefited from this debacle by being gifted the George Foreman grill for his last birthday by my single girlfriend.

Going on these:” Meeting the latest excursions” are like walking through a minefield. One never knows who will be the first to step on a mine. Put a fork in me! I am done! If the guy turns out to be a snooze! Therefore, Confused husband and I have developed a code word: “Istanbul”. If that is said from either one of us, that means it is time to go. Confused husband wanted the phrase:” The eagle has landed; the fat man walks alone.” After some convincing, I explained that would be extremely difficult to insert in conversation. We go on these excursions, because I love my friends and want the best for them! Sometimes during these dinners, I see them looking over at Confused husband who may be going to town on the pepper mill because NOTHING can have too much pepper! And perhaps be envious of what I have. On the other hand, they could be thinking THANK GOD I am not married to that pepper obsessed Neanderthal!”

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to note that everyone deserves their “Happily ever after.”   It just may be something different for each of us….