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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

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2:11 a.m. - 2014-07-16
A Herd of Iconoclasts

So I was at my second home today (Shoprite, duh) and I noticed a few things. For one- the shopping experience was exceptionally smooth. For another that when traffic clogged or access to a desired item on a shelf was blocked by someone's cart everyone was exceedingly polite and the glitch was cleared with, like, zero hassle. Took until I was in the check-out line to twig why. It was mid-afternoon on a rainy Tuesday so the place wasn't terribly crowded, but the truly telling thing was the shoppers were all women my age. Seriously. Okay, there were a couple aberrant young moms with babies and a couple of seriously ancient women, but really it was like Shoprite threw a reunion for the Classes of '79-'82 and we all showed up.

I laughed a little and thought if we'd had the proper soundtrack the whole gang of us would be doing this in the produce section.

I, for one, haven't forgotten how to do the Hustle- regular, Manhattan, and Latin, thankyouverymuch, and I guarantee not many of my fellow age-mate shoppers have either.

Dancing aside I was rather fetched with how smoothly we navigated through our shopping and how little ego we had on the line as far as turf went. We're all a few years into our 'invisible and useless' phase so tend to be easy on each other.

But what really struck me was how different we all were. From each other, I mean.

Quick! Mental picture of a middle-aged suburban white woman. Go!

A little dumpy. Helmet hair. Slightly ticked off/apologetic/confused facial expression. Capris stretched over a broad butt topped with a notched lapel blouse in a non-descript floral print and sandals from Naturalizer.

Tell me I'm wrong here.

I thought not.

S'okay, even though I'm one of the tribe my mental picture skews that way too. And yet...the woman in line in front of me didn't match that description at all. For one thing she had dreads. Well not dread dreads but her wiry silver-shot hair was lumped into furry twists and secured to her head with a haphazard collection of clips. Her face was bare of make-up and she was wearing a well-worn t-shirt from the Sorbonne and a pair of beat to shit Levis. She packed her groceries into string bags and canvas twill bags and pulled her debit card from the back pocket of her jeans.

The woman behind me? Now she fit my original description to a T. Plus she had a coupon organizer with alphabetized tabs. She also gave me a wonderful smile when I caught her eye. The woman behind her was tall and lithe and totally rocking a halter topped, floor length sundress in an Aztec print, doorknocker earrings and a classic ballet chignon hairdo. A woman in the adjacent line had a long ponytail poking out the back of a Yankees cap, which matched her Jeeter jersey. And the woman behind her had the hollow-eyed, head-scarfed chemo thing going on.

Me? Because of the rain I'd eschewed my long skirt and silver sandals in favor of jeans and my Pro-Keds.

I had my hair in its usual pointy mess, wore my favorite hoop earrings and my Pandora. I had on a grey screen-printed t-shirt with a graphic of the Eiffel Tower, but since it's printed across the front on the diagonal we call it 'the Leaning Tower of Lisa'. Which is my last and longest kept secret. I'm a Lisa. One among the six and a half million Lisas born between 1962 and 1967. Not a name I own often and there's about 10 people on the entire planet who still call me by it. I don't hate it as much as I used to but it still doesn't fit me. I've been LA since college and it's the name I think of myself by. Though I DO acknowledge Lisa is a middle-aged name, a fad name, a generational marker. 'Lisa' is what 'Doris' and 'Shirley' were to the women of our mother's generation and 'Jennifer' was to the women who came after us. When I was in the sixth grade my four best pals were Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, and Jamie. I am definitely of my time and despite rejecting my all too common birth name I never, ever, ever pretend I am not a Jones. Generation Jones- the motley collection of stragglers tacked onto the Baby Boomers but not truly of them. Too early for Gen X. If not already dubbed with 'Jones' by sociologists we might have been called Generation Lisa.

Anyway, my point here (if I have one) is in our own quiet, markedly polite way we Jones women despite most of us sharing the name 'Lisa' are a diverse bunch. Maybe even because of our name. The Lisas were too young for Woodstock and too old for Cabbage Patch dolls. We didn't own anything except this dopey name. We fought our way out of the herd because we had to. It was hella crowded in Lisa Land. And what I saw today confirms it. We're in our sandwich time now, trapped neatly between mostly grown children and rapidly deteriorating parents, we're caretakers, niche fillers, food shoppers. We're good to each other because ain't nobody else bothering with us, that's for damn sure. But homogenous? Not hardly. The Lisas have each found her own way to be unique.

And yes, you still have to call me 'LA'.

8 Wanna talk about it!

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