26 Jan


Lordy, Lordy, guess who’s forty.  Well, in the last couple of years, pretty much everyone I know.  Forty is a funny thing.  When I was a kid it just seemed so far away, when I was a teenager it seemed so lame.  I think about my mom and her contemporaries at that age and they all came off as so uninteresting, dull and unfashionable.  They were slaves to their schedules, slaves to their children and spouses, the house, the Club, the volunteer “jobs” and with bad hair to boot.  There was nothing at all appealing about this except, maybe, that you could smoke ciggies whenever and wherever you wanted to.  (Side note: the guv’ment has now removed this golden carrot, and I no longer smoke anyway) I thought I’d die if that forty thing ever happened to me.  So, here I am, forty, and I’m not dead.  I swear my generation does forty like a pack of rock stars.  There have been lawn parties with tents and bands, toga parties, surprise trips, out-of-town couples’ weekends, intimate dinner parties, unbridled throw downs…it runs the gamut.  And every one looks fabulous from all the Pilates, advances in hair color technology, Botox, the invention of Spanx shape-wear and the denim monopoly being busted up.  Every one is celebrating like it’s the victory of surviving middle school, graduating from college, not being pregnant, not doing jail time and a thousand Christmases all at once.  And in a way it is.  I can be forty and still go out, not have a “sensible hairstyle”, wear thigh-high boots and do all of those volunteer good deeds, too.  It’s not one or the other.  I feel like at forty I have lived up to being a Charlie Girl.  But, by far the very best thing about hitting the halfway mark is realizing that I am old enough to not have to put up with anyone else’s crap.  It’s liberating.

This past weekend, we went to Las Vegas to celebrate another one.  Remember Tracy from Maria Bamford weekend?  The birthday party is still going…you can do that when you hit forty.  No one is done celebrating until you are good and damn ready for the party to end.  One of the down-time things that Tracy wanted to do while we were out-of-town was for everyone to compose their Bucket Lists.  Now, I had never even really heard that phrase until that Morgan Freeman/Jack Nicholson movie came out a few years ago.  It was actually a decent flick.  The gist is that you come up with a list of stuff that you want to do before you kick it and fly to the pearly gates.  Do you make your list indulgent, or doable?  Is it reaching for the stars or simply setting unattainable goals that will later fuel a big, fat depression centering on all of your failures and shortcomings.  Are these bucket items universal, micro-specific or a marriage of the two?  These are heady questions, readers.


Several years ago I was out on a G.N.O. celebrating someone’s birthday, shocker, and it casually came up that I had never seen The Sound of Music.  A collective gasp ensued as though I had admitted to never having been held as a baby; it was like looking into a sea of sad puppy eyes.  For my next birthday, girlfriend Susan gave me the DVD.  When I watched it I was shocked that I knew all the songs and so much of the story line based on cultural references.  Two weeks ago I revealed to a friend that I have never eaten a Twinkie.  That one always slays people.  It’s just that a) I don’t like anything with a creamy surprise inside and b) I don’t eat food that you can stock a bomb shelter with.  If my living body can decay before the snack in question, I want no part of it.  But should I just woof one down to say I did it? Put it on the Bucket List to have at least one thing that I’m pretty sure I’d be able to accomplish?

So, I am now working on the aforementioned Bucket List like it means something; like it’s my mission statement.  We decided that the list needed to be ten items long.  So far, I have four.  I decided against going with the universal things “you must do”, or including things that are supposed to be part of our cultural experience.  This is harder than I thought because I don’t want to be locked in, and I’m looking for line items that don’t have “win the lottery” as a prerequisite.

What’s on your Bucket List?

3 Responses to “Buckets”

  1. Anita January 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Going to Greece is on my bucket list which I am doing this summer on my 40th birthday 🙂

  2. Laurel January 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Nuts! I haven’t had a Twinkie in years, largely for the reasons you cite, but I got a yen for one today. Bought a twin pack of them, gave one to the Pirate and snarfed the other. I think it is all the trans fats and preservatives that make them so delightful.

    My bucket list is simple. It’s stuff I’ve already done and would like to do again, like go through a whole day without wiping anyone’s heinie and go potty without a cheerleader in the bathroom with me.

  3. Annette Renee White January 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    I have a huge bucket list that I had to write down so I won’t forget anything that I want to do!

    On my 40th birthday I planned a Bucket List Extravaganza where I had a complete day of new experiences, it was so fabulous that I am going to do it again this year! You can read about it here: http://mslistologist.com/?p=852

    Best of luck on your adventures!

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