The Black Wreath on My Door

4th Grade

I’m turning 47 this week. That’s me, above, in the 4th grade. I’m the blond on the right end, first row. I had such good posture. I’m standing in front of my favorite teacher, Mrs. Black. For some reason, she thought I was special (in a good way) and put me in this test science class led by OSU students. We got to do all kinds of experiments outdoors, collecting water specimens, building airplanes out of balsa wood, stuff like that.

In the 4th grade, you learn about Ohio history. We each had to write a report on a famous Ohioan. If memory serves me right, I had to write one on Polly Bergen. I remember it was a gut-wrenching experience because I couldn’t find anything anywhere about Polly Bergen. I had no idea who she was. As I just Googled her, I’ve discovered that she wasn’t an Ohioan at all—she was from Kentucky. All that hand-wringing for nothing.

You might have noticed that first sentence: I turn 47 this week. If I had one, I’d put a black wreath on my door and ward off any visitors. I think this has been my most difficult birthday yet. Forty was a blast. But since then, I’ve gained an average of two pounds a year, the sun spots are showing on my skin, and I’m wearing foundation for the first time in my life. I’m grieving my youth like never before. And I haven’t even mentioned the impending march of menopause. (Don’t worry, I won’t. As I’ve discovered, it really isn’t something you talk about.)

I’m certain there will be a day when I won’t care how I look. That’s when I’ll start talking about wearing the color purple.

Christ.

19 Comments The Black Wreath on My Door

  1. jproundisfunny December 12, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Those are the gams of a FlipTwister! They’ve even got the boy to your right flummoxed.

    Reply
  2. Meg December 12, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Hah. Wish I had some FlipTwister photos but I have none…Although I think I have one in which I’m wearing a FlipTwister t-shirt.

    I think I could name every single kid in that picture, which I could never do for a high school class. Funny how memory works.

    And just to add some levity to what my husband characterizes as a gloomy post, a conversation we had yesterday:

    “I’m fat.”
    “No, you’re not.”
    “Tell that to my clothes.”
    “Your clothes won’t talk to me.”

    Reply
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  4. Justo December 12, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Getting older is definitely cause for at least a little anxiety in everyone, but you seem to be approaching it with grace. Which is a fair sight better than most. Eighty-six the black wreath and hang up sunshine and skittles! Perhaps you could go with a nice bright telecaster? I know that might make at least one person at your house amused if not happy.

    Reply
  5. kate December 12, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    If it makes you feel better, I am 31 and have always had to wear foundation. I have shitty, rosacia, eye baggy skin.

    I love the picture.

    Reply
  6. Meg December 12, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Awww. You guys are too sweet for words. Thanks for the chin-up stuff. And I am 86ing the black wreath, Justo.

    Reply
  7. Miss-Black December 12, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Mrs. Black? I don’t believe it! Would you believe I’m wearing foundation for the first time in my life too I mean, I’ve worn it before. But I’ve never needed it until now.

    P.S. You were the prettiest one in the whole class.

    Reply
  8. Meg December 13, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Miss B! So good to hear from you! Did you ever do the DNA test thing? Have you been watching Life on Mars?

    And doesn’t foundation suck?

    Reply
  9. Meg December 13, 2007 at 9:46 am

    And happy birthday to Kate’s blog! I couldn’t leave a comment because I don’t have a Google account (well, I do, but it’s a long story).

    Reply
  10. Bob December 13, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Meg–I knew you when we were 20 and now we’re BOTH 47 together–mine nary 2 weeks ago. I love it. I love my graying hair and wiser sense. Youth is over-rated. Besides, I couldn’t have commented on your blog when we were 20.

    Reply
  11. jproundisfunny December 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Indeed, Bob.

    DEAR MEG STOP
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY STOP
    YOUR PAL STOP
    JP

    Reply
  12. Meg December 13, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    And, oh, the irony–my computer died today.

    Happy belated, Bobbola! xoxo

    Reply
  13. Hetts December 17, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    My Meg…I’m also staring down the barrell of 47 and, quite frankly, after this past year, I’m not sure what to make of it. I guess I’m just happy to still be here…but I haven’t gained the affinity for my graying follicles like our pal Bob has. But again, looking on the bright side, I still have hair…man, the yin and yang of life is still confusing to me sometimes.

    Happy B-day…I love you!
    Hetts

    Reply
  14. MSNBC December 17, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    I’m printing out this photo, and placing it in my box. My box is where I keep the photos of people who are special to me. In a fire, I would grab two things:

    1) Cameron Diaz.
    2) This box.

    Reply
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  16. Meg December 18, 2007 at 8:32 am

    My Hettsian friend, we are happy you’re still here too! Much love to you.

    Reply
  17. Jacob R Clark December 20, 2007 at 1:20 am

    Yo, I can dig the 47 Blues.

    This is the first year I’ve felt my age, maybe because a few events this year forced me to finally grow up, maybe because my hair continues to thin and what isn’t falling out (slowly) is (still slowly) turning white. It’s the first year I’ve noticed a slight physical “slowing down”–my gait is not as springy, in fact, when I get up in the morning my fucking feet kill me when they hit the floor–and it sucks.

    And yet, I’m glad to be alive, grateful for my relatively good health (despite my worst efforts toward achieving the contrary), and despite my current situation (dire as ever) I’m hopeful, even often optimistic. I am so much better off than the majority of Earth’s inhabitants!

    So top o’ the morning to you Meg, Happy Birthday!

    Reply
  18. joy October 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Hi just read how you are feeling at 47 it is my 62 birthday to day and I thank god im alive, I have spent to day with my 8mth grandaughter and loved every min of it, I joined weight watches and lost 3 stone in weight and feel and sure I look good ,the only black wreath I am looking for is to welcome all to my house ,happy birthday and merry christmas Joy

    Reply
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