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Date archive for: August 2014

Road Hazards: Driving with My Teen

Like you, I’m a spiritual person given to pondering the great unanswerable questions of life. Like this little existential mystery:

Why in Saab’s name are 15-year-olds allowed to operate moving vehicles on public roadways?

I can think of no good reason why a person who still drops food from his mouth with stunning regularity — and alarming nonchalance — should be permitted to propel a half-ton, motorized murder machine through cityscapes occupied by innocent and unsuspecting humans.

It ain’t right.

So it’s only natural that I lurch into a sudden brace-for-impact stance when my son is driving and we are careening down a freeway off-ramp at rush hour into a snarl of ghastly gridlock.

“Mom, really? Can you not do this?” the giant child says, dramatically mimicking my dashboard death grip.

“Very well,” I say, calmly. “But what you didn’t see is that I stopped myself from screaming, ‘PLEASE, GOD, DON’T LET ME DIE IN AN UNDERPASS!’ So … that’s something.”

I fear for his safety, sure. And that of his fellow motorists. But it’s more than that. It’s bigger. From the first time he operated a wheeled vehicle — the Elmo lawn mower that helped him take his first steps, his fudgy feet flap-slap-flapping the ground as he pushed that thing from couch to kitchen and back again (boy, I hope he doesn’t read this) — I’ve been scared by what it signifies.

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Too Old for a Micro-Mini?

There’s a colorful old expression favored by cattish biddies. They let it fly when they spy a middle-aged woman sporting the flashy or revealing clothing you’d normally see on a much younger lass.

“Mutton dressed as lamb,” the harpies hiss, straightening the seams of their own sensible vestments and clomping away in their Easy Spirit mid-heel wedges.

I confess the phrase has been flitting, uninvited, through my head lately as I get dressed:

Hmm, the miniskirt today? Maybe, Ms. Mutton. Or the skinny jeans and pirate boots? Sounds great, Mutton Mama.

Mutton, if you didn’t know, is the meat of old sheep — although the sheep prefer to be called “mature.” It’s tougher than lamb. It’s cheaper. And according to one online cooking site, “Many find it distasteful.”

Since tough, cheap, and distasteful describe me and most of my girlfriends — and since, at 42, I just received a heck-yeah birthday gift card to Forever 21 — I have to wonder if I’ve skidded right over that lamb-to-mutton line without knowing it.

Continue reading Too Old for a Micro-Mini?