Indeed, the Matron's own weddding was a champagne haze of "who is this?" and "isn't he married to what's-her-name?"
Of course, since John's parents are long divorced, only about half this crew crowded in to say good-bye to Grandpa Don. But half is enough to PANIC the Matron!! Why!??
This is her generation -- mid-forties, give or take five years. And they came, OLD!! Old, she screams, stomping on the size one jeans and padded bra!! Why bother!!?? What with those eye pouches, wrinkles and triple chins ahead!? It was ugly. Adults who were last seen lithe and unlined, suddenly had all kinds of unseeming Sag and Wrinkle.
Nothing like DEATH and the sight of 43 people visibly marching toward it, to make your day, huh? So the Matron was a little selfishly and completely inappropriately depressed the day of the funeral (remember, there were actual mourners with better values than the skin tautness gauge).
Just to insure that the Matron understands that she is both old and unpopular (multi-tasking, again!), last week she also ran into the Gold Standard for High School Success while seeing Grease with her daughter.
Digression! Yes, she took Zelda to the completely inappropriate touring production of Grease, where crotches are rocked and breasts cupped with abandon. Given that Z. recently performed as the lesbian sex-pot in Rent, well, things seemed just about right.
So there she is in the unwholesome lobby, replete in a $2. no-brand jacket, jeans and unwashed hair, rumbling through a purse for a Kleenex & breath mint because her nose is running and she can STILL smell the coffee on her tongue , but who stands before her like a goddess, perfectly coiffed and chic, but THE most popular girl in high school (not in the Twin Cities but far off in smalltown) whom the Matron has not seen in nearly a decade -- and the goddess was looking much more expensive, composed and less wrinkled than the Matron. And she did not need a breath mint.
After the pleasantries, the Matron marveled at her range, capable of looking middle-aged while feeling, oh, 15.
Today, the Matron was at LifeTime Fitness. She is weak. The ice is bad. So she joined for the month of January and guess what? There are other human beings there and sometimes they talk to you.
This is a very bad development.
You see, the Matron is long accustomed to slapping on her seven layers of clothing and running, completely alone. She can be naked in the shower and there is no 21 year old trying hard not to look at the shriveled acorns (but imagine marshmallow texture - that's important) masquerading as her breasts. Or worse -- chatting!
So today she's standing half-dressed at LifeTime, trying to put in contacts and she hears this:
"Mary? Mary Matron? Is that you?"
Matron (through one contact): "Uh. . yes!"
Elderly Woman: ""It's me! Lonnie Levin? Remember from parenting class?"
So the Matron embarked upon a long conversation, half-naked and in a hurry, with a woman who clearly had been in some kind of parenting class with her who clearly was also a COMPLETE STRANGER. For four or five minutes of small talk, she had absolutely no idea who this ancient woman was, and could only fixate on the fact that whoever she was, she looked pretty damn old to be in a parenting class with the Matron.
Then. . . finally, she remembered! The class, the woman. Her approximate age: exactly the Matron's.
So if you are an old friend of the Matron's and haven't seen her in a good long while, but have put on just the right amount of wrinkles, pounds and existential angst to mirror her own sad state?
It's okay if you don't stop and say hi . . . .