Upon the Suspicious Occasion of My Birthday: Year Sixty
November 7, 2015
Why am I using the last few minutes of this stunningly, stupidly perfect fall day--its pristine, crystalline shards of yellow-green silently tinkling at the window--to talk about me?
It's one of two things:
--the need to tell a story (code for "I want to talk about me now")
I think it's both and much, much more!
The need to tell a story usually holds hands with the belief that someone wants to hear it.
It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to.
I figure if Mr. Google thinks I'm important enough to wish "happy birthday", then, by god, I can darn well write something about me.
I had a good day. As I was enjoying my senior omelette at Denny's, I thumbed through my current issue of AARP. Medicare supplements, pharmaceuticals, shingles, hospice, care-giving, phones with big numbers.... HELP! I love the AARP magazine, but, damnit!
I shook it off.
This morning had been the kind of delicious damp and cool grey that almost made me feel like I lived in a nice part of the country, instead of a homemade solar oven. So I went for a long walk and thought about some things I always hear "older" people say about getting "older".
Wisdom. I don't think I have any. I don't know how you find out when you have or get it either. Maybe I have it and just don't know it. I think I have something else altogether: "wise-dumb". I'm wise enough to ask a truly wise person for advice, but too dumb to be that person.
Money. Of course it doesn't buy happiness. But it does help pay for the pursuit of it.
Self-Knowledge. Older people who say they really know themselves annoy me, because I'm either jealous of them or think they're lying. I know a few things about myself. I know I like a senior omelette on occasion. It has mushrooms and squash and is pretty awesome. But I have secrets I keep from myself, too. If you must know, I'm like the room in the haunted mansion where the nanny was murdered: closed off and spooky.
Bucket lists. Facebook sags with tales of far-flung adventures, tremendous achievements, photos of a-maaay-zing sites, wonders and fancy cuisine. I respectfully ask you to please spare me the fulfillment of your dreams.
I have no such list. I just hope to get around and see and do a few things and hope I don't die in my super-air-conditioned cubicle at work, my fingers frozen to the keyboard typing the letter "j" over and over, endlessly, eternally.
Now, if I did have one, it would be more of a "fuck-it list".
That's it. That's all I know so far.
Now, how about some darling baby pictures?!!!
I was an amazingly gifted, brilliant child. At one, I became The World Wildlife Fund's youngest spokes-baby. You see how I could cry on demand?
Great fund-raising skill.
I was so talented, I even decorated my own birthday cakes.
My mother was obviously too goofy to do it.
I had a great social conscience, too, and often distributed free balloons to poor people.
In 1956, I became a doctor of veterinary medicine. Assisted by my sister, Jane, who was in the Navy, I performed snout bypass surgery on an endangered male panda.
He recovered and went on to father more endangered pandas.
So THAT'S why I had all those cavities....!
I hope you all have important revelations on your birthdays, too, whatever they are. But, whatever they are, don't share them with me.