My birthday was a couple months of ago. It was a delightful day, spent wandering with the Husband. One of the many highlights of the day was a package from Jenn, a dear long-time friend. Many years ago we worked together in a community-based nonprofit in San Francisco. She developed on-the-job-training jobs for at-risk youth, while I counseled them about staying in school.
Jenn and I had a lot of fun moments within our serious ones. She could get me to do things I would not consider doing, such as buying a disco dress in all its femme fatal glory. Not just once, but twice. And, then there was that time we were walking back from some serious moment, talking about non-serious things as we passed by the panhandlers, street musicians, and the folks talking into objects before there were cellphones on Market Street. We stopped in front of a wig store and gazed at the display of gigantic Barbie doll heads sporting long and short hairdos.
"I wonder how I'd look in a long blond-haired wig," I said.
"Let's find out," Jenn said, with her delightful twinkle of challenge in her eye. "I'll try one, too."
I looked quite ridiculous, and quite enjoyed the frivolity of it all.
Back to the package that Jenn sent me on my birthday. I didn't open it until we were settled in at my favorite place to eat breakfast. All I saw were a bunch of envelopes. My first thought was that Jenn had given me invitations to send for something I knew not what. I dreaded the idea.
I opened the first envelope: A birthday card. The next, another birthday card. And so on it went until I had 12 birthday cards before me. Why twelve? 12-12-12 was the date.
All saying in some way or another Happy 60th Birthday!
Except I wasn't.
But, that's what made the birthday gift from Jenn so perfect. It was just so like Jenn to want to do something special for me on my birthday and to get my age wrong.
I'm glad she my age wrong. The idea of turning 60 is a startling idea, more than any other age.
I saw Jenn a few weeks after my birthday. She apologized profusely. I told her, "I'm glad you did. You're preparing me for turning 60."
Jenn said, with that twinkle of challenge in her eye. "Then, Sue, you should do 60 new things before your birthday. Things you've never done before."
Stay tuned, dear readers.