Sunday, January 24, 2010

Would You Like Mayo With That?

So I call myself Sandwitch. All the names in this blog are made up. But we are real people, a fact you might have trouble believing as you read on (It’s not all my fault. Especially the “hotel/hooker” incident. But I digress)

People around my age are the "sandwich generation." I wish I were a Hero, but I’m more the shape and temperament of a Submarine, with the social attributes of a Club, I think; unfortunately it’s definitely a case of not wanting to belong to any club that would have me. I love the people in my family, I do. I’m just not quite as fuzzy-wuzzy about our present configuration.

“You’re not embracing the extended-family ethos,” Anthony chides.

“Easy for you to say,” I shoot back. “Your extended family is enjoying the ethos of the other side of town. You lucky dog.”

Besides, I beg to differ. I accept the extended family (embrace is a strong word). Acceptance does not preclude complaining, however.

Since we’re defining generations here, let it be known I’m also a baby-boomer with Gen X tendencies because I rode the last ripple of the huge boomer bulge and feel much more Douglas Coupland and Billy Idol than Jack Kerouac or MoTown.

“Sandwich” generation is perfectly fitting: not only am I sandwiched snugly between generational classifications, but also between the physical manifestations of the generations that respectively preceded and followed mine: my mother and children.

Sally Martin: born 1919, in between (sandwiched again) World Wars. Grew up in the Depression, made it through WWII with husband and baby intact, lived, aged, sent kids out the door, buried my father, and now…she’s ba-ack, shuffling like a dusty walking matriarchal memory through my house.

Alex and Kathleen Martin: born 1996 and 1998, the last gasps of the 20th Century, Generation Y-ers, Gen Next, whatever you call them, they are the top slice of bread on the sandwich that squeezes me and my husband into flattened, beaten, whimpering 2-dimensional versions of our formerly roundish, tanned, toned selves — the selves we were back when busy meant “juggling” (I actually had the nerve to apply that word in describing my former life of ease) demanding careers, rent payments and a crushing vacation schedule.

Now, my pasty-white body hasn’t seen a tropical beach in years and cardio exercise means the pounding of my heart as I race from one event to another, none having to do with dinner out, shopping for myself or God forbid, the spa.

“Looks like the underbelly of a fish,” my husband said the other day, eyeing with mild alarm my pale, oddly translucent flesh.

“You’re no bronzed God yourself,” I responded, fondly (really) slapping his buttocks, then abruptly recoiling at the resulting tremors.

“How do they shake like that?” I mumbled, not wanting to look out of respect for the dead, but incapable of turning away from the scene of the accident.

“That's rhetorical, right?"

My husband makes me laugh, and thank God for that. Since it's not exactly a funny situation we're in.

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