• Georgetown Times
  • Waccamaw Times
  • Inlet Outlook

  • Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Updated Thursday, September 20, 2012 9:40 am

Well, now that the cat’s out of the bag, there’s no use trying to hide it.
Yesterday was my birthday, and not just any birthday, a milestone.
I am now ssiiiixxxtttttyyyy. Six-zero.
Even-Steven. Beginning my sixth decade.
A sexagerian. Eeeewww!
Who thought that word up anyway? I was shocked when I heard the word “sexagerian” (people between the ages of 60-69.)
I even checked on Google to see what they call 50-59 year olds and guess what?
There is no term for it! Midlife? Over the hill? Un-sexagerian?

I’ve never really tried to hide my birthday.
I mean, who would and why? It IS what it IS.
All those cards and presents, cake and ice cream, and all that attention? Heck, I kinda like it!
But nowadays it’d be very hard to hide your birthday, even if you tried: thanks to Facebook (I had over 250 happy birthday greetings!), church bulletins, birthday clubs and other clubs, and yes, even that reminder from the DMV!

And speaking of the DMV, I’m happy to report that I did pass my driver’s license renewal.
I wrote about that recently, how I was dreading the whole experience ’cause it never turns out to be anything BUT horrific.
However, this visit was fairly pleasant. I only waited forty-five minutes and I only missed one sign (a blank, yellow circle.)
Thankfully, the examiner was in a good mood and gave me a hint.
He said, “Just think of RR.” Robert Redford?
Nah.
Just kidding.
Railroad tracks! Oh, and the lady who checked me in said, “You don’t look a day over 35!”
I almost hugged her neck, but didn’t have time.
With all that efficiency, I was instructed to TAKE A SEAT and wait for my number to be called.
And that, my friends, was the only real problem: the two little rug rats who sat behind me, kicking my chair, hiding under empty seats, fighting with each other and screaming in my good ear, while their mother texted on the cellphone.
Really?

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I’ve changed in those sixty years (and not the usual extra pounds and graying hair, though that’s part of it.)
It’s funny, but when I was twenty I would’ve loved a $60 gift.
Now that I’m sixty, I love a $20 gift! Not only that, I’m almost as happy to shop in the consignment stores as I am in the high-end boutiques.
Well, I may be stretching the truth a bit there.
As the saying goes, “It all depends on who you’re with.”
Junking with Carol, my BFF (she calls it ‘junking’) is more fun that any marathon mall shopping excursion.
On my birthday, she treated me to lunch, then we shopped in the nearby thrift store (they donate the proceeds to charity.)
I ended up with about $20 worth of junk and WAS I HAPPY or what?!

I was also shocked last weekend with a surprise birthday party at Olympia Restaurant.
Katie is engaged to the owners’ son, Michael.
Well, Michael’s mama, Doreen, also turned the big 6-0 this month, so Katie and Antoinette (Michael’s sister) arranged to surprise both of us.
Russell and I had gone to a matinee earlier in the day to see, “The Words” (which I loved, by the way.)
But I was in a fog when it was over since the ending was totally perplexing!
As I left the theatre, rode along those ten minutes or so, then stumbled into the restaurant, I kept mumbling to Russell, trying to figure it out, with: “Do you suppose? What if? How come? Did they mean?” etc., he just rushed me along, saying, “C’MON!”
That, if nothing else, that should’ve made me suspicious.
(Is that another change in me? Clueless? Nope. I’ve always been that way!) Russell is normally slow-moving, easy-going and calm.

We walked inside and I heard “Surprise!!!” before I even made eye contact.
I almost fainted – it was so surreal! My parents, brother and sister-in-law had come from Jacksonville (an hour away.)
Kelly and Carly had come from Raleigh (two hours away.)
And my best friend, Pam, drove over an hour to attend.
I got so emotional I broke down. That’s another way I’ve changed.
I wouldn’t have cried when I was 20. I was too vain and wouldn’t want my mascara to run.

And though I warned Russell one Valentine’s Day to NEVER give me carnations again – they stink, they’re cheap and they’re homely – I didn’t even complain when he handed me that one pitiful pink carnation.
Hey, I’m no fool.
In his behalf, he WAS buying my birthday dinner.
Then again, with all of these changes, maybe I’m just tolerating him a little bit better.

Ann Ipock  “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” amipock@ec.rr.com www.annipock.com

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