Wednesday, April 12, 2023

 Although I live near one of the many, many edges of the universe; I have not fallen off - yet.

A pair of Canadian Geese with three chicks in a parking lot mud puddle.

I don't know why we continue to call them Canadian Geese. They live in central GA yearround. I'm sure they honk with a Southern accent.

And yes they considered walking their three chicks across 5 lanes of a busy road. Instead, they settled on walking down the road. I had the urge to stop traffic and get them across. With a heavy heart, I got back in my car and continued about my day. I did the only thing I could. I said a little prayer for the small family. Usually, they are in huge flocks. I've seen traffic come to a standstill when a large grouping decided to cross the road. We've had a lot of rain this year.

About three weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go to a writer's conference in nearby Eatonton, Georgia. Three major writers hail from the area. They are Joel Chandler Harris, Flannery O'Conner and Alice Walker. During one lunch session, Alice Walker spoke to the group. I enjoyed looking at the crowd. Alice Walker was interesting.  I don't share her idealism in seeking world peace. 

The world is a terrible place the day we are born and a the only reason we see it so bad when we are older is experience. I was a bit streetwise from a young age. But not like some children I had taught which is a whole novel. I've also been dreadfully gullible at times. All I know is to not make expensive or life changing decisions in a hurry; and if it sounds too good to be true, it is almost never true.

There was a professional photographer there who was quite gracious in telling me I had plenty of time to get a novel out there.  He heard of a 90 year old woman who had just graduated med school. I had that balloon above my head where I voiced loudly a silent thought which was,"That is stupid." My thought is she would not be practicing long enough to be seasoned as a doctor and the other was what young person was turned down. There is a lot of competition to getting in med school. 

I googled the 90 year old med graduate. It turned out she graduated with a bachelors degree in general studies. She had started her studies in the early 1950s. The seven oldest med school graduates ranged in age from 37 to 66. The man who graduated from med school in New Jersey at 62 was not on the list. The 66 year old man graduated in Romania. I wanted to be a doctor but did not have the grades to get in due to the keen competition. So he obviously hit a sore point with me. 

I debate in telling you more about the conference or how I put my foot in my mouth and left somberly and quietly to drive home. 

It really wasn't that big a deal. I told the photographer if I was younger I would be chasing after him. From there it was downhill. He told me. He did not know that age was a problem. DIFFERENT generation is all I can say. I am not glib. He did give me a wolfie smile. I try to deflect a wee bit and mention to a younger woman, how he would be a good catch. This girl goes, I'm only 26. Again my mind is looking how to escape this awkwardness. I stifle the what the hell you mean only 26. In my day, you would have been married with four kids. I was not married or have four kids at 26, but I had been fired from a job.  

Another woman my age made a wee joke which saved me a bit. Then I say well the older ones have money. Then I launched into telling the 26 year old why I thought her writing was really good a second time for the day as I headed for the door. 

I have been out of the social concourse for too long. I have never liked crowds. My entire family is shy and I have accomplished a lot in not being so shy as an adult. Matter of fact, many are surprised I fight shyness in that I can be outspoken. 

I remember absent mindedly winking at a man in a department store. He was interested which was very awkward with his wife beside him. You can say what you like. But women in my age or background were discreet and you certainly did not wantomly have one night stands which I understand are more common today. People had them when I was young and about. Plus in my young adulthood, you had to consider herpes and then hell, there was AIDS. I've always admired gay men in they demanded to be accepted even with AIDS raging among them in the 80's. 

The 80's sound so long ago. I got a mediocre haircut before the conference from a hairdresser who was born about 1980. She asked me to guess her age. I warned her not to get too sensitive. I am good with ages. I could tell she had had a lot of sun exposure even though she was black. I got her age right. I subtracted 5 years from my actual guess. You have to consider someone's feelings.  I did not tell her about sun exposure but she later said she was from Panama City, FL. Who can resist the beach. 

The hairdresser was a gay woman and I told her the truth. That was such a small part of people's lives. Being gay is no one's business nor was there anything wrong with being gay. She made sure I knew where the new shop she was moving to was located. Once again that bubble over my head said, "It depends on how my hair looks when I wash it tomorrow." It did not look that hot that evening.

 My brother and I had gone to get manicure and a pedicure. The hair shop was still open when we left the nail salon and that was why we went there. I have gotten worse haircuts. So I will try her one more time and be more particular about what I want. She was so wound up I suspect something had happened to get her so talkative. Although I live in a world of silence most of the day, I prefer the woman at the nail salon who did not talk. 

My hair will grow. No biggie. Propositioning a man is no biggie. I'm just one trained for tea table talk when many consider a tea table an anachronism. I lost a tooth about a month ago. When I went to the dentist, I took the tooth out of my pocket. It was a crown. The dentist put it back in my mouth. So now I can give that wide smile I was taught by my mother. I suspect mom was trying to calm down the loud tomboy she had as a daughter. I came by it honestly. When my mother moved to Macon to work, her aunts who weren't that much older than her asked her not to tell people about driving a tractor. My grandmother was a tomboy too. 

And here lies the rub; I have considered getting a boyfriend. Being out of the game for so long, I don't know where the heck to begin. Like most things in my life, inertia will take over. In the workshop, people kept refering to what "the universe" wills. I don't know if I am that Presbyterian. All I know is it may be hard to find a good man for me. I don't want to get married. I don't want to be used. I don't want to be a sugar mama. I don't want a sugar daddy. I want them to be physically active like me. And if they are younger, they may not be retired and available. Eh, being single looks pretty good with the uncertainty. 

At the moment, I am concentrating on making a life at my house this year. The Covid lockdown was not a huge change for me. I just need to get a lot things in my life in order. Like settling my older brother's estate, then settling my mother's estate, getting rid of all the things we have accumulated  over the years. Worst of all, I am the biggest packrat of all. I try to put a few things in the garbage every Thursday. 

So I got a busy life. Not an exciting one. 


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