Who Knew I Was A Club Sandwich?
“Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” Groucho Marx
I can’t remember not loving a good club sandwich, although it has been a while since I have allowed my 50+ year-old carbo/fat phobic-self to indulge in one.
Old age ain’t for sissies, as Bette Davis once famously remarked. Nevertheless, I must confess to indulging in a temper tantrum or two – or 2000 – over how, thus far, my metabolism has been the premiere casualty of my advancing age. Sure, my girlfriend Wendy, three years younger than I, is recovering from hip replacement surgery, while my elementary school classmate Carole is scheduled for her own next month and friend Debbie is proudly sporting new knees. What I hunger for, however, is not a new body PART but my former, less plump, less bellied, more highly metabolized, calorie kabooming BODY…
Oh, to be able to eat like I was svelte and under 40 again.
Yet, as far as I know, no procedure called a Metabolism Replacement has strutted its stuff down the medical fashion runway. And, so, reluctantly, I have added club sandwiches – along with doughnuts, hot fudge sundaes, butter slathered baguettes, French toast, mashed potatoes, entire bags of potato chips, and anything Alfredo-ed – to my list of Dietary Do Nots.
How ironic it is, then, to learn that sociologists define me as – of all things – a CLUB SANDWICH.
Yes, you heard correctly. A Club Sandwich am I. And I have plenty of company, according to Wikipedia, which defines Club Sandwiches as anyone “in their 50s or 60s sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren.” (You can also join our harried ranks early, if your issues involve juggling care of young children, aging parents and grandparents.)
However, if you know me even peripherally, my enrolling myself in Club ‘Club Sandwich’ may come as a bit of a surprise to you.
And, no, you missed no announcements. I am still not a grandmother. At least as far as I’m aware I’m not.
What I am is a poet, and we poets often work in a realm where Truth transcends the factual. Limiting us to the literal, the quantifiable is like force feeding us kryptonite—zapping, in one tedious bite, our ability to look up in the sky, be a bird, be a plane, be super.
Thus, while neither of my children has a spouse, much less offspring, THEY MAY ONE DAY…And, particularly as my daughter’s relationship with her beau grows more serious, my inner Boy Scout finds myself factoring grandchildren into my mental joyrides a good two or three times a week, whether this involves a trek through the Children’s Department en route to the Ladies Room or maneuvering advice columns on estate planning.
Meanwhile, my 83-year-old mother is very much a reality. In fact, as I type this, I am visiting her. I have traveled thousands of miles east to stay three days, then retrace those thousands of miles back west, Mama in tow, because this was the only way my mother-the-recalcitrant-terrified-phobia ridden traveler would agree to join us for the holidays. Which makes me just so sad.
Back in the day, my mother could have out-Shermaned General Sherman and obliterated legions with half a withering glance. A trained opera singer accustomed to – expecting – the spotlight, Mom never entered a room disappointed. People parted like the Red Sea to welcome her and everyone’s breath bated. Their eyes sparkled, particularly male eyes. In Mom’s hands, men were not just putty but puddles of mush.
Ah, mama…She was larger than life, was my mom. She was a titanic, Wagnerian life force. She was a goddess. She was god. There was nothing she couldn’t do, and do well. Or so it seemed. Indeed, when I took on the role of the invincible, supremely superior, stratospherically self-confident Lady Bracknell in a high school production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, I nailed the role – and, trust me, I was no actress. I simply channeled my mother.