Let me tell you about my friend Harriet. I met her at the bus stop coming home from Mom’s group last summer. She’s an older woman whom you might call petite if you hadn’t yet had the privelege of talking to her. She wears gigantic sunglasses, boy cut hair dyed ink black, and almost always a leopard print blazer with significant shoulder pads. Any normal person would be dwarfed by the ensemble, but not Harriet.
We began talking over my children, little conversation straters that they are, and kept chatting like this, at the bus stop, five minutes every Wednesday for a few months. She used to want to be an actress. But she became a mother and dreams changed. She became the writer of a TV show for kids and had a wonderful long career. She reminds me every time she sees me that my path might change from what I want, what I expect, but to keep writing, keep at it.
I hadn’t seen her in months. But the other day, there she was, leopard print blazer over mauve velvet pants.
“How are you doing, Harriet?”
“Yeah?” I say.
“Well I’m feeling old. I’m suddenly old. I was middle aged for a long time but now I’m old.”
“How old were you when you began feeling middle aged?” I asked.
“So, what age was your zen age?” I asked, “At what age did you say, ‘ok, I’m here, finally, I am how old I feel.”
“So, everybody caught up and just stopped caring,” I said.
“Exactly right,” she said, “Everybody finally stopped caring with me.”
So, take Harriet’s word for it, my people. There’s hope.