Kathleen Norton

Posts Tagged ‘middle-aged women

What's not to love?

OK people, get ready for a stroll down movie memory lane.

If it’ll help, grab some popcorn and chase it down with Ginkoba.

In honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, let me know your favorite all-time movie from the ’60s or ’70s. We’ll share here – and in my newspaper column for the Poughkeepsie NY Journal.

You probably don’t even have to think that hard about it.

Saturday Night Fever? Jaws? Love Story? Carrie? M*A*S*H? Easy Rider? The Godfather? The Way We Were? The Graduate?

It may be the first movie you saw with the old “M’’ rating, or the first one you saw with the guy or gal who’d be “The One.’’

It may be the movie you saw four times in a theater that had only one movie showing at a time.

Remember when everybody going into a theater at the same time was there to see the same film?

To get things rolling, this baby boomer will reveal her all-time favorite movie.

It’s the one I have seen at least 45 times – three times when it first came out – but most of my viewings have been on TV.

I simply can’t click past it. I have to stop whatever I’m doing, put my feet up and watch Rocky Balboa beat the you-know-what out of a side of beef before he gets you-know-what pounded out of him in the boxing ring.

I love the movie so much I even watch the sequels – even the one when they kill off Adrian, who of course is on the receiving end of my all-time favorite movie line: “Yo Adrian!’’

Ok, it’s not Shakespeare. But I’m a sucker for an underdog and Rocky led the pack in that category. He still does.

I mean come on, how many barely literate tough guys can melt a girl’s heart simply by introducing her to a couple of pet turtles named “Cuff and Link.’’

And don’t get me started on the “Rocky’’ theme song. One bar and I’m jogging up the nearest flight of steps and at the top, doing the slow-motion Rocky jumping dance.

It used to get laughs in our house. But after 24,867 performances, they don’t even look up.

“Go ahead,’’ they say. “Knock yourself out. We’ll wait.’’

A couple of years ago, we went to Philadelphia and I hit pay dirt. I found a shop that sold Rocky paraphernalia only.

They even sold a fleece throw blanket featuring the scene where Rocky beats up that bloody meat. How’d you like to snuggle with that on the couch?

I had to be dragged out of the shop against my will and don’t remember seeing the Liberty Bell though I am told we went there on that trip.

BTW, the picture you see here is what’s on my favorite T-shirt.

So now you know my favorite movie from the ’60s and ’70s – and possibly of all time. How about the rest of you?

Send them in lickety-split. To get inspired, click here for some scenes from the original Rocky!



My crown has lost its luster

I am trying to quit.

But it’s not what you’re thinking. This is not about the usual stuff. Drinking. Smoking. Collecting garden gnomes.

What  I’m trying to quit is my birth order. I want to resign my position as Firstborn. Or, as my three younger sisters used to call me  (and probably still do when they are texting about me): The Queen of Bossy Island.

My sisters may not believe this – and neither will any of the middle and youngest children out there – but we First Borns get tired of being in charge.

Do you think we like telling everyone what to do all the time?

Do you think it makes us happy that we will always know more than you do because we have more time on this planet?

We do not. It is exhausting.

Besides, at least in my case, the younger ones don’t listen to me like they used to.

As kids they had no choice.

I was put in charge of the backyard and if they wanted a push on the swing, they had to fetch me snacks as payment.

And now? Well, I can’t remember the last time one of them needed a push, or got me a Ring Ding on command.

“Get your own Ring Ding!” they sniffed at the last family reunion.

My powers over them have been significantly diminished.

To make matters worse, they’ve started examining my face for aging signs so they can see how theirs will look in a couple of years.

“Ouch!’’ is a common reaction.

This is from the younger sisters who once swooned over my grownup lipstick and begged to borrow my sweaters.

The same sisters who needed me to tie their shoes and were once at my beck and call now consider me their own personal version of Back to the Future.

Being the First Born pretty much stinks these days. But quitting the behavior that comes with it turns out to be no picnic, either.

I spent a half a century (has it been that long?) telling younger siblings what to do. Putting on the brakes is painful.

My first idea was to find somebody else’s siblings to boss instead. This was a bust. Not a single person obeyed when I yelled, “Get me a Yoo-hoo and make it snappy!’’ on the street the other day.

One woman did pause briefly.

I’ll bet she was probably a middle child, which means she would have gone for the Yoo-hoo to make peace and shut me up. But then she moved on.

She must have a good therapist, whom I may have to borrow at some point to overcome my behavior.

My best friends have been absolutely no help. Most of them are firstborns, too, and together we morph into a big, bossy blob.

Changing myself may turn out to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done – including when I went cold turkey in the middle of a TV Land “Happy Days’’ marathon.

It was not pretty. Weaning yourself off the Fonz never is.

But resigning as Queen of Bossy Island?

Hallucinations about Potsie, Ralph and Richie are going to seem like a hoot after this.

Turn back the clock!

In the drugstore, I cringe at all the creams that say “ANTI-AGING,”  “ANTI-WRINKLE” and “REVITALIZING.”

I cringe because women of a certain age hate one thing above all else – a reminder that they are women of a certain age.

And as I stand there, I declare: “The only things that are gonna ‘revitalize’ me are an appletini and a hunk of chocolate.”

But then I look both ways to see if anybody’s around and proceed to fill my basket with these promises-in-a-tube.

They go right next to my year’s supply of NUCLEAR STRENGTH ESTRO TABS.

I grumble that the names of  all these things are  so obnoxious, and that they are in big print, but I won’t admit that I couldn’t see them otherwise. Despite the fantasy in my mind, I am not 25 years old. Or 35 or 45 – and 55 is on the horizon.

My sister came upon one of these ill-named beauty creams on a trip out of town last week. She went into the bathroom of her guest and saw a bottle of moisturizer called MENOPAUSE AND BEYOND.

She thought of two things.

1.  Cartoon space guy Buzz Lightyear, who shouts, “TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!”

2.  The marketing twit who made up the name of the cream.

The second thought made her want to hurt something.


She went to grab her Raging Hormone Toolkit, which contains a nifty, mini hatchet. She planned to do a Lizzie Borden on that bottle and chop it up to bits.

But she’d left the kit back home. So she did the next best thing. She called me on her cell to report the discovery of  MENOPAUSE AND BEYOND so we could laugh about it.

Me:  How stupid! Why do they think anybody would buy something with that name!

Her:  Who knows? Why not call it LAST DITCH MOISTURIZER?’

Me: I bet a 30-year-old guy thought of it!

Her:  Thirty! I’ll bet he was 20!

Me: Hahahaha!

“Oh,” we both said, “We are sooo clever! How do we stand ourselves!”

Then there was a pause.

Me: Umm…do you think that stuff works?

Her: I’ll let you know. I just slathered it on from head to foot!

She did not call back. I can only take that to mean there was no good news.

I don’t know why that surprises me because where these creams are concerned, there never is any good news.

They might as well all have one name, “GOOD LUCK SUCKER!”

Still, we keep buying and hoping. Buying and hoping.

I suppose if any of these face cream people were smart enough to turn back the clock for good, they’d be working for NASA. Not making useless face cream.

So my sister and I have a message for the makers of MENOPAUSE AND BEYOND if they want to sell more of their product: Take a cue from ol’ Buzz Lightyear.

On your bottle, put a picture of a perspiring, agitated, middle-age woman. Make sure she wears a superhero outfit that looks like it fit her better 10 years ago.

She should raise her fist in the air, and have a balloon over her head that says, “TO MENOPAUSE AND BEYOND! NEXT STOP, THE MORGUE!”

Then we will know that your cream, like all the others, won’t make us young. But at least we’ll get a laugh out of it.

And that, as they say, is priceless.


(If you missed it, click here and check out Kathleen’s new  feature — Funny Stuff This Week!)

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