MO’S MANTRAS, January 2019

I worry for weeks about the blog I strain to put together by the end of every month. I’m very close to saying “Fuck it!” Why do I need to write a blog? I have no wisdom to impart. Do I write it to pimp my book, Last Trip Home (available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and She Writes Press)? I doubt that anybody reading my blog will rush out—or rush onto his or her computer—and buy my book. (Grammar Grouch note: I just surrendered to my anal obsession for pronoun agreement and matched the singular antecedent, “anybody,” with the singular pronouns, “his or her,” instead of with the less awkward but incorrect plural pronoun, “their,” that most sensible people would use.)

However, if I don’t write my blog, what will I write? Another textbook? I don’t teach any more. Revise my historical novel, The French, and make it into a series of three books, each covering a generation. I already have 1,000 pages written, and I have the publication rights. I would rather shoot myself—no, slash my wrists (I don’t have a gun)—than suffer through the torture of publication again.

So blog it is. Or a blogette might be better. I don’t believe people like to read long essays. I don’t.

Fortunately, the overall theme of my blogs is “Whining about Aging,” so I have plenty of material. I wrote about my sagging breasts last month. I could go to sagging butts this month, but the subject I feel most comfortable with is forgetting. The problem is that I tend to forget what I just forgot so I have to write examples on sticky notes. Then I forget where I put them and try to recreate them. Sometimes I find the original notes and have to blend old and new notes.

My first example of forgetting is “community property.” My Old Dude won $15 in a bridge tournament, and I insisted he give me $7.50 as …and I trailed off not remembering what to call legal division of property between a couple. “Mutual money?” No, that’s not right. He couldn’t remember either though he may have been pretending to forget out of self-interest. It took us two days to remember “community property,” a stupid, misleading phrase that implies we have to share nickels and dimes with the neighborhood.

“Community property.” It slipped in and out of my memory. I tried to make it into a mantra, as I did with “Weiner/dick” to help me remember Anthony Weiner, who got caught emailing pictures of his penis to women. (See April 2018 blog, “Alzheimer’s and Dick Pics.”)

I was gifted with a related mantra when I tried to get my Old Dude and some friends to go see a Tracy Letts play this Sunday. They all, even the women, turned me down because Sunday is Sacred Super Bowl day. I wasn’t surprised by the men’s bad judgment, but how could intelligent, educated women watch this indulgent, violent, all-male sport? Do half-naked men in shorts dance and cheer at women’s tennis tournaments? One woman said she liked the funny commercials. Another said she liked the half-time show.

“Are you hoping Janet Jackson with have another nip slip?” I asked. “The commercials and half-time show will be repeated on every television channel and the internet.”

I reminded my friends of the billions being spent on a new stadium in Inglewood for the Los Angeles Bamming Rams and of the millions spent by the city for extras, like access roads and infrastructure. But the worst and most obvious reason to reject football is the degenerative brain damage found in 110 out of 111 players. I am desperate to hold onto my brains, and these men are voluntarily bashing their heads together. I needed a mantra for this outrage. “Violent masculinity?” I thought. Or “Viral masculinity?” Finally, I thought of “Toxic masculinity.” “Toxic masculinity.” That pleased me and I relaxed.

I strung the mantras together: “Weiner/dick,” “toxic masculinity,” “community property.” No! “Community property” implies another direction, an insult to another gender—my gender. Scratch “community property” as a mantra.

I wonder if I will remember my new mantras for my neurologist when I have my next appointment in March, shortened from one-year appointments to six months. (See April 2018 blog, “Alzheimer’s and Dick/Picks” and July 2017 blog, “Do I Have Alzheimer’s?”) Sometimes I forget and call the doctor a “urologist.” That pisses me off; it’s the wrong end. Will the neurologist say I have graduated from “inconclusive diagnosis” to “You have Alzheimer’s”? Will I write a blogette then? Or no blog.


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