Sunday, April 3, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me: The Quilt

On Don's last birthday we went to a Friday night showing of Deadpool, where we had a solid 20 years on just about everyone else in the theater. But it was cool. We're cool.  We had a good time and laughed at the jokes and got them all (I think).  At dinner afterwards, we were talking about the music in the movie and I said, "You know, everyone laughed when they played Careless Whisper, but we were the only ones there who had real memories attached to that song - so we got it more. Dammit."

Don then told me a story about dancing with a girl to that song at some long distant school dance, and trying to hide, er, just how much he was enjoying the dance with her.

We had some fun memories over old 80s songs.

So, I have this theory about aging... but first, let's be honest: In almost every way, aging sucks.  My back hurts, and my skin is no where near as fabulous as it used to be.  My neck is a little crepe-y (this is the thing I hate the most).  Everything makes me fat.  No one on TV is ever trying to sell me anything cool anymore.

On the other hand, I have all this past to wrap up around me.

Look: please forgive me now for what is fixing to be a super schlocky metaphor.  I hate schlock.  I am not sentimental. I hate schmaltzy facile bullshit that aims to soothe through oversimplification.  But maybe this isn't bullshitty and, fuck it, it's my birthday and I get to air out my secret shameful schlocky metaphor that I've been thinking on for a while.

So, here goes with the Quilt Theory (I mean it's so schlocky, the metaphor is built on QUILTS):  I sometimes find myself feeling like all the experiences I've had are like patches on a quilt and I've spent the past 47 years building up moments that are stitched up into a past that I can wrap up all around me and it's warming and wonderful.

When I hear Careless Whisper, I get to think "I was there!  I was there for that song, for that moment.  It's real."  This doesn't make the reference less funny in Deadpool - but it means I got to go to a place there that the young folks in the theater didn't.

I can hear songs, or see patterns, or feel something in the air that takes me back to some moment and rather than feel sad that it's over, I get to feel lucky that I got to be there.

I got to be there.  There is something soothing, maybe even a little miraculously so, about about having more past - I've got a bigger quilt.

So I don't feel bad about getting older since there are all these moments I've had and still more to come.  Although (full credit to the late, lamented Nora Ephron), I do feel bad about my neck.  But I have George Michael.  And it's not that we could have been so good together. We were!

Happy birthday to me!