A friend and I were chatting recently when she leaned forward and gave me a look that I recognized to mean I have something to tell you and it’s not pretty.
“I have a big birthday coming up, you know,” she said.
I stared blankly at her. The only big birthdays I know are 10 because you’re in double-digits, 18 because you can vote, 21 because you can drink, and 26 because you have to get your own health insurance. After that there are no apron strings left to cut and no party hats until you’re 100.
She held up six fingers. I had to count them to figure out what she meant and even then I was confused.
“You’re going to turn six?” That can’t be right. She has a job and drives a car. But the fact is, this conversation was happening while we were sipping white wine from plastic Solo cups during intermission/half-time at an opera performance at the baseball park. The smell of hot dogs was intermingling with the sounds of Carmen’s L’amour est un oiseau rebelle! So my life is already kind of weird. Having a kindergarten-age friend who wears Chanel suits and heels is just another brick in the wall that separates me from normal.
It just seemed strange that she is turning 60. I mean, for crying out loud, she’s my contemporary. And I’m not going to turn 60 until —
Twenty seven months. I’ll turn 60 in 27 months. To put that into perspective, I took a look back at my calendar to see what I was doing 27 months ago.
I was procrastinating getting my knives sharpened. Get knives sharpened shows up six times on my calendar for April 2014. I was clearly so young and carefree I couldn’t get a simple errand completed.
I was calling the bank to see how to get papers notarized. I’ve been involved in 10 house sales, four apartment leases for my kids, and a bunch of other bullshit designed to keep notaries whipping out that stampy thing and the Hogwarts Book of Spells on a regular basis. Yet I don’t have the adult brain power to know how to get the attention of the bank notary.
I went to a United Way dinner in which I had a glass of wine with my husband before we left the house (celebrating that I was ready five minutes ahead of schedule, no doubt), drank more wine at the pre-dinner cocktail reception, participated enthusiastically during the wine-tasting dinner, had more wine at the post party, more at the post-post party, and then even more wine with another couple back at our house until 4:45 the next morning. This proves the point that 27 months ago I didn’t have the sense God gave me nor any maturity whatsoever. Apparently I was still celebrating that I don’t have a set curfew.
So instead of looking back (because it’s getting embarrassing and depressing) can we just agree that I’ve grown a lot in the past 27 months, so therefore I will become more mature and refined, dare I say more classy, even, in the next 27 months?
Do I want to be a 60-year-old who is different from what I am now? I always have goals in mind and probably always will. For someone who doesn’t read self help books, I’m always on one mission or another to improve my life. If pressed, I’d have to say that my goals for 60 are to be more bendy without having to endure more yoga classes (at some point shouldn’t cartilage start to sag and wither like everything else on your body?), get my wine consumption down to a more age appropriate level, and quit keeping such a detailed calendar.