Today is International Very Good Looking, Very Damn Smart Woman's Day, so says Jane. She sent me one of those very-irritating-emails I normally delete. But, because Jane's a new friend, and to humor her, I scrolled down instead of deleting and found the sentiment worth thinking about.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO what a ride!'"
I remember the day my son Blake talked the Chinese ticket-taker at the Great Wall into letting him shoot down the mountainside in their tin bobsled run, a quarter mile or more of snaking switchbacks, a real-live shoots and ladders game. The old guy made everyone stand in line for ten minutes while the guy getting on just before Blake made the bottom, thus clearing the way for Blake. Grin on his face and raring to go, Blake was on his way. From up top, we could hear him whooping and hollering all the way down, his voice and echos trailing behind like a thousand kite tails; now and then we caught blurred images of him careering downhill through the trees. What a ride!
When it came to my turn, I actually dared to let up on the brake and allow myself to hurtle so fast that the spotters along the way "thumbed down" in frantic signal for me to slow down. No way! I got to the bottom all wobbly with the adrenalin rush. Two old equivilents to London's White Tower Beefeaters, only with no teeth, left Blake's side and animated chatter to flank me. Blake came over and, with a very odd grin on his face, translated. "They think you're hot."
Ah! Is that what skidding sideways into the grave is like? What I'm trying to figure out right now is, How did I forget that lesson?