Thursday, November 11, 2010

Me at 40...

On November 6, 1970 I was born.  I had a mother and father who decided late in life to give it one more shot.  They had 3 older children and it seemed they were quickly approaching their 40th birthdays and it was "now or never".  Why not have a baby in the house again?

So after the Fireman's Ball near Valentines Day of 1970 my parents cooperated with God to create ME!

I have had a life like many people, some hard times, some great times.  I have cried and I have laughed, mostly I have laughed!  Like many young girls I struggled with my image and popularity.  Guys are just guys; they are so "normal" no pretenses or confusion (at least until they get mixed up with girls).  I remember in 4th grade my mom advised me, "Be nice to the boys, they will be your truest friends, the friends you can trust the most."  Anyway, back to ME.

My face exploded into a rash of pimples when I hit 5th grade and it came on strong!  Kids were so very unkind and especially my friends (the girls) strange as that sounds.  I would spend hours looking at myself in the mirror crying and saying "I hate you".  When I think back to this I am amazed I survived, this was so painful.  I was ugly and "strange" compared to all the other girls.  I did not have cute clothes, I had long hair and I wore it in braids (completely against my wishes), I had acne on every inch of my face and spreading down my neck.  The only thing that saved me was that I was athletic and because of my competitiveness I began to excel at sports, mainly basketball.  But I kid you not, I was the only girl on the team who wore Zips.  Zips were the K-Mart tennis shoe made completely of plastic, hard plastic, with NO traction.  Oh I know I was the only girl because I looked at every shoe I saw, praying for one pair of Zips or Adidas or Converse.  No chance -EVERY girl on the team wore Nike's. I couldn't have Nike's because my mom was not going to spend $20 on a pair of shoes!!!  So every month she bought me a new pair of Zips for $5 because a month is about as long as they lasted.  I tried to sell the whole "Nike's will last longer and in the end save you money" routine to no avail.  Oh well, what this did was build character.

Moving on to the point of my story...It was July 25, 1981 and I was waiting for my parents to get ready for Mass.  For some reason we were going to Mass on Saturday night this particular week.  Anyway, a commercial came on about a special broadcast later that night about the upcoming Royal Wedding.  "What?  A Royal Wedding?  There are princess and princesses?  Kings and Queens?"  I was befuddled over this, I thought royalty was in fairy tales only, not real life.

I ran into my parents room and frantically informed them that we had to hurry home after Mass because there was a very important TV special I needed to watch that night and I just couldn't take "No" for an answer.  I remember my parents looking at each other and laughing at my forcefulness.  I was a really good kid and very compliant with whatever I was told.  p.s. I wasn't perfect and hated when kids called me that, but I was a really good kid who had to act tough so I wouldn't get my rear end kicked.

To my amazement there was royalty in the world and the Prince of Wales was about to marry a beautiful young Lady Diana (I never called her Lady Di or Princess Di, I really didn't like when people called her those names).

Now, all summer it was my job to take care of the house.  I would get up by 9:00 am and dust, vacuum, wash clothes and hang them on the clothes line (no dryer in the summer), I washed toilets and sinks, washed woodwork and floors (no mop, hands and knees with "elbow grease" only) and before my mother came home the shag carpet was raked to stand as if it were brand new.  Our home was spotless and it was my job.  By 1:00 pm if, and only if, my jobs were completed I was free to go to the pool or play with my friends.  But on Wednesday, July 29, 1981, I woke up at 8:00 am and rushed to the TV but called my mother at work first to request the day off.  I sat glued to the TV the entire day watching and re-watching the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana until 6:00 pm.  My life was changed!

I will spare you the long version (seriously???!!!) and simply say, Princess Diana saved my life.  I am who I am largely because of Princess Diana.  I loved her and I admired her quite deeply.  When many of my friends were becoming promiscuous, I decided to be chaste and worthy of a "prince".  I worked to support my growing collection of royalty (mostly Princess Diana) memorabilia, before this was cool.  I was in the local newspapers for my vast collection and especially important to me were the many letters I received from various members of the British Royal Family (Ladies-in-Waiting of course).

Everyone who knew me, knew that my life revolved around God and Princess Diana.  I became the resident expert on anything Royal.  People would say, "How is Princess Diana, Kalah?  Is anything new?"  as if we were best friends who spoke daily.  But I always had something interesting to share and never would I tell the rumors.  I couldn't bear to believe anything bad about Princess Diana.

In 7th grade I begged my mom to let me get my hair cut.  I wanted Princess Diana's hair style.  I wore pumps and tights the color of my outfits.  I wore pretty hats and beautiful jewelry.  I think my mom liked my interest in these things, we would have so much fun shopping for that perfect outfit I had in my mind.  Of course I only wore these nice things to Mass, I wasn't courageous enough to wear them to school. 

In my senior year of high school I went to my dermatologist in tears one day and begged for something, anything to stop the acne.  I wanted to be beautiful!  I wanted to not be ugly!!!  I went on Acutane, a new drug that was risky.  After 9 months, my face was clear.  I began to let my hair grow long, something it had not been in 6 years.  In these years with the short hair, I had grown tired of people pinching my cheeks and saying, "Look at those cute chipmunk cheeks".  Nice!!  Just what every girl wants to hear.  I decided I would grow my hair long and when I turned 40, I would return to my favorite "Princess Diana Hair".  I figured 40 year olds were old and really should not have long hair.  hahaha

On November 6, 2010 I turned 40!  Maybe it's the times, or maybe it's all perspective but I don't think 40 is old anymore.  I really do want my hair short, I love the Princess Diana style, for many reasons.  But I'm not so sure I want to have anyone comment on my chipmunk cheeks.  The only time I have heard this in the last 22 years was when I had my hair shoulder length and I was pregnant.  So last week I spent hours pouring over pictures of Princess Diana, considering the long-planned-for haircut.  I almost felt obligated to stick to the plan.  But I came to the conclusion, maybe 60 year olds shouldn't have long hair.  Oh, maybe 70...

1 comment:

  1. My sister asked me if I would get the "mom" haircut now that I have Dominic. lol You are right, 40 is young and you and your long hair are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!