I am old – am I old?

 

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Gosh, I’ve had a really depressing experience the other day! I actually discovered my first grey hair! And that at the age of … nooo, not gonna tell! Or do you already know? Have I accidentally mentioned my age? Or have you guessed already by connecting references of the 80s and 90s? I can’t say it out loud, though, neither can I write it down … maybe one day my big crisis won’t be so big anymore and I will be able to face my first early midlife crisis. Up until then … I’ll just try to cope with it the best I can. As with my first grey hairs … that was a BIG crisis with capital letters and the first thing I did was grabbing my tweezers and pulling them out … who wouldn’t!? The thing is, men just look more handsome and distinguished with greying hair, women just look old. And obviously I’m already heading there even though I still feel like in my 20s, with my real life just having started … having missed out on so much, fearing I will never experience the “normal stuff” … and it’s not getting easier the older I get.

This whole question of “Am I old?” reminds me of something that happened to me when I still was at university. Which requires some explanations for those who are not familiar with non-English languages and customs. Several European countries have a special expression to address adults or strangers politely. Your only means to address someone is “YOU”, in other countries you call someone “you” if it’s a child or your friend. In all the other cases – your boss, the shop assistant, your teacher – you address them with a “Sie”, “Lei”, “Vous” – just to give you an idea. Basically it’s similar to the way the British address royalty or judges. As in “your royal highness” or “your honor” – there’s no other way to be more polite, don’t you think? In the 18th and 19th century it was common in Austria’s high society to address even one’s parents in that manner. Can you imagine calling your Dad in the way you would a judge? “Father, can your highness/honor/ … pass me the milk?” Weird, isn’t it? (Even though you wouldn’t have said that cause there were servants to pass you the milk …) But that was actually the case in Austria when we still had an emperor!

Back to MY story since you now know the difference between you and YOU! And the day I felt OLD for the first time!

I had to attend a lecture – in Austria, at my university – and there were so many fellow students that I had to stand in the back. Nothing unusual there! Until one of the 19-year-old girls actually asked me if I wanted to sit down. In originally that tone you would ask an 80-year-old woman on the bus. Of course with this polite Austrian expression we use instead of “YOU”. Imagine my surprise! Sure, I was roughly ten years their senior at that time! I was so stunned that I didn’t quite know how to react! Should I laugh out loud and tell her that I’m not THAT old? Or become angry – well, more like pissed off – and tell her to screw herself? My reply was a mixture of both: a raised eyebrow combined with a dignified “No, thanks!”

So, I was wondering … did I look THAT old at the age of 30? Maybe I dressed classier than the barely out of school students, but I was neither wearing shift dresses nor pearl necklaces at that time … On the other hand, the woman from the vegetable stall in the town’s main place regularly treated me like a ten-year-old at the same time.

And the question still is, years later: Am I old?

I need shoes … and a bag too

What? Again? Is the unsympathetic reaction from HIM. And I’m starting to explain, “Well, Darling, I’ve got this new dress you urged me to buy and I don’t have a single pair of shoes that go with it! Oh, and of course I need a new bag too!”

He, with a hint of desperation in his voice, “But, Baby, your closet is stuffed with shoes and bags! You even had to expand your walk-in closet … by cluttering the hallway with an additional large shoe rack, which is already bursting from the seams with all your shoes! I only have three pairs!”

Sounds familiar? Thought so! Men will never understand the importance of finding the perfect pair of shoes to be properly dressed for taking out the garbage. (And of course, we’ll never find the perfect pair of shoes, since we always look for and buy new ones!)

Corpus delicti this time is a cute olive green lacy shift dress, next time jeans, another time nothing but a negligé and I NEVER have shoes that go with either outfit! So, what do I do? I drag him with me from one shoe store to another – cause he has the credit card, which is not overdrawn yet -, trying on hundreds of shoes, buying a dozen and still haven’t found a pair that would look perfect with my olive green dress. (Hey, finding shoes in exactly the same shade of my dress is not easy! Give me some slack, guys!!!)

It’s a hard life us women live. Always on the search, never stopping, never passing a shoe store without going in. And above all our guys never understand the trouble we’re in! Although, sometimes you could really feel sorry for these poor sods we’re taking along. But where is the fun in shopping for shoes if HE doesn’t tag along? WHO are we going through all this for? Yes, that’s right, we all do it for THEM! The guys in our lives! They want us to look nice, pretty, sexy … every minute of the day. They want us to be housewives, business women, hookers, mothers, supermodels … all in one! And how, I ask you, can we achieve that without the proper shoes??? Or do you know which pair you’re going to wear for Christmas dinner? Or lunch with his parents? Or the wedding you’re invited to, where you actually might catch the wedding bouquet? Not to mention all those other occasions? Not to forget vacations! One needs several pairs of sandals, mules, sneakers, wedges, kitten heels! You name it, you need it!

The simple answer is: we don’t know what we’re going to wear on every pre-planned occasion! Guys, you just have to endure it! Be patient, just let loose a little sigh, pull your credit cards without grumbling and never, NEVER EVER tell us we have enough shoes at home! A woman can never have enough shoes!!! (And bags too!!!)

 

Bond is blond

 

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A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a „James Bond weekend“. To do 24 movies in one go would have been an impossible task, since 50.5 hours are a bit much, even for me. So instead I was working my way through my favourites on Saturday (Goldfinger, Thunderball, The man with the golden gun, Moonraker and Die another day) and devoted my Sunday to the latest Bond: Daniel Craig. To refresh my memory. Since compared to all the other Bonds I basically know by heart, I didn’t have the urge to watch the Craig Bond movies more than once.

When I first heard the news in 2008 that British actor Daniel Craig won the competition to follow into Sean Connery’s, Roger Moore’s, Timothy Dalton’s, George Lazenby’s and Pierce Brosnan’s footsteps I was, well, flabbergasted. A blond James Bond? No! No way! How could they? James Bond is NOT blond! Ian Fleming would turn in his grave if he knew they made tall, dark, handsome James into a blond not so handsome – in the classic, elegant handsome way – one. I was more than reluctant to even watch “Casino Royale”, but just couldn’t stay away from the movie theatre. Watching every single James Bond movie is just obligatory!

Re-watching the four Daniel Craig movies, with the old ones still fresh in my mind, my initial reaction to seeing the first Daniel Craig Bond hadn’t changed. In fact, it just became worse. I liked “Casino Royale” for its fast-paced action scenes, the travelling to the Bahamas, Miami, Venice, the good filmmaking. BUT! Even though I basically liked the movie in general I just couldn’t see it as a James Bond movie. It lacked endearing original mastermind inventor Q – or his successor played by John Cleese -, it lacked gadgets and gizmos, it lacked humour and irony, persiflaging the whole 007 spy business. The “new” Q? Computer nerd? Pleeaaase!!! I don’t even remember Bond saying the coolest words ever, “Bond. James Bond.” But maybe I was just too bored and annoyed to notice it. At least he managed to order Martinis and drive nice cars.

The whole Bond franchise just deteriorated with the movies to follow. “Quantum of solace”, which basically continued its “Casino Royale” storyline, with 007 avenging the death of his lover. “Skyfall” which had a few nice references to the old movies like the vintage Aston Martin. But with “M” dying and Bond nearly crying, I was very disappointed in this unnecessary drama!

And then there came “Spectre”. The highlight of my Bond marathon, being the last one, with the obligatory microwave popcorn while watching from the comfort of my couch. With Christoph Waltz as “Blofeld”. I shouldn’t have watched it again. Really, I shouldn’t have. Disappointment is an understatement. Bond was a sentimental anti-spy, Blofeld just boring and not very threatening compared to the other Blofelds before him. And the final scene on the bridge, where he doesn’t kill Blofeld, his surrogate brother (how lame) because the new lady love of his life tells him not to, walking away with her into the sunrise … I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a waste of time! It was bad in the movie theatre, it’s worse on TV. I miss the old Bonds, the dark-haired ones, the ones with elegance and style, dry humour, intelligence, charm, Martinis and clichés. Bond is not Bond without his black tux, Martini, “Bond, James Bond”, Q and his many women he loves for a whole movie and then enjoys other ones in the next. With Sean Connery and Roger Moore leading the list of the quintessential Bond material! Oh yes, I know, there might be an outcry now from some of you, who love the new, 21st century Bond. I just don’t! Guess some part of me will always be partial to the past, which you will find out more about in the course of time! So, I can only hope the next Bond will find his way back to the old style for us to enjoy!

A new fashion statement

This week’s posting is actually a piece I wrote a few years back. But with the tragic events that happened in the States in November 2016 – yes, I am talking about the election of Donald Trump (shudder) as new president (shudder again) – with everything getting worse by the minute, I don’t want to keep this little fun piece from you.

It all started with a short report on TV about – now, get this – toddlers in all kinds of wigs in LA, which was the latest hype. And this is what played out in my mind, as I was imagining the following scene:

I picture myself strolling down Hollywood Boulevard, getting the shock of my life when I see a little toddler wearing a strangely familiar hairstyle in form of a blond wig. My first reaction is pure horror, followed by laughter boiling inside me. I can’t resist walking up to the obviously toting mother – who else would protect a baby’s head with a blond wig? – and hiding my urge to shake her violently to get some sense into her, asking her with a fake, a very fake smile, “Excuse me! But where did you get this gorgeous wig?”

(Note the slight irony in my voice … maybe I should punish myself now for being so mean!)

The answer is – at least for me – a laughing matter, “You can get it anywhere! It’s the latest fashion and you just have to have it! My cutie-pie loves it!”

Really? This let’s another question arise! Is it a boy or a girl? Who knows what goes on in minds of mothers who torture their toddlers with wigs … But I’m clever enough NOT to enrage the mother and inquire about the not obvious gender of her child. But why? Why this weird windswept style I still cannot place?

“Isn’t that obvious?”

Of course not or I wouldn’t have asked! Which is why I reply, “Ahem, I don’t see it right now!”

The proud mother, “It’s supposed to be a copy of Donald Trump’s hair, you know, the tycoon and “You are fired” Apprentice host!”

Donald Trump! Man, do I feel STUPID!!! Of course I see it now! (Kind of!)

The toddler is wriggling in its mother’s arms, suddenly the wig is on backwards and I’m trying very hard not to burst out laughing. Not very successfully. This would be one of those occasions where your only chance of getting out of this situation is pretending to suffer from a sudden coughing fit.

However, in my mind, I’m unable to leave yet! I still need to know … are there others around?

Yes, there are! PINK’s (the popstar) hairstyle is about as en vogue and a bestseller as Bob Marley’s big curly hair. I don’t even know what’s worse … well, Donald Trump probably already IS the worst choice. Just imagine having a tiny duplicate Trump crawling around at home! Eerie, plain and simple!

After another few pleasantries – I do know how to behave, sometimes – I leave, shaking my head, imagining what people would say if they saw a toddler in a PINK wig in the middle of summer in the small Austrian town I used to live in! Guess I’d be carted off to the next lunatic asylum for sure!

Sorry for not providing you with an appropriate headliner pic … you didn’t really think I would throw my hard-earned money out the window ordering a Donald Trump toddler wig just for this post, did you? Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little excursion into my literary past … maybe it’s not that out of date after all, with the new president in town! This might be the revival of the Donald Trump toddler wig hype!