Thursday, September 12, 2013

Open Letter to My Sons or Do As Mama Tells You 'Cause She's Getting Smarter Every Day

Oh, yes...this brain is on fire.
Dear Tom and Charlie,

While I was scooping out the litter box this morning, as is my habit, I was keeping an eye on the morning news. 

I watch CBS because it just so happens I have a bit of a "thing" for Charlie Rose and those droopy eyelids plus I cannot stand the uproarious guffawing and forced jocularity of the other news shows (especially Good Morning America where live reports of a Kardashian hang nail come before, and often instead of, serious world events).
The news is just so awful.....wah!

George Stephanopoulos, we all know you want to unseat the perpetually angst-ridden and unstable Diane Sawyer as world news anchor but is this the way to do it? I fear it is.

In any case, over the scrape, scrape of the turd shovel, I heard something about the fact that conventional wisdom about the brain -- which is that you reach your peak of mental acuity around age 25 and then slide into an inevitable decline which involves wearing polyester sweatshirts with pictures of kittens wearing pretty bows and needing a booster seat when driving -- has been significantly altered by additional research.

Despite the suspicion that I've never been smarter (yes, I said you say it with me, fifty-somethings all over America), I began looking for a kitty sweatshirt at Wal-Mart, fearing that at any moment I would forget how to turn on the oven or use a tea bag but wanted to be dressed appropriately.

I've warned you both that the moment would come when you saw me falter for the first time and that it would be tough to handle---although that never happened to Grandma and I had been banking on a genetic life preserver when it came to the thinking department.

As it is, I got Grandma's short fingers, unmanageable hair and proclivity to laugh at everything but, being a glass-is-half-empty kind of gal (honestly, I am more of  a there-was-never-anything-in-the-glass-in-the-first-place-and-it's-now-in-jagged-shards-on-the-floor but that's another blog post or fifteen years of therapy, entirely) I assumed I'd soon be stringing big wooden beads on a shoelace before too long.

Well, hah! It seems that scientists (most likely ones over 50) have discovered that the brain regenerates itself quite nicely into the 90's and older people can be expected to reach their most creative and cognitive well into their advanced years. Using the famous author Herman Wouk (The Caine Mutiny, Winds of War) as an example, they cited that he wrote a new (and totally coherent) novel last year at the age of 98.
Go, Herman!!!

Charlie Rose was as excited about all this as I was and, making a valiant attempt to open his eyes all the way, asked whether these findings just might indicate experience accrued over a lifetime as opposed to the actual growth of more gray matter.

He was told that it was, indeed, growth and that this regeneration combined with experience, now makes anyone over the age of fifty super human and completely infallible.
Charlie Rose, super excited.

Okay, maybe that isn't exactly what they told him but that is how I prefer to interpret it.

You, my sons, are the fortunate beneficiaries of this good news since I fully intend to put my new lease on cognitive thinking to good use by helping you both decide on your life's trajectory...this will include wardrobe advice, career counseling, romantic guidance (Charlie, keep up the good work in that department) and, of course, penmanship classes.

In fact, I suggest that you do not make a move without consulting me first since it is now officially confirmed that I am smarter than everyone and never, ever wrong the beneficiary of not only experience but brain growth, as well and, therefore, a freaking national treasure reliable source of advice.
Itching yet, Miley?

Miley Cyrus, I am available. Please call me so I can advise you to stop twerking and start preparing for your career of working at a drive-thru. Start by rolling up your tongue and storing it safely inside your mouth and putting on some sensible cotton underwear instead of latex which we all know does not breathe and can only lead to the unfortunate need for prescription ointments.

So, Tom and Charlie, I can only imagine how relieved you must be at this news of my prolonged comprehension and insight.

I eagerly anticipate the many questions you are, no doubt, jotting down at this very moment as you joyfully prepare to pick my brain for the counsel you seek. You're welcome, my sons...and please cancel that order for the kitty cat sweatshirt I requested for Christmas. I no longer need it.

Love, Mom

Advice isn't always good.....


  1. I approve! Thank you for the shout out! ;)

  2. Susan, I love this. It gives me great hope!