There is nothing like aging in style

May. 28, 2014 @ 10:02 PM

My sister -- who shall remain nameless due to her behavior on the occasion herein described, but let’s just call her Susan -- is celebrating her birthday today, and she doesn’t want anyone to know her age (which is 60) because she’s just sick about it.  Not about having a birthday, but did I mention that she’s 60? Not that I want to keep bringing up her age ... which is 60 ... but that’s what she’s having a fit about. 

Instead of having a party, where one of her sisters might accidentally blurt out her age (60), she decided that she wanted all of her sisters and sisters-in-law and one friend who came up to Ohio with me (Lindsey) to do something totally off the wall and go bowling with her.
Now, I have nothing against bowling, per se (four years of high school Latin really comes in handy sometimes). Bowling is inexpensive, you can wear pretty much anything in your closet, there’s fun, fattening, fried food, and it’s air-conditioned -- what’s not to like? 
It’s just that I had figured my bowling days were behind me. But, as long as we could go to a place that served alcohol, hey, why not? Once you turn 40 (which is 20 years ago, for Susan) alcohol is a prerequisite for any activity that involves lifting and hurling heavy objects -- a bowling ball, a large rock, a window air-conditioner ... don’t ask. Alcohol dulls the sound of your body saying, “What in hell do you think you’re doing?! Put that down immediately, or you won’t be lifting anything heavier than a Percocet for a month!”
However, just going bowling by itself didn’t seem like enough. I mean, the accomplishment of living to the age of, say, 60, requires a bit more hoopla. So, I called everyone and suggested that we surprise Susan and chip in to hire a limousine. They thought it was a great idea. When that long, sleek black Caddy drove up to the house, Susan’s jaw dropped. (So did mine; I’m a teacher. Teachers don’t ride in limousines.  Teachers ride mostly in 1988 Honda Civics. I think it’s a law or something.)
“Wow,” she said. (My sister’s kinda wordy.)
In the back of that limousine, we found champagne and strawberries cooling in a silver ice bucket, two telephones, a flat-screen TV, and an amazing sound system that was playing all our favorites ... (well, all my favorites, but hey, I was the one who thought up the whole thing; honestly, if there’d just been a teeny-tiny bathroom, I could have lived in that limo the rest of my life).
On the way to the bowling alley, we watched as other drivers and pedestrians peered at the darkened glass, trying to see what famous person might be in there -- could it be Tori and Dean? Lady Gaga? Prince Harry? We loved it. Once, when we stopped at a light, I lowered the window and yelled at a group of young guys staring curiously from the sidewalk, “Hey, boys! Ever hear of the Kardashians?” Then we roared away, leaving them with stunned expressions, obviously thinking, “Whoa, the Kardashians are really, really old.”
We had a great time bowling, though. It also happened to be Karaoke Night at this particular bowling alley, and after a couple of adult beverages, we all remembered what fabulous singers we were, and how the world had lost us to other professions, and decided to take turns at the mike between frames. 
It’s amazing how the words to “B-B-B-Benny and The Jets” and “You Light Up My Life” came back so easily that night. At one point, we were singing “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” one of my favorite songs by Joe Nichols, at the exact moment that we spotted several high school students on a nearby lane, staring aghast and at these adults who were clearly spending their summer driving right off the old sanity cliff.
(Even our limousine driver, Tony, who really liked us and whom we invited to bowl with us, eat with us, and sing with us, looked like he kind of would rather have hung out with the shocked and appalled teenagers.)
On the way home, the birthday girl stood with the top half of her sticking up through the moon roof, loudly proclaiming her star quality all the way downtown and through the Ohio State University campus, daring someone to make something out of it.  Fortunately, the college students are gone, or there could have been an ugly incident. 
The whole night was Camelot for my sister, Susan, whom we assisted into the house at the end of the evening ... uh ... well, someone assisted someone, I don’t exactly remember, not that I forget things ... like Susan ... who’s 60. Ssshh.

Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker.  Readers may contact her at chh@heraldsun.com, or by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.