How can I be this old when I don't feel any different than I did in college? OK, the knees and back are a little slower and there's definitely more of me to love, but inside I'm exactly the same. So many years and experiences under the belt, but I don't feel any older. I still marvel at the fact that I have children, but they are no longer children. It's hard to reconcile.
My friends feel the same way. I have several close friends that I grew up with and we are all facing the same big birthday, yet we go out and laugh ourselves silly about the same things we laughed about decades ago. Exactly the same things. And they are still funny.
When you have lifelong friends they know all your secrets. There's no BS. They can pull up some obscure moment from your past in every detail and have you in stitches in no time.
In 1980 - yes 36 years ago - I went to Europe with my friend Nonie and my sister Kate. We spent weeks traveling around with our backpacks sleeping on trains and having a great time. When we were in Salzburg, Austria we took a "Sound of Music" tour. It was something Nonie really wanted to do and of course we went along. It turned out to be one of the most memorable and most hilarious days of my life. This is partly because it was the morning after a late night at a local beer garden. We were seriously hung over but rather than fumble our way through it, we decided to fully embrace this tour. It was small, just the three of us, a guide and a Japanese man who sold Harpsichords. Of course we named him Lurch. He excitedly told us he saw the movie seven times (and this is before the days of vcrs and dvds). That started us laughing and we never stopped. Lurch laughed right along with us.
We went to the house and grounds the Von Trapp Family lived in the movie. It was beautiful, of course and we had to reenact the scene in the Gazebo where Liesl and her soon-to-be-Nazi boyfriend sang "I am 16 going on 17." It was hilarious and ridiculous and I know given the chance I would do the same thing again.
I may have aged, but I have not matured.
I tell you that story simply so I can share this photograph that I received in the mail the other day. Nonie sent it in anticipation of my big birthday. That's me in Salzburg in 1980 doing my impression of Liesl. The caption is more recent.
The lyrics have changed, but the song remains the same.