Got Gummies? A Sassy Excerpt from ‘Be Brave’
A baby boomer couple blends responsibility with an evening of fun
Liz Kitchen’s inspiring and humorous book for “Lady Boomers” empowers women to tackle their third act with confidence and sass. In this excerpt from “Be Brave. Lose the Beige! Finding Your Sass After Sixty,” a couple infuses a little something extra into their relaxation and escape time.
Talk about a lightness of spirit! A 2016 article in The Washington Post noted that marijuana use among those fifty and older has ballooned since 2006. (Waistlines have likely ballooned as well, given that marijuana promotes the munchies.) The article referenced a study that found Medicare reimbursements for a number of common prescription medications dropped sharply after the introduction of medical marijuana laws in many states.
Now perhaps marijuana use is not the healthiest coping technique, but this is a no-judgment zone. I’m just here to share the facts. I collect stories and this is a topic of interest to me since I, on occasion, have enjoyed the general sense of wellbeing and joint relief accompanying those Ganja-infused gelatin gems.
Our friends Jill and Todd recounted their herbal experience during a date night at a movie theater. As they are also in their BBLB* years, I laughed and appreciated the precautions they took, which were a far cry from our youthful indiscretions.
Jill and Todd are in a second marriage. (They went through the equivalent of boot camp and a stint in the military in their first marriages and now in their second marital go-round are enjoying their virtual medals of honor for bravery and service.) Therapy sessions had persuaded them they needed to interject more fun and playfulness into their lives. Both felt they had missed out on many of those formative, even somewhat reckless, experiences that tend to define the post-adolescent quest for independence. Jill’s finances dictated that she had to put herself through college by working a lot, and an unexpected pregnancy made Todd a young father with multiple responsibilities.
Both of them dabbled in weed during the 1990s. Dopers, they weren’t. A quarter of an ounce of marijuana would last them a year. But even without being high, they were often paranoid that their teens would discover their stash. They’d hidden it in bags within bags, within purses on the top shelf in a closet. They told no one about their dirty little secret, and perhaps it was the secret that made it all the more fun. For short periods, two tokes on a joint helped them escape their multitasking and over-responsible selves. They laughed; they ate; they had sex; they watched movies. They felt young again. Which brings me to the updated point in their story when they no longer can be considered youngish.
A particular Thursday night brought the end of a rough week for Jill and Todd. Jill had unexpectedly been called to Atlanta in a childcare rescue effort after her daughter’s babysitter quit. Three days of diaper changes, snotty noses, laundry, meal preparation, and airline travel had left her depleted. Todd, meanwhile, had been beset by annoyingly demanding clients while holding down the home front.
“I want to go to a movie!” Jill interrupted as Todd recounted how much he’d done during her absence. While Jill and Todd enjoyed movies, the stress of actually going out to a movie and having to be there at a precise time was not their idea of relaxing.
“Let’s get high first,” Jill suggested. They had recently received a box of cannabis-infused Colorado chocolates as a gift from friends.
“Ok, but I think we should take an Uber,” her husband wisely suggested. Date night found them at the Regal Theater with a purse full of smuggled Five Guys burgers and glasses of wine from the movie bar. While their movie selection was a comedy, the howling and hysterics emanating from row F might have been a bit out of proportion to the actual humor quotient of the movie.
“Let’s go to the Cheesecake Factory for dessert!” Jill cajoled her husband at the movie’s conclusion. Jill and Todd were proud of the fact they were still up, dressed, and sitting at the restaurant bar at 10:30 at night on a work night (school night, as they liked to call it). Todd recounted how he had to take out his iPhone flashlight in order to read the menu. And as the waiter was forced to repeat himself several times, Jill leaned over and all but shouted in an exasperated tone, “Did you forget to wear your hearing aids again?!”
I couldn’t stop laughing listening to this story about a boomer’s version of getting stoned. Baby boomers are a responsible lot. Even as we contemplate retirement or semi-retirement, we can’t seem to resist adding more to our plates. So maybe we can cut ourselves some slack when we engage in periodic distractions, like popping an edible every now and again (even if these indulgences are accompanied by hearing aids, iPhone flashlights, and ride share services). And talk about skirting the rules! “You’re too old to be smoking weed,” we imagine being told.
“Well, you don’t know my badass generation then,” should be your righteous response, after which you’ll feel as light as air. And at our age, that’s saying something.
*BBLB: Liz Kitchens’ acronym for the spirit of her book, “Be Brave. Lose the Beige!”
In “Be Brave. Lose the Beige! Finding Your Sass After Sixty” (SheWrites Press, May 16, 2023), author Liz Kitchens offers a funny and profound guide for “Lady Boomers” and others cresting toward retirement who are navigating “what’s next.” Her candid, tongue-in-cheek manifesto empowers women to take on their third act with confidence and sass. Kitchens chronicles how creative thinking helped her cope with empty nest syndrome; navigate sex over sixty; transition from being “outtasight” to literally being out of sight, and more. She encourages women to defy those “beige expectations” and start coloring outside the lines. Kitchens is the founder of the website, Be Brave. Lose the Beige, which focuses on issues facing women of the baby boomer generation and encourages them in finding their sass after sixty!