By Suzanne Sparrow Watson
I knew this day was coming – I could tell by the hanging jowls and the crepey skin. Yet somehow waking up last week to the realization that I’ve entered my 70’s was a bit sobering. I feel pretty darn good and my doctor says I’m in tip top shape. Hmmmmm. I cleaned out files recently and found some documents from a gym I belonged to in 1980. As I perused my old weight and measurement chart I was pretty pleased until I took my current measurements. How can I possibly weigh the same and yet be bigger in every place that counts? Are my ear lobes appreciably smaller? Does gray hair weigh less than blonde? I’m guessing the weight loss has occurred in my brain because I’m not sure how much is up there anymore. I’ve spent a lot of time at home this summer so you’d think I would be pretty familiar with my house, yet I still wander into a room and wonder what I’m doing there. As my friend Liz Gett always says, “These days I only retain water”.
Still, I’m doing just fine and especially in this catastrophic year of 2020, I’m just glad to be upright. Don Imus, the former disc jockey also ran a camp for kids with cancer. He once said whenever he’d go to some soiree on the Upper East Side where people complained about their age his response was to ask them if they would like to visit his camp, where 12 year-olds were just hoping to make it to 15. Every year on my birthday I think about Leslie, my childhood best friend. The photo is us at my 10th birthday where she supervised my gift opening, just as she supervised most everything I did. She called me every year on my birthday without fail. On my 64th birthday we had a long conversation and she laughed hysterically when I told her I had chickenpox. It was the last time we spoke; she died suddenly a couple of months later. I still miss her and think about her on my birthday so far be it from me to complain about reaching 70.
Besides, I had a wonderful celebration filled with …what else?… cake! I guess at this age it’s good to be known for something. I have friends that are known for being smart, dressing well, a kind heart, a great artist, you name it. I, on the other hand, am known for my love of cake. I used to be the kid at the birthday party who would elbow my way to the cake cutter so I could get the corner piece with the big, sugary flower on it. This year I received three cakes for my birthday, including one that exploded with flowers, candy and cake when I lifted the lid. I didn’t share ANY of them with my husband. It dawned on me that I might have a problem when the guy we’re working with to select new flooring (that’s an “I need to have my head examined” story for another blog) brought me a dozen doughnuts. I think I have a problem and so far as I know, there is no such thing as Cake Anonymous.
My celebration was capped by a fabulous dinner at Vivace Restaurant in Tucson. Due to illness and a wariness of COVID it ended up being just me, my niece and my great-niece for dinner. Actually, it was perfect! We had such a wonderful time catching up. There is something special about three generations who enjoy each other’s company and share laughter and good stories. Most of them true. The restaurant is spectacular and the food was beyond tasty. One advantage of our smaller group was there was more dessert to go around. The restaurant offered a lovely tiramisu in honor of my birthday, but really, sharing dessert among three people doesn’t quite meet the mark so we also ordered a crème brulee and a chocolate molten lava cake with ice cream. All that, coupled with the wine, provided a sugar rush that I’ll still be recovering from on my next birthday. Still, it was worth every spoonful.
So I was feeling pretty good about turning 70 and life in general and then the worst happened – the NCAA cancelled the football season. Is it even fall if there is no college football? COVID has been hard enough but life without college football seems unfathomable. I may just have to eat more cake.