I’ll be honest. Being 42 ain’t no joke. In my 20’s, I never contemplated what it would be like to be this age, what I would be like. Not that I was thinking that I may not live this long. Just that being in my 40’s never really crossed my mind. Like ever.
Back then, I was living in the moment. A newly-minted resident of Los Angeles; young, taut and free from pesky thoughts about things like health insurance (Who needs it?), healthy eating habits (Skittles aren’t considered fruit?) and 401Ks (Uhh, what the hell is that?).
Fast-forward 20 years and health insurance is hella crucial. Hello, this bursitis and arthritis ain’t gonna treat themselves. My metabolism left me like a dead-beat dad who owes child support and I discovered a 401K is not actually a freeway in LA. I’ve learned a lot during my 498 months on this planet. And possibly due to my love for adult libations, I’ve forgotten quite a bit, too. I’ve made mistakes, made great friends, probably some enemies and a bunch of random revelations. Here they are in no certain order.
- I had a really good childhood. I can’t remember when I realized this, but despite my middle sister trying to kill me thrice (and she denies it to this day), the random scorpions and snakes showing up around the house, I didn’t have too much to complain about.
- I was in my late teens before I realized that being told that I “talked like a white girl” wasn’t a compliment.
- My mother still can’t explain why she bought me a ventriloquist dummy for Christmas when I was like eight. This still baffles me. I never voiced any inclination to be a ventriloquist, but when I opened that box and pulled out that creepy little brown doll, I remember being super excited, like I’d actually asked for it. He had an afro and I named him Leroy. He was the first boy I ever slept with. And a bonus! He used to bite that mean sister of mine while she slept.
- My memory is atrocious. But only about certain things. I will walk out of a room and completely forget what I planned on doing, but I can remember some random person who I met five years ago. It’s like the movie Memento in my house, except the tattoos are Post-its stuck on the walls.
- My night driving is equally atrocious. I don’t know if it’s because my eyes are dying inside my head or what, but I can’t tell a person from a pole. Forget seeing driveways! Unless I know exactly where it is, I have to circle the block a minimum of two times. And curbs? My tires make hard love to curbs on a regular basis.
- I think most of today’s music is hot ass garbage. I can’t believe I just wrote that because that means I’m turning into my father. I swear, almost every morning in high school while we waited at the bus stop, he would argue me down that my music was trash. I’d argue back that Prince was a musical genius and TLC’s, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg was a great song. But now, I totally get where he was coming from.
- I know the exact moment when I’ll be done with this earthly plane and be ready to head on over to The Other Side. The morning my body fails to wake me up to go pee and I’m asleep, unknowingly marinating in my own juices? You can count me out, New Edition style.
- If “cool points” still exist, I no longer have them. And if by using the term “cool points”, I lose all my “cool points” then I’ve proven my point.
- I am no longer fearless. This knowledge stings a bit, but I’m working on it.
- I’ve started randomly humming. And not like a jaunty, upbeat tune, either. It’s straight sorrowful, Old Negro Spiritual type humming, which can only mean one thing. I’m turning into somebody’s ma’dear. All I need is a house coat, a bomb-ass peach cobbler recipe, some pink house shoes and the power to tell a child to go get their own switch off the tree and I’m set.
Come back next week for Part 2. I’ll admit, it gets a little weird.