When I’m Sixty-Four

I’ve been obsessing over numbers lately. Yes, it’s a C.P.A. thing (my other profession), it’s tax time, and it’s also spring.  You see during the past month or so:

  • my dad celebrated his 82nd birthday


  • my son turned 23 far away in London-town during exams

Alec Read grade1

  • my daughter, the Hippie-Dippie Wildchild,  much to our horror became legal everywhere when she turned 21

courtesy iclipart.com

  • my husband, The Original Obnoxious One, reached the grand old age of 55IMG_0415
  • and my hubby and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary

courtesy iclipart.com

So I am feeling rather tired from all that celebrating and a little…ancient.


Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Also The Original Obnoxious One and I saw Sir Paul McCartney in concert when he passed through Vancouver in late April. There was a lot of press and social media about the fact that Sir Paul is 73 – for good reason.


courtesy thebeatles.com

He was incredibly energetic and funny and warm and of course, a Musical Super-Power. I’ve never seen him in concert before so this was quite the thrilling experience for me. A great big tick off the old bucket list.

But back to the ageing thing.

When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine,
birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

About 18 years ago I had laser eye surgery; I was extremely near-sighted so afterwards this meant I could see clocks and computer screens and drive without peering through 3 inch thick lenses . It totally changed my life for quite awhile.

But then I turned 50 – ouch.  I actually needed reading glasses – purchased from the local drug store – to read the newspaper at night. And then during the day. And then to read anything at all. But I’m not the only one.


The Original Obnoxious One and Franklinstein

And I even have bifocal sunglasses for reading outside!



Shhh! Don’t tell anyone those are reading sunglasses.

Recently while walking Franklinstein in the woods not far from where we live, I ran into an old colleague, a girl from back in my C.P.A. articling days. We walked and hiked together, chatted up a storm.When I whined about turning older and becoming near-sighted, her response was:

Look Rita. Yes, I need reading glasses too but here’s the thing. In the morning when I get up and look in the mirror (sans glasses) I think I look amazing – no wrinkles, no grey hair on my head and no hair on my legs.All is good!

Of course the reality is just a wee bit different.

My friend does have a few wrinkles – after-all she has 2 boys roughly the same age as my kids and has been married for almost 30 years. She does have quite a number of grey hairs on her head as her hair is naturally quite dark and she doesn’t dye it. And she does use reading glasses for absolutely everything.

So then I felt a bit better – someone else was suffering just like me!

You’ll be older too.
Ah, and if you say the word,
I could stay with you.

Except I don’t have the issue of grey hair, because I have very expensive blonde highlights in my mousey brown baby-fine hair. Hairy legs – shockingly yes whenever I put on my glasses and look at them. Otherwise who knows?!

And the drug store near me carries all kinds of cool and colourful reading glasses for folks like me – I should know because at any given time I have at least 4 at the house. One pair for upstairs, one pair for downstairs, one sturdy  pair for reading in bed and one floater pair.


courtesy peepers.com

And by the way,  The Original Obnoxious One also has several pairs of readers lying around the house, and at the office and in his gym bag, and in his briefcase.

Most of the time I don’t really think about the whole aging thing. I’m active –  I walk Franklinstein whatever the weather and we dance together regularly,IMG_1431 (Edited)

I do Pilates, I  eat healthy for the most part and I smile. A Lot. Except when I don’t. Like when I’m reading or concentrating or writing. That’s when The  Original Obnoxious One lets loose with his own unique brand of obnoxiousness.

Each and every evening.

Rita, what’s wrong? Smile! You look sad..or miserable..or angry. Be happy!

Here’s the thing. Nine times out of ten I am happy. I’m not miserable or sad or even angry – unless someone in my family did something incredibly stupid.

Again. You know who you are!

But l do have wrinkles (a couple)  and gravity does weird things to my face.

Okay, I confess, I have RBF – Resting Bitch Face.

IMG_2141 (2)


Get over it!



Lyrics of When I’m Sixty Four courtesy thebeatles.com








It’s Tough Being Beautiful…

especially if you’re my daughter, the Weird One.532988_10151643727150290_918872487_nLet me give you a recent example.

Just before dropping my daughter off at university in the UK, we spent a few nights in a tiny room at a chic boutique hotel, located in the exclusive Mayfair area of London. 554806_241007492704389_352912053_nOn our last morning, she woke up rather early – at 4:30 am –  but was kind enough to wait until 7 am to wake me, although 8 am would have been kinder! She was eager to get under way, but this Terrible Awful Mother was lethargic and exhausted. You see, the night before (and the night before, etc.), I’d had to resort to reading in the bathroom, because the bedside light was too bright for the Weird One. As was the reading light on the side of my bed. As was the penlight I brought with me. So, it was either the bathroom or the hall, and the hall was a rather dark and scary place for this Terrible Awful Mother to be sitting on the floor and reading in the middle of the night. But, as lovely as the bathroom was, it was a wee bit cold and cramped  –  for some reason, the toilet is just not a comfortable perch for late night reading.

Anyway, by 7 am the Weird One was in desperate need of croissant and tea, so she ventured off all by herself, for the very first time. When she returned, roughly thirty minutes later, she marched into the room, slammed the door and announced in an extremely grumpy tone of voice,

“Mom, the worst thing just happened to me and I’m so disgusted!”

“What, darling ???!”

“Mom, some old guy just asked me if I was single? I didn’t think Britain was full of weird old men!”


courtesy iclipart.com


“Oh, really?” what to say?!

“Yes! First of all, it’s way too early in the morning for a stranger to talk to me on the street.”

“Well dear, he was probably just on his way to work.”

“Then Mom, it was so creepy ’cause he was so old – he must’ve been at least 30!”

At least 30 – trying very hard not to laugh, and to actually take her seriously, I asked the Weird One what he said, exactly.

“Well, he told me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and then he asked me if I was single.”  And yes folks, she was mad. Livid, in fact! “But Mom, it was early in the morning, and I had no make-up on and he was really, really old!!!”

“I see. You know, most girls (like me) would take that as a complement.”

“Oh, gross, Mom!  It was way too early in the morning and 30 is just way too old for me!”

On the bright side, I guess I don’t have to worry about her having daddy issues or bringing home older men. For now, anyway.


The Bathroom Wars

There are two subjects in our household that get everyone excited about – excited enough to  loudly discuss &/or argue &/or battle over. They are:

1) money

2) bathrooms

Oh sure, we discuss many, many issues and even disagree on quite a few, but it still always boils down to these two.

Money is rather obvious – my kids ask and/or beg and/or demand something and I say… NO.

Hey that’s as mother’s job. And that’s an accountant’s job and that’s what I was in a previous life. Not much real challenge here. Plus both my kids like money and I hold the purse-strings…unless they ambush my husband when he’s in a good mood and then anything can happen…sigh. Sometimes I even say yes…just to keep them on their toes.

So – the Bathroom Wars.

In this house the kids have to share a bathroom, which is tragic of course because all their friends have their own bathroom. But don’t worry — I tell them that back in the dinosaur ages when I was growing up, my mom, dad, sister and I shared one tiny bathroom. Yes, just one! For some reason they don’t seem too impressed by this fact. Besides, I told them they were lucky since the toilet and shower/tub are in one room, and the sink is in an alcove just outside.

Regardless for the past ten years we have listened to:

My daughter, the Demon Child loudly complain to my son, the Obnoxious One, ” Put the toilet seat up when you pee – the seat and floor are covered in pee. You’re so gross!”

To which the Obnoxious One would yell, “Then flush the toilet when you’re finished.You’re disgusting!”

This Christmas , the Obnoxious One made a habit of not flushing just to bug his darling sister, so she wrote on his Christmas present,

Spelling has never been her strong point.

Now that my son is away at university, my daughter has decided that the bathroom is hers, and hers alone; she does not want anyone using it ever again. So she has had major words with my husband because his study is on the other side of my son’s bedroom…thus he uses the kids bathroom on weekends when he’s home.

“Dad you can use the bathroom downstairs or you can use the bathroom in your bedroom, but this is MY bathroom. You are not allowed in here!”

The worst fit she threw was when my poor husband stumbled into “her” bathroom late at night and used it, since I was busy in our en-suite. (don’t worry – he flushed!) The Demon Child tormented him nonstop for weeks after that.

“Dad, I was just getting to sleep and you woke me up! Because of you I was wide awake for hours afterwards.”

“Dad, that’s MY private space. How dare you violate it! Just stay away.”

“Dad, go downstairs if you need to use another bathroom. It’s not that difficult!”

Of course, he just laughed at her…then he used the bathroom downstairs.

As for me? Frankly, I wouldn’t be caught dead in that bathroom – it’s totally disgusting AND gross!


Ready or not (and I’m not) – it’s 2012

Okay, so I’ve been AWOL for a couple of weeks – the holidays parties, the Obnoxious One’s return from first term at university, the husband’s non-stop working hours at the new firm and the puppy’s destruction of house and home got in the way.

This isn't my dog actually - but it could be!

And a little thing called Christmas.

Yes it's a fake tree - so what?!

And a little family vacation to Mexico for some sun.

You’d think I’d have second  thoughts after the past family vacation this summer (see The Family Vacation: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly ), but no, we went… and it was absolutely positively wonderful for a few days…and then it wasn’t. More later. Much more later.

You might have noticed I wrote two entire paragraphs without mentioning my daughter, the Demon Child even once; that’s because she was actually quite angelic during the month of December…for her, of course. I confess that I started to panic.I mean,what if she never did anything crazy or terrible ever again? What would I write about then?

But never fear, dear readers…I’ve got TONS of stories up my sleeves now! Yes, tons.

In the meantime, I’m back and feeling tired and bloated after the holidays. It’s the one time of year when I truly believe we should all indulge in dark chocolate and champagne and dark chocolate and wine and margaritas…and did I mention chocolate?

So today, I made my first trek back to the gym, back to pilates. It went something like this:


Get me some boots made for walking!

Attention fashion buyers, fashion designers and fashion lovers everywhere. Even though I’m middle aged, I’m not dead. I love fashion as much as the next chick/gal/babe, and I DO love boots. Really!

However I also like to walk…not stumble, not fall and certainly not break my foot or ankle or leg!

You may have heard that here in Vancouver we have little things called mountains; they make walking any significant distances (i.e. more than 2 steps) challenging enough. With these booties I’d feel as if I was walking a tightrope 24/7. No thanks!

Also, our winters tend to be rather wet, since Vancouver is smack dab in the middle of a temperate rainforest. So, starting any time this month, the heavens will open up …and not close again until February or March. (although in 2011, nobody read the memo so the rains didn’t stop until August)

Perhaps I should try this boot to the left – it ‘s clearly quite lovely for clomping through the puddles in the parking lot at the mall. Plus, I wouldn’t have to worry about those pesky hot flashes – my feet would have their own built in air conditioning.

You know, I’d just like some nice boots that I can wear with my boot cut jeans – the mature woman’s answer to all evils. So, I do need a bit of a heel, so my jeans don’t wander around too far behind me when I walk in the door of Winners or Lululemon or London Drugs.

I have heard that animal prints are very “in” this year, so surely this pair would  be terrific for driving my SUV to Safeway to pick up that extra litre of milk for my morning latte. Wonder if the stiletto would get stuck in the car floorboards?

Call me crazy, but I want a heel that is medium in height, medium in width, has a closed toe and is water resistant.  Are these my only choices???


LLBean duckie

Maybe I need a shopping road trip and some good old fashioned retail therapy….Really!