Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction


20 Comments

Bras, Glutes, & Duck Heads: Age-Defining Moments

It’s been a rough few weeks for my ego. Please note the title says age-defining, not age-defying

Party of One Final Cover

Watch for it in May!

It began when I was out with a friend at a small local restaurant. Since my book Party of One is due out within weeks, I’ve been scouting venues to have book signings. I asked to speak with the owner of the place. I was surprised when a cute guy in his twenties approached the table.

He’s the owner?

Anyway, I told him what I had in mind. He was agreeable to the book signing idea, and I was excited.

“We could schedule you any night, maybe seven to closing,” he said. “We’ll set you up at one of our larger tables, and advertise it on Facebook. Just let me know what night would work best.”

The baby-faced owner was so darn cute and optimistic I didn’t have the heart to tell him.

First, nights won’t “work best.” My readers are women, middle-aged and older. Some of them don’t drive after dark—or shouldn’t. The rest of them have taken their bras off by seven. Once that happens, there’s no turning back.

After expressing my appreciation, I promised to get back to him soon. Better yet, maybe I could speak to his mother. She may be more sympathetic and better able to explain this rite of passage to her son.

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. ~ 1 Peter 2:11-12 (MSG)

A second age-defining moment actually stems from my new membership at the gym … but not in the way you might think.

When I joined earlier this year, I had no fantasies about competing with lunks and beauty queens who were half my age. My goal was simple—to be more comfortable in my clothes, preferably the smaller sizes.

Anyway, after being assessed by a professional trainer, I got started.

I’d been working out for a few months, when I noticed an unwelcome change on my way into the kitchen one morning. My PJ bottoms hugged my glutes a little too tight. My brain ran back to the gym. (Okay, maybe “ran” is an exaggeration.) I pictured the machines in my head, then grumbled, “Why would a pro tell me to do exercises that would make my butt bigger?”

This may look exactly like me, but it’s not.

I was writing a formal letter of complaint in my head as I tugged at my PJ bottoms. That’s when I saw the tag—in the front. In my rush, I’d put my pants on backwards.

Knowing my husband was on his way, I wanted to right that wrong before he noticed.  A speedy off and on, then I began my breakfast duties with all the innocence and sophistication I could muster.

Then I heard him chuckling behind me.

With a hand on my hip, I said, “What’s so funny?”

“If you’re wondering why your sweatshirt has no spots on it, it’s because you’ve got in on backwards.”

Without much thought, my big mouth snapped back, “Then it matched my pants! So there!”

He’s still laughing.

In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery. ~ Proverbs 28:23 (NLT)

This past holiday weekend, I got to spend time with my six grandchildren. The four older grandkids—Jessica, Colin, Michael, and Darin—are polite and tactful, but basically ignore me. Nice way of saying there’s a good chance I bore them. C’est la vie.

However, I can still amuse the youngest two: nine-year-old Max and seven-year-old Margaux—even when I’m not trying.

Dressed in my new outfit with my make-up and hair looking as good as ever, I sat on the sofa in their rental house, admiring the view of a lovely pond.

Margaux joined me. She leaned over the back of the sofa, her precious little face studying my features, like seven-year-olds do—up close and personal. Pointing to my chin and/or neck area, she exclaimed, “Hey! Memere! It looks like you have a duck’s head under there.”

Max jumped on the sofa, abandoning his Legos. “Let me see!” He twisted his whole body for a better view.

I began to laugh.

Margaux turned my head toward her. “Wait! When you laugh it looks like a tiny person!”

Max got even closer. “It does! If we draw eyes on it, it would look like a chubby face.”

I can’t wait until they grow up and ignore me.*

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children. ~ Proverbs 17:6 (NLT)

(*That’s so not true.)

Advertisements


4 Comments

As Rusty As the Spokes On My First Tricycle

tricycleMy memory is as rusty as the spokes on my first tricycle. Unused for years, many words are long gone or have morphed into variations never heard before. Who knows if I ever had them right to begin with?

Is it tact or tack? Further or farther? Affect or effect? Moot or mute?

Don’t get me started on biological or medical terms. More than once, I’ve said, “I fell prostate before the Lord” when I meant prostrate.

Speaking of prostates, I’ve told people I take Flomax instead of Flonase for nasal congestion. Flomax is an alpha-blocker that relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, making it easier for men to urinate. Instead of Zantac, I raved how well Xanax works to relieve heartburn, when Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Hm. Perhaps, it is Xanax I need.

For those of you like me struggling with recall and vocabulary, I’ve made this easy-peasy quiz by giving you the definition. All you have to do is circle the word it goes with. May the farce be with you! 

I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, ~ 2 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

  1. a sieve, especially a very fine one – a) carse; b) farce; c) sarse; d) parse
  2. lacking a tail or tail-like appendage – a) masticate; b) flagellate; c) castigate; d) acaudate
  3. put an end to, put a stop to, nip in the bud, put the lid on — a) scotch; b) botch; c) swatch; d) splotch
  4. the method of beginning play in which the forwards of each team crouch side by side with locked arms; play starts when the ball thrown in between them and the two sides compete for possession – a) plumb; b) scrum; c) bumb; d) rhumb
  5. a small stream; especially one that dries up in summer– a) dyke; b) sike; c) shrike; d) pike
  6. (of horses, dogs, and other animals) shortish and thickset; stocky – a) dobby; b) cobby; c) nobby; d) knobby
  7. have legs that curve outward at the knees; bowlegged – a) bandy; b) chandi; c) grandee; d) shandy
  8. turn or hold (a hand, foot, or limb) so that the palm or sole is facing downward or inward – a) rotate; b) pronate; c) probate; d) notate
  9. the pulpy acidic fluid that passes from the stomach to the small intestine, consisting of gastric juices and partly digested food — a) clime; b) chyme; c) slime; d) rhime
  10. subject to prolonged examination, discussion, or deliberation rip-rap – a) hex; b) aix; c) vex; d) sphex
  11. to cause the infliction of (vengeance or punishment) – a) wreaking; b) tweaking; c) cheeking; d) piquing
  12. a small locomotive used to move cars around but not to make trips – a) bunter; b) shunter; c) punter; d) blunter

    Have you found the words to go with the definitions? Can you use the words in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

    Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. ~ Proverbs 9:9 (NIV)

    memory-loss_1024

    Here are the correct answers.

    1. c) sarse
    2. d) acaudate
    3. a) scotch
    4. b) scrum
    5. b) sike
    6. b) cobby
    7. a) bandy
    8. b) pronate
    9. d) chyme
    10. c) vex
    11. a) wreaking
    12. b) shunter

      How do you feel about your score?

      10-12  Did you cheat? Come on, you can tell me.

      07-09  You must be young and still in AP English.

      04-06  You guessed better than most.

      00-03  You’re not losing it; you’ve lost it.

      Want to know what the other words mean? As my father would say, “Then look ’em up!”