Still Flying the Flannel

Our local modern rock station, born of a university radio station since gone commercial, is currently airing “90s week” programming for “those of [us] still flying the flannel”; an extended Christmas gift, if you will.

It really is all I could ask of WBRU.

I cut my alternative teeth on their play lists.  I made tape – yes, audiocassette – recordings of their “twelve cuts above the rest” and “retro lunch” programs.  I mailed one such cassette to my now husband when he was in some far-flung locale in the Coast Guard.  I did have a few flannels and one ripped-in-all-the-right-places pair of men’s jeans I still miss from time to time.

Over the years, some of the music made my ears hurt and I found myself asking the question oft-repeated by our forebears, ‘they call this music?’  And I questioned some of their song selections for the “retro” lunch: ‘they call this retro!?’  I scoffed at the apparent naiveté of the new jockeys, these rookies who didn’t know the really classic stuff.  It never occurred to me that for them to be considered whippersnappers, I had to be moving into a new age bracket myself.

Slowly, tastes changed, a new sound came about, and I reveled in it.  There was this niggling thought in the back of my head, though.  Was this a new crop of really fabulous music – or was I old enough to have witnessed my first cycle of the old becoming new?  After all, Rainbow Brite, a color-wheel explosion of my childhood, is now available on DVD.  The Strawberry Shortcake picture that once hung above my twin bed now adorns my daughters’ space – and they know who she is!

When I was in second or third grade, I remember rocking out to Billy Idol’s version of “Mony, Mony”.  I was flabbergasted when my mother chimed in.  ‘This is an old song, you know,’ she told me with a certain triumph in her voice.  I can’t say I share in her bravado.

The very phrase, “for those of you still flying the flannel”, suggests that we’re somehow stuck in an outdated place.  Are the glorious days of my hey-day now ancient?  And am I becoming so?

It’s a bittersweet feeling.  While one never wants to be considered passé, the gut-wrenching chords of “Seether” still awaken the adolescent beast in me.  “Particle Man” still reignites images of my favorite people bouncing around to it.  And the supposed one-hit-wonders, The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, still make me turn up the volume to an unhealthy level and groove.

The synapses are still firing and helping me remember some of the best and brightest moments of my life.  And luckily the music that inspired them has inspired a new group of whippersnappers to create like-minded and nearly as good music for a new soundtrack.

The Butt of the Joke

What is it about the fabric on the butt of a bathing suit?  Is the fabric such that it always sags?  Or is it just the mass amount needed to cover my ass?  Maybe it just gets tired and worn out as time goes by – not unlike the skin on my body.

I had youth on my side with the first pregnancy.  After # 2, my breasts resembled tennis balls in tube socks.  And # 3?  After that one, I visited every specialist under the sun.

Pelvis malfunction and a left hip always slipping out?  Physical Therapist

Lower back and left buttock numb?  Chiropractor

Developing bunions (found by way of visit for ingrown toenail)? Podiatrist

My husband, knowing it would no doubt get my goat (which it most certainly did), joked that he was going to trade me in for a newer model.  Nevertheless, through exercises, adjustments, and orthotics, I regained mobility.  But just as absence makes the heart grow fonder, so did I forget how much continued maintenance and exercise matters.  Gradually, my routine lessened, then, went by the wayside.

Two years later, I have a near-constant stitch where my left hamstring meets my butt.  The place where my abs weakened and spread now yawns open hungrily.  I have saddlebags where once there were all straight lines and angles.

Now, I’ve heard of how ladies in years past, like those found in Rubens’ paintings, were valued for their curves and wide hips, signifying their life-giving capabilities.  And I do enjoy a certain comfort with my body more now than at any other point in my life.  Once upon a time, I was extremely shy about my body, even though I had a ‘cute little figure’.  Now that I’ve seen it morph and grow and sag, I realize I should’ve flaunted it when I had the chance.  But after bearing it all to give birth and publicly breastfeeding, I enjoy a ‘take me as I am’ attitude and a pride akin to battle scars, I suppose.  Plus, there’s only so much stretch before an elastic won’t snap back into place.  Just like accepting what your body is capable of on a given day of yoga, I accept that there are certain realities about my current form I must accept.  It is what it is.

It’s also a source of great amusement – because as I tell myself so often – laugh so that you may not cry.  And it’s something to share with my friends as we grow older together.  Just the other day, I received this card in the mail from my dear friend.

Maybe with the increasing effects of gravity over the years, I’ll at least stay grounded  ☺

%d bloggers like this: