Thursday, November 17, 2011

Middle Aged Bragging Rights

                                                                                                Julie Kemp Pick


Do you ever notice how some people can't go one minute without bragging? They start at a young age, and every conversation turns into a competition. They go to the best schools, graduate with the best jobs, marry the best spouses, and move into the best homes according to them.

After their gorgeous and gifted children move away, they come to the realization that they have very little to talk about. They're at that awkward age where their bodies are creaking, and their weight is shifting in the wrong places. Trapped in middle aged limbo; too young for retirement, yet too old to sit in a chair without dozing off. If only they had grandchildren to bounce on their knees, before their arthritis kicks in.  Suddenly, a group of friends are gathered around their picnic table bundled up in blankets; beside a roaring fire on a balmy summer evening  playing the latest board game.

It's Toots and Bladders, Battered Hip, and Crazy Mates all rolled into one. The game where it pays to decay. A player draws the first card which asks, "Have you ever had a cyst lanced from your perineum?"  Raymond answers "yes," collects $200, and advances his miniature oxygen tank down the board.  Pearl throws the dice, and lands on Constipation Blvd. Everyone presses their buzzers at once. To break the 4-way tie Lexi shouts out, "How long has it been?"  Pearl answers "5 days," Raymond 3, Lexi 2, and Leonard adds, "since lunchtime."

When Leonard proudly admits to having hair plugs he is forced to move his miniature enema kit into the Unnecessary Cosmetic Procedure Pavilion forfeiting his next turn. Now the competition has shifted from earlier conversations about material possessions to who has the largest surgical scars.  The couples are thrilled to have something to talk about, even if it means battling it out to see who has suffered the most.

Lexi draws the final card which reads, "Congratulations on your 5th anniversary of being cancer-free..." Lexi couldn't believe that her husband and closest friends remembered that it had been almost 5 years to the day since she underwent her last radiation treatment for breast cancer. She was so excited that they went to all the trouble of ordering a customized version of the game just for her. Then she reads the rest of the card, "...and your mother-in-law will be joining in the celebration tomorrow, when she moves in with you after her hip replacement surgery." With that, everyone turns their winnings over to Lexi, after they pry her hands off of Leonard's hair plugs.

25 comments:

  1. Oh God, what a hoot! Unfortunately, I know way too many people who could be quite competitive in a game of that sort. As for bragging about the kids, my kids excelled in school, but I never talked about it. Frankly, I preferred the bumper sticker that said, "My kid kicked your honor kid's ass."

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  2. Delores - There is unlimited bragging potential for grandchildren, especially cute ones like yours and Susan's. As wonderful grandmother's you've earned the right! Thanks Delores!

    Susan - I admit to playing the game now and then, but hopefully I don't get too carried away. I do enjoy when you write bits about your family, but you are very humble. What a classic bumper sticker! Thanks Susan!

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  3. This is so funny :) Thank goodness I won't have to play that game because I already have the most adorable granddaughter to brag about instead :)

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  4. Delores - Correction grandmothers without an apostrophe. Now I'm addicted to apostrophes and exclamation points!

    Susanna - Another young and pretty grandma. I am so jealous, but I still can't wait to see pictures! Thanks Susanna!

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  5. Oh, that was funny, but darn the truth hurts. And tonight I saw a video of my adorable granddaughter that I may have to put on my site. Sorry folks but she's the cutest ever.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  6. so funny. I was thinking about getting this game, but it seems to be named: Aging in Hell, where no one wins. Sigh...at least I have my teeth.

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  7. Lee - I would love to see a video of your granddaughter, and now you have several blogs to play it on! Thanks Lee!

    Barb - I think we have a winner here! Oh sorry, you said no one wins. Wait a minute, I bet that my teeth are longer than your teeth...Thanks for cheering me up Barb!

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  8. I'm a long way off from playing this game. I'm working on the first child now so that I can nag about grandchildren in about 25 years.

    The game sounds hilarious! No one wants to age beyond a certain point, but if we can find ways to do it with grace and humor, then it's not so scary.

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  9. Ha ha so funny and clever, I love this. Here I thought it was going to end on a touching note with the cancer-free card, and then I loved the mother-in-law reversal. Great story!

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  10. That a kind of scary game. I know just the people to send it to :)

    Happy Weekend!

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  11. Isis - You get an unlimited bragging pass with the birth of your first child! Congratulations again! Oh to be able to age with "grace and humor!"

    Julie - The old mother-in-law trick is cowardly, yet effective. Maybe you could help me develop a more touching side. Thanks Julie!

    Carol - I'm sure we'd both be up all night printing out address labels!

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  12. This might be the most relatable post I've read of yours Julie. Funny, but sad at the same time. Still, I'd rather brag about my kids than my surgical scars or funky medical conditions. Now I am dreading being an empty nester next year. What will I talk about?? What will I do with myself? Oy!!

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  13. Sara - There's bragging and then there's BRAGGING! We all do it, but I'm sure you don't go overboard like so many people do. Next year will be the perfect opportunity for you to start your own blog, or else you will find another creative outlet. In the meantime, enjoy your family and take care of your "funky medical conditions!" If you ever need to vent, I'm available. Thanks for not making me regret posting this on FB! Julie

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  14. You have outdone yourself in the creativity department, Julie. This is really, really good. I love all the word play (Toots and Ladders, Constipation Blvd...) I think Hasbro should manufacture this game and distribute it amongst all the aging braggers.
    xoRobyn

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  15. Hahaha! Is it bad that I found this kind of funny? I can just imagine the hair plugs being ripped off... My friends are currently at the stage where they brag about their children. It can get a teensy bit tiresome sometimes.

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  16. Robyn - Maybe we could add a chocolate flavored Ex-lax game piece, as well as other chocolate items. Then we could present our plan to Hasbro together! Your kind words really mean so much to me.

    Talli - It's never bad to find anything that I come up with funny! Some people really do get carried away. The next time it happens, you should simply display your dazzling smile, and think about all the raving reviews that are pouring in! Julie

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  17. Toots and Bladders. I would totally play that game.

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  18. I'm not playing Toots and Bladders. I might enjoy it!!

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  19. Haha! I'm not there quite yet, but I'm getting close!

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  20. Julie - I'll be sure to send you the special sound effects edition, so you could pull it off of the shelf in 25 years!

    Rosalind - You are much too smart and active to enjoy it. It's a misery loves company game for the underwhelmed.

    Nancy - You are also a long way off, especially if you keep your bragging within the family confines. Julie

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  21. Great post...great blog.

    NEW FOLLOWER

    Elizabeth

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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  22. Hi, Julie!

    I think a persons writing portrays alot about them. Your writings reflect a person with vision, imagination, creativity and ingenuity!

    Obviously you have great talent!

    Interesting game - with alot of realism to it. I hope never to be one of the players.

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  23. Elizabeth - Short and sweet! Thanks for the follow. Double ditto!

    Betty - I wish I could bottle all of the wonderful comments that you've written in one day, and mix a little bit in with my cereal every morning. Something tells me that you will never have the negative attitude to play this game. Thanks Betty!

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