Tag Archives: oops50 humor

A Retiring Mind Part II

Amoke Kubat
Amoke Kubat

Move over James T. Kirk, a retiring mind left to its own, totally uninterrupted and undiminished possession, goes beyond the final frontier. My fist size chunk of grey matter becomes my private Intergalactic Teleporter. I am the Queen of Flashback and Flash dancing memories!

Mind you, minding me, is a mix of guilty pleasure and alarming revelations. My mind jumps back to things half thought, wishful imagination and unsolicited information that hungers for a future that I have yet to charter with certainty. Some memories are surprising, others are stunners.

In 1968, I decided to stop wearing sanitary belts with Kotex as large as manhole covers.

Remember?
Remember?

(One of my friends did call them just that). These pads were like riding in a saddle. If you were a bleeder like me, an accident could gush out at any moment from back or front or both. One day I CHOSE to switch and use a new way to sop up my oozing womanliness. I got me a box of compressed cotton, less conspicuous, for the modern woman, TAMPONS. Proud of myself, I swaggered home with a variety of sizes that promised “going with the flow” like a real natural woman. I decided to become an expert: I practiced taking care of business with my new hygienic tools that severed the legacy of taking the rag off the bush.

I loved peeling off the thin wrappers of the tiny little feminine things. Holding my breath, stilling shaking legs, I pushed Tampon number one up a chute never travelled. It was a bit snug but not uncomfortable.  It pulled out easily enough. I was fascinated that something no bigger than my pinkie could swell, clog and hold back my monthly monsoon. So, Tampon number two, a larger size, was inserted. I walked around with my secret intact. I did a happy dance! It did not move! Who would know? I was now a woman of mystery. “Oh really” TAMPON number three, the largest, asked my body. Then it sucked up all mystery, ritual and moisture. No amount of pulling released the dry knot of cockeyed liberation from my body. You know you have a friend for life when your girlfriend comes to your rescue, respectively demonstrates a surgical skill for removing a foreign object, and does not ask any questions.

In 1975, I lived with a cannibal and two Jesuses. I lived commune style in a large Victorian House off Portobello Road in London. portobellos rd.The cannibal lived in the basement. We seldom interacted and rarely spoke to each other. I only went downstairs to bar-b-que on a homemade grill on hotter summer days. He never licked his lips over sizzling ribs with my secret sauce. He didn’t stand around telling me stories or appeared hungry as I made plates to sell to homesick Americans on Portobello Road. He always seemed sleepy and slow and quite possibly satiated. I wondered who he had eaten. However my pervasive shyness and southern sensibilities told me that was too personal of a question to ask.

On the other hand, it was impossible to not get personal with Jesus the Pure (as he was blond) and Jesus the Dark (who was a bit mangy looking). They lived in the hallways on separate floors. They were drawn together like magnets. They constantly fought and had to be pulled apart. Depending on who interrupted their epic battle, one or the other and sometimes both got thrown outside. They would fly at each other and use fists, feet and teeth. They never said a word as they delivered and received punches that knocked holes into walls, shattered glass and broke stairway banisters. Neither ever preached nor sang the gospels in the presence or absence of the other. My guess was that the forces of light and dark was really an on-going universal struggle.

Later, I discovered, “For F**** sake keep Jesus out” written on the walls, just as I opened the door for a visitor.  Under that somebody had scrawled, “Which one?” More written, “They both can go to hell”. The visitor and I stared at the wall. I had a nagging sense she thought I had wrote it. I was an 22 year old colored woman far from my Southern Los Angeles home and the very racist, newly integrating America.

I wonder how these two very specific memories serve me. What are the lessons?  Are they worth keeping or sweeping? Am I in the throes of another individuation process? I survived the parallel journeys from girl, maiden to crone and colored to black to American of African descent. memoriesAs an Elder, I am racing towards the finish line to get to my fullest humanity. I am going into a deeper space. I pray to enjoy and remember.

Amoke Kubat is a writer, artist and community elder living and working in North Minneapolis, Minnesota.  http://amokekubat.com 

http://www.livingwombceremonies.com/

 

 

 

Sadhvi Sez: Becoming Born Again

This past week it rained and rained and rained.  I don’t remember a rain like that, for so long, nonstop, day and night, except for the monsoons in India.  The rain filled up 3 of my wheelbarrows!  My husband dug a circular ditch around the house so that the water could have a place to go instead of in our basement.  I looked out to see a running stream encircling us – we now live on an island!   It turns out that our dog, a border collie, has been “herding the house” for the last 10 years (we don’t have sheep), so the digging of the ditch wasn’t as hard as it could have been, except that it was raining constantly the entire time that it took him to do the job.

Later that night we went to see the movie, “Life of Pi”.  The scenes with the incredible storms at sea made me realize how much I hate rain.  The movie itself is a must see, especially if you’ve been to India.  The scenes of Pondicherry are so beautiful that I whispered to him that I wanted to start packing to go live there.  Later he told me that he had been there in the late 70’s.  Thirty plus years ago there were so many people there, that he knew it was just someone’s story of that Indian town; in real life it is not looking like the south of France.

The morning that they said the rains would be over, I got up early so that I could see the sun rise again and the blue sky that I had missed for the last 5 days.  When I saw the first morning light, I truly felt born-again; my spirit lifted, and I knew that everything was going to be all right.

Other than THE WEATHER, I have been trying to cut down on the amount of time I spend in cyber-world because it’s been getting out of hand.  Coincidentally, Rob Brezsny, the astrologer whose great horoscopes I’ve been reading ever since I can remember, said that doing this might not be a bad idea:

“A San Francisco writer named Maneesh Sethi decided he was wasting too much time on the Internet.  His productivity was suffering, so he hired a woman to sit next to him as he worked and yell at him or slap his face every time his attention wandered off in the direction of Facebook or a funny video.  It worked.  He go a lot more done.  While I would like to see you try some inventive approaches to pumping up your own efficiency, I don’t necessarily endorse Sethi’s rather gimmicky technique.  Start brainstorming about some interesting yet practical new ways to enhance your self-discipline, please.

Yes Rob, I will.

And lastly, check out:: Marshall ‘Soulful’ Jones before you go click somewhere else:

Happy New Year from Oops50.com

Annice

It’s been 3 years since we started Oops50.com and I confess I had to search our archives to verify the date we started.  Can you believe I couldn’t’ remember?  I don’t feel too bad about it because neither could my Oops50 posse – Jane or Sadhvi.

And what a journey it’s been. We got to meet (virtually) so many baby boomer women from all over the world who not only took the time to post comments on our blog or FaceBook page but also shared their stories and life experiences with us as guest writers.

I wish I could say I became tech savvy because of this blog – I did not.  I still slog through all the social media marketing tips and don’t ever seem to gain any new awareness in that field. Forget that it changes second by second and I can scarcely remember all my passwords. In fact, I signed up for Instagram a month ago and now can’t even remember my log in name to use it. Pinterest? I don’t think so.

On a positive note, last week Jane, Sadhvi, and I treated ourselves to a fine dinner at the Highland Lake Inn to

Celebrating!

acknowledge our success and commitment to our blog over the last 3 years. By the way, the dessert was superb.

So Civilized

It’s been challenging for all of us because we all have real jobs (darn) and families that require enormous amounts of energy on our lives – just like you. What made the difference is that we kept on keeping on and managed to write three posts a week (well, almost, I am the weakest link) because the blog experts say that is necessary.

Starting next month, (hopefully), we will introduce you to a new Oops50 sister blogger. You’ll see why we’re so excited when she shares her stories and distinct voice with us.

So, here’s to a Happy New Year of change, more sharing, better photographs, a re-design of our blog (thanks to my brother at Chinatown Coffee, and no more memory loss.

Full Moon at the Inn

Use a Knife and Fork, Please!

Annice

I probably shouldn’t write about pet peeves, I mean who really cares?  But, I need a minute to rant.  Is it just me, or have people in the U.S.  forgotten how to eat with utensils?  And, I’m not talking about sushi, cous-cous, Ethiopian cuisine, or other ethnic foods.  I’m also not talking about  young people who lack proper dining etiquette. I’m talking about patronizing a fairly nice restaurant and noticing a very well dressed women in her 50s, shoveling pieces of omelette onto her fork with her fingers.

As a result of that episode, all I do now in restaurants is stare at customers while they eat.  Only it’s worse. I play this little game when someone sits down –  I look them over, and based on their appearance and manner, I make a decision about whether or not they will use a knife and fork  properly.  And, guess what?  My diners do not disappoint.  Many eat in a way that grosses me out.  I want to run over to their table and say, “Can you please use a knife and fork when you eat.”  After all, there are still knives on the table when you sit down in a restaurant, so obviously they are there for a reason.  Frankly, I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their home, but in public, use a knife and fork  P-L-E-A-S-E.

Correct use of knife & fork

My High School Reunion

Annice

I’ve heard from some baby boomers that high school reunions are nothing but a terrifying rite of passage, but for me, four decades after graduation, it was a blast.

It started with the preparation and anticipation of going back.  I think I received the first announcement (at least 6 months before the event) from our uber organizer and former majorette, Lynn.  Preparation for the Reunion would not be without challenges for me.  After all, there was pressure in high school and it didn’t have to do with grades.  Grades?  That was the easy part.  My anxiety came from the lack of dates and boyfriends.   I scored a big zero in that department so why wouldn’t I feel a tiny bit of pressure?  I’m not perfect, you know.  Then, there was the issue of what to wear.  I prayed I would find the most flattering outfit I could fit this 50 something body into short of liposuction in time for the Reunion.   Thank you very much J. Jill.  

40 years later

So why would I go to my 40th reunion?  Simple, I wanted to reconnect with people I shared my youth with – after all, I spent the most formidable years of my life with these 480 kids with raging hormones.  You see, I grew up in Mayfield Hts., Ohio, attended Mayfield Rd. Elementary School, Mayfield Jr. High and Mayfield Senior High school as did my two sisters, my brother, and my five cousins.   Oh yeah, I must also confess, I love stories and the Reunion was filled with them – stories of former cheerleaders, majorettes, football heroes, wrestling champions, thespians, and merit scholars.  There were stories about divorce, ex-husbands and their girlfriends, children, step-kids, ageing parents, dead parents, and even dogs (yes, baby boomers love their dogs).

The first night we all met at a bar which I thought was a brilliant idea.  It facilitated the initial shock of seeing each other grown up.  Understand, I hadn’t seen or in most cases, thought about my classmates in 40 years.  Well, that’s not exactly true because many of us have been reconnecting on facebook in anticipation of the Reunion.    Another brilliant idea was posting our graduation picture on our nametags.  Purposely, I kept reading glasses in my pocket so I wouldn’t have to squint all night to read the nametags and distinguish the photos.

my reading glasses

The first night, all I could think of was who were all these people hugging, and saying hello with huge smiles across their faces,  and why didn’t I recognize them right away?  Too fat, too skinny, too gray, too many wrinkles?  And of course, they were thinking the same things about me.

Saturday night was the banquet and so much dancing and gabbing and I must’ve been having a great time because I didn’t get home until 3:00 a.m. –  just like old times.  And memories, so many memories and laughs that made it all worth it  My advice, if you get a chance to go to your Reunion – don’t miss it.  Life is short.