Saturday, November 20, 2004

Who I Want to Be When I’m 80 – Except for The Nose Picking Part

I woke up thinking about a woman I used to work for in my youth, so the following is something I actually wrote for another tome of mine, but thought I’d regurgitate since her voice was in my head...

I’ve had multiple jobs as long as I can remember. It breaks up my week and is never dull. One of the jobs I had as a teenager was cleaning the house of an elderly woman named Freda Drahfle.

FREDA: (imagine a voice that sounded like Olivia de Havilland, but with a lot of cigarettes and gin added) “Once I week I employed the young girl who would clean my home, change the sheets on my bed, and be a bit of a companion. I had recently suffered from a broken hip and pelvis, so couldn’t get around as much as I would have liked. I apparently had a horrible habit of picking my nose in my sleep and would wipe the results of my excavations on the side of the mattress – and the young girl learned quickly to watch where she put her hands when stripping the bed. (chuckles) I filled my waste paper baskets daily to the brim with Silhouette Romance novels.”

Now at the time, I knew nothing about Silhouette Romance novels, as my barely-13 year old taste ran to Fantasy and Science Fiction or Laura Ingalls Wilder and I hadn’t yet discovered the saucier side of Judy Blume.

FREDA: “I would ask the child to fix me a highball when she was there. I had to provide careful instruction into the proper making of the beverage, as apparently the child had never been properly educated in that respect. Each time she brought me the drink, I would tell the child she was free to take any of the books with her instead of throwing perfectly good stories away. I called them my sedative novels. I thought she would like them. We could have a book discussion. (Chuckles again).”

I would thank her and say that was very nice but I had too many reading assignments from school. Years later, I’m reading an article by Cynthia Haemel – I’m pretty sure it was her – and she starts talking about reading her first Silhouette romance novel and how it turns out that they are nothing but fabulous PORN FOR WOMEN. It was only then that I realized that Mrs. Drahfle subsisted on a steady diet of highballs, cigarettes and porn and was trying to push the porn on an impressionable junior high school student. Outstanding. I wish I’d brought the books home.

Now I'm not trying to say that when I'm 80 I will have a desire to corrupt the minds of America's youth with racy fiction, but I do admire the sheer mischief of it all. And of course the idea of taking up cigarettes and highballs at the age of 80 just fills me with glee. I'm imagining my drunken escapades as we speak. So to speak.


Blogger R said...

So THAT'S what's wrong with you. (As my cousin would say when I tell her any story about myself.) ha ha kidding. Seriously, that woman was on to something. I think I'm going to start on that right now. Screw waiting to old age. Thanks for the idea!!!

20 November, 2004 22:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's classic. I, too, aspire to highballs, porn, and cigarettes when I'm 80. Except for the cigarettes part. I'll think of some other vice to substitute, OK?

24 November, 2004 03:59  

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