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I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now

Today's title is appropriate (and you Dylanophiles will be familiar with the line), since my husband told me on the way home from dinner that 60 is the new 40. Yeah! I've got 20 more years until I turn 60! Again!

We ate at a place called The Char, in Beckley, WV, which is one of those old-fashioned, family-owned supper clubs – a bar in the middle, fine dining, excellent service. The food (salmon and snap peas for me, ribeye and baked potato for my husband) was excellent. Our salads were topped with a tasty salsa, pretty much eliminating the need for additional dressing. We even splurged on dessert – blueberry bread pudding for him, strawberry shortcake (with a candle! How did she know?) for me.

As my husband prefers "dining" at all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants (he's always the thinnest person in the place, grrr), taking me out to dine was quite a treat. That it didn't disappoint was icing on the birthday cake.

My other gift was six tons of topsoil. That's all I asked for, all I wanted, I'm not a perfume-and-jewelry kinda gal. We started spreading it before I went to work yesterday afternoon. When I came home, he had kept on spreading without me. Now that's a birthday gift!

I might be the only woman in WV who got dirt for her birthday. Oh, wait, what am I saying. This is WV, after all!

Okay, are you ready for more when I wasses? Here we go.

I need to add to 15: I worked at my first real job (other than babysitting or mowing lawns), a caterer, where I learned to love food, food prep, food presentation, all things food. Had I been savvy about branding myself back then, I could have been Martha.

I got my driver's license when I was 16, without having to learn to change a tire (as was required in Driver's Ed back then). My DE teacher was my next-door neighbor and he gave me a pass. I drove the family car, a 1963 Mercury Comet, black with red seats and a white convertible top. Suh-weet!

At 17 (do you hear the Janis Ian song in the background?) I was busy with my boyfriend, my five BFFs, my schoolwork, my little job at the caterer's. I was an above-average student taking college-prep courses. I spent all my free time in the art room. Oh, and we moved again, from town to the country, but I didn't have to change schools.

Eighteen. Senior year of high school. By this time I was driving a 1950 Hudson to and from school (my dad collected antique cars). I got pregnant (September) and married (December), in that order, which just wasn't done, but really, it was. There go my college dreams.

My daughter was born when I was 19. I'm all grown up now, a wife and a mom and I'm missing out on life, I just know I am. I felt trapped and out of my element. All my friends were at Ohio State or Ohio University and I was stuck in Mobile Wilmington with the Memphis Columbus blues again.

All the baby fat I collected during my pregnancy is still hanging on. I wore tent dresses when I was 20, one made out of fabric that looked like a tablecloth. I still cringe when I see the photo. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time the day I learned I was pregnant for the second time.

Twenty-one! My son joins our little family, we bought our first house and moved away from town, and my parents moved from the country to Columbus. Also? I can legally drink alcohol (something that hadn't stopped me from indulging in the past). Alcohol would become a pretty good buddy over the next couple of decades. To say the least.

It took three years – 22, 23 and 24 – for my marriage to fall apart. I was not a good wife, not at all, but of course I blamed him.

At 25 the divorce is final and I'm stuck on my front porch with no friends (all of our friends were his friends) and two little ones. I had the house, but no car. Eventually I got a job at the local hospital – a two-mile walk – and started a new life, the first of several.

That's enough for today. Tune in tomorrow for five or 10 or 15 more years!

Comments

gingersnapper said…
OMG! I *LOVE* that you were a scarlet woman and HAD to get married. Oh you slut you! Did you finish high school? I couldn't tell from that paragraph.

I am loving this biography.

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