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Have umbrage, will travel

Experiencing umbrage about something, no doubt

First of all, I have to apologize for how tiny this type is. If I ever figure out how to make my font size larger, I will, because I can barely read this. I have to take out my contact lenses to read teeny-tiny writing now, so you’re not the only one being punished.

I am warning you right now, there might be will be rants here. I am from New Jersey. When I was little, all my great-aunts helped raise me, so I am a concoction of theirs, and none of them spoke English clearly. In addition, they all shrieked a lot, and I remember a lot of complaining, so there you go. I am genetically programmed to complain. The point is, I was raised by women, all of whom had a response (usually negative) to getting old. The general ‘wisdom’ in my family was that growing old was one of those things life imposes on you that you don’t have to endure silently, but then, the women in my family felt that way about almost everything.

In spite of how important women in my family were to me, my relationship with my mother was not good. In fact, it’s because my relationship with my mother wasn’t good that I spent so much time with the rest of my family when I was little, since she was working and wasn’t around. My father came and went, and then went permanently, and then “we got a new father”, and then we all moved overseas. I have moved 37 times, and even now, my boxes are packed in anticipation of moving again. I don’t know where I’m going, precisely, but I’m ready just in case.

When my mother died last year, I started talking to myself (others call it ‘muttering’ or ‘schizophrenia’) about all of the things I’m writing about now: aging, resentment, women, my family, being a mother, face cream, the need to travel to get away from the aforementioned issues—elements of my life I previously discounted, that have now taken on a life of their own.

My mother used to say to strangers who looked after me, “If she gets to be a pain in the ass, just smack her.” She thought it was funny… but you get the idea. I might say things that convince you that I am a pain in the ass. I like to think of it as “honesty,” but then, I never have known when to keep my mouth shut.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. anonnickus permalink
    February 15, 2011 2:51 PM

    …and I also love umbrage. There is a lot of good stuff going on here in the old diner. Good work.

  2. February 16, 2011 6:52 AM

    I’ve got umbrage too – about a lot of things. I really like your writing. I’m starting to not be so young anymore and I’m single with a lot of strange crazy relatives and co-workers. I find myself complaining on my blog – a LOT. Also, my culture does not accept people like me (for long, anyway) and there is always something to rant about.
    But, I feel for you and for all of us who have something to say. I’m glad I found your blog.

    • February 16, 2011 11:37 AM

      Oh good, I’m glad you found it too, because believe me, umbrage is everywhere. 😉 Just let it out…

      • February 17, 2011 8:08 AM

        Thank you Alison, for the vote of confidence 🙂

        By the way, I spent 15 minutes looking at a confusion of face-creams that all guaranteed that I would look magically younger in 7 days if I used them. Of course, they were ridiculously over-priced and all claimed to have unbelievable magical properties. And as I stood there, I thought of your blog. And it made me grin a little.

        One brand claimed that it could stop me from turning 30. What a bunch of bull – I turned 30 three years ago and nothing could stop it from happening. Umbrage indeed.

      • February 17, 2011 10:21 AM

        I have a lot to say about magical potions. Oh yes…. I am not a salesperson, but I have found a couple of jars of goo in my time that actually do “something.” What, I don’t know, but my skin looks a little better in the morning. EVERYTHING ELSE IS CRAP, and I have tried some very expensive stuff. Not hundreds of dollars per jar expensive, but expensive enough. I have priorities, but sadly, my face is one of them.

  3. September 5, 2011 1:41 PM

    And as a wise old friend once told me “Growing old aint for the faint hearted”. Now I believe her. 🙂

    • September 5, 2011 1:42 PM

      it does seem to require more and more courage each day upon waking, yes. Hence the need for coffee, probably.

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