So, it’s my birthday. Woohoo… I am forty years old. I look better than I did when I was thirty, so I can’t really complain, right? I can feel myself wobbling over this… I could go one of two ways… weeping and gnashing my teeth (the night is still young) or I can be grateful to be in the place where I’m at. This is the part where you choose whether to be happy, people. Which way to go?? Waffle, waffle…
For the first time in my life, I rode a bicycle on this, the day of my fortieth birthday. Apparently, you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks. My children helped me. Now this all started with a stubborn old man who decided to buy his midget eight-year-old a ten speed. This went about as well as could be expected considering I couldn’t reach the pedals on my best day, in my wildest dreams. After a week of falling every. Single. Time. I said… nope, not today. After a couple of years, it was just too embarrassing to admit I had never learned and that continued to be true for the next thirty years. Here’s very poor quality photographic evidence:
At the surprise party that Dozer very nicely put together for me over the weekend, my sister, Mary gave me a very nice bicycle. This is because she knows what I really want is to have my own motorcycle and it seems a logical first step to understand the basic balancing involved with traveling on two wheels rather than four. My poor mother lost her shit when she heard this, largely because she was pretty much oblivious to my misspent youth which included a whole lot of riding bitch with some fairly unsavory gentlemen. I’m using the term loosely. (My little Tugga just came and gave me bike riding tips. Aww.) Anyway, she actually pleaded with Dozer not to allow me to do this. First of all, Dozer does not make decisions for me. Miss Shannon is at least a thousand times more likely to engage in an activity if she has been denied permission, especially since I’m not asking for it. The more you disapprove, the more I will enjoy that activity… that’s a mathematical certainty. I do appreciate the fact that she wants me to outlive her, so here’s my concession: I will take the motorcycle safety course offered locally in the spring. I was doing that anyway, because I’m not reckless. I’m not angry with my mother for thinking my boyfriend has the right to grant or deny permission for anything at all in my life. She really thinks he ought to have that kind of power, because that’s the way she was raised and how she lived her life. As I said at the time, when your number is up, it’s up. Do with that whatever you will, but I intend to live while I’m alive. Yes, I can hear Bon Jovi, too.
This brings me to the many women’s rights marches taking place across the nation as people lose their ever-loving minds over the inauguration. I’m trying to put things into perspective. I’m not overwhelmed with joy either… but stay classy. That would not include wearing stuffed lady parts on your head nor does it include ripping up a ten-year-old kid on social media. Which also reminds me of the degenerate who held up a sign outside of that same little boy’s home calling for the rape of his mother. Personally, I support women’s rights – the right to choose, not just your reproductive rights, but your own destiny. I include things like the fact that rape is the only crime for which temptation is a viable defense. I was recently advised that it makes me selfish that this is a priority issue for me. Change comes about because people come together and fight for it. That is how we won the right to vote. I guess I’ll keep being selfish while I think there’s a need. In the current political climate, there’s a need.
OK…back to my happiness and joy. Riding a bike was on my bucket list. I may have turned forty, but I’ve got a whole lot left to do. I’m working to finally finish that god forsaken degree, which I will have before I’m a year older. My kids are doing well and I’ve got a grandchild on the way. I’m going to get that motorcycle and make my poor mother crazy. I’m also going to lay in a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils so I stop feeling like I got run over by a truck. Hell, I may even make it a detox bath and throw in some baking soda. This works, kids, don’t knock it until you try it. Baking soda is also the best skin exfoliant going, 89 cents.
My final thoughts today are this: life is a bowl of cherries. You have to learn to live with the pits. True story… There are many crass and fairly trashy people who take away from today’s women’s movement. I think the meme that annoyed me most was the one suggesting that these ladies ought to be focusing on Veterans. I’m not wearing a burqa, for which I thank a vet. I want you to be well and I actually do work on the behalf of vets. My desire for their well-being has nothing, nothing to do with my desire to decide my own fate. If Miss Shannon had her own way, there would be no homeless, no abused children and no women raped and beaten. No one would suffer from hunger and the world would be at peace. In the meantime, we’ll have to fight the good fight.