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Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Moment with Mary and Pearl; or On Not Being Helen Bloody Mirren

Ring.  Ring-ring.

“Whaddaya want?” 

Mary sounds delightfully wary for this early in the morning.  I shift the phone from one ear to another gleefully.  “I just wanted you to know,” I say, “that I hate everything in my closet.”

Mary chuckles, the sound of mythical woodland creatures at midnight.

Possibly belly-up to a bar. 

“I’m serious!” I say, smiling.  “Everything.  Ooooh, what’s Pearl wearing today?  Is it a second-hand skirt and a cardigan?  Is it a pair of second-hand dress pants and a jacket?”  I wrinkle my nose in disgust, confident that my revulsion will translate over the airwaves.

It does.

“You got problems,” she commiserates.  “When one tires of dressing, one tires of life.”

“Are you mocking me?”

She laughs.  “Me?  Mock you?  You do me a grave disservice, madam” she sniffs.

I laugh.  “Are you reading a book on dueling or something?” I say.  “You sound suspicious.”

The shrug is audible.  “I watch a lot of movies,” she says.

“Hmm,” I say. 

There is a slight pause in the conversation while I retrieve my clothing irritation.

“And another thing,” I say, “Never Google ‘how to look great at 50’.  The advice is insulting.”

“Like what?”

“First of all, I’m not Helen Bloody Mirren --“

“—nice –“

“—thank you – and she pops up every time.  I mean, she’s gorgeous, she’s always been gorgeous, and pics of her in red carpet gowns don’t help me.”


“Secondly,” I continue, “advice like ‘flats are kinder to older feet’ and ‘expansive tops cover a multitude of problems’ don’t help.”

“You don’t need an expansive top.”

“Thank you.”

“A small dog, maybe, carried waist high –“

“Shut up!”

She laughs.  “I keed.  I keed.”

There is another pause.

“At least you have a waistline.”

Mary and I have had a running conversation on body shape for just short of three decades now.  She is an apple.  I am a pear.  Big fans of both fruits, we have determined that, between us, we have one truly awesome body.

We are still looking for a head.

“I mean, me,” she continues, “all I want is to wear a belt.”

“You could wear a belt,” I say.  Mary has recently lost just under 30 pounds.  She looks 13, maybe 13 and-a-half years younger than she did 30 pounds ago.

She shakes her head, a gesture I know to house a contrary yet amused look of denial.  “Say what you will,” she says, “but I’ve seen the pictures.  Cinched in the middle, I look like a belted bratwurst.”

I spit the coffee I’ve been sipping back into the cup. 

“Ah,” she says.  “And my work here is done.  You are 51, and ya don’t look a day over 46.  Good bye, Pearl.”

I smile.

“Good bye, Mary.”


vanilla said...

When a good friend chops five years off your age, you just know that that is true. (Friends are brutally honest, and Mary is the brutalest.)

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

"A belted bratwurst"
Mary's work here? Is done.

fmcgmccllc said...

If ya thought it was all downhill after 40, well you are in for a new adventure.

Simply Suthern said...

On the list of fruits, Apples and Pears beat out Raisins and Prunes.
But I always thought of you as more of a Peach(not cause of the fuzz).

Eva Gallant said...

Love the conversations between you and Mary, almost as much as I love the cat tales!

Pearl said...

Good ol' Mare. :-) The goofy woman is a national treasure.

Silliyak said...

51? Oh Pearl you're going to have SO MUCH MORE to write about as time roller blades by.

Susan Williams said...

The trouble with the belted bratwurst, and I speak from experience here, is that they look like they're going to blow, any second.
I fear my genetic pear shape, given to my by my dear mother's side of the family, is attempting to build a bridge of harmony and obesity with the apple shaped women of my father's side of the family.
Be the apple.
Be the pear.
But don't be a self-contained fruit basket.
That's what I say.

Leenie said...

I'm with Simply Suthern. Amen.

Anonymous said...

A good friend who shares your liking for fruit is a treasure indeed.

Shelly said...

Just spent two hours watching Helen Mirren do everything from dissolve bodies with acid to charm Russian warlords in Reds 2. I think she and Mary should star in their own action pic, that you could write. Show everyone how women over 40 do it with style.

fishducky said...

“A small dog, maybe, carried waist high –"...do you think that would work?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
oohh, I'd give anything to look as GOOD as a belted bratwurst if tied round the mid-regions... and to sound like a nocturnal copse full of mythicals!! Wonderful imagery again my dear. YAM xx

jenny_o said...

I did a double take at Yam's comment until I realized she wrote 'copse' not 'corpse'. Yes, I would like to sound like that, too. Where do I sign up?

And about the age thing. Mary gave you five years, and then you gave her 13, may 13 and-a-half? You're both awesome.

jenny_o said...

*maybe* ... not *may*

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Apples and Pears. The story of all women's lives. I too am an apple and every time I look at a cake I will now picture a belted bratwurst and put it down. Because any pounds us apples put on go straight to making us rounder and juicier. True. Thanks Mary!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Life is made for friends like these isn't it? :)

Slick said...

"Cinched in the middle, I look like a belted bratwurst."

We had an older lady that worked for the DMV that fit that description perfectly.

I don't know if she was hateful because of the belt being cinched so tight, or if it was a job requirement for the DMV.

Ziva said...

Is it possible to be a pear when looked at from straight on, and an apple when looked at from the side? Because I think that's what I am. Forget the belt, I need divine intervention.

Daisy said...

Apples are good and so are pears. Even bananas are OK. If you're shaped like a starfruit, though, that's when you've got troubles! :D

Great post, Pearl. Thanks for making me laugh.

Joanne Noragon said...

I have never aspired to bratwurst-esqueness. Sack a potatoes tied in the middle for me. In my next life I will look like Helen Mirren, even unto seventy years of age. Don't tell me she's that old already.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Pfffttt, you are far prettier than Helen whatsherface.

Sioux said...

Belted bratwurst. Funny, but too close to home to laugh too hard.

Carry a small dog to camouflage the waist...What if I need to carry a German Shepard to hide my gut? Do you think I could pull it off (or carry it)?

Gigi said...

I currently hate everything in my closet too - maybe we should just trade?

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love elastic belts; they keep my boobs from laying on my lap.

Susan Kane said...

I'd like to be an apple or a pear. Instead I am a block of cheese.

HermanTurnip said...

Hey, I know some guys who are into the bratwurst look. Of course they're also into key parties and slather on the coconut oil when they go to the beach, so there's that to consider when they ask you out on a date to El Polo Loco and a tour of the local Radio Shack...

Ray Denzel said...

Is there a birthday in there somewhere?

River said...

A belted bratwurst!! hilarious. and I know what Mary means, as I have no waist either. This is why I wear expansive tops.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! You and Mary? Why, I oughta...

I've taken to carrying a very large dog. It's troublesome to have a Saint Bernard strapped over my shoulder, but it does get me the attention I crave. And unlike the delightful Mary, I truly am a barely contained Bratwurst.

Indigo x