Thursday, September 25, 2008

How in hell old am I anyway?

That reminded me of a story I read in the Reader's Digest. A true story. A publicist needed to know how old Cary Grant was, so he sent him a telegram saying: "How old Cary Grant?" Grant responded: "Old Cary Grant fine."

I have a habit of going to the next year the second I turn a certain age, because of my death wish. I want to hurry up and get old and die. For instance, when I turned 43, I started telling people I was 44. (I thought I was 52 for a whole year till my birthday and someone asked how old I was and I said "53" and my sister snorted and said, "Arlene, you are not 53, you're 52!" and I did the math and said, "Oh, yeah, right."

Well, last year, I got particularly confused. I turned 55, then told people I was 56then thought I really was 56, which meant 57, and thought I was going to be 58 today.

I did the math last week, and thought, oh crap, I lost two years. And I was kind of excited about being that close to 60. But I'm only 56. Well, 57, starting tomorrow.

For my birthday, Bill is giving me not mowing the lawn. He drives me crazy with how excited he gets about mowing the lawn. He gets up early, has a quick breakfast instead of the usual rigamarole five course meal, and goes out busily to prepare. He prepares to mow the lawn like some people plan a wedding. And he's very noisy about it and it takes all day. Then he waters and the noise just drives me nuts.

Luckily the neighbor lady's battery died, so he'll go out and mess with that in his shop. Quietly. We are also having crab legs for dinner and no cake, although I may ask him to make pie crust (I LOVE pie crust! which is basically flour and lard, gross, huh? I put sugar and cinnamon on it. It's the only thing I'll eat totally until it's gone. You'd think it would make me sick, but it doesn't. Nor do I gain weight from it.). Yeah, pie crust will be my cake.

Sarah and her new boyfriend, who is afraid of Bill because his debit card got rejected (a real oversight on his part) and Bill had to pay for the gas the last time they came and he's the cheapest guy on the planet. Then Sarah was dumb enough to tell him her dad was mad, so the poor kid is afraid of her dad. Oh! Where was I?

Sarah and her new boyfriend are coming up (from St. George) to bring me Olive Garden's potato sausage soup. My friend brought me a pedicure coupon, which I dearly need.

Traditionally, my birthday is punctuated by visits and phone calls and cards from friends all day long. I tried one year to have Bill and Sarah ignore my birthday but nobody else did and they felt bad. I hate this week because it's when James died and he called me a lot and sent me diamond and pearl jewelry and then he shot himself. Anyway, now I just grin and bear it and get through it. I was thinking I wish, if he had to commit suicide, he'd done it in a month I hate, like August, which is when David and Davey died, instead of this time of year which I love most of all.

So I go through this total conflicted emotion cycle of smelling the fresh crisp air and thanking God summer is over to the warm feeling of being loved to the terrible horror of my son's suicide.

I guess that's life in general. Anyway, today I'm 56. But in real body age, I'm 76 because I took a test on-line and I'm in terrible shape. A psychic who read my palm said I'd live until I'm 80, so I think I have four more years to endure. Woo-hoo!

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