Eleven Times Three

While the day is just now arriving, my birthday celebration officially began several weeks ago, on New Year’s Eve, when while home for Christmas break I had the chance to share the festivities with my older sister, Melyssa, and my niece, Audrey, both of whom have end of December birthdays. Being the “big kids” out of the bunch, Melyssa and I deferred to the desires of the sprite-like Audrey, whose wishes included a very pink, very princess birthday party.

In grand fashion, we enjoyed the house swathed in Pepto-pink.  (While I am a total pink girl myself, my tastes run in the direction of raspberry more than cotton candy.) From balloons bedazzled with Disney princesses to a sparkly, pink-pearl embossed cake, it was as if we had fallen into monochromatic land. Colors no longer existed, just shades.

As the big 3-3 has finally arrived (years that are multiples of eleven seem a bit more grand than the others),  in honor of it here are, in a totally random order,  thirty-three things I’ve learned over the last three and a third decades:

  1. There is no appropriate place on a resume to put elementary school perfect attendance awards, but I am sure that the lack of missed days contributed to future job offers is some way, shape or form.
  2.  Not only is it okay, but it is brilliant to buy that cute pair of shoes (or perfect fitting pants or adorable top or cute necklace) in every color offered.
  3. Studying abroad in the Caribbean is definitely a good choice when the options are either northern Utah or Dominican beach in January.  Learning experiences aside, snow-capped mountains always lose to white sandy seashore.
  4. Icy Hot and sunburns should not be mixed. (A small fact I picked up on during the sojourn mentioned in #3.)
  5. Sometimes checking the “no preference” box is the best option. That little box is what landed Thad and me in rural China with Peace Corps for two years and we couldn’t have chosen a better site on our own.
  6. Being a picky eater is fine, as long as you can justify why you don’t eat certain foods.  Reasonable explanations may include “too pointy” (usually in reference to the ends of bananas), “too knobby” (mostly used for chicken strips that are strangely bumpy) and “looks too much like a trashcan” (always for tater tots!).
  7. Just because you already own three copies of a single book does not mean you shouldn’t buy another one when you find it on clearance table for a dollar at a library sale.  You can either shelve it with its compatriots or give it away to someone in need of a great read. There is no such thing as too many books.
  8. 8th graders are the world’s most fascinating species. On one hand, they are still kids, willing to do nearly anything for a sticker, and then on the other hand, in the exact same moment, they are sending texts that would make a madam blush.  (Just don’t combine the two halves or you will face a whole different terrifying predicament!)
  9. Soda pop out of a fountain machine is always the best. I think it has to do with the straw. The fizzy drink hierarchy goes: fountain, bottle, can.
  10. My experience tells me that old people can get away with nearly anything. With little repercussion they can speak their minds (or what is left of them.) They act with near impunity. No one corrects the geezers.  As I inch closer to those grand days myself, I am taking this opportunity to wield the old-folks’ license and do what I want.  No one, myself included, wants to read a list of thirty-three anything, so…enough!

Age has brought wisdom. It may not be not conventional wisdom, and is definitely not street smarts, but an acumen all of its own. The princess party is nothing more than a memory and another year of wisdom has been added to my mental file cabinet. Thirty and three has arrived.

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