Author Debbi Wise
The other day, I told an acquaintance my age. “I’m fifty-five.” Then it hit me. Holy cat fur, I just told a fib! My real age…? Well, let’s just say, birthdays are escaping me faster than money in my wallet. It seems just yesterday I was sitting curbside in my hometown, Memphis, Tennessee, with teenager girlfriends, gabbing about the only subject consuming our brains—boys!
Before internet, texting and chat rooms, the curb on Kenosha St. was the place for social networking with my close friends: Judy, Pat, Debra B., Amy, and my sister Kacky. I remember one of our get-togethers when we spotted a creepy, brown spider, his back hairy like sprouts on a Chia Pet. My sister got the bright idea to bump the creature with her shoe. Eck! A gazillion babies scrambled off that spider’s back and scattered in a naked frenzy.
Maybe that’s what happened to all my birthdays. Life bumped into me, and like those baby spiders, the years just took off. Gone. Skedaddled. Gee, what I’d give to go back to my youth. Back when life was as carefree as a pair of flip-flops and cut-off jeans.
Many times I have gone back (to the curb that is) and met with my longtime friends. But due to a few minor issues—creaks in our knees, stiffness in our backs—we sometimes avoid the curb and meet in coffee shops, restaurants, or someone’s cozy kitchen. But no matter where we unite, we talk like chatty teenagers, our souls uniting like jam in a jelly jar. The only difference between forty years ago and now is the topic that consumes our mind. Boy talk…um…not so much. Instead, we discuss those creaky knees, our stiff backs and the best hair color to hide unwanted grey. But more important, we talk about the blessings God gave us in good friendships and style of social networking from the old days of curbside chats.
I was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and lived ten years in New Orleans, Louisiana. My story, We’re In This Together, appeared in Cup of Comfort, Parents of Children with Special Needs, May 2009. Holiday Blockbuster appeared in The Ultimate Christmas series, October 2008. I wrote and performed one-act plays in the New Orleans area. Among them Makin’Groceries, Breakfast at the Southern Café, and Vacation. I now live in Castle Rock, Colorado where I’m a member of the Castle Rock Writers’ Association.