Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Channeling My Grandmother

Grandmother’s have changed since my childhood.  I know several women who are grandmothers and they are gorgeous.  I often find myself trying to figure out where they hidden the fountain of youth.  My grandmothers were unique too.  My mom’s mother Luna, was a musical prodigy, a concert pianist and professor of music in the 1920’s.  My dad’s mother, Nadine (Nadine and Luna, you gotta expect greatness, right?) went to nursing school but didn’t like the sight of blood.  Nadine was a housewife.  But, she was a HOT housewife.  Nadine liked stylish clothing, blingy jewelry, strappy high heels and hats.  Nadine loved a good hat.  I am more like Nadine then I am like Luna. The problem is, I have hidden my style underneath blue jeans and sweatshirts for a lot of years.  I decided this year, when fall arrived, that it was time to honor my heritage and “up” my style.  I went shopping (which I hate - see the Mother-of-the-Groom article for details) and did everything in my power to NOT buy blue jeans, straight black tops or a simple pullover.  Uh, uh.  I bought sweaters, dresses, boots (I LOVE my boots) and a coat.  I resisted the urge to fall into my black “go to” color and picked up some reds, grays and blues.  Feeling so satisfied with myself, I even bought a hat.  Yes!  A hat.  NOT A RED HAT, but a very stylish black fedora that a) fits my fat head and b) looks darn cute.  In fact, I put it on there, in the store, and wore it home.  I wore it all day long and when Moondoggy came home, I had changed into one of my new stylish outfits as well.  I felt downright adorable.  
Moondoggy, who has learned to look for changes when I greet him with such enthusiasm at the door, held me at arms length and said, “Wow!  You look great!  We should go out to dinner,” ooooh the husband points he earned in that statement!  Good job!  I spun around and he nodded with approval.  I pointed at each new piece I was wearing (but I left out the new purse, he didn’t need to know about that) and asked, “Are you sure this doesn’t look stupid?”  He reassured me at every turn.  Finally, I asked him what he thought of my hat.  Without hesitation he told me he LOVED it.  LOVED THE HAT.  

He went to change while I gathered my coat and purse and then we headed to the garage for a surprise date night.  Before getting into the car, Moondoggy stops and stares for a moment before asking, “Are you really going to wear that hat?”
And you know what?  I fought the urge to ask, “What am I trying to prove?” and I WORE THE DARN HAT ANYWAY.  So, if you see me in my rakish new black hat and you think I look stupid. . .don’t tell me.  I want to be a hot grandma some day.

Coltman is the author of two books.  Is It Just Me? or Is Everyone a Little Nuts! is a humor book based on her blog.  Her most recent book, In The Name Of The Father, is a suspense/thriller that reviewers have called a true page-turner.  Both books are available through amazon and Coltman's own website.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's About The Victims, Not Paterno's Reputation

The news of the past week has churned up a past memory that I had already processed and laid to rest.  Like a stubborn hemorrhoid, it emerged again with the breaking story of Sandusky, the Penn State coach. There was a huge uproar when the University Board fired the President on down to the famed Joe Paterno (although not the actual Grad Asst. who witnessed the rape of a 10 year old boy).

When I was 11 years old, I was the victim of inappropriate touching, groping, if you will, by a man 6 times my age.  My grandparents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in Coronado, CA where they had retired from a Naval career; my grandfather a naval Captain.  There were many people at this party, many in dress uniform and I knew none of them.  Dressed for the event, my little sister and I were tucked away in the den with the television, coming out for snacks and drinks.  On one such foray into the party, I made a stop in the bedroom to grab my book, Nancy Drew, and that's when I heard the door close.  An older man, in a suit, entered the room, making small talk.  He asked me my name, whose child I was, how old I was.  He asked me if I had started menstruating yet, his eyes on my chest.  I don't remember if I answered him because he had gotten so close to me, first grasping my arm before helping himself to my emerging breasts.  I know I pulled back.  I remember he quickly calmed me by letting go and backing up.  I don't remember who left the room first because I know I just wanted to get out of there.  I know I didn't tell anyone until much later, it might have been after we returned to Michigan.  My mother was mortified.  I don't know what she did about it, I do remember she wanted to report it and I begged her not to but I answered her questions anyway.  She made some phone calls.  I just wanted it over with.  I do know that it scared me.  I do know that I was embarrassed, I do know it had a profound effect on how I looked at myself, carried myself.  It wasn't a rape, it was a grope.   I tell this story because it is an example of how quickly it happens, how intimidating it is, how close it may be to all of us.

I imagine the victims of Sandusky and it makes me sick.  No one took this to police.  As an adult, I say screw protocol, this was an emergency that should have been reported immediately to the police.  That NO ONE saw to it was a failure to that child, and any other child Sandusky violated. And that child takes precedence over any person, their position or their fame.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Susan Boyle Complex

One of the surprising aspects of finally obeying my muse and settling in to writing books has been the reaction of other people, many of whom I have known for a very long time.  I'm not kidding, people who have seen me at my worst (morning; sheet lines pressed against my face, hair bent in wonky directions, mascara migrated toward my nose), silliest (42nd birthday, Queen of my own birthday parade, driven in the back of a van up and down the beach, fuchsia gloves, blue sequined dress, official princess tiara and a cocktail in my hand - surrounded by my court),  or most serious (ok, I'm blank here) have suddenly muddled into these weird groupies uttering lines like, "Now, I know a famous author!"  Sometimes I think it must be exactly how Susan Boyle feels when people fawn over her.  Ok, so I don't sing like Boyle and the writing game is a little different than the entertainment game, but still. . .

Famous?  Not so much.  Unless famous authors spend their days like this:

Let dog out, wait while he sniffs every other spot he has already marked and ultimately decide he's not ready yet.
Watch morning news to be current on Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan and Occupy Everywhere
Check email
Check Facebook
Check email again
Check Facebook again
Convince self to go to gym
Back to email
Second cup of coffee
Force self to go to gym
Return, remove stinky, sweaty clothes and start shower
Dog needs to go out NOW
Hastily cover naked body and crouch as you run through the house to door, attach him to lead and wait.  And wait.  False alarm
Return to HOT shower, wash and get dressed.
Emerge from morning stupor to begin a day of writing.
Find dog pile in living room and dog asleep on the couch.
Check email
Check Facebook

Finally, Fight with publishing people about why Amazon and Barnes & Nobel have not picked up paperback yet.  Get assured it will be a few more days (like I was told 10 weeks ago).
I guess if that is famous. . .

In the mean time, I did make a little movie to promote In The Name Of The Father.  Please feel free to check it out and share it with EVERYONE YOU KNOW.  I want to be famous.