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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finding your true age

This morning I reached into my oversized purse and fished through in search of my keys, which ended up being in my coat pocket, but that’s beside the point.  The point is that I found the following items floating around down there: wallet, checkbook, pack of tissues, deck of playing cards, and cough drops.  And if I was a betting woman, I would guess that the contents of my nearly 90-year-old grandmother’s purse would be exactly the same thing.
I laughed, and then felt like I should maybe qualify for the senior citizen discount because the wisdom of true necessity is not usually reached by someone as young as I.
This whole scenario played out the morning after my children and I went out for dinner at 4:00.  And while I know most of you are thinking early-bird special, I will tell you that as we sat in that nearly empty restaurant, we all felt our youth and it was not based on the time or the few other clientele at the nearby tables.  It was based on our absolute immaturity.  (At this time I’d like to apologize to those lovely people around us.)
We laughed to the point of snorting.  There was a catapult designed that sent a butter container sailing.  We even tried to play a practical joke on my daughter but the couple at the next table over may have actually believed we left her there on purpose because they didn’t see us hiding behind the next row of booths and kind of blew it.
For the record, I have also rigged a toy in our home bathroom that makes a random flatulent noise whenever someone turns on the light.
But I should also add that in my constant quest to find a pinochle game, I have much more luck with a crowd of retirees.  
So if you asked me how old I really, truly am, I wouldn’t at all know the answer.  My mother would answer “ten.”  My children would answer “80.”  The internet, however, is designed for just these situations.
According to quick health-based test, I am 31 years old.
According to a quick maturity test, I’m 40.
I think these are bogus numbers, so like any person intelligent beyond her years who proudly carries cough drops, I thought I’d make my own test based on zero scientific study and that barely makes any sense.
Test A:
Do you marvel at the first flowers of spring?  
Do you like riding your bike super fast?
Do you think fireworks are really, really cool?
If you came to my house and had to use the bathroom, would you tumble out in hysterics because of the sound of turning on the light?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, you are ten years old.  Welcome to the club.
Test B:
Do you enjoy d├ęcor and buy matching throw pillows?
Do you read business newspapers?
Do you follow the latest diet trend even if it means you can’t have donuts which are, quite frankly, a ball of fried deliciousness?
Do you wear trouser socks or panty hose?
If you answered “yes” to these, you’ve got to be about 40.  Sorry.
Test C:
Do you like to play pinochle?
Do you always have a tissue handy?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’re just plain fabulous.

How to stay healthy during cold and flu season

When it comes to keeping my family healthy, I will do just about anything.  All I need to do is ask my children how many kids were absent in their classes, and my palms start to sweat and I consider putting hand sanitizer up my nose, although I do not ever in a million years actually do it wouldn’t recommended it.  (Dangerous, actually.)  But the thought crosses my mind because in my family, if someone goes down, we all go down.  Life as we know it ceases, and every parent out there reading this is nodding their heads simultaneously because they know exactly what I’m talking about.
Therefore, I proudly admit that I subscribe to any crazy home remedy, old wives tale, or even email forward that proclaims that it can keep us from getting sick.
Literally, if someone told me that holding a barbeque pork rind between my toes on my left foot while drinking a glass of water with dog food in it, I would do it.  I get that crazy during cold and flu season, and even crazier when I hear things like,“Mom, we had eight kids out today!” Or, “Mom, our teacher left early because she was barfing!”
My head starts to spin, and in a zombie-like trance, I head straight for the pork rinds, because the thought of rescheduling a halted life due to a fever or a few hours hovering the toilet is too much to handle.
The internet, bless it, is full of as many wacky remedies as all of your great aunts and uncles gathered in a room, sharing their wisdom.  And because I care about each and ever reader out there, I thought I would share a few of the oddities that may or may not keep us healthy…
Place an onion cut in half in every room.  From countless emails, this little dandy is supposed to absorb all of the viruses floating around your house, and somebody’s hairdresser in Arizona just swears by it.  Does it work?  Not sure.  Does it make me have a taste for onion rings?  Probably.
Chew a piece of raw garlic every three to four hours.  It’s no surprise that garlic is the flavor of choice, as we’ve heard this many times especially in the form of Grandma’s Chicken Soup.  My grandma, however, doesn’t put garlic in her soup because she doesn’t like it.  My family loves it, but not enough to actually munch on a raw clove.  My breath stinks just thinking about it.
Don’t let your feet get cold.  I generally dislike being cold, so this tactic I kind of like.  The theory goes that chilly tootsies make your nose more susceptible to germs.  I’m not going to try to understand—I’ll just put on some slippers and call it a day.
Other great ideas during my research:  Some people actually consume non-food items to stay healthy or get healthy.  I think it’s not the best idea.  Especially since I also read that something like drinking hot coffee can help keep you from getting sick by washing nasty germs into your stomach which doesn’t matter much to me because all I heard was a good reason to drink coffee.
Another couple of tips:  Open restroom doors with a paper towel instead of your hand.  Read menus by holding them by the top instead of the more popular bottom.  Take deep breaths every day.  Keep your fingernails short.  Kiss on the lips.  Eat your boogers (I am not making this up, and beg of you to not try this at home.)
But mostly, wash your hands.  Stay home if you’re hacking and sneezing all over the place.  And stock up on pork rinds.
Endnote: I realize I have completely jinxed my family in the writing of this article.
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