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Showing posts from December, 2019

Turning Seventy

  On my fortieth birthday, the “morale” committee at the middle school where I worked decked the teachers’ lounge with black crepe paper, black balloons, and black cardboard cutouts of head stones announcing I was “over the hill” and “older than dirt.” I realized I shouldn’t have been so forthcoming about my age. As I slunk away to the teachers’ parking lot at the end of the day, I found my silver convertible covered in more birthday graffiti. They left a bull’s eye open on the front windshield so I could drive it home, but I stopped at the first car wash and erased all of it. That was thirty years ago. I don’t remember my fiftieth birthday nor my sixtieth. My birthday amnesia stems partly from a divorce when I turned fifty, and I was wiser when I turned sixty and kept my age a secret from everyone but a close few, but this one is big. It’s real. I can no longer pretend to be “young.” I may never be older than dirt but I am definitely “over the hill.”   I don’t feel old nor d

Mankind Was My Business

“Mankind was my business; . . . charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all, my business.” I scanned past the many videos on social media of people fighting over things during Black Friday sales. People elbowed others to claim televisions or rice cookers. They trampled each other and wrestled dolls and video games out of outstretched hands, then they laughed derisively as they headed for the checkout counters.     *      *      * The term Black Friday has a long history –before it came to represent the big sales day after Thanksgiving where stores vie with each other to attract sales, it used to refer to the Wall Street Crash of the 1860’s. It all has to do with money and economics.   Merchants willingly go into the “black” to meet sales quotas, but don’t let that fool you. If done right, they do not lose any money. They make up any loss by selling in volume, and often, once customers have been lured into their store, they buy other items.              I think we s