What’s Appropriate

Here I am, now 49 years of age.

Good lord!!

I looked in the mirror on the eve of my birthday this past April and I stared inquisitively at my eyes and the flesh around them. I looked for any evidence; any indication that I’ve aged to this extent.

I saw Nothing.


The crows foot near my right eye mercifully remained singular and I continue to praise the Baby Jesus for that and the fact that I am still a great piece.

And I always will be as long as I convince myself that I am.

You see, age I’m learning, IS exactly what the ubiquitous “they” say it is and it is relative. Sure, it makes a difference in the box you check on certain forms and applications and someday soon, my advancing age will ultimately lower the cost of my airline tickets and hotel rooms. But really, we’re only as old as we mentally allow ourselves to be.

In the right here and right now, I’m fine with that…all of it, really. I embrace the 49th ring now forming in the trunk of my life. I knew this when I engaged in the ceremonial calender flip on my birthday this year. It doesn’t denote a detachment from an idealized youth that in reality, wasn’t all that great. No, the calender flip and my acceptance of it, marks an advancement; a forward progression toward something. Since turning 49, I have been looking forward to what the year will bring. It excites me and I am renewed by that.

Dare I even say that I’m (gulp) hopeful????

Huh? Who is this person that types this???

What woman art thou that thus be screened in optimism, so stumblest on my blog?

And what have you done with her?


Tis I.


The one who is older, yet newer. Better. Stronger. Semi-impervious. I feel everything is almost…ALMOST as it should be.


On that note, let us segue into the wonderful world of propriety.

When I was growing up, I was forbidden to call boys. And then I was always told, let the boy make the first move–DON’T chase him. I was served a heaping helping of platitudes such as “Men won’t buy the cow, when they can get the milk free”.

Yeah, right Mother and women only buy vibrators for neck messages.

Anyway, just the other day, a colleague and I were discussing when it’s appropriate to sleep with a guy.

First date? A resounding NO!

Second date? Uh…no. Let him get to what our mothers described as, ” in between second and third base”.

I’ve always assumed that had something to do with a nipple.

So, what about sex on the third date? Yes, probably…but let’s be honest, shall we? More often than not, first dates usually end up in a sultry remake of Moses parting the fleshy seas, especially if wine, whiskey or Roophies are involved.

Regardless of when the deed is committed, the dynamics change simply because the deed WAS committed. Shortly, after the after glow (providing there is any) we assume our hardwired gender traits; those pesky behavioral patterns that nature has inflicted on us and we can’t help feeling or acting on.

For example: HE’s debating whether there will even be a follow-up date, while WE WOMEN have already bought the last three issues of “Bride’s” magazine without leaving the bed AND we’re already thinking china patterns.

Actually, I’ve never done that. Usually, I got up and left before he woke up. And if the bedroom door was somehow blocked or locked, I’d do whatever I had to do to escape. Even if that meant rappelling down the side of the building visa vie pieces of sheet I ripped up…the very one he slept upon. Would that have been deemed “appropriate behavior”? Gee, I don’t know—guess would depend on how great the sex was.

In taking appropriate behavior one step further: when you meet an older person, you are ALWAYS to call him or her Mr. or Mrs Much Older Person; you NEVER refer to them by their first names. They’ve lived long enough to be shown the respect they’ve earned.

That’s appropriate.

You see, Dumplings, it’s a darn good thing that we have propriety. Just think how chaotic and uncivilized the world would be without it!

We have stop signs and deodorant. We have Chapstick and flat irons and Anusol. Propriety makes for a better society. We have these oh so relevant things so we don’t collide, stink, chaffe, frizz or scratch publically in indelicate areas that are inappropriate.

Additionally, we should always send a handwritten thank you note for anything requiring a show of appreciation. And only do so in black ink. A ‘thank you note” is the proper thing to do. It’s demonstrates good breeding.

Whenever we write or type anything, we must remember that propriety, just doesn’t necessarily mean the act of sending a note, it’s also in the content of that note. We emphasize what we want to see by the words we use and the way punctuate our sentences. We use punctuation or rather symbols that represent punctuation. Without them, we’d have to spell the words themselves and that would be both suggestive and too, too graphic.

For example–say, a Mother needs to write an excuse for her daughter so that she can refrain from participating in gym class that day. The young girl’s reasons for doing so, are “physical” in nature. Imagine the content of that note in particular, if we DIDN’T have punctuational symbolism.

“Lisa must be excused from taking gym class today as she is in the midst of her menses (period)”

See what I mean? The relevance of punctuational symbolism versus the written word could have grave effects in other areas of life, too.

“Bob keeps striking out with the ladies. He tried to pick up this hot chick at the bar, but he ended up going home alone (underscored) again”

And finally, we offer this example:

The doctor is very concerned about Ted’s suspicious rectal polyps (semi-colon) a battery of tests are set for Tuesday”

Yeah….I think you get my gist.



  1. Nice, I liked it. Don’t worry, age is nothing. You’ll get used to it!

  2. “I’ve always assumed that had something to do with a nipple.”

    ROTFL! Your point of view always makes me grin. Unless, of course, you’re discussing your Mother. *shudder*

  3. “More often than not, first dates usually end up in a sultry remake of Moses parting the fleshy seas, especially if wine, whiskey or Roophies are involved”…..hahahaha….tell it like it is! 😉

    PS: I loved that first part of your post, so life-affirming, that’s the way to be! 🙂

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