Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day, Captain!

Dating for Baby Boomers is a lot different than dating for teenagers. Teenagers may say they're hanging out, but Baby Boomers really do. I should know—these days I spend a major portion of my life trying to cover it all up. To me, a belly shirt is something that rides up in the front when I pull the shirttail down in the back and is more an item I would wear to ward off would-be attackers than out to a seven-screen cinema on Saturday night.

When teenagers say they’re going to see a movie, they mean an action flick where the main action is blood loss. Baby boomers experience blood loss when we stand up too fast and all of our platelets stage an intervention around our ankles. Teenagers go to a Counting Crows concert and play air guitar. Baby Boomers count crows feet and go to see the Eagles farewell tour. (Unless we can find it on HBO. Then we watch it from our recliner, wake up at the end of the show and say, “Now THAT’S music,” as we gather our pillows and head up the stairs to bed.)

The younger generation thinks midnight is the new sunset. By the time the clock on the mantle strikes 12 at my house, I’ve been in bed long enough to have pillowcase creases on my cheeks. I realized the difference in mindset one wild weekend when The Captain of My Love Boat and I planned an adult extravaganza to keep the current flowing to the old spark plugs. Both of our teenaged sons were gone for the weekend, so with a hot date in mind and free access to the car, we headed out with high hopes and no curfew. Friday night we went to Wal-Mart and bought a box of those nose strips you put on at bedtime so you don’t sound like an asthmatic mountain goat.

We were going to go out to eat, but we were both so tired from the Wal-Mart excursion that we went home, had a peanut butter sandwich and went to bed, where we slept soundly until 2 a.m. when we passed each other in the darkened hallway during bathroom breaks. Thus rested, we were able to venture out to the mall Saturday night where we shared a combo meal at the food court, got a smoothie for dessert and walked to the electronics store to see if the batteries were on sale. Then we went home and went to bed. I woke Bill up about an hour later trying to put one of those nose strips on him without turning on the light. My aim must have been a little off because when I got through, he wasn’t able to close his eyes for the rest of the night.

So let the teenagers have action-packed movie dates at the mall. As for the two of us, we’ll always have WalMart. And a relationship where we stick together like a no-snore nose strip.