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.