Friday, April 25, 2008

Is 90 the New 80?

Best Quote I Heard All Day
It takes a long time to grow young--Pablo Picasso

Let's see. Yes, it's true. I'm 35 today. Mentally.

There's been much rumination and ensuing angst about turning 58. Now the day is here and I'm in a relatively sanguine mood. Even though I'm looking down the gun at 60. Shit, so what.

So Happy fucking Birthday to me. (There may be some of that later, too. One never knows.)

I try not to dwell on my age but it's almost impossible to avoid it. However, the past week, with a whirlwind trip to Indy this past Monday and Tuesday, I had a great deal of time in airports to knit and ponder.

Over the past few years, I've made some incredible friends. My beloved Neal, for one. Johnny Hargreaves, aka Iron Sausage, who just called me to wish me a happy birthday. What a sweetheart. There's Loopy, who's been with me through the tough times. She's always there, always funny, always someone I can lean on. Joe, Carol, Lisa, Ted, the whole knitting crew. Need I say more? Susan, my boss. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone here but these post-Jimmy people have helped me in turning my life around. You can't do it alone.

My 40th high school reunion is looming. June 21st, to be exact. And I am actually looking forward to it because I'll be reunited with my dear childhood friends, Marcia and Dottie.

I almost never write about my non-knitting friends. I do have quite a few who are dear to my heart. Marcia Ancier , Dottie Melcher and I have been friends for almost 50 years. Marcia and I went to the same elementary school, Watchung, so I guess we kinda knew each other in kindergarten, although I really more remember her from 3rd grade. She invited me to her birthday party (which she doesn't remember now, but I do).

Dottie has always been a constant in my life. In 4th grade, I moved from one end of town to the other, to Uppah Montclair, the chi-chi part of town. Right before my 10th birthday, I'm riding my bike around the corner to explore the new neighborhood, going up the hill on Macopin Avenue. And there's this kid, with blonde frizzy hair, sort of hanging out vaguely on the street. I stopped and we talked, as young kids do to strange kids. Dottie struck me as almost as weird as I was. I was a very odd child. And so was she. She drew, I wrote. We made an instant connection, one that has never ceased throughout the years.

In high school, the three of us melded. Marcia had and still has this wry sense of humor. Dottie was always delightfully drifty, although probably one of the smartest people I've ever known. And then there was me, off the wall writer, musician, general freak who didn't give a fuck if she was "unpopular." Peggy aka Pegret was added to our girl group, a beautiful Janis Joplin lookalike who wrote poetry, had big tits, and was the ethereal one. (Yes, there were freak guys too--my high school crush, Bert Eisenstadt, Jimmy Henry, Jimmy Garland, Jimmy and Kevin Brown, Aaron Myett, Chris and Tim Andres, Tracy Jones, and many more.)

Our high school crowd, the freaks, were far more interesting a group than the blonde cheerleader types. So Cindy Binzen, what the fuck did you do with your life? I guess I'll find out if you show up on June 21.

So you Montclair skanks, if you're reading this, we can turn back the clock and dance on. That is, if Melcher can ever learn how to do the Mashed Potatoes, which I doubt. I love you

My birthday means I can look back on those halcyon days with great fondness. When we were young. As we still are. Rock on, gang. And be rare and handy no matter what. And Happy Birthday tomorrow to my sweet Ian, known as Birthday Present, my rapidly growing grandson. Who I love more than life itself.

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