40s club gets a new member

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, July 29, 2015

“Almost time,” the server down on West Cherokee mouthed at me silently, moving to join her posse of pizza toters behind a customer unaware.

Good thing, since I had to find my phone (which is notoriously unfindable), set up the recording thingie on it (at which I am notoriously unskilled), and capture the coming scene while taking part in it.

Did I mention I have trouble finding my phone?

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In spite of my deficiencies, though, I somehow managed to video it, that mélange of clapping and singing and a crowd being called to birthday attention. Yes, I got it (well, most of it), and the look on my friend M.’s face, too. You have to love a device that lets you store away a moment like that.

Because it isn’t often that six of us soul sisters (as in “walking the narrow road that leads to life” soul sisters) walk right on past the pile of whites that need folding and the floor that needs sweeping to drive somewhere solo at supper time. But we did that night, because we had some big celebrating to do around a gourmet Wild Greek and a large pepperoni with olives and mushrooms. Significant birthdays, you see, demand extravagance. No plain old sausage will do.

We were having an initiation of sorts — into the 40s club — and not a single one of us 40-somethings was wearing black. Or discussing that it’s the decade you start to fall apart. Oh, no. We at the birthday table chose to pass our plates and focus on the positive.

We mentioned mid-life achievements, like finally getting rid of those jeans we’ll never fit into again. And being okay with it.

We discussed how it feels to receive dividends from investments that are reaching maturity (our children).

We noted that reading glasses really are a great fashion accessory.

And we told stories — a heap of them — the kind that take a bit of mileage to acquire. Unfortunately, at our age, we may have forgotten we’ve told them all before, just like we forget where we put our phones.

Which brings us back to that recorded birthday moment I mentioned earlier.

It seems my turn as the pizza paparazzi didn’t go unappreciated. The wonder of technology allowed M. to send the footage from our party to her mother four states away, all in the space of about a nanosecond. What mom wouldn’t delight in seeing her child feted, whether she’s turning 4 or 40? I should have sent her a photo of the birthday cake, too — a stack of chocolate-drizzled biscotti balanced on a piece of fine china. (I have a thing for fine china. And M.’s biscotti recipe.)

Later, over that bowl of biscotti and the two remaining pieces of pizza, we soul sisters put away the stuff of this world and talked of having half a life left and how we need to be living it. We talked the truth of who we are, and what we hope to take into eternity.

It was iron sharpening iron and wounds that can be trusted, and it was perfume and pleasant counsel and all the rest of Proverbs 27:9. It was good. Real good. So good, in fact, that I hope the 40s club will make a big exception come March – or at least start a new chapter for its alums.


Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.