"Why not have my bedroom as the main room? After all, I spend most of my days in bed; I most often eat in bed, watching cartoons on FOX TV; it's not as if I throw dinner parties." Indeed, bits of toast and scraps of mortadella were strewn on the sheets, which were stained with wine and cigarette burns in places. - from "The Map and the Territory" by Michel Houellebecq
I'd forgotten all about "The Iron Lady". The movie, that is. Who could forget Thatcher? Or perhaps I should ask, "Who can remember her?" Old people, I suppose ...
Surprisingly, I remembered the movie - because after all I saw it over a week ago, and the attention span of us baby-boomers is fast approaching zero.
I remembered it today. I was in my local supermarket. When my turn in the checkout-line came, I was charged nine dollars something for a generic brand of unsalted butter, one onion and four Idaho potatoes. I paid, and was checking the printed receipt.
The checkout dude, complete with facial piercings and manicured eyebrows, tried to rush me on. Perhaps it was time for his meal-break. Behind me in the line, an elderly gentleman was looking into his basket, puzzled at what appeared to be a bagel. The checkout dude was snapping at me, "It's $9.20!" I think he thought that people as old as me couldn't read.
OK already yet, I was thinking to myself as I moved rapidly away from his line of vision. No way did I want to cause a scene. I don't fight battles I cannot win!
Then it hit me. An epiphany of sorts. In my time as a professional woman I have more than infrequently been called, in a derogatory tone, "Mrs. Thatcher". And here I was acting just like the woman - well at least like the woman as portrayed by Ms Streep.
The day had not begun well. In the morning I'd woken from a nightmare where all the men I've ever known (in the biblical sense) had merged into one very scary male. The dream had been vivid, and now I come to think of it, very clever and imaginative. Well of course imaginative.
This chameleon, chimera, whatever, spoke a mix of Oxford English, accented German English, Strine and American. Truly an abomination I can assure you. What's more, he was argumentative, mellow, practical, sensitive, autistic, well-proportioned, youthful, over-weight, intelligent, social, slightly stupid, all at the same time.
Quelle horreur! I awoke in fright. I'd been arguing with him because he wasn't here and wasn't not here all at the same time.
There's only so much a gal can take.
And now the Thatcher thing.
Am I truly, Thatcher-like, losing it? Is my old friend Paul right when he tells me that we baby-boomers are dropping like flies, and so why are the governments worried about looking after an ever-increasing elderly population?
Am I doomed to be a person who queries the price of onions? Will Rick Santorum become the president of the United States? And if so, will I have to flee this island of Manhattan?
If I were under thirty, I'd say, "Whatever!"
As it is, all I can say is,