Thursday, October 18, 2012


Due to deference, default, death, or just plain sucky circumstances, I am a Matriarch.  No, not A matriarch – THE MATRIARCH. 

Now, mind you, this is not a position I sought after or campaigned for.  No.  No.  This triumphant metamorphosis was thrust upon me unbidden.  I am reluctantly perched atop this peak.  I am the dominant clan member, the titular head of the family, the woman of veneration to the posse, the Apex Enforcer to those in a direct line of descent.

I am glaringly unqualified.  One must matriculate before ascending this summit. One can assume the mantle only under the most rigorous of specific pre-conditions.  I reiterate.  I am lacking in credentials.

These conditions include but are not limited to the following:

1.       Maturity.  One must be ripe with mellow warmth, sweetness and a soft, squishy center – like a pear haloed in fruit flies, just before it’s consigned to the trash can.

2.       The very word, “matriarch,” conjures visions of rounded shoulders,  ladies distinguished as dowdy, frumpy, slightly disheveled, and sportin’ radioactive temple breath.

3.       When I think of Matriarch, I think of Queen Elizabeth, the Monarch of Great Britain, a staid and grand lady, slightly bent and forever carrying a purse.  Or Dame Maggie Smith, the Dowager Emeritus of Downton Abbey, who spits so many rapid-fire put-downs in ever-so proper English, she nearly busts her tightly-corseted bustier and saturates the atmosphere with cryptic and cutting candor.  There is nothing like a dame!

4.       Finally, a matriarch must be set in her ways, unyielding in her preferences, bellicose, like a gargoyle from every pinnacle of the mansion.

Not me.  That’s simply not me.

However, I passed a mirror.  That brought a flood of unattractive and shabby reflections.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized maybe, just maybe, I am rather set in my ways.  I do have preferences that, when violated, I take offense. I can be provoked into spontaneous combustion and have been known to emit warning sounds reminiscent of the Madagascar hissing cockroach.

So I made a list of things I like and things I don’t like.  Sure enough…my age is betrayed by carbon dating.  I am stubborn.  I am set in my ways.  But they are the only true and living ways, so I stick by them without apology.

Pronouncement:  All leaders, in order to be truly great, should have ovaries.  It’s better to endure hot flashes than nuclear melt-down.

So here is my catalogue, my personal inventory, the laundry list of things that could trigger carpet bombing necessitating first-responders should anyone risk death by stupidity for perpetuating my displeasure.

Things I don’t like:

Halloween, haunted houses, hash tags, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I like: 

Gangnam, old movies, harvest time, Rafa Nadal.

Don’t like:

TV Awards programs, reality shows, prune juice.


Bubble gum, platinum blond hair, wedding dresses, soccer games when I have DNA playing on the team.

Don’t like:

Naked royals, cannibals, Geico ads, politics.


Ethics, Lincoln, Coke Zero, Rafa Nadal.

Don’t like:

Prune juice, TV ads for products with animated characters of mucus, constipation, or toenail fungus, shots, politics, Kardashians, and mean people.


Good books, Henry IV Part I, nice people, more Coke Zero (It’s now been de-criminalized.)

Absolutely Hate:


I suppose I have come to terms with my new identity.  I am qualified.  I am set in my ways.

Ovaries, Unite!  Matriarchs should rule the world.  It’s the most efficient use of leadership. It is the way the universe was designed.

Advice to those who would appease the Apex Matriarch:  Adhere to the Stockholm Syndrome – identify with the beast, and no one gets hurt.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why Can't Vaccines be Pointless?

OK.  So.  I got my flu shot.  No.  Correction.  Not JUST my flu shot.  I also got a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (for pneumonia and multiple sugars), a diphtheria and pertussis vaccine (so I don’t spontaneously break out in mindless whooping and hollering), and a tetanus booster (so lockjaw does not inhibit my incessant stream of consciousness).

It was an ordeal.

I entered the facility with foreboding.  In the parking lot outside was a flatbed whose cargo was comprised of syringes the size of the Alaskan pipe line. It was every needle-phobiac’s worst nightmare.  The anticipation filled me with dread and trembling.

I miss Dennis.  He would take me to unpleasant procedures such as this and assure me I would neither puke nor projectile faint.  He had the power of suggestion, and I always believed him.  Consequently, I did neither.  However, he often neglected to remind me not to swear, which I did prolifically, frequently inventing new sequences for old obscenities with each injection.  For some reason, Dennis never appeared chagrined or humiliated.  In fact, he seemed amused at my gift for articulating the profane. It pleased me to make him proud.  In the whole anatomy of life, he made me feel buxom.

Prior to that long, lonesome drive to purgatory, I concentrated on hydrating myself.  I don’t know why exactly.  It just seemed like a good idea at the time.  It was only as I was strapped into the procedure chair with no visible means of escape, that I realized what a really bad idea hydration was.  So many prayers of late pivot around remaining continent.

Allison, the tech, detected my apprehension.  Perhaps it was the bulging cartoon eyes protruding from a face contorted into an African war mask.  Penetrating feloniously spasmodic muscle layers with her pitiless needle appeared doubtful under the circumstances.  Her efforts to distract me from impending doom were counterintuitive and purely ornamental.  I was sure we were at an impasse.

I’m a little embarrassed in hind sight.  It’s strange how one’s perception of oneself is at odds with actuality.  I was determined to approach this ordeal like a Tibetan Warrior Monk, a veritable cinder-block fortress of disembodied heroism, simmering with power and unlimited possibility, a welterweight werewolf under a full moon, with the talons of a bird of prey, lean, spare, and coiled…stupid with human endurance.  I.  AM.   WOMAN.

Ah, despite the resolution, the flesh was weak.

But then Allison performed a brilliant tactical maneuver.  It was simple really.  She merely mentioned  she’d read Brodi’s book, and could I tell her more about the characters and on whom they were based. 

Well, it was a game-changer.  I began to talk, confessing things I swore never to reveal in a shameless expose.  I told every confidence except where they hid Jimmy Hoffa’s remains.  As I rambled on, I could feel the tension go out of my neck.  My entire torso morphed into post-Dennis flab, drooping and sagging down the side of the chair like pulsating glacial slag until it puddled in a shiny mound of pink gelatinous petroleum jelly at my feet…like Mick Jagger’s lips melted in a bunson burner.

Allison was then able to puncture my ceps (I was unable to determine if they were “bi” or “tri,”) and inject the magic fluid to my entire bodily regions.  And it was done.  Mission accomplished.  I was inoculated!

At the conclusion, I wanted to celebrate with relief.  I felt like I’d just been liberated from my emotional long winter woollies.  I wanted to boing around like I was in a moon bounce.

In my euphoria, I suggested some sort of closing ceremony was warranted…perhaps with arm splints and the Purple Heart. Allison felt strongly that four Scooby Do boo-boo strips and an Angry Bird sticker was reasonable.  I conceded.

Best of all, throughout the whole ordeal, I never uttered a single vulgarity – not even one.  Boo Yah!

So bring on the planet, with its pertussises, polysaccharides and conjugations.  I’m ready.

I think Dennis would be proud.