Monday, November 26, 2012

26. Insecurity, Cigarettes and Ice Cream.

When I was but a teenager, a man I knew passed down some wisdom that has often been repeated through the years by my circle of friends.

"You know what they say about the girls who smoke the Newport cigarettes?" he asked in his very thick Greek accent.  "They like to fuck."

Never a fan of menthol and not wanting to sully my reputation, I decided to stick with my Camel Lights.

***
A few Saturdays ago, my husband and I had the desire for some ice cream around 9:30 PM.  Because I was the one still dressed, I offered to make the run to 7-11.  As I pulled into the parking lot, two women were sauntering in towards the door, straight through the middle of the lane I was trying to drive down.

"Get outta my way, ya fuckin' whores!" I growled, windows up, confident they couldn't hear me.

You see, as much as I hate to admit it, I do sometimes talk and act like someone born and raised in New Jersey.

I am not proud of myself.  The fact of the matter is that these women were barely dressed and I judged them based on their lack of clothing.  More than that, I was jealous that they could run around like that and I, most definitely, could not.

I entered the store and made a beeline for the freezer case.  They were still paying for their Red Bulls and chatting loudly when I walked up behind them.  They appeared to be in their early 20s, heavily made up with hair just so.  Their black knee-high boots had stiletto heels at least four inches high.

I used to wear heels like that.

Black leggings, off the shoulder sweaters, tons of jewelry and one with a bare midriff, the girls giggled and laughed.  They looked like they were going to go out dancing or to a bar.  Something cool.  They were probably not going home to eat ice cream and try to finish Season 1 of Revenge on Netflix.

I though about my own outfit.  My sweater was one of those long ones, but since I'm so short it was past my knees.  I was wearing my good mom jeans with a t-shirt from JC Penney's that was just a touch too short.  I looked down and I realized I had forgotten to change my shoes before I left the house.

I was wearing my slippers.

The first woman finished paying and the second one passed her drink to the cashier who was, I am certain, the long lost son of El Debarge.  She was just about to swipe her debit card when the first woman called to her to please get cigarettes.

"Oh, and a pack of Newports, too, please?"

I could barely contain my laughter when she turned, smiled at me, then apologized for taking so long.  I smiled back, told her it was fine and hoped she didn't notice the two pints of Ben and Jerry's I was cradling.

Back in the lot, I fumbled for my keys as I headed towards my car.  I wasn't really paying attention to where I was walking and when I saw a car approaching me, I shuffled along and did the obligatory apologetic wave to signal that I recognized my blunder.

As the car passed, I realized it was the women, each of them lighting up a Newport.

When I got back home, I changed into my pajamas and put my slippers back on.  I smiled remembering old friends.  I chided myself for my bitter jealousy towards young women who still have the youth and gumption to go out on a Saturday night, dressed up and ready for fun.  I vowed to do something about my appearance and to pay more attention to my footwear.

Then I ate my ice cream, watched my program and passed out on my couch like the tired, grumpy woman I am.




I'm linking up with the way-talented group over at Yeah Write.  Hopefully I'll still be welcome after they all find out I'm kind of obnoxious and I have a potty mouth.

44 comments:

  1. You were wearing a sw'obe! I've worn my slippers to Target before. Happens to all of us :)

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    1. I was totally thinking sw'obe but I didn't want to steal your word!

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  2. Well, I will certainly welcome back potty mouths. I have to watch my mouth while driving too. I use to have to drive my debate team in the school suburbans and once accidently said in front of the students, when a woman pulled in front of me and took the parking spot I wanted, "You dumb slut." Ooops. I just assume this happens to all of us. :)

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    1. I shouldn't laugh at calling women names like slut and whore when they aren't really doing anything sexual, but I do. I swear constantly. It's really bad actually. I just don't usually write it. You know, hiding the evidence :)

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  3. I love this story! And I can relate: I am so totally jealous of my 20-years-ago self! Of course I'd hate to have that self as a neighbor these days. It's also a good thing my husband and I don't have kids because we swear like sailors, and not just in the car.

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    1. Thankfully my son has a good sense of what words he can say and what he should never repeat, but I am bad about remembering to clean up my language around him sometimes.

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  4. After living in Manhattan for seven years, I have a similar impatience towards anyone getting in my way when I am trying to do pretty much anything, most especially walking and driving. And I, too, have worn slippers for quick errands. Green ones, with fleece on the inside. Nothing to be ashamed of :)

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    1. Yay slipper wearers!! I don't know if this area is what makes me so impatient or if it's just my nature, but I seriously can't deal with people who dilly dally and get in my way. When I have to be in NYC at the same time as tourists my head nearly explodes.

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  5. I haven't been out in my slippers before, but it's because I hate slippers so I don't own any. My husband tries to remedy this by buying me a new pair every two or three years. I politely wear them for about a week, then they mysteriously get lost somewhere...

    I also have to admit that I've never been those girls -- I've always been the "wear whatever to go to the store for ice cream" kind of woman. Probably because I met hubby when I was 19 and we've always preferred the company of each other, ice cream, and the couch to going out. Yet another way I'm boring as hell...

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    1. I really didn't think badly about myself until I saw them and started comparing myself to them!

      I hate slippers, but I found these booties with thick soles that feel like shoes. They stay on, I can wear them to take out the garbage or whatever and my feet stay warm. And apparently I can wear them to run errands :)

      I started dating my husband when I was 14. I don't actually want to be out partying, but sometimes I wish I was young and had energy to go if I wanted to!

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  6. I enjoyed this so much Michelle! I just buy Merrells, which are basically like slippers - best of both worlds. But really, I care so little anymoer - you should see the way I go out and about most days: workout clothes, messy ponytail, no makeup. I really don't care if people are judging me, even if people do dress up way more here than CA (I'm blaming proximity of NYC). That's so funny they bought Newports though, Ha!

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    1. I don't know about Merrells, I'll have to check them out. I really don't usually care until it felt like it was right there in front of me, you know?

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  7. Great post! I currently envy anyone with enough energy to get dressed up after work hours. Bitches--the whole lot of them! :)

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    1. Haha!! I can wear jeans, sweats or yoga pants to work, so getting dressed up at all (even for work) is too much some days!!

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  8. I'm 41. I tell you that up front because what I feel about scantily clad girls out on the town makes me sound like I'm 70. I'm small and thin so I could dress that way and get away with it. But I can't imagine it. I don't dress like the sister wives in their covered up turtlenecks and ankle length skirts. But why do some of us feel the need to reveal so much skin? Old fashioned, I know.

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    1. I often feel like I'm my own grandmother with the old lady stuff I do. I think I'm pretty modest, I never would have been out with my stomach showing. Of course, I never had that kind of body, but still. I don't know that I'd flaunt it if I could, but sometimes it would be nice to feel like I could if I wanted to!

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  9. I love this post. Hysterical. You are a great storyteller.

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  10. I forgive you for sullying the name of el debarge. This is a fantastic post. I love the jersey in you.

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    1. Now, now, I didn't sully the name of El Debarge, I simply implied that some kid working at 7-11 looks just like him. I hate the Jersey in me. I try to deny it, but it sneaks out sometimes!

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  11. Hee hee! Great post. You're definitely the character I relate to in this story... and you know what? I'm glad. I've decided to own the fact that I'm too old to go clubbing, because in truth, I'd way rather do the ice cream and netflix in my slippers! :) (And there's something to be said for being able to give up the meat market because you have a hubby to hang out with.)

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    1. I hate going out mostly, but I wish I had the energy to do it. I probably just need to accept that I'm old and I can't run around in 4" heels. At least probably no one is calling me a whore ;)

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  12. Oooh! What kind of Ben & Jerry's?

    Also, I wish I had known that about girls who smoke newports back when I was a young, skinny smoker who also liked to fuck!

    Fun post. :)

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    1. I tend to go for Americone Dream. Can't remember what I got that night though.

      From what I hear, it's still true about the Newports. Someone just told me that the hookers who work near her local store steal them so they are locked up. That's a true story, and I can't believe I just typed that!

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  13. I'm still that girl in my head. It's always a shock when I look in the mirror and see this old, tired woman.

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  14. The impatience of the tri-state area - I have it, too. Even more maddening now that I've moved south and the pace is soooooo sloooooowww here. :) But about the story, honey - it's what makes YOU happy. Not what the young'uns are doing or wearing or smoking. Who cares. Really. You be you. Because that's who we love. xox

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    1. I spent 2 weeks in North Carolina once and I about lost my mind! And it's no judgement on them, I am the one with the problem! I just had to laugh when an old story and a current outburst collided. I'm cool with me most of the time, grumpiness and bad attitude and all. :)

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    2. On the bright side, those moments often equate to awesome writing material. :)

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    3. I don't know about awesome, but yes, they do prompt me to write!

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  15. My son has learned a few bad words because of my tendency to swear at annoying people when driving. There really is something about cars.

    And Newports, of course.

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    1. My son is good about not swearing in spite of my terrible mouth. He knows it's a bad thing to do and I told him that this is absolutely a case of do as I say, not as I do. The car is the worst for my language!!

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  16. I used to be that girl in the 7-11! (Although I refused to let my girlfriend buy smokes.) We were just getting started at 9:30!

    That was a long, long time ago....

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    1. I was always a morning person, so if I was home at 9:30 I was probably sleeping. I'm usually asleep by then still!

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  17. Man, I used to be (somewhat) like those girls, and not very long ago either. I'm a happily (mostly) frumpy mom who can be sometimes a little cool still. And I love my Netflix and ice cream. :)

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    1. What is not to love about Netflix and ice cream! No crowds, no annoying people, no... standing :)

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  18. I used to wear mini-t's and start my evening at 10:30...I wasn't buying smokes but I'm sure I was plenty obnoxious to the over 30 crowd. These days I am an old lady and my husband teases me that I'm turning into the nuns that founded the hospital I work at. For a Halloween party this year I had on knee socks and a skirt that showed about an inch of my legs. I was pulling on the skirt all night! I'm much more comfortable covered up...when did that happen??

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    1. I used to feel comfortable in skimpier clothes but now not so much. I blamed it on my weight, but I think it's also that I'm getting older. Which is sad. But probably typical. As long as I don't start wearing moo-moos!

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  19. I feel really young until I go out and see girls dressed like these and then I realize...I'm not. :) But you know, I also used to wear my slippers back then when I went out. So I guess now I'm just keeping it consistent?

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    1. There is definitely something to be said about consistency!

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  20. I can completely relate. i just wrote a whole post/diatribe about staring slack jawed at some beautiful woman and then looking down disapprovingly at my own toddler destroyed get up. I *think* I'm Ok with it, but I have to admit I do sometimes feel better when I attempt a shower and some clean clothes. ;) I love the realness of all of your writing. It's simple and honest and always so relateable. Wonderful!

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    1. Thanks so much. Mostly I'm ok with my frump too. But every now and again I wish I was still young and concerned about my appearance. I could still care, even though I'm getting older and, well, larger. :)

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  21. Hearing them ask for the Newports would have cracked me up, slippers or no.

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    1. If they were dressed any other way, I probably would not have noticed!

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