Yesterday was my birthday. Lots of folks wished me happy birthday, but quite frankly, I see nothing happy about turning 54 years old. Not that I didn't give it a go and celebrate. Two friends came over to my place last night each bearing a bottle of champagne. I woke up this morning with a wicked headache and saw both empty bottles in the kitchen, which explained the pain in my head.
When you get to be my age, birthdays become highly over-rated. Who needs to be reminded you're one year closer to death? And we all know the path to aging is ridden with aches and pains that have nothing to do with too many glasses of champagne. It's bad enough that some Minnesotan astronomer announced to the world last week that all the horoscopes were wrong, making me a Capricorn, not an Aquarius. But to be a Capricorn AND 54 years old? There's only so many threats to my identity I can take.
Well, as they say Growing Old Isn't For Sissies. I used to think that was some pearl of wisdom from my mom but later found it was coined by Bette Davis. Now that broad knew a thing or two about the harsh realities of aging. She managing to act well into her fifties in a time when Hollywood only valued women for their youthful looks.
While I was in my "clear the clutter" frenzy three weeks ago, I stumbled upon some old modeling pictures of myself in a bikini at 21 years old. My first thought was: Damn did I look good! My second thought was: And look at me now--not so good. I hired Joe to clean out my garage (I believe my dad was channeling him). He asked if he could have one of the modeling pictures of me to keep. I happily agreed. He even asked if I would autograph the back. I felt like that main character of Sunset Boulevard--trying to cash in on who she was, not who she is. It's really quite pathetic.
I'm happy to report I don't do this kind of thing on a regular basis. So I'm not thrilled about turning 54, but I've decided once an Aquarius, always an Aquarius. Also, I may not look like 21, but there are days when I actually still feel like 21. With each passing birthday, I've lost my youth, my boobs and some other things, but they can't take that away from me.