I decided, many a-moon ago (when I was 13), that I was going to live to be 113 years old.
Yep, that’s right. I’m going to be an active, sprightly, fun-loving, white-haired and with a quick laugh, mint green velour-workout-suit wearing 113 years old.
You might ask, “But Sharon, WHY??”
Well, I’ll tell you why. I was 13 years old in 1976, our country’s Bicentennial year. At 13 I was into all things Bicentennial. It seemed so grand, so old and so ACHIEVED! Wow, 200 whole years old, and look at the US of A just GO!! I mean, we were truckin’.
My father had heard that the National Archives were going to collect signatures for a time-capsule that would be reopened in 2076 to mark the Tri-Centennial. He packed us all in our station wagon and took us down to see the Declaration of Independence and to sign our names for the time-capsule. I remember I had been recently working on my unique-to-me signature. One that would signify how adult and grown up I was. One that was befitting the movie star or songstress I was convinced I was destined to become.
I waited my turn in line, picked up the pen and put it to paper and produced the most flourished signature I could muster. I must admit, it was rather anti-climactic after all those pages I’d been practicing my scrawl on, but I thought it was pretty good and I was satisfied.
This was NOT what made me determined to live to 113.
What ACTUALLY inspired that particular thought was a toilet seat with Bicentennial coins encased in Lucite.
When I saw it, I knew right then and there, that I was going to live to be 113. I just HAD to see what my country was going to do to “commemorate” the birth of the greatest nation in the world that could top the absurdity of encasing the specially memorialized legal tender of my country in plastic and designed for the use of sitting on to remove waste products from my body. It’s a lofty goal, wouldn’t you agree?! I can see that you are all now carefully considering this idea and understanding that even at the tender age of 13, I was the forward (read warped) thinker you’ve come to know me as.
And since I’m going to stick around to see what ELSE they can come up, I think I’ll go back to the National Archives and find my grandiose signature in the time-capsule book. At first I thought that one of my great-great grandchildren might have to wheel me past so I could see it, but I realized recently that is not a realistic thought. I needed to return to my early teen years for inspiration on the true way I’d go see that signature. I’m going to walk, on my own and in my mint green velour work-out suit, right up to that case and look in. I’ll see my signature and feel proud that I’d worked so hard to make it look so grandiose, and then I’m going to go home and relax, knowing I’d done what I said I would.
And if I die before I wake…. well, you might know the rest of that saying…..