Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

March 13, 2012

Should’ve died young when I had the chance

Filed under: Blogroll — Vadasmaker @ 10:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I had a birthday the other day. It was very, very sad. You know why it was sad? Because I didn’t want it. I did not want to be 59. Last year I didn’t want to be 58. I think it all goes back to . . . um, let’s see . . . my 32nd birthday. I didn’t think I would mind 32. I didn’t mind 31 or 30. I didn’t figure 32 should be a big deal. Ha!

You know how when you’re at the doctor and she’s going to give you a shot, and you say, “Is this going to hurt?” and she says, “It’ll just be a little pinch”? And then when you stop screaming you realize she lied but you can’t change the outcome, which was about like being bitten by, I don’t know, a snapping turtle?

Well, that’s what getting old is like. You hear all about the “golden years.” People are always saying they’ll just grow old gracefully. I think I said that. That’s how I thought it would be. Then I turned 32.

I was just going along minding my own business, riding in the truck alongside TBL, when I saw it. There, in the side mirror, was my head, and right there, right on the temple, was a little streak of gray. The screech I might have let loose had I been bitten by a big old snapping turtle was nothing compared to the one that split the air when I saw that gray.

Not because I wasn’t expecting it. Someday.  Someday when I was really old, like 59 or something. Someday when I had lines on my face and half the stuff that used to be up here had fallen down there. Someday when students started telling me I remind them of their grandmothers.

I was not prepared to be old, much less gray. Somebody, and by somebody I mean that man I married, knew it was there but had told me that that little bit of gray was just where the sun had bleached my hair. The rest of my hair was a dark brown and the sun had bleached that little patch. The transparency of the lie is astonishing. The fact that I chose to believe for a couple of years is just—well, tragic.

You know what else is tragic? My butt.

Did you know that when your butt falls—and it will, so don’t sit there and smirk at me—and you get a tan, you’ll have a little white line on each leg right where your butt didn’t used to be? Oh, don’t try to look yourself because if you do you will get dizzy and hit your head on the bathtub. Not that I have. I think I must have read that in a book.

When I was 32, I still thought I could have an open casket funeral when I died, because they could just open the casket from the waist down instead of the waist up. I figured legs last, faces don’t. That was back when I thought I’d die young. Well, now I’ve passed having either end of the coffin open.

I’d just have myself cremated but Eric Clapton would probably balk at singing “Wonderful Tonight” to a Wal-Mart sack full of ashes.

And that’s what it would be. A man who will tell you that streak of gray hair is sun-bleached is not going to spring for a stylish urn.

I guess there is some good news. My friend told me that while in dog years I’m dead, at least in Celsius I’m only 15. She did the math, too.



  1. Oh my God! I know you’ve heard this a hundred, no, a thousand times, but have you looked in a freakin’ mirror? You’re beautiful. And no, you’re not just beautiful for 59, you’re beautiful for 49, or 39 or any other damned number ending in 9. I’d give a year off my rapidly approaching expiration date to look as gorgeous as you do. If you own anything that’s sagging or dragging, it must be held up by Superglue. As for me, I’ll need to invest in scaffolding, spackle and rubberized cement.


    Comment by Gloria Teague — March 13, 2012 @ 10:57 pm | Reply

  2. Wow, I took your creative writing class last year and was guessing you were mid forties.


    Comment by Rayne McDonald — March 13, 2012 @ 10:58 pm | Reply

  3. BTW, the blog post was hilarious. Beautiful, smart AND funny? You should be destroyed.


    Comment by Gloria Teague — March 13, 2012 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  4. Nothing to add, Gorgeous Gloria beat me to it. You are both beautiful! I’d help destroy your beautiful, smart, funny self, but then who would I look to for inspiration in looking beautiful at, well any age we happen to be? Who would I turn to for intelligent explanations? Who would make me laugh? You my friend are better than those pesky high school cheerleader (were you also one of THEM?). Except, you’re one (or ten) up on them because you’re also nice. Funny post to wake up to, thanks for the laughs. Nita


    Comment by Nita — March 14, 2012 @ 4:41 am | Reply

  5. Happy Birthday! I had a birthday the same day. It is worse for me because I am even older than YOU. I do not have one gray hair and won’t as long as god makes little green boxes of Clairol! .
    It is not a bit fair, Carol. You are beautiful, funny, genuine and educated! An unbeatable combination.
    And, as usual, this post is hilarious
    I am honored to count you among my friends. Carry on.


    Comment by lottie — March 14, 2012 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  6. Those lies we choose to believe? They’re not lies until we stop believing them; I’m sticking with that. Your life is one big tragicomedy! But you are beautiful, and smart, and funny. And 15. Stick with Celsius. It’ll carry you through the golden/gray years.


    Comment by Michelle — March 14, 2012 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  7. It is just a number in the scheme of it all….keep entertaining me my friend…


    Comment by Lily — March 14, 2012 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

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