Two Birthdays

What I am writing now is a teaser- I expect to write more about it very soon.  Today I will be a quiet participant in an exceptional day.  My husband and I are attending two birthday parties today- one for a 50 year old and one for a 100 year old.  I know, amazing, right?!

I am going to take my little black notebook and keep it in my lap at each restaurant.   I want to hear what the birthday boy and girl have to say, and how the conversation around them goes.  I feel like a researcher- I want to capture whatever happens, and I can’t anticipate what that will be.

I expect it may seem disappointing at first.  The talk may well be prosaic (snow, icy curbs, logistics…)  I expect to hear many polite platitudes (what a beautiful scarf…) I also know that we have a habit of diminishing old people, because we know them as diminished.  Even the child of the centenarian does not know his mother as a vibrant young thing, full of passions and hopes.  And in a long life many, many things happen, but they are so easily forgotten.  I don’t expect to find out the wealth of Mrs. T.’s life, but I am listening for clues.

And don’t forget the 50 year old.  We joke about this birthday, setting tables with funeral black paper plates, black balloons and streamers.  But of course I do not see 50 as old and done, being quite a bit past that milestone myself.  I will be listening to the talk of younger -thans and older-thans .  I am curious how each views what may , after all, be but a half-way point!

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9 thoughts on “Two Birthdays

  1. I am anxious to hear what you uncover. I am also hoping that something outrageous comes out at both parties. You always give a visual in your writing that I so enjoying experiencing

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  2. Yesterday I heard of a 100-year old woman who had crossword puzzles that she created published in the New York Times–at age 100! That’s a lively mind!

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