March 8, 2019, marks a milestone for me. I arrived to this beautiful and wacky world fifty years ago, destined
to be the last, and no doubt, favourite child of my parents.
I still feel like the baby. At seventy-five and nearly eighty years young, my loving parents are very active in travelling and socializing, and my two sisters treat me with thoughtful kindness. Yep, I am blessed.
I am however, also turning fifty. I don’t feel fifty. Though, never experiencing it before, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to feel like. A new friend that I volunteer with was born between the years of my two son’s births. She is a lovely and brilliant young lady whom I enjoy spending my time with. A month ago I told her I have a big birthday coming up. “How big?”, she asked. I said BIG. Fifty. The sweet wee dear said, incredulously, “You’re only fifty?!”. “No”, I corrected, “I’m only forty-nine.”
I don’t feel fifty, but I must look that, at least. With so many smart women now taking good care of themselves, there are plenty of older ladies who look younger than fifty. That is, younger than me. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, middle age is: “The period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered as the years from about 45 to 65.” Geeze. Middle age. How many people do you know who are
Let’s take a look back at some 1969 happenings: Sirhan Sirhan sentenced; Beatles’ “Get Back” is number one; Senator Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick incident; Apollo 11 lands on the moon; the Manson murders; Nerf Balls and Big Wheels; Woodstock festival; Fritz the Cat; Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, Here’s Lucy, Bonanza and Gunsmoke; the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, and the New York Mets were World Series champions. Big Movies included Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy and Valley of the Dolls. Price of a daily newspaper: 10 cents; Campbells Soup, 10.7 oz can: 10 cents; the world population was 3,591,000,000 (Currently 7.7 billion – United Nations, February 2019). Frank Sinatra recorded his signature song, “My Way”. I was born singing a similar tune, “From Now On We’ll All Do It My Way”.
Here are two quotes from events in 1969, the second one of which you may not have heard: Neil Armstrong, upon stepping on the moon, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind”, and, Bill Cosby won the Man of the Year award and jokingly suggested renaming the award “the nice guy as far as we know award”. Uh-huh, as far as we knew.
Of course, being an infant at the time, I have no early recollection of many of these things. I retrieved this information from the internet, so I know it’s all accurate, right? Now, for my benefit, let’s think of some things that are older than me: fire; the wheel; Queen Elizabeth; Easy-Bake Oven (Had one. Thank you, Santa), Etch-a-Sketch, Silly Putty, and Barbie, who still looks great in a bikini. Well, I don’t look the same in a bathing suit at fifty as I did at, say, twenty-two, but after five decades I am grateful for many other things. I have happy and successful children, I am retired at a young age, I live in paradise, and my best friend/husband and I enjoy good health and a good life, while still engaging in some naughty behaviour in the fun department now and then.