Wednesday, March 30, 2005

An Aging Saga

Age is a funny thing, isn't it? On one side of the hill, we can hardly wait to be considered an "adult," and will try to appear older than our birth certificate claims. The years march on, along with life, and there is a point at which age becomes irrelevant. Our friendships are not always defined by age mates, but by shared interests, which can jump generations. We mark all those "significant" birthdays with black balloons, or in my case, a Red Hat. I have two coffee cups which pretty much summarize my whole attitude regarding age. One I purchased myself, which reads, "Age is an attitude." The other was given to me on my last "significant" birthday by a friend, and reads, "If things get better with age, then I must be approaching magnificent."

The scourge of my youth, perennially oily skin, has been my blessing in cronehood, holding off most wrinkles save the laugh lines, of which there are many. Genetics gave me a head of hair that has yet to be touched by coloring agents--unless you count that one horrific experience with "highlighting" in my 20s that left me looking somewhat like a woman with a skunk skin atop her head. Though I don't have the runner's lean muscle mass I once did, it could be a lot worse.

So, with these attitudes and blessings, age for me really is a relative matter. Not so for every member of my family, however...like my mom.

Our understanding of the ages of our parents was thus: Dad was born in 1928, Mom in 1926, making her two years older than Dad when they married in 1951, shortly after Dad graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Engineering. This was the long held understanding of Dad, too.

Until a fateful day about nine years ago. I have a cousin, Diane, who never married. Instead, her gift to the extended family was exhaustive geneaological research which actually turned up an entire branch of Mom's family from her grandfather's first wife. Diane was visiting on this fateful day, at a time when my brother Fritz and his wife Sharon were expecting their third child. Diane had spread out the family tree she'd constructed, and Fritz and Sharon thought it would be fun to look for baby names among the branches. Fritz found his name on the tree and began working backward, but he didn't get very far when he exclaimed, "Hey, this thing's wrong!"

Diane couldn't imagine this to be true, as the database she'd used was one of the most respected tools in geneaological research.

"What do you mean, it's wrong? It can't be!"

Fritz traced back to our parents.

"Well, Mom's birthdate is wrong. It has her down as being born in 1924. It should be 1926."

The room fell silent and all eyes went toward Mom. Finally, she had to say something before the tension caused everyone to crack.

"It was bad enough being TWO years older than your father in 1951!"

The truth came out, almost fifty years after the fact. Dad's response?

"I want an annulment."

Mom's response?

"Can't! You're not Catholic!"

As the shock wore off, little bits of other stories became clear. There was one about Mom making arrangements with the clerk of court to get the marriage license without "worrying" about Dad. The clerk was a childhood friend and bent the rules. Things like that.

At a time when May-December romances seem the norm, Mom's fears seem ridiculous. I asked her if she had lived the lie long enough that she'd just plain forgotten the truth. She never really had.

I'm so glad there are folks like my cousin Diane who are interested in geneaological research. Look at the great stories such research can unearth, not to mention true stories, a family gem.

4 Comments:

At 6:19 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

prada outlet, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, michael kors pas cher, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses wholesale, cheap oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin shoes, replica watches, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, tiffany jewelry, polo outlet, longchamp outlet, nike air max, air max, polo ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet, burberry pas cher, replica watches, nike roshe, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, jordan pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, gucci handbags, christian louboutin uk, uggs on sale, louboutin pas cher, nike free run, nike free, jordan shoes, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, ugg boots, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion jeans, michael kors, timberland pas cher, coach outlet, nike tn, michael kors outlet, north face, burberry handbags, burberry outlet, replica handbags, hogan outlet, nike air max uk, oakley pas cher, hollister uk, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, nike air force, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, ray ban uk, uggs outlet, converse pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike roshe run uk, coach outlet store online, coach purses, polo lacoste, sac hermes, michael kors outlet online, ralph lauren uk, north face uk, michael kors outlet online, kate spade, guess pas cher, hollister pas cher, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, nike free uk, nike air max, lululemon canada, true religion outlet, ray ban pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, new balance, abercrombie and fitch uk, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

hollister, wedding dresses, louboutin, new balance shoes, lululemon, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, converse outlet, chi flat iron, mcm handbags, nike air max, valentino shoes, hollister, baseball bats, beats by dre, herve leger, gucci, instyler, longchamp uk, jimmy choo outlet, hermes belt, babyliss, soccer jerseys, soccer shoes, vans outlet, timberland boots, oakley, mac cosmetics, nfl jerseys, ferragamo shoes, nike air max, p90x workout, asics running shoes, nike trainers uk, vans, north face outlet, iphone cases, reebok outlet, ray ban, nike roshe run, hollister clothing, nike huaraches, ralph lauren, celine handbags, ghd hair, lancel, insanity workout, converse, mont blanc pens, bottega veneta

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

swarovski crystal, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, pandora jewelry, links of london, canada goose, pandora charms, doudoune moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose, swarovski, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, pandora uk, hollister, canada goose jackets, moncler, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, supra shoes, karen millen uk, replica watches, pandora jewelry, moncler uk, ugg pas cher, marc jacobs, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, juicy couture outlet, coach outlet, moncler, moncler outlet, toms shoes, canada goose uk, ugg, louis vuitton, canada goose, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, ugg uk, montre pas cher, thomas sabo, canada goose outlet, moncler, wedding dresses

 

Post a Comment

<< Home