I don’t know why people make such a big deal about birthdays. Little kids have the right idea. Celebrate. Eat cake and ice cream, yell and scream. Enjoy every minute of it.
Of course, I know adults who will eat cake and ice cream and yell and scream. But they are lamenting their ages. Take a woman who subtracts ten or fifteen years. Look at her body, her hands, the little crinkles at her eyes, the bunions on her feet. You know she’s lying.
Folks, spackle can only do so much for you. And, plastic surgery is expensive and it hurts. Doris Day used filters on cameras to disguise her freckles and wrinkles. Do you have the kind of money where you can hire lackeys to run ahead of you holding gauze netting in front of your face?
When you are a little kid, you want to be older. If you are 5 you tell people you are five AND A HALF. Never forget that half. When you are 15, you are dying to hit 16 and get your driver’s license. At 20 years old, you can’t wait until 21.
Mama was a good one for telling her true age. She figured she lived it; she might as well get all the recognition she could. As she got older, she began adding that “and A HALF” to her age. She was never shy about admitting her age Mama was proud of it. At her death in January she was 93 AND A HALF!
We always went to Kroger’s on Wednesday because we got the senior discount. Mama just waited for them to ask if we were eligible for the discount. If the cashier didn’t ask, Mama would offer to show her ID. Mama was a senior and proud of it.
When she was 90, Snell and I took her to get her driver’s license renewed. I had spent weeks trying to cushion the blow that her license would probably not be reinstated. She hadn’t driven in years, but she wanted that license. Mama had macular degeneration and only had peripheral vision.
She passed the vision test and was given her license. She asked the lady at the desk for how long her driving license would be good. “Five years.’’ Mama told her, “Next time, I will just get the state ID.” Mama did a little victory dance and the whole DMV gave her a standing ovation.
I have a lot of friends, mostly women, but a few men, who will not tell you how old they are. I have a girl friend who celebrated her 70th and wouldn’t tell anyone that she had hit such a milestone.
When Coach John Sawyer turned 75, his wife Margie threw him a birthday party at Summit Chase and invited all of his old students, ball players and co-workers from South Gwinnett High School to come. Tall tales flew around that room! Jack Britt and Bobby Johnson only brushed the surface with their stories.
Well, like I said today is my birthday. At 5:05 p.m., I will be 63 years old. I tell people I am 73 years old. This has been a really hard year for me. Normally I add ten years, but this birthday I think will add 15 years. I know I look good for 78.
My advice to you is embrace your birthdays. Just pick an age that would make people say, “Wow, you look marvelous to be so old.” And stick with it. And it is cheaper than face spackle and surgery.