There was a beauty pageant—three young things and me. There were three sexy mini outfits for them–and one big cover-everything muumuu for moi.
On and on it went. You can’t expect me to remember all of the details at my age. I do know that we were all supposed to come to the pageant sans makeup, which was easy, since I do it every day. The makeup artists wanted a clean slate.
Long story short, it was discovered that one young contestant was pregnant (they threw her out) and the two others got into a catfight and were disqualified. I was the last woman standing and won, even before I walked onto the stage.
Which brings me back to the dentist.
I had a return visit. I had taken a copy of my blog entry on the Linden Loop and the blue-eyed foal that kissed me to the dental hygienist. Remember, it was the photo of her mare and filly that I recognized in the exam room. She asked about the blog and told me her daughter was a blog writer—that she was given topics and had to write 300 words on a given topic, and those 300 words were fed to someone else’s blog…
Then it was time for me to see the dentist. The two of us graduated from high school together, heck, we may have even gone to grade school together. Ginger and I share a passion for horses and gardening. Her horses eat her strawberries; the rabbits eat mine. She’s soon to become a grandmother and will spend Christmas in England with the newborn; I will spend Christmas here with the just-born visiting from Belgium. And, we’re both 60.
“We’ve reached the age of invisibility. I find it liberating,” Ginger the Dentist said. I could only nod in agreement.
Referred to as changing of the generational guard by some, others put a negative spin on it and complain about being ignored or treated as if they are irrelevant. Some seek fashion props—purple fedoras, mock leopard shoes, or clear plastic canes filled with pink roses—and call it elder style.
Long before I reached 60 I decided the only need I had for clothes or shoes was comfort. And if I’ve been belittled because of a cluster of gray or a paunch that’s way beyond “muffin top,” I haven’t noticed—which probably says a lot about my diminishing eyesight. I can’t claim to have accumulated wisdom or figured out the meaning of life, but I do know how to appreciate it and wrap myself in the invisibility cloak of gratitude. Laurie Lynch
Earbud Traveller: This year books have taken me to Russia, Spain, France, Belgium, England, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, and some of Manhattan’s finest restaurants. Now I have a new travel tool. I heard about something called “Sound Transit” on NPR the other day and found it on turbulence.org. I haven’t had a lot of time to check it out, but the concept is that you can travel around the globe through the recorded sounds of various locations. I typed in Bristol, UK, and there were two 5-minute sound clips to listen to: Alex’s Fruit and Vegetable Shop on Glouchester Road and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Local sounds to give you an earful of a place.
Earbud Traveller 2: At 10 a.m. this morning, with an earbud plugged into my left ear and the right dangling so I could answer the roof-leak hotline, I listened to and watched the live streaming of Marina’s Masters ceremony at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. There was plenty of pomp, and it looked like the school director was carrying Harry Potter’s Quidditch stick but I’m not sure of the circumstances.
Like all graduations, there was a lot of wisdom in the words. Talk of moral compasses and the value of experience, education, and friendship, and the duty to be an advocate for the less fortunate. Finally, a ginger-haired Brit talked bluntly about the dream of youth—wanting to save the world.
“The world is beyond saving.”
The old optimist in me groaned. Dramatic pause.
“Your job is to make a new world.” Amen.
Written on Slate: “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” –Elizabeth Gilbert