Tuesday, April 18, 2006

4-24-64...Hike!



As the 24th day of the 4th month approaches, I find I'm a little weird today. I left work early yesterday, put on Mr. Man's boxers and a no-tell motel t-shirt and sat quietly in my recliner with my dog for a length of time. I'm not sad, so don't cry for me Argentina. I'm just weird... and I am perfectly comfortable with my own weirdness.

Most of the time I'm pretty OK with being who I am inside my 42 year old skin. If you knew even one third of the things this little obsessive-compulsive girl from North Carolina has gone through to get here, you'd be inspired to put coffee cans with my picture on them in every convenience store near you in an effort to collect loose change on my behalf so that I might go to Disneyland... or wherever the severely downtrodden find happiness and redemption.

Forty-two years is a long time. Reference my weird state of mind... I wondered yesterday how many times my heart has beaten in 42 years. I've asked myself how many bananas I've eaten and how many times I've colored my hair. I've pondered (and you know my affinity for pondering) the number of miles I've driven and I've tried to count the number of homes in which I've lived.

I also tried to count the number of husbands that I've said "I totally do" to, but it had the same affect as counting sheep, so I feel asleep and had a nightmare that I was married to Agent Smith on the Matrix and he just kept multiplying and I kept marrying him again and again while continually trying to turn him into Morpheus by nagging him 'cause I really wanted to be Mrs. Morpheus, but never told him for fear of a Matrix rejection.

Geez. That's got to mean something. (Note to self: call qualified therapist after blogging.)

I've asked myself the big, burning mid-life questions.

What have I learned? Why am I here? Have I made an impact on anyone? What if I'd never been born? Would anyone's life have been less of what it is if I were never around? And when I'm gone, will anyone notice for more than a minute? Have I even made an infinitesimal ripple on the ocean of life?

Wow. Deep thoughts by Sherri Handy.

I thought back over the years and the faces of the lovers and the cheaters and the liars and the beaters and the haters and the hurters and I've asked myself whether I learned my lessons and whether I've taught any.

I also asked myself what it is about me that attracts the haters and the hurters like that red syrup stuff attracts hummingbirds. I think maybe its my fabulous blonde from a bottle hair. Mean men dig fake blonde hair.

There have been so many friends. Fair weather friends, friends I'd give a kidney to, friends who'd give me a kidney, friends that didn't understand what that word means, (Friend...not kidney. All my friends knew what the word kidney means.),friends who loved me and friends that took what they needed and moved on.

I've had at least a thousand once in a lifetime moments and have cried at least a million tears. I've laughed at things other people find absurd, enjoyed things no one else seemed to appreciate and faked nearly as much liking and laughing just for the sake of fitting in.

I've loved, hated, cheated, lied and faked. I've left, I've run, I've hidden and I've arrived, stood my ground and turned the spotlight on myself. I've dared people to love me and have made sure I gave them plenty of reasons not to so that I could reason away their shortcomings when they decided they couldn't love me after all. Blaming myself has always been easier than blaming someone else. I have no idea why.

I've buried friends and loved ones and been angry at God nearly every time. I've said good-bye so often that by now I should be better at it.

I was present when two perfect children fought their way from that place to this and I find some measure of pride by telling myself that it could have only been me. Anyone else and I like to think perhaps Kitten wouldn't be so funny or Big Dog such an avid reader.

So, there it is then. Nearly forty-two years of loving, laughing, crying and dying my hair. More than 15,000 days. Just short of 368,000 hours. Wow.

Happy birthday to me!!!
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6 comments:

Donna said...

Happy Birthday, Sher! I wish you the best for the coming year.

Sher said...

Thanks so much. The best is exactly what I expect!

Downtrodden Diva said...

Hey Sher, 8-26-64 here, following behind in so many hours, days, breaths and cartons of chinese take-out. You introspect is a little deeper than usual, but I get where you're coming from, babe. At some point we all, the crazy, the sane, the lazy, the mundane (oh shit, I'm rhyming again...schizophrenia anyone?) have our moments of reflective turmoil. My own aging can cause me to go from sweet as a red wagon full of speckled pups to meaner than a boot full of barbed wire in World Book of Records time. I think at this point that if I make it through a couple more therapists that I get to be one! (Or at least I should, experience should count, right?)

Speaking of experience, sounds like you got yourself a big ol' heapin' helping of that. Mark Twain once wrote that "In certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circimstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer."
So happy birthday dearie, laugh when you get the chance, cuss when necessary, and for God's sake write often. We can't do without you.

*Throwing a little crazy on my face in your honor* - Dawn

Sher said...

Wow. What a great post, Dawn. You made me feel all girlie and weepie. In fact, I will cuss and laugh and of course, I'll write. Writing is the only thing that prevents me from acquiring a high-powered weapon and a clown wig and searching for a tall, tall tower.

Thanks so much.

Tidewaterbound said...

Sher,

Happy Birthday! You've endured much to make you who you are--which is mighty special.

Do more than just 'enjoy the day' -- revel in it!

Smiles to ya,

Carol

Sher said...

Thank you very much, Carol. I sure appreciate it.