I'm 30-old, but doing A-OK

Today I celebrated birthday 38. Nothing too monumental about that one, although I am pretty sure I can no longer deny that I am in my late 30s. Funnily enough, I did tell a group of students a few weeks ago, when I was impressing them with my stretching abilities, that I was almost 40 and could do that. Who says they are almost 40 when they are still 37?!

Regardless, I never understood lying about your age. My mother did it for years, until one day when I was at grandma's for the week and happened to look at some old yearbooks. Strangely enough, she was a senior or junior and yet her two "older" brothers were underclassmen. A quick attempt at math also revealed that she must have graduated from high school when she was 13. I showed the evidence to Grandma Yoyo, whose reply was, "Your mother was gifted." When I further protested, she told me to ask my mother. That was worse than finding out the truth about the guy in the red suit!

But back to me. I had a great week. On Wednesday, I went for my traditional birthday lunch at Mad Mex with coworkers. Except we met at 5 p.m. And I no longer work with any of those people. But I was happy to continue something I started back in '96, my first year in the Burgh, with only a couple of friends. We were eight strong this year, and full of merriment. If you live in the Burgh, I highly recommend trying an apple butter margarita. Or two. They rock.

This afternoon, we (Brian, Jordan, and I) had a nice dinner at Applebee's. At one point I looked across the table at my family and outside at the snowfall and then thought life was good. The pomegranate martini did not hurt.

But an unexpectedly good part of my day was thinking about an old friend from college, Alistair. "Big Al" and I were born on the same day, same year. Born about three hours apart, as I recall. [The picture above is from our 20th birthday.] We became friends through his sister, my next-door neighbor Katie. He was such a nice guy. And he could give me a piggy back ride even though we weighed about the same. Unfortunately, Big Al got cancer just before our senior year. It was hard on all of us. But especially Katie, obviously.
In January of 1993, he was not well (he did not come back to Penn State), so I, a few friends, and Kate went to visit him for the weekend at their house. That afternoon, I was trying to take a nap on the chair next to his bed in the living room. I remember having a dream about him, and in it he was well. When I woke up, he told me I should go upstairs and sleep in a real bed as our other friends were doing. But I did not want to leave him. And I am glad I did not. He passed away that night.

Just a few days ago, Katie "friended" me on Facebook. I have not talked to Katie probably since I graduated from Penn State in 1993, but for whatever reason, she found me on Facebook just a couple of days before my and Al's birthday. I am glad. It has been nice reconnecting with a good friend from college. And it has been great to remember a friend who sadly left this earth far too soon. (Note to Mel: Facebook is not always evil. Just most of the time.)

Happy birthday to me. But more importantly, happy birthday, Big Al. I love ya, and I hope you are listening to Mr. Big!


Anonymous said…
Facie--happy birthday!

Funny story about your mom.

That is so sad about your friend. But good that you were able to think about him thru those circumstances
ladykay133 said…
Just read your blog.
I really enjoyed reading many posts. What a fun thing to do!
I appreciated reading about Al. Thanks for thinking of him. I am so glad to be in touch with you and Jan. I would love to chat with you sometime. There is so much I do not remember from college. I think my brain shut down for a while.
Sometime perhaps.

Happy Holidays.

P.S. I can't listen to Mariah Carey without thinking of you. I am glad.

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