"I write so that my handful of pebbles, cast into still waters, will create a ripple."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rosemary Clooney's "This Ole House" in a New Light

I was six years old when I heard Rosemary Clooney belting out "This Ole House."  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNgOUxtOUNQ  I thought it was wonderful. An esoteric, humorous idea that could never happen to me because my father had built us a brand new house.

               This ole House is feeling creaky, this ole house is getting old. 
               This ole house lets in the wind, this old house lets in the cold.

Bette Midler sings a new version that lacks the guts of the original, or the soul of Tennessee Ernie Ford, but when is a cover song ever as good as the original? It’s an Americana standard.

I never thought that one day that ole house would be a metaphor for my body.

I realized it last week while I was on my therapeutic masseuse’s table, being kneaded and elbowed. Every week I return to endure her torture, and every time, I rise more buoyant than the week before.

She’s also a life coach and she tries to sneak in suggestions, but I’m never sure an unmarried girl in her 20s has answers for my life. Well, maybe a few. At her suggestion I added shea butter to my skin regimen, mixed with a few drops of essential oil. And there’s the homework. Every week I have a couple of take-away changes that I implement.

But—really! Comparing my  aging body to an old house? If my husband dared make the comparison he would be in trouble.

But think about it—pipes get rusty. They wear out and leak. Screws get loose. Snow on the roof and all that it implies. Wood gets dry and squeaks. Doors and windows get tight and need a little lubrication. Heating and cooling problems. Faded paint. Couldn’t the list just go on and on?

The lessons I learn on the massage table are that a body doesn’t have to live in pain--or even discomfort. A lot of chronic things are fixable, as long as I can throw money at them. After all, a classic made in the 40s or 50s is overdo for a remodel.

My masseuse would agree.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Into the Desert

This week, in a sudden impulse I pulled into a BMW dealership and took a test drive in a 2014 BMW 288i.

“Drive it faster,” the salesman implored from the passenger seat. “See how great this baby corners.”

I didn’t know salesmen still called cars “babies.” This guy didn’t even know my last name. He didn’t know if I had a driver’s license because he hadn’t asked to see it. But he was willing to put his life in my hands? He was right—it was a total rush. Not sure I’ll ever feel the same about a car.

That night, the six-o’clock news was all about the new “smart cars.” Maybe it was the timing. I thought about the thrill of rear-wheel preferential cornering. I remembered the soar of the tachometer in the BMW when I shifted into Sport mode. I thought about turning all that over to a robot while I sat in the front seat doing what? Knitting? Reading?

My sister longs to have a robot. She can’t wait until she has a computer girlfriend to fetch a glass of water, answer the door, vacuum her floors. and laugh at her jokes.

“What would happen if your robot fell in love with your smart car?” I joked. “Thelma-roid and Louise-bot. They would hit you over the head and stuff you in the trunk. The robot would help herself to your favorite shoes and your mother’s pearls. They would dump you in the desert somewhere on their way to Mexico where they would live happily ever after with your car and your money.”

We laughed, but the tang of possibilities lay heavy in the air.