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
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!