Category Archives: Baby Boomer Humor

Baby Boomer Ponders Obsession with Body Hair Removal, Eyebrows, and Extensions

What is the obsession these days with removing body hair? I mean, what is it with painting on thick eyebrows, excruciatingly painful waxing, and obviously fake-looking hair extensions?

This baby boomer must be feeling my age because I just don’t get it.

waxed hairYes, I shave my legs, but I can’t help noticing that women are overly preoccupied with hair lately.  Were we women bamboozled into this obsession by marketers?

According to the book, Plucked: A History of Hair Removal, more than 99 percent of American women remove their body hair.

Interestingly, Gillette introduced the first razor for women in 1915 along with the message that body hair was “unsightly” and “objectionable” and thus needed to be removed. And they just so happened to have the perfect tool. The company now earns over 9 billion dollars a year in sales.

The Brazilian bikini wax was created in Manhattan by seven Brazilian sisters in the early 1990s, who now earn six million dollars a year from waxing, hair, and nail treatments.

People are profiting big time from this obsession to remove hair. Not only do women wax their legs and armpits, but suddenly it became imperative and ever-so-fashionable to wax other places as well.  I mean, OUCH! When did ripping hot wax off sensitive areas become empowering?

In fact, women spend about $10,000 and the equivalent of over four months of their lives removing hair. Those who wax once or twice a month will spend an average of $23,000 during their lifetime.

Really ladies?

Does this all seem a bit strange to you baby boomers who fought for the feminist revolution with the conviction that instead of obsessing over physical beauty, women should focus on their intelligence, careers, achievements, and making a difference? During the 60s and 70s, women felt free to make their own decisions about hair removal and many chose to go au natural. These days, women feel ashamed and somehow dirty without a bikini wax. What happened?

Not to sound old-fashioned, but aren’t there more important things to think about and do than obsess and spend time and money on removing body hair? Back in the old days (okay, now I sound ancient) people seemed more focused on spiritual matters and family. They didn’t spend all their time worrying about whether their armpits were properly waxed. And many would have donated that $150 for a full body wax – to remove hair that’s going to grow back real quick – to a good cause.

And while we’re discussing this, just when did women become so helpless? Have you baby boomers noticed that women don’t know how to pluck their own eyebrows, shave their own legs, or paint their own fingernails and toenails anymore? In addition to all the money spent on waxing, women spend about $1,300 a year on manis and pedis alone. Yes, I splurge once in a while to do my nails but it’s not rocket science to apply nail polish. Wouldn’t you rather take a trip with all that money?

We boomers didn’t go to the hair salon for a “blow dry.” Instead, I deftly wielded my own blow dryer like a pro and stuck prongs into hot rollers without burning my fingertips to look like Farrah. If we wanted our hair colored we picked up a bottle of Clairol at the drugstore. We even dared to perm our own hair! Yes, we looked like poodles but who cared? And give me a break. At least we didn’t look like a Dr. Seuss book with multi-colored rainbow hair! What’s with that crazy trend?

When women aren’t busy trying to remove every scrap of hair from their bodies, they are clipping or taping on hair extensions to look like a Real Housewife or one of the Kardashians. Some women become addicted to the more permanent type of extensions which leaves natural hair looking like a war zone. Did I mention the pain of ripping out the tape from the more permanent type of extensions? The possibility of bald spots? Does this sound like a good idea to you? Even Jennifer Aniston has admitted that her famous locks had become thin from extensions.

Okay, I must confess that in the 60s it was popular to frost hair. For those of you who don’t remember, this process involved a tight fitting rubber cap with tons of little holes. A small metal crocheting needle was then used to pull pieces of hair through the holes – one at a time. So, it was kinda tortuous and women may have lost some of their hair in the process. And we baby boomers won’t talk about the bristle rollers women somehow slept in or teasing hair until it looked like a bird’s nest. Women back combed their hair until they looked like Marge Simpson and then applied enough sticky hairspray to make hair crunch.

But that was different. Sort of. Why don’t we change the subject?

eyebrowsCan we talk a minute about those wonky eyebrows, deemed the “power brow?” These trendy fuller brows are supposed to look like works of art, but they just look silly to me. Dark brow fillers create these squared off but perfectly arched eyebrows that look anything but natural. I have nothing against eyebrows, but should these two arches on your forehead warrant this much attention, cause so much work, and cost so much money? And why wax off your eyebrows if you’re only going to draw them back on again? I’m so confused.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be too critical. My senior picture displays thin, arched eyebrows that are perhaps a tiny bit over-plucked. Actually, I can’t believe I walked around so proudly like that, but that’s beside the point. At least I plucked them proudly all by myself and it didn’t cost me a penny!

Still, this whole cultural phenomenon puzzles me. But wait a minute. Maybe armpit hair is making a comeback. There’s an Instagram account called Lady Pit Hair that features women going against social beauty norms and growing out their armpit hair and dying it bright colors.

“Today’s beauty standards really bum me out as they constantly police women’s bodies,” says Taylor Carpenter, a 23-year-old whose hot pink pits are featured on the page. Besides the issue of rebelling against norms society forces on us women, she has another reason for brightening the color of her body hair: “Honestly, I really like how they look. When I catch a glance of my hot pink pits, it makes me smile.”

Okay, I sorta like the sentiment of standing up against this cloud of disgust over any scrap of non-waxed body hair, but I’m still mystified. Is fluorescent green leg hair the next trend? Maybe I am getting old!

Images courtesy of Ambro and patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

 

 

 

Sleeping Like a Baby Boomer: Insane Insomnia

Maybe you baby boomers have seen the cartoon of a doctor telling a patient, “Insomnia is very common. Try not to lose any sleep over it.”

Ha,ha. I’m not laughing. Instead I’m begging for mercy from the sleep fairy.

Insomnia

During my worse insomnia laden nights, I’m an expert on infomercials. Just ask me anything about nose hair clippers, egg timers, chopper/shredders, and at-home laser hair removal.

When I give in to exhaustion and turn off the TV – even though I know exhaustion doesn’t equal sleep anymore – the minute my head hits the pillow, I start worrying about stupid stuff that seems downright silly in the light of day.

When I finally fall asleep, an hour later my eyes burst open and I’m wide awake, endlessly fascinated with the internal workings of my digital clock and checking to see if anyone else is miserable and awake like me on Facebook.

I’m not alone. Many baby boomers suffer from insomnia. Some have additional problems that mess with their sleep like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Others find that the simple act of sleeping which they took for granted their whole lives just got a whole lot more complicated for no apparent reason.

Oh, remember the delightful days when we baby boomers actually chose to forego sleep? Partying into the wee hours, lacing our shoes for a brisk jog at dawn, or just talking all night on the phone with our best friend? Those were the days. Now that we desperately want to sleep, it’s nowhere to be found.

Which makes us that old stereotypical cranky person the next day. So, if you’re one of those people that still sleeps like a baby – you can just leave now. I’m extremely jealous and we’re not talking. And while I’m on the subject, a note to my hubby who falls asleep the minute his head hits the pillow: I love you, but you better purchase a suit of armor soon so I don’t smack you silly for blissfully sleeping while I’m subtracting how many hours of sleep I can get if I can just fall asleep NOW. My math skills are improving but I’m feeling awfully irritable. By the way, it’s absolutely true. The one who snores always goes to sleep first.

I first shared some of these thoughts about insomnia as a writer for Hot Flash Daily. Because I always slept like a baby until menopausal madness began. The worst part of menopause was not the hot flashes you hear about it all the time. For me, it was the insomnia.

Six years have passed and I’m officially post menopausal. The insomnia isn’t as constant but it still enjoys visiting me occasionally during tortuous nights. Because it turns out menopause isn’t the only cause for insomnia. Just getting older can do the trick as well.

According to a poll by National Sleep Foundation, older people were more likely to wake up a lot during the night. Wow, you needed a survey to come up with that conclusion?

Now that I think about it, I probably should go easier on hubby, Like many older men, he does have to get up in the middle of the night to pee now. Hee, hee. Sorry, but that does make me feel better. It’s true, misery enjoys company.

In addition, to making us insomniacs cranky the next day, the malady comes with many other blessings as well. Studies show that sleep problems contribute to weight gain. Geez, isn’t it bad enough that getting older and being post menopausal are making me fat? This I don’t need. Oh goody, guess I better run out and buy some more stretch pants.

And let’s not even talk about losing the ability to concentrate. Isn’t age making me forgetful enough? As a freelance writer who needs to think straight and meet deadlines…um, where, was I…? Let’s just say insomnia is not helpful to my career.

Worse yet, I read that people with chronic insomnia have an elevated risk of death. I’m visualizing death by insomnia on my tombstone. Could life be any crueler?

Oh, everyone has a solution for me. Don’t nap during the day. Go to bed at the same time each night. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol before going to bed. Exercise regularly. Don’t you think I’ve already tried all that?

Sure, warm milk works for me – if it’s laced with Ambien.

Oh, I’ve read the horror stories of people having forgetful sex with the mailman down the street, eating a block of cheese, and driving to Vegas in their sleep after taking the drug. Which made taking my first Ambien extremely scary. Thankfully, I just slept. To my knowledge.

But since I only take Ambien on rare occasions because I don’t want to get addicted, this leaves me many loooooong nights as a sleepless sucker, forever grateful for my midnight hour friends, Netflix, Candy Crush, and Facebook.

If you’re like me and suffer from insomnia, please share your misery in the comments below. As I mentioned before, misery loves company. I’d love to hear all about it. If you don’t have insomnia, why are you still here? Oh, I’m just kidding. Please share your secrets to success. We insomniacs would love to know!

Image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

 

 

Baby Boomer Parenting – Did We Have it Easier Back in the Day?

I’m a Grandma of three – soon to be four. Like many baby boomers, I’m amazed at how raising children has changed so drastically over the years.

Oh, how I wish we had some of the modern conveniences like iPads that keep children so pleasantly quiet at restaurants and rides in cars with endless games and access to Netflix? After lugging Gameboys with all the games and heavy batteries during our trip to Europe in the early 80s so the kids would be entertained on trains, I’m jealous.

Still, the question begs to be answered. Is it easier or harder these days to raise kids?

Let’s compare.

My boys playing with the filthy pigeons in Venice in the 80s. Did I worry about all the diseases these birds can carry? Good or bad - the answer is: heck no!

My boys playing with the filthy pigeons in Venice in the 80s. Did I worry about all the diseases these birds can carry? Good or bad –
the answer is: heck no!

Meals Were Not As Complicated

Feeding our kids sure seemed simpler. Back in the day, we baby boomers didn’t cater to picky eaters with a kitchen that resembled a 24/7 restaurant devoted to each child’s preference. We didn’t spend endless hours trying to convince our kids to eat foods they may not like. In fact, if our kids didn’t like what we served up, too bad. They ate every bite thinking of those starving kids in Africa and said thank-you after finishing. If not, they could just go to their rooms and be hungry! No child ever starved to my knowledge.

We didn’t spend each waking moment worrying if our food was gluten-free or organic. We blissfully poured Lucky Charms into our kids’ bowls before “sugar” was a nasty word. We nuked TV dinners in our avocado green and harvest gold kitchens and packed their little metal lunchboxes full of Twinkies. If we worried at all about our kids getting enough nutrition, we popped a Flintstones vitamin into their mouths full of glucose syrup and color additives. Somehow our kids survived.

Mom JuicingSome parents today agree that in many ways baby boomers had it easier raising kids. Writer Erica June wrote in her article published by HuffPost, “How Parents in the ‘70s And ‘80s Had It Made:”

“Nowadays, moms know too much. We have to grind our own flax seeds, make our own organic vegetable purees and grow our own lettuce in order to avoid diseases, mutant strains of listeria and arteries so coated with hydrogenated oils that you could bobsled in them. Reading labels and learning all the different words that mean ‘genetically altered corn and soy’ is a full time job in itself.”

The stressed out mom and author of the book Toddlers Are A**holes: It’s Not Your Fault, Bunmi Laditan, took to Facebook to vent her frustrations. “Being a modern parent is terrible,” she wrote. “I’d give my left kneecap to have parented in the 70s or 80s when all you had to do to be considered a good mom is to remember to wind down the windows when you smoke in the car. I’m not cut out for this. Do you know what I’ve been doing this morning? VITAMIN SHOPPING. For 45 minutes I’ve been comparing children’s vitamins, reading online reviews, and, inflammatory blog posts backed by no science that I both fear and respect.”

She also wrote about the fearsome and judgmental attitude these days about parenting. “I’ve seen the way some parents look at me when I give my son a juice box at the park. It’s juice, not Red Bull or margarita mix so calm down.”

Her Facebook post went viral so apparently a lot of parents today can relate. She makes a good point. I mean, God forbid you spank a child in public or even yell at your children at the grocery store these days. Big Brother might report you.

Modern Conveniences and Technology – Good or Bad?

Yes, modern conveniences are nice. But has it gone too far? I watch young Moms hoisting their industrial-sized car seats and hauling strollers the size of golf carts around. Their homes are so full of ginormous high chairs, exersaucers, gliders, pack and plays, bouncy seats, and God knows what else, they can hardly move around. Their houses are full of ‘stuff’ while their wallets are empty.

StrollerWe baby boomers were happy with rickety but light car seats that doubled as carriers – before we knew of the dangers – and simple wooden highchairs did the trick. I bought my kids’ play clothes and toys at garage sales.

If we were really lucky we had one of those doorway jumpers. As June noted in her article: “The contraption girded up the baby’s crotch…induced bowlegged-ness and sterility, but it was unobtrusive. As long as no one forgot the baby was dangling there and decided to slam the door, that thing was world class.”

And yes, iPads, Smart phones, and computers are helpful – but just try and get kids off of them for two minutes. Then, there’s all the worries and concerns about the dangers of the Internet, social media, and child predators.

Catering to Children

Back in the day, we didn’t waste endless hours arguing with our children. “The look” did the trick most the time. If that didn’t work, we waved a wooden spoon in front of their faces. Today, parents seems to hang on every word their children utter while striving to accommodate their every wish.

Play dates? What was that? If our kids needed to find a playmate we sent them out into the neighborhood to see who was home. Of course, we reminded them that when the street lights came on to be sure and come home for dinner. Today, anxious Moms and Dads have these complicated, color-coated calendars on their iPhones that would confuse a rocket scientist chuck full of sport practices, music lessons, play dates, and private tutors.

Germs? Who cared? Our babies happily crawled and thrived in dusty shag carpets which were impossible to vacuum so the five-inch long strands were simply raked. Our kids would come home full of germs from playing in the mud digging for worms, but we didn’t blink an eye. If food dropped on the floor – hey, haven’t you heard about the five-second – or maybe even the five-day rule? We knew our kids would live to see another day and besides all those germs would build up their immune system.

Nowadays, germ-phobic parents bathe their kids in hand sanitizer. Everyone must take their shoes off when they enter the house. Shopping cart covers are suddenly a necessity. One cough in an enclosed room and mothers are ready to hook up their kid to an IV filled with the latest vitamins and supplements.

Did Baby Boomers Have it Easier Child-Rearing?

We certainly didn’t have to worry about school shootings back in the day. So maybe parents these days have a right to be more stressed. But, as I watch today’s anxious, striving-to-be-perfect parents, I want to tell them to loosen up a little.

I’m not alone. A self-confessed neurotic mother, Jancee Dunn, wrote in a Parents article that her mother tried to convince her to relax and enjoy the short period of parenthood that passes by way too fast. At first Jancee was a bit sarcastic. “Certainly, I had survived my mother’s more laissez-faire style of 1970s parenting,” she wrote. “Her idea of being protective was to throw her arm across me when we roared to a stop in the car, which would have been slightly more effective if I had been in the backseat or wearing a seat belt. But I have to give her credit: at least she glanced over to make sure the lighted cigarette she was holding didn’t set my hair on fire.”

But then she was forced to admit: “Still, my mother was right. There’s a fine line between vigilant and nuts, between besotted and berserk.”

Okay, okay. So we could have been a bit more vigilant in the day. By the way, not all us baby boomer parents smoked despite what the Millennials observe on Mad Men. I certainly didn’t! On the other hand, I do think young parents today can relax a bit.

But back to the question – easier or harder to raise children today? In the end, perhaps we can agree that raising children isn’t easy, no matter the decade.

We baby boomers certainly didn’t do everything right. Spam, really? Just because it was FDA approved didn’t mean it was actually meant to be consumed. And thank-goodness quality car seats and helmets make the world safer for our grandchildren.

But in a lot of ways, it was simpler to raise children back in the day. I sure worried a lot less and my two sons grew up just fine. So, I would say to you young parents, go easier on yourself. Quit trying to make your children’s lives perfect. They are going to be okay and so are you.

So, what are your thoughts on this issue? Was it easier to raise children as baby boomers? What lessons can we boomers share with the younger generation? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat and Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

 

 

Technology Leaves Baby Boomers’ Groovy Talents Behind

As a teen, I could play a mean game of pong. My handwriting was absolutely gorgeous and I wrote the best letters. I drove my Pinto with a stick shift like a pro. No one was faster at shorthand than me in high school.

Is writing letters an obsolete talent?

Is writing letters an obsolete talent?

I perfected licking stamps without swallowing them, surviving while riding a bike without a helmet, providing loving care for my pet rock, and finding a book at the library using a card catalog and the decimal system.

Cradling a phone for hours in the crook of my neck while I talked to friends? No problem. I created beautiful photo albums that included funny sayings I carefully cut out of magazines. I used a Polaroid camera, picked the right film, and reduced exposure time like an expert.

Forget Quicken, spellcheck, and a calculator. I balanced a checkbook beautifully in minutes, my spelling was impeccable, and I made change from cash in my head.

Alas, all these talents have gone to waste. Technology has sadly left me in the dust.

I’m not alone in grieving discarded past skills no longer needed. In Michael’s Kaplan’s article, Technology is Making Baby Boomers Total Losers published in the New York Post, he laments the invention of Telsa cars.

“A few weeks ago, I rode in a friend’s Tesla…my pal couldn’t wait to show me the sedan’s most mind-blowing feature: It parallel parks by itself — perfectly,” Kaplan writes. “I feigned amazement, but thought something else: This is one more skill of mine that has just become obsolete. I’m a below-average driver but an awesome parallel parker…Grown men stand curbside and marvel over my bumper-to-bumper artistry.”

He goes on to list other talents we boomers had that are no longer needed such as reading a map or remembering phone numbers. Oh, I hear you, Kaplan!

Remember sewing classes in Home-Ec ? I painfully learned how to make my own clothes pricking my fingers with those stupid sewing pins. And for what? Suddenly, it became cheaper to buy clothes than make your own. Who makes dresses from patterns, mends their clothes, or sews on a button anymore?

Have all my secretarial talents gone to waste?

Have all my secretarial talents gone to waste?

During my first job as a secretary at a bank, I developed an uncanny skill for using carbon copies (by the way, youngsters, where do you think the initials CC comes from when you send an email – yes, from this archaic tool) without making a smudgy mess. I also used typewriter erasers without tearing the paper.

And get this –  most impressive of all – I could paint precisely with whiteout to fix a typo, let it dry the exact right amount of time, and then realign the paper perfectly so the type was not too high or too low. It was genius!

All useless.

I made the cutest paper dolls from the Montgomery Ward catalog. My embroidered cutoffs and artful doodles of Snoopy on my Pee Chee folder made my schoolmates pee green with envy. I could skip a song on an album by picking up the needle and placing it at the exact spot of my favorite song without scratching the vinyl.

No one cares.

Doesn’t it make you yearn for public pay phones, grinding gears, and the sound of a dial up modem? Adjusting rabbit ears? Cleaning the head of a VCR? Lining up paper on a dot matrix paper? Fixing an 8-track by putting Vaseline on a Q-tip to lubricate the rubber wheel? Floppy disks?

Well, maybe not. But we can still mourn for all our awesome skills that are now useless. And who knows?

Maybe you’ll be in an old Jeep driving alongside a cliff when the driver has a heart attack. Yeah, and you must jump on his lap and take over before you plunge hundreds of feet below. I mean, you just never know. Good thing you know how to drive a stick shift!

Perhaps our expired skills aren’t so useless after all!

Images courtesy of Pixomar and Praisaeng at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Are Boomers a Bunch of Old Farts – Literally?

Let’s lighten up things a bit and talk gas. And not the kind you put in your car. Yes, I’m in an ornery mood this morning and isn’t it time for us all to have a good laugh? So, let’s just go there. 

The question of the hour is this: do we actually fart more as we get older? And is all that extra unwanted gas harder to control? Sure seems that way, but is it actually true? Oh, come on, you know you’re curious.

Maybe you’ve heard the joke:

doctorA little old lady goes to the doctor and says, “I have this problem with gas, but it really doesn’t bother me too much. The farts never smell and are always silent. As a matter of fact, I’ve farted at least 20 times since I’ve been here, and I bet you didn’t even notice!”

The doctor says, “I see. Take these pills and come back next week.” The next week the lady goes back. “Doctor,” she says, “I don’t know what the you gave me, but now my farts – although still silent – stink terribly.”

The doctor says, “Good! Now that we’ve cleared up your sinuses, let’s work on your hearing.”

If you read my blog, you must know by now I have a wicked sense of humor. Besides, it’s kind of fun to talk about normal stuff that makes people squirm a bit – like my blog on snot or having to pee all the time as we get older. It brings everyone back to earth and we can all feel united.

I first tackled the subject of unwanted gas in a humorous article, Blast This Bloatiness, written for Hot Flash Daily.

Because, as I pointed out in the article, along with all the other goodies that menopause blesses us with is a bloated stomach that makes us look pregnant – except we’re too old for that. As a result, instead of patting our tummies, people give us puzzled looks while they discreetly try to figure out our age and determine if pregnancy is even a remote possibility.

Just one of the indignities of menopause! But menopause isn’t the only cause for more gas. Simply getting older does the trick too.

Yes, it’s true and give me a break. Don’t get hoity toity on me. If you’re older, you know what I’m talking about.

embarrass-faceAs we age, we have insane gas that can’t be blamed on the dog. Our gas with newfound super human powers would make a trucker blush. In addition to our newly acquired breaking the wind skills, we’re also blessed with the awesome ability to burp like a frat boy.

Bend down to pick something up or tie your shoe and look out! Climb stairs and amazingly you have enough gas stored to poot on each individual step. Lie on the floor at the  gym and lift your legs to exercise in a room full of people and prepare to die of embarrassment.

Not that flatulence and burping is a bad thing. In fact, it’s a normal, natural part of life and a sign that we’re healthy.

The National Institutes of Health tell us that the “average person passes intestinal gas 14 times a day.” How big is a single fart? According to one study, (oh, what fun being on that research team) a fart can range from the size of a bottle of nail polish for the daintiest of poots to a can of coke – the volume of a really big stinker.

Oh yes, that means you too are capable of producing a fart the size of a soda can. In fact, if you’re older, you can probably do better than that.

After all, the term “old fart” is around for good reason. Remember Golden Pond, when Ethel, played by Kathryn Hepburn, constantly calls her cantankerous old husband, Norman, played by Henry Fonda, “You old poop.”

I rest my case.

In case you’re wondering, there’s a logical reason why us older folk have more gas. Like everything else that slows down in our body, our digestion slows down too. That gives our intestinal bacteria more time to turn dinner into delightfully stinky gases that must be expelled at some point. On top of that, prescription drugs – like blood pressure medications and pain relievers – can also cause gas.

Worse yet, farts do not behave as discreetly as they used to when we were younger. As a result, there is a much higher potential for humiliation. This isn’t just your imagination – it’s a fact. As a medical expert succinctly said: “As we age, gas tends to build up in the lower colon before making a sometimes rapid and noisy escape,” says Karen Hall, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan who specializes in geriatrics and gastroenterology. I kid you not, that is an actual quote.

Oh, isn’t getting old fun sometimes? Once again, referencing Golden Pond, Norman is asked, “How does it feel to turn 80?” “Twice as bad as it did turning forty,” he answered wryly.

So, it turns out that none of this extra farting is our fault. We can’t help it. Which brings me to my next gripe. Why do men get to let ‘em rip and burp with no embarrassment whatsoever? Have you ever noticed that burps and farts are offered up by the opposite sex with a sense of pride, joy, and blissful relief?

embarrassed-womanWe women, on the other hand, are expected to try and hold back what feels like the Hindenburg ready to explode. When we understandably and inevitably fail at the attempt, etiquette dictates that we shamefully leave the room turning five shades of red, hoping desperately and unrealistically that somehow, someway anyone who happened to be nearby didn’t hear the deafening detonation.

Despite popular belief, studies show that men do not have more farts than women, so that’s no excuse for men being more public about it while we women die trying to hold it in.

And did you know that constantly holding in gas can cause medical issues for your colon? Farting is actually good for you. But don’t count on a thumbs up for good health if you’re a woman and accidentally poot in an elevator. Sneeze and you get a polite “bless you,” but let a woman fart in public and oh my!

A man, however, just chuckles and all is forgiven. Worse yet, boys, and even grown men, brag about it. They ponder serious, thought-provoking, and deep questions like who is the best master blaster or who can create the deadliest Dutch oven. I’m a woman, but as a wife and mother of two sons and grandmother to one boy, I know this prank well. While lying in bed with someone, you pull the covers over his or her head while simultaneously letting a booty bomb explode, trapping the foul smell, so the other person suffers immensely. The stinkier and louder the better. The male species thinks this activity is endlessly entertaining.

Can you feel my eyeballs rolling? Men have it way too easy.

For example, they also seem to have a scratch-whatever-itches free card. Men shrug their shoulders and proudly snicker while contentedly relieving their itches. They remind me of animals at the zoo who obviously don’t worry about scratching questionably appropriate places in front of big crowds.

But society dictates that we women do not scratch certain things in public. The problem is they itch in public. And as we age, we feel even itchier. But we women have two choices. Either we try to discreetly sneak in a scratch when no one is looking – and prepare for looks of disgust if caught – or just grin and bear it.

Which isn’t fair, but fine. Whatever. I got off a bit on the subject.

Back to unwanted gas. Another super annoying thing is that men never think their own farts stink. “It’s not that bad,” they say as they efficiently clear the room. I guess we women don’t think our gas stinks either, but that’s besides the point.

Well, I have some good news for you. Turns out they have stylish fart filtering underwear to help with this smelly problem. Yes, I’m dead serious. These are the valuable things we can learn on the Internet. Look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me. The underwear doesn’t come with a muffler but they supposedly reduce the smell.

But come on people. Wouldn’t it be much easier if we all just accepted that women fart too and that we all have more flatulence as we age?

Why can’t we be more like some cultures that not only approve of letting them fly in public, but actually seem to enjoy it? The Yanomami tribe, one of the aboriginal people of Venezuela, fart as a greeting. In ancient Rome, Emperor Claudius, passed a law giving the people liberty to “vent” at a banquet table any “distension occasioned by flatulence” after hearing about a modest person restraining from breaking wind and almost dying. Honest, I’m not making this stuff up!

With that in mind, I’m going to rebel right now and eat a humongous burrito, drink a couple of beers, and blissfully and unashamedly pretend I’m a man. I’ve duly warned my hubby so he can leave the room if he so desires. (Chicken!) OR, even better, maybe I’ll get really wild and run into an elevator full of people to do the deed and make the excellent point that we women have a right to fart too!

Yes, let’s start a movement to quit chastising farters – especially us women and older folk who can’t help it. Let’s all just give in and join the symphony! Are you with me? Toot, toot!

Images courtesy of (in order of appearance) iosphere, Graphics Mouse, and Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Baby Boomers: Five Ways to Keep Positive While You’re Sick

How’s my morning going? I just sneezed out a glob of mucus the size of a ping-pong ball. I’m snot feeling so good.

julie-cold-2

Oh, come on! Don’t look so appalled. Like you baby boomers have never coughed up a loogie before. Even you prim and proper folk have snot – I know it!

So, I’ve caught my first cold of the season and it’s not pretty.

Last night was miserable. While I was trying to eke out five minutes of sleep – every time I rolled over, the phlegm flooded from one nostril to the other in a deluge. How does it do that? Is there some kind of secret tunnel between my nostrils? Now that I think about it, I totally took for granted breathing out of both my nostrils at the same time when I was well.

That was a mistake.

Anyhow, I woke up in the middle of the night and my loyal companion, the Kleenex box, was empty. I have fuzzy memories of squinting through blurry watery eyes at the back of my husband’s pajama shirt which suddenly appeared alluring as a solution to my problem. My beloved was snoring blissfully while I suffered alone, waging my war with all this goo and slime. It just seemed like too much work to get out of bed and find another Kleenex box in the dark. To blow or not to blow – that was the question.

I just can’t quite remember what happened next. I blame the cold medication. Well, whatever.

Getting back to my article, since adults get an average of two to four colds a year, typically between September and May, this is just the first and I have a few more snot fests to look forward to – oh goody!

Men have a reputation of being whiners when they’re sick, but I confess, I’ve done my share of complaining this week. I mean, really, how much snot can one person produce?

A lot, it turns out.

Our bodies make about a liter of mucus a day – and that’s when we’re well. That’s 34 whopping ounces, people! To compare, a Big Gulp has 28 ounces. If you’re sick, you produce even more.

Are you properly grossed out?

I had nothing better to do, so I checked out this article by Everyday Health’s article: Seven Facts About Mucus, Phlegm, and Boogers.

kleenixThe first fact was annoying. Snot and phlegm keep your nasal passages moist for protection and are actually full of all sorts of potent antiviral, antibacterial, and other protective chemicals that work to keep you healthy.

Like that’s supposed to cheer me up. Shut up! I don’t care if mucus is good for me. I hate snot!

Even so, that doesn’t keep me from talking about it – so let’s proceed…

Did you know that sneezes travel 30 to 60 miles an hour, and can fly 30 feet through the air? That fact was kind of fun. But, as soon as you sneeze some of the snot out, the body makes more mucus to replenish it. Bummer.

Okay, so I got off the subject. Don’t ask me why I find this stuff oddly fascinating. Maybe my stuffy head along with the cold medicine is making me a bit deranged.

So how do you stay somewhat positive while you’re sick?

Here are a few ways:

  • I’m guilty of this, but don’t grunge around in your three-day old pajamas and figure that there’s no need to bathe if no one is going to see you anyway. Take that long hot steamy shower and slather on your favorite lotion afterwards. Put on some pretty clothes that make you feel better.
  • Look at beautiful things. Venture out into the backyard if the weather permits and look at your garden. Surround yourself with things that soothe your soul – a pretty potted plant, a picture of happy times, or your favorite knick-knack. Keep the area around you tidy – throw those tissues away instead of allowing them to pile up like Mount Everest.
  • Drink lots of water and eat healthy. It’s good for you. Okay, you can indulge in a few comfort foods, you deserve it. But boundaries. After all, you don’t want to add guilt on top of all your miserable symptoms for eating an entire bag of potato chips that only made your stomach feel worse.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Call a friend or family member who loves and puts up with you no matter what and have some fun whining. Post that you’re sick on Facebook and enjoy all the sympathy and well wishes you get.
  • Stay away from all those depressing tearjerker books and movies. If you’re lucky and have a day off, enjoy reading or watching something so compelling or funny or uplifting that it takes your mind off your misery.

And one more important tip. if you didn’t get this from the beginning of my blog – don’t lose your sense of humor. Remember, it’s always better to laugh than cry.

And if you thought I was through being gross, you were wrong. To help you chuckle, get ready for some good ol’ booger jokes. Share the cornball jokes with your kids and grandkids. They’ll love them!

Q: What do you call a skinny booger?

A: Slim pickins.

Q: How do you make a tissue dance?

A: You put a boogie in it.

Q: Where does your nose go when it gets hungry?

A: Booger King!

Q: If you were a booger…

A: I’d pick you first.

One more. I saw this funny tweet, you may have seen this before, but it still makes me smile:

tombstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like the joke goes: I used up all my sick days, so I’m calling in dead.

I know, I know, I have one sick sense of humor! Bahaha-ahchoo!

Image courtesy of khumthong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Why Do We Baby Boomers Have to Pee So Much?

As you baby boomers get older, do you find that it’s tinkle time all the time? Does the term bladder control seem like an oxymoron?

As I wrote in an article for Hot Flash Daily, thanks to menopause and aging, I now pee more than my father with his enlarged prostate and my five-year-old granddaughter after drinking three glasses of apple juice.

Toilet 3In other words, suddenly I’m the old lady who never turns down a bathroom.

If you’re getting older – whether you’re a man or woman – you may be facing this issue as well.

Remember that line in the funny movie, Paper Moon? Addie (played by a young Tatum O’Neal) is trying to break up the romance between her father (Ryan O’Neal) and good-time gal Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn) who says, “She always has to go to the bathroom! She must have a bladder the size of a peanut!”

Yup, that’s me. Even so, God forbid I utter that line that made my Mom cringe every time someone said it: Gotta pee.

According to the proper etiquette I was taught – and often shamefully ignore – even saying, “I must use the toilet” is way too vulgar. Toilet and pee should NEVER enter the conversation if you are a true lady. “I gotta tinkle,” is not even allowed. Maybe you baby boomers can relate.

ToiletEven worse? “Where is the john?” or “Where is the head?” or “I need to take a leak,” or “I’m going to take a whiz.” Any of those phrases may have made my Mom faint.

Or once again to quote the movie, Paper Moon, “This little girl has to winky-tink!” Nope, none of that.

By the way, have you ever wondered why we say, “I gotta pee like a racehorse?”

Turns out that poor racehorses are sometimes given diuretics so they get rid of all their pee and weigh less thus can run faster. That’s why before a race, you may see a bunch of horses peeing their brains out. Which is kind of cruel, right?

So, I say we put some diuretics in the tea of those in charge at the Kentucky Derby and see how THEY like peeing like a racehorse! Tee, hee. Did I mention that menopause makes me feel mean sometimes?

Anyhow, back to the subject at hand. Since the phrase, “peeing like a racehorse,” is not allowed either, the following were my mother’s suggestions for polite ways to say you need to expel urine from your bladder:

Toilet 4Tolerable options: “Can you please tell me where the restrooms are?” “I’m off to the loo.” “Can you direct me to the nearest water closet?” “I must visit the lady’s room.”

Better options: Vague terminology such as “May I ask, where are the facilities?” or “Nature is calling.”

Best options: “Excuse me, I need to wash my hands.” “I must excuse myself for a moment.” “I need to freshen up.” Or the ever-popular polite terminology: “Excuse me while I powder my nose.”

As you can tell, my Mom took after eloquent European women who only talk about Eau de Toilette when they’re referring to perfume they dab on pulse points.

My Mom sadly died a year ago and sometimes I miss hearing her chiding voice in my head, “Didn’t I teach you, it is never polite to refer directly to any excretory function, my dear.” God bless her.

But now that I’m in my 50s and my Mom is no longer here to control my rebellious ways, here are five of my favorite creative and fun ways of saying, “Gotta pee.”

Number One: “I gotta give my pee ration at the urination station.” (Love creative poetry.)

Number Two: “I must go oui oui.” (French style).

Number Three: “I need to squirt the dirt.” (Although this applies more to men, who says we women can’t accomplish it as well?)

Number Four: “Gotta shake the dew off the daffodil.” (Doesn’t hurt to throw some floral imagery in there.)

And drum roll – my favorite phrase I used for the title of this blog: “Gotta make the bladder gladder.”

If we have to pee more as we get older, we may as well have a sense of humor about it. So there you go. Sorry, Mom. An older baby boomer woman has to do what a older baby boomer woman has to do.

For more humorous and informational articles, be sure and check out Hot Flash Daily.

Images courtesy of artur84, nuttakit, and SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.