I can totally relate to Tina Fey on that episode of 30 Rock when her character (Liz Lemmon) opened the door to her ex-boyfriend only to have him yell, “Crone!” in her face. It was early in the morning and Liz Lemmon had a band-aid in her hair and a yellowed mouth guard over her teeth.
I feel just like that, only it’s 11:30am and I’ve already showered and groomed myself for the day. My attempts to look like a human person today just didn’t take.
Today I both look and feel like I am a premature old lady.
My hair looks like a drooping psychedelic mushroom in both shape and color. Only without the fun part.
My legs have more veins showing than the entire cast of the Golden Girls. And I do not thank these painful blue lines for being my friend.
My breasts are, in the words of my five-year-old, “like two floppy chickens.”
My skin is more sallow and pasty than it was after my ill-fated Clinique makeover at the Houston Macys. And the half-moon circles under my eyes are the color of something I saw a homeless man spit out on the street yesterday.
Why do I look and feel like this?
Perhaps it is city living. Walking outdoors in the San Francisco sun/fog combined with contemporary pollutants can mess up any girl’s complexion. And traipsing down and up the stairs to my front door, while barking at a five-year-old plus carrying a one-year-old baby, a diaper bag, and six (re-usable) Trader Joe’s bags of groceries, can’t be good on the legs.
Perhaps it is lack of sleep. The one-year-old is on some sort of roll where she thinks it is hilarious to wake up every Tuesday morning at 4am and giggle like Chuckie while slapping mommy on the face. Remind me to call Bill and Martha Sears once I wake up and to ask them again how it benefits the whole family to sleep with our babies.
Perhaps it is getting used to a new kindergarten schedule, where we are out the door by 7:30am each day. I run around each morning screaming like that sarge in Full Metal Jacket, yet also trying desperately not to wake our downstairs neighbor who has all of the sleep delicacies of the “Princess and the Pea” fairytale heroine sans any of the royal charm.
Perhaps it is my job. After my flaky hippie nanny quit on me (giving me a full 10 hours notice—well done, Starshine!), I am working part-time from home with no childcare for the little one, juggling several writing projects, and editing a cool-as-all-get-out literary magazine. I’m behind on everything and more than a little stressed out, but I love all these pieces on my quilt of jobs and I refuse to drop anything.
Perhaps I am just the mother of little kids who need a lot of love and attention. I often get annoyed with friends who recite the mantra of “everything’s crazy right now” every single time I see them. I also sometimes roll my eyes at mom-writers who do the same “oh heck, life with kids sure is crazy” shtick in their writing. But, damn, everything IS crazy right now.
Crazy enough that I’m sleepy and cranky and pale with ugly hair. Crazy enough that I remind myself of what my friend Kim calls the Grouchy Old Noe Valley Cat Ladies. (Noe Valley is the name of my neighborhood.)
I won’t blame my husband one iota if he yells, “Crone!” at me when he walks in the door tonight.