notquiteold

Nancy Roman

I Don’t Care

I love it when I remember something I didn’t even know I remembered.

Yesterday a crazy memory bubbled up from somewhere in my addled storage facility.

Years ago I took an evening art class – Watercolor Painting.  (Sometimes I wish I were British so I could type Watercolour. Isn’t that classy?  And I’d say “Whilst” too.  And “Zed.” And  “I chatted him up in the tube because I fancied him.” And “Wanker.”)

But anyway…

I took this Watercolor class, and we sat two-by-two at tables.  I usually sat with a woman my age – which wasn’t old then because it was a long time ago – but it wasn’t exactly young either. But once in a while I sat next to a young guy. (a young “bloke” – I really want to be British. Can I be British as a New Year’s Resolution? Like “I resolve to be thinner; I resolve to be neater; I resolve to be British.)

This kid was a nice kid. But we were both intent on painting, not chatting, so I can’t say that I got to know him. I’m not even sure that I remember what he looked like, except that he had an army jacket. Of course, I can’t think of one young guy that age who didn’t wear an army jacket. (A chap in a clobber…. I would be SO good at British.)

Well, anyway (again)…

One night we had a very good painting session, although I can’t for the life of me remember what we were painting. This memory that has bubbled up is not heavy on the background detail. But I’d say it was the ocean. Or maybe a lot of sky. Everyone’s cup of paint-water was blue.

And when it came time to clean up, as usual there was a crowd at the only sink in the room. My young bloke was all picked up and back in his army jacket, and still no sink-time.

So he said to me, “Whatever…”

And he took his cup of blue water and drank it down. And strolled out.

 

The reason this is interesting to me goes back to New Year’s Resolutions.

I resolve  – Blimey, not to be British –  but to be less self-conscious.

I  am painfully self-conscious about the way I look and sound and how others perceive me.

I don’t think self-consciousness is necessary all bad. Caring about how the world sees you can help you take good care of yourself. And think before you speak. And that’s a good thing.

But I see folks every day who are self-conscious about silly things. (And I am one of them.) People who are embarrassed because they can’t carry a tune, or they think they look bad in a bathing suit. Or they are sure they’re too clumsy for Yoga.

I think I should be more self-conscious about complimenting and thanking people. Putting in a good effort in my job.  Smiling more.

But I want to lose some of the useless self-consciousness.

Things that adults worry about but children never do.

Children don’t care about things not worth caring about.

Who cares if you drink the paint-water?

Here’s three small specific Resolutions for the New Year:

1.   The next time I see an icy patch on the sidewalk or in the parking lot at work, I will not walk around or gingerly-and-oh-so-carefully inch my way across. I am SLIDING. This morning I saw a kid sliding back and forth across an iced-over puddle while waiting for the school bus. Remember how much fun that was? I’m DOING it, and in high heels maybe.

2.    I sing in the car. I LIKE to sing in the car. From now on, I will not halt my car-concert because some dude pulls up next to me. I’m SINGING.  At the traffic light, the stop-sign, and in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Get ready for some noise. I’m DOING it.

3.     I  will not worry about what sounds emanate from me in the ladies’ room. Everyone knows what I am doing in there. I will not wait until the person in the next stall leaves. I have business to do, and I’m DOING it. I may make a little noise.

 sliding

77 Comments

  1. I wonder if you can do your business in the ladies’ room with a British accent?

    Like

  2. NQO: When I started reading your poem, I could not help but be reminded of a favorite poet: Jenny Joseph (from GB). If you have never read it, I ‘m pretty sure you you’ll love it as I do.

    When I Am Old.

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
    With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
    And I shall spend my pension
    on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals,
    and say we’ve no money for butter.
    I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
    And run my stick along the public railings,
    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
    And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens,
    And learn to spit.
    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
    Or only bread and pickle for a week,
    And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats
    and things in boxes.
    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
    And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
    And set a good example for the children.
    We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
    But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
    So people who know me
    are not too shocked and surprised,
    When suddenly I am old
    and start to wear purple!

    Jenny Joseph

    Like

    • Perfect! I will slide on the ice and wear purple pants (which i colored purple in my illustration because that is also something I should do more of!)

      Like

    • Isn’t this the poem that inspired the Red Hat Club?

      Like

      • Yes, yes it is.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I bought my mother that poem, framed, years ago. She hung it up – behind her bedroom door. It’s moved every few years – it now hangs in the Kitchen. She’s 84 and her 3 favorite activities are: sports, betting on her horse at the races, and church. She has a lot of purple jewelry and loves red sweaters = I hope to be her one day!
          MJ

          Like

    • This is my all time favourite poem and I quote it often to my children and their children. And yes, I can write favourite – I am British

      Like

  3. Oh, the number three on your list made me laugh!

    Like

    • But you do it too, right? Wait it out….

      Like

      • But of course! But maybe I won’t in the future – when I remember your blog post!

        Like

  4. You go girl!

    Like

  5. Re #3, I’m always shocked if I ever hear more than tinkling sounds, and I can probably count the times on one hand when I did. We all sit and sit and sit, waiting for the room to empty out … and praying that nobody comes in while we’re waiting, or we’ll be there all day. My husband says that men have no such concerns. They make all the noise they want, and read the paper while they’re doing it.

    Like

    • Someone I know (in the significant other category) will talk to you on the phone while making “noise”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yuck. Such a guy thing, and we are NOT giving one another permission to do that, right?

        Like

  6. I wonder if the young bloke peed blue later that night? 🙂 And in my younger days, I wouldn’t dream of ever going #2 anywhere besides home. Oh the horror! I am SO over that.

    Like

    • I’m sure he was fine. We practical people worry too much.

      Like

  7. Ive always wanted to use the word ‘tooling’ in my writing. When I find the right moment I will! Lol loved this!

    Like

  8. Haha! I love this post! I sometimes even have dreams that I am not alone in the ladies room, and that noises persist in emanating from my stall!
    And, blimey, I’m with you on the British bit, eh? Wouldn’t it be posh to say “wanker” without giggling?

    Like

  9. Kdcol thinks like me. I wonder if the young man peed blue later. Then, again did he get sick?
    Happy New Year, Nancy! ❤ 😀

    Like

    • No. I’m sure he was fine. We older practical folks worry too much. And blue pee wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

      Like

  10. I’m pretty sure his pee would have been green…you know…’cause it would be mixed with yellow. 🙂

    And I don’t mind making noises in the ladies’ room…as long as I’m not wearing distinctive shoes that would be easily recognized outside the ladies’ room.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! You’ve got a point on the pee color – all those art lessons and I didn’t even think of it! But I would never wear non-distinctive shoes.

      Like

    • Ha! Thats funny! Specially since I often check the shoes of the stall next to me…

      Like

  11. I’m here too tell you that you could get away with being Canadian with just 50% of that stuff. We have watercolour and zed and a few others. It’s a shorter trip and maybe you could go home on wankers. I think your 1st and 2nd resolutions are spot on but that last one, well I say bin it. Maybe this can help. She can give you some British lessons as well.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2424433/How-make-world-believe-poop-doesnt-stink-Poo-Pourri-One-VERY-proper-Brits-hilarious-turn-bathroom-spray-ad.html#v-2680091615001

    Like

    • I love that ad… I usually just click out of ads as soon as I can, but the first time that one was served up to me, I watched it. Twice.

      Like

  12. Nel

    I love this post. 🙂 I’ve been thinking more about age, life, happiness and fulfillment recently; and it could be true that most of us truly care too much about what other people think or how others perceive us. Who’s stopping us from doing that thrills and excites us?

    P.S. Would it be a tad dangerous to slide on ice? Or is that thrill-seeking? 😉

    Like

    • It’s a dangerous sport for a timid person like me – but I’m DOING it!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. “(A chap in a clobber…. I would be SO good at British.)”

    Um, no. The rest was just fine. ‘Clobber’ is used in the same way as ‘clothes’ so you can’t say ‘a’ clobber. And you wouldn’t say “A chap in clobber” because that would make you wonder why you were emphasising he wasn’t naked. Now, you *could* say “A chap in army clobber.” But I wouldn’t. Because a ‘chap’ is a bit posher than someone I would expect to be in army clobber. But, a *bloke* in army clobber? Spot on.

    Just saying.

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh well… maybe not so British after all. But I still want to say “Wanker” on a regular basis.

      Like

      • As long as you know what it means, go ahead, feel free.

        Tosser is a synonym. Or Tosspot to be slightly milder.

        Like

  14. Good one Nancy! By the way where I work, they have boom boxes on each floor in the ladies room to ease everyones mind. Ive not inspected the mens room yet. I don’t think they are self conscious about anything anyway. BY the way, my dream is to buy a caravan when I retire and living across the pond. Now you have a place to plunk yer fancy red hat and purple trousers (pants are underwear in the UK when you visit England, where they still wear fancy hats to church! 😉

    Like

    • I will wear my jumper except when it’s hot, and then I will put it in the boot.

      Like

  15. Love number 3…… I am so guilty of it, especially as the big business is usually in the toilet/shower block here on the marina. I’ve just got to convince my body that it’s OK to fart and echo when there’s someone else in another cubicle, probably doing/thinking the same thing. I think they should put a notice up:
    ‘Fart zone, relax and enjoy, you are not alone’.
    It’s a perfectly natural function after all! 🙂

    Like

    • It IS natural. I keep telling myself that. I just worry about making noise during that natural function.

      Like

      • Even our Queen breaks wind (now putting it that way IS British!) Haha

        Like

  16. lifeunderacarolinamoon

    Ha! I have discovered that since growing older, I allow myself certain behaviiors I’d have never allowed when younger. One thing is expressing my opinion. I do it often & unsolicited. Many times it’s just facial expressions. Vivid ones. I do refrain from being cruel but I don’t hold much back from there…

    Like

  17. Oh yes. Being less self-conscious is the perfect resolution! I wish there were an easy way to accomplish that without any drugs or alcohol though :/

    Like

    • I think I will accomplish my goals much more easily with a glass of wine.

      Like

  18. Chris

    I have become less self conscious as I have gotten older because I realize that probably nobody is paying attention to me anyway. So on a morning like today I can walk around the neighborhood wearing a bulky coat, bulky flannel-lined jeans and a big fur hat and not worry who I meet.

    Like

    • I still want to look fabulous every day. I just want to sing in the car and make a loud poop once in while.

      Like

  19. Fun stuff – I’ll bet that wanker peed blue!
    🙂
    MJ

    Like

  20. doraji35: I thought “knickers” were underwear! I’m gobsmacked.

    Like

    • Me too… knickers and a vest, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Both. Only girls wear knickers. But pants is unisex for underwear. If I were to say knickers, I would think more delicate. Pants is more utilitarian, but not necessarily ‘Granny Pants.’

        Like

  21. Wow, so funny and true. Not sure I’d swallow blue paint water or walk on ice, but the rest I’m totally there!

    Like

    • I once sucked on the end of a bic pen and all the ink released into my mouth. My whole mouth was very very blue. Blue paint-water is probably much easier going down.

      Like

  22. I love this song, and I suspect you will, too:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxxajLWwzqY

    Like

  23. When ever I over think about my body changes I found a little solution and it’s simple, I’m going to stand on my head and then my boobs will be perky.

    Like

    • Ah – good idea. In my case though, my boobs are so tiny that they will never sag. It’s a blessing – I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Great resolutions!

    Like

  25. As British Person myself, I would like to let you know on behalf of all British people that if you can use the words ‘wanker’, ‘bollocks’ & ‘twat’ in the correct context, then you are perfectly welcome to go around calling yourself British.

    Anyone who says otherwise is talking bollocks.

    Like

    • Why thank you. I shall. Wankingly yours, Nancy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! That just made me spit tea all over my screen.
        I’m forever more going to sign all of my emails off with ‘wankingly yours’. I hope you don’t mind 😉

        Like

        • Being British, you have an inherent right to use that phrase.

          Like

    • And ‘bastard.’

      ‘Pillock’ is also a good one to know about….

      Like

      • Ha! Pillock, that’s one I’ve not heard for a while, you could add ‘plonker’and ‘divvy’ to that too I suppose.

        Like

        • Ooh and ‘Wazzock’

          Like

        • Oh yes, I like Plonker. As in “Rodney, you plonker.” Got to love that show!

          Don’t like ‘divvy’ because it has really negative connotations to me. But that might just be me ::shrug::

          Like

  26. I love Jenny Joseph’s poem “Warning” and Jayne Relaford Brown’s poem “Finding her here”. I have written blogs on both these poems and in an act of self promotion here are the links – https://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/i-am-becoming-the-woman-ive-wanted/ and https://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/fair-warning/

    Like

  27. Reblogged this on Humoring the Goddess and commented:
    I love this! I think I shall reblog it! Y’all! (I always wanted a southern accent..shugah..)

    Like

  28. Hey, a lot of those terms you long to use are actually Australian, adopted by the Brits ’cause they love us!

    Like

  29. This one made me laugh out loud and that is exactly what I needed after a crazy, busy week – thank you!

    Like

  30. You could have a British character in your next book sand give him or her a lot of dialogue

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: