I have a birthday coming up we’re not celebrating.
When I think there was a time I looked forward to my special day, it seems comical. As a kid, birthdays were treated like national holidays making you wonder why banks and schools weren’t closed. My mother, despite her shortcomings, relished her offspring’s date of arrival because as she put it, “I did all the work…all you did was show up.”
I always had visions of sliding off a ramp, like luggage at the airport. There she is, the one next to the gray American Tourister. Grab her.
I’ve lived by the seat of my pants my whole life. When I was younger, it seemed okay to not worry about where your next meal was coming from. As a cutesy model making rounds, I could always pop into a good hotel at cocktail hour and for dinner, feast on their hot hor’derves. They actually encouraged it, liking young ladies sprinkled along the bar like hungry cubs.
But there’s nothing cute about a girl in her 6th decade sniffing out the cheese sticks.
My work has all but dried up making me shake my head in total wonder. I look in the mirror and yes, see lines and circles, but overall, if you take me in as a whole, I still look pretty good, and that’s not vanity. I’m my own product so I see I’ve held up pretty well. Okay, if you squint.
Put me in a little dress and a pair of pumps, and watch me strut and swagger. Okay, so I might be sore the next day, but that’s what heating pads and Bengay is for.
I’m told, this is why I should have been married, to have someone to pay for things in my later years. I shudder when I hear this, knowing too many couples who hate each other after marrying for security rather than love.
I guess being a romantic has cost me. I’ve been lucky enough to be in love more than once, but as we know, even the best champagne, once it’s uncorked, will ultimately lose it’s fizz.
In my case, I had one man die, another leave, a married fellow I never should have known, and another who went back to his wife because he wasn’t letting go of his hard-earned house and patio furniture.
I never think in terms of property. The man who died, at 32, taught me, life is too short to live it for your two-car garage and country club membership.
So, I guess the only thing left to do is live one day at a time, doing the best I can with what I do have.