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Do Not Disturb!

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Do Not Disturb!

Most nights I have a terrible time falling asleep. My mind is never fully at rest. I turn on my ceiling fan…winter and summer…punch my pillow to mold it into my neck, pull up my quilt, get into position and close my eyes. It’s then I remember I have to phone Cynthia with directions to the restaurant we’re meeting at on Wednesday, work on a Letter of Recommendation for my granddaughter, and look for that Pet Insurance form that’s buried somewhere on my desk. So right then and there, I reach for the Post it Notes and pen on my end table, and write reminder notes, in the dark.But, my head continues to spin out of control with topic ideas for writing, decisions on whether to drive into Manhattan, take the train or bus, or get an Uber. It can be as much as 45 minutes before I fall asleep, and then I can count on getting up for the bathroom at least three times. Consequently, most days I walk around in a zombie-like state.

Last night was one of those rare exceptions. Last night I was exhausted. I’d had a particularly physical day and it knocked me out. I pulled the quilt up over me at 11:45 and conked out immediately.

At 12:15 I was awakened by a loud ringing sound. I jumped up from a deep sleep, reached over and smashed the button on my alarm clock. The ringing continued, so I reached for the phone. No one was there. Finally, I dragged myself, in what felt like a drug induced state, out of bed and across the room, where I realized the ringing sound was coming from inside my purse. It was my cell phone.

Who the hell would call after midnight?

I grabbed the phone and saw the words: FaceTime, Accept or Decline. As much as I use my cell phone for talking and for messaging, I have never used Face Time. Intentionally. I’m vain. If I were a younger version of myself I wouldn’t care one bit who saw what I look like waking up from a sound sleep, but I’m on the far, far, other side of fifty, and there’s no way in hell I will ever allow myself to be seen without first spackling the crevices on my face, and covering my head with a towel, because my hair looked like I’d stuck my finger in a light socket.

But, I was in a daze. I’d been awakened from a deep sleep. So, without thinking, I pushed “Accept,” and saw my granddaughter’s face. She appeared to be at a party, and having a good time…perhaps too good a time. She saw my face and yelled, “Hi, Grandma.”

Suddenly, I was wide awake and fully aware of what was happening. I sleep topless, and this girl had just seen her grandmother’s face, neck and naked chest, in a way she should never have had to. All I could think was, “Poor baby. She’s going to need therapy to erase that indelible picture from her mind.”

I disconnected, without uttering a sound.

As I stood there, wrapped in humiliation, I had a another thought — a more pleasant one. Odds are that she never saw anything more than my wrinkled face, neck and shoulders. My two main concerns were out of sight, roughly a foot down from my chin, resting on either side of my navel.

Laverne H. Bardy’s humor column, Laverne’s View, has been syndicated with Senior News Wire Services since 2004, and is read in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and India. She wrote for 50 Plus Monthly, a regional New Jersey newspaper, where loyal readers laughed at her humor from 1999 to 2009. Currently she blogs for Huffington Post’s “Fifty” section, and writes for us here at  www.AfterFiftyLiving.com, as well as www.RetireEarlyLifestyle.com and www.Shrewsbury.net.

Laverne began her writing career in the mid 1970’s, when she was asked to write and edit Hotline, the Parent/Teacher newsletter at the school her children attended, in Livingston, New Jersey. During that same period she wrote one play, collaborated in writing another, and worked with the Livingston school system’s psychologist to write a series of Behavioral Modification skits that were presented to parents and teachers of the student body.

Laverne wrote human interest stories for West Essex Tribune and The Newark Star Ledger for a stretch then went on to join the staff of Northern Horizon’s newspaper.

Some publications Laverne’s work has appeared in are Reader’s Digest, Mature Living, Montage Magazine, Northern Horizons,Woman’s Hockey, Big Apple Parents’ Paper, The Daily Record newspaper and New Jersey Jewish News. Anthologies include Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage, Rocking Chair Reader, Bedpan Banter, Story House, and Craft of the Modern Writer. She is currently working on a book, How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?, a compilation of her columns, life stories and ramblings. Laverne was interviewed by Bottom Line Retirement, twice.

When she is not writing Laverne gives talks and humorous readings in coffee shops, libraries, and for various organizations and workshops. Some of her topics include: Growing up in the Fifties, How to Get More Humor in your Life, and The Joys of Aging. Talks about the joys of aging don’t usually last more than thirty seconds.

Laverne was nominated for publication in the 2006 edition of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

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