Since I have amnesia when it comes to high school I can’t honestly say that I’ve become less or more crazy over time. Living in Santa Cruz certainly does nothing to encourage staid middle age.
Our motto is “Keep Santa Cruz Weird” and of course we’re laughed at for some of the things we’ve done. I still do a bit of improvisation and street theater so maybe that’s a clue. As for the snow in this photo, we don’t get any snow so around the holidays the farmers bring in their ice making machines and fill a block with a look-alike. I’m the Snow Queen. I see it as community service just like jury duty except that I get wet and cold.
I had fun in the Sixties. I had great health insurance, I had no mortgage, I didn’t even know what a “fixer-upper” was. The music was great and still is (I like Joss Stone, MC Solaar a French rap artist and the Black Eyed Peas among others). The best thing about the Sixties though was having absolutely no idea what was coming with regard to middle age. I was just happily doing some naughty things while protesting the war. Oh, and being a size four. That was nice. When I moved house in 1999 I found a pair of jeans and a T-shirt of mine from 1968. I have no idea where they were all this time. I was shocked to see how small they are. I met my husband in the 70s in Minneapolis and we lived together for twelve years before getting married. We were waiting for the culture to catch up to domestic partnerhood but it never did so we did the deed. He’s still underfoot and I congratulate myself for having the good sense to marry Tech Support.
The craziest thing I did last year was to go screaming through Paris on a motorcycle at midnight. It was terrifying and thrilling at the same time. I wasn’t driving which is why I was terrified. The French drive like maniacs anyway but on motorcycles they are suicidal. On the drive into the city from the airport I had noticed a proliferation of all kinds of motorcycles, including a single passenger taxi. I found out later that the mayor had closed a lane to cars all over the city making the work commute a nightmare for people, hence the motorcycles.
I also went to a part of the Polish countryside still so remote that the folks in the village had never met a foreigner.They were terribly shy of me even though I was with my long lost cousin. The men were especially shy. I stole the keys to one of their cars and drove it around the village and I got points for that. I went to the pig barn to drink beer with them and yes, pigs stink like you would not believe, but I was being a good diplomat. I walked the family farm and then visited my grandmother’s village where an elderly man told me that her whole family had gone to Hartford, Connecticut. Well, so much for my genealogical research! While in Cracow I stayed with my college age cousin and her friends so we never got to bed before two or three in the morning. That’s when I really appreciated being an insomniac. On the way to the countryside we went Wadowice to get cream cakes. I was astounded to see that the name of the bakery was mine! Zuzia.
I’m still working on the house. I can honestly say that the only thing I like about it is my green glass sink in the bathroom. I had gotten an adorable “I Love You Card” from Harry. I loved the painting so much that I designed the bathroom around it and had it printed on canvas to hang above the glass shelf. Other than that, it’s too much work.
Plus, I’m clumsy. I’m covered in bruises. I was the first laceration of the holiday season to show up at Urgent Care. Then I tripped over a can of paint and chipped a bone so I got sick leave for awhile as it was too difficult to scrape ceilings and paint walls while on crutches. I was lucky though. It happened during a period of time when I had two husbands. I would highly recommend doing that…getting a second husband. Husband #1 is the one I paid money to get. Husband #2 is a thirty-something Welsh sweetheart who needed a place to stay when his marriage fell apart. He was always home by five o’clock so I had a buddy in the house while I was hobbling around. Every night I make a “To-Do” list and nearly every next day it gets blown to bits by real life. I’ve become a totally flexible, multi-tasking monkey.
On the whole, life is good. We have wonderful friends. We have children in our lives who are hilarious. I stay in touch with my sisters and friends all over the country and in Europe. It’s good. And now we have smarts in the White House which has helped lower my blood pressure and my cholesterol as well. If we end up on bread lines, I’ll do some of the baking.
P.S. A high school buddy sent me her year book on loan as we’re planning a reunion for sometime in 2009. I hadn’t seen that thing since…well, I can’t remember really and I don’t know what happened to my copy. In any case, the intervening years and my own amnesia made for great reading. I couldn’t believe that was us. The bouffant flip hair style- oh, give me Goth anytime, and the penny loafers! And those awful A-line skirts. I am so glad that’s over. I found myself in the Senior Foreign Policy Club. I was shocked. The Thespian club, yes. Since 6th grade I was into theater. But foreign policy? Where did that come from? What a trip.