An Icon Revisited: The Lunch Lady

Today, I had the privilege of lunch with a friend. It was wonderful to connect. I love lunch out.

But, recently I missed the opportunity to have lunch with another girlfriend who I haven’t seen in person for more than a year. Things came up for her at work which seems to be the case when we schedule time. I miss her.

Dear Friend – You know who you are … Let’s not let too much more time pass. Let’s get something new scheduled.

But every time we schedule lunch I am reminded of how over 7 years ago I labeled our 2 hours away from the office in the middle of the day:  The Lunch Ladies.

I want to be a Lunch Lady. Not in a hairnet, food service kind of way, serving up hamburgers and fries to middle schoolers. But I’d like to modernize the term. Shift our thinking about what it means to be a Lunch Lady.

  • Remix!
  • Remaster!
  • Redefine!

When I say Lunch Lady, think instead … lady who lunches. It’s an event. An event that seems to happen daily.

During our 2 hour outings at the local eatery here’s what we would observe that led me to this repurposing of the term Lunch Lady:

  • Women gathered over good food and bottles of wine.
  • Beautiful women who don’t have to work outside of the home because their husbands’ incomes allow it.
  • Beautiful, thin women whose main responsibility is taking the kids to and from school.
  • Beautiful, thin, fun-loving women who get to enjoy friends in the same stage and station of life.
  • Beautiful, thin, fun-loving, smart women laughing out loud.
  • Beautiful, thin, fun-loving, smart, stylish women spending their time exactly how they choose.

Lunch Lady? Yes, I want to be one … beautiful, thin, fun-loving, smart, stylish, and spending my mid-day meal over gourmet food and a fine bouquet of wine with close friends, before I head off to pick up kids from school.

With the exception of enjoying a long lunch with good company, the reality:  I wouldn’t want to be home full time. I wouldn’t know what to do with my time.

Besides, are these women’s lives perfect? No, of course not. But the illusion of perfection is very attractive.

With 40 being the new hotness, the Lunch Lady icon can definitely be re-imagined.

… I dream of the day when I too can be a LUNCH LADY.

From Hair Scare to Scary Hair

I have some issues with my hair … I know what you are thinking and it’s not age related. I’m not fussed by the grey, it is “a crown of splendor”… No this is a problem I’ve had from childhood.The first time I remember it happening, at age 13, I thought it was my stylist fault. After all, it was the age of the Jheri Curl and she could have over-processed my hair. Not the case. My mother tells of me having issues as a baby.

Some may say my issue is style. And that’s fine; you have a right to your opinion. But for me it’s something worse.

Hair is important. I have a girlfriend who refers to her own hair as:  “My Precious.” You know, as in “the one ring to rule them all”. I’m almost that obsessed.

Here’s the issue …

Every few years my hair breaks off and gets thin; always in the same spot. The top of my head; the crown. It’s distressing and annoying. I have to resort to creative hair styling. A comb-over isn’t pretty on a woman. Trust me.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry (Photo credit: bigdmia)

When it happened three years ago, I made the decision to cut my hair short. Halle Berry pixie short but without the Halle Berry beauty to go with it. Two inches long.

It’s taken this whole time for it to grow out. And by grow out I mean barely an inch each year … it’s almost chin length again. Okay, to be honest, it barely covers my earlobes. Even though my hair has never been longer than shoulder length … I don’t like short hair.

Now the cycle begins, yet again, and I have to do something. So I started taking a supplement that is supposed to help with hair, skin, and nails.

And it works well. My nails don’t feel as brittle. My skin seems smoother. And I’ve noticed new hair growth. Longer, thicker, and shinier hair.

The challenge …

Alas, the hair that is coming in … the most notable hair growth … the new longer hair … is on my CHIN … as in “not by the hairs of my” … of all places. Then there’s the shinier hair on my legs and the thicker hair under my arms. But, I haven’t experienced healthier hair on top of my head. Why? Go figure. Your guess is as good as mine.

TMI? Yeah, I know but this is my dilemma. I have to believe the next success in my supplement story will be for the hair on my head.

Beauty comes at a price. The question:  Is that price worth it? There has been an increase in time spent tweezing and plucking and shaving that I’d rather not be bothered with …

I think I need a support group:

  • Bold and Bald Bureau …
  • Weave Wearers of America …
  • The Women’s Wig Association …
  • Hapless Hair Loss Club …

Sign up today and we can care for one another through our vast and varied hair situations.

40 is the New Hotness, I’m Just Saying

I turned 40 this year!!

Don’t get it twisted … I wasn’t sad. I didn’t wallow in self pity and regret. I didn’t pine for my youth because my youth wasn’t squandered.

As 40 approached I waited with anticipation because I am thankful for each year. It’s quite the milestone.

Saying goodbye to my 30s made me reflect, and maybe a little nostalgic, but in an appreciative way. I found there were some things I wanted to incorporate into who I am. Things that I wanted to change.

I don’t know why but it made me think of this scene from Fried Green Tomatoes:

  • Evelyn:  Excuse me? I was waiting for that space.
  • Girl #1:  Yeah? Tough!
  • Girl #2:  Face it lady, we’re younger and faster.
  • (Smashes into car)
  • Girl #2:  What are you doing? Are you crazy?
  • Evelyn:  Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.

Getting older has to have some perks, right? And so I decided my 40 perk was going to be FREEDOM OF SPEECH. No longer would I hold my tongue. I was going to let it all hang out like the character Maxine from Hallmark’s Shoebox Greeting line:

  • “I am aging like fine wine … which is to say, I’m building up pressure and about to become uncorked.”
  • “A friend will always tell you exactly what she thinks! So I guess I’m friends with everybody.”
  • “If I’m not bitchin’ check my pulse.”

So I spent the last few months of my 30s preparing my family and friends for this change. Letting them know what was soon to be coming their way. Managing expectations if you will. As if giving them a head’s up would make what I was going to start doing alright.

My family wasn’t fazed. Their response was quite surprising. They asked, “How is that different from any other day?” Really? Am I that direct? Here I thought I clamped down on any wayward comments.

It has become the family joke now. When I make off-color remarks or statements that are just shy of rude, my husband lovingly says, “But you’re 40 so you can say that!”

How is it a good thing to verbally upchuck on people? I mean why is a perk of aging about reaching a point where you no longer have a filter of grace, tact, and diplomacy?

The more I think about it the more embarrassed I am. But, oddly enough, I am not willing to give up this freedom of speech. HA!

Maybe as we age we fear being forgotten or left behind so we do and say memorable things. Or, maybe we lose our minds. Or, we just stop caring. Who knows?

I guess when you really think about it, it’s the circle of life:  when we’re young we say lots of stuff that could be classified as rude, mean, or inconsiderate; and people label it cute or precocious. For example, when my 7 year old said of my pending milestone birthday:  “Wow Mom, you’re almost halfway to 100.”

Yeah? Cute? Precocious? Whatever!

Well than call this freedom of speech a reclaiming of my youth because I plan on saying whatever I want.

I’m reminded of one last movie clip:  Men in Black 2 when Agent J brings back Agent K and they fight about who’s going to drive.

  • Agent J:  Wait, what are you doing?
  • Agent K:  I always do the driving.
  • Agent J: Oh no … 
  • Agent K:  I remember that.
  • Agent J:  No. What you remember is that you used to drive that old busted joint. See I drive the new hotness.
  • Agent J:  [Pointing at Agent K] Old and busted.
  • Agent J:  [Pointing at himself] New hotness.
  • Agent J:  [Agent K looks at Agent J. Then Agent J hands the keys over.] Old, busted, hotness …

I’ve decided that 40 is NOT old and busted but it represents the New Hotness.

Who’s with me?