It was bound to happen sooner or later. I turned 57. Thought about what that meant for more than a few moments.
First, I thought about it numerically: 5+7=12. 12÷2=6. 6÷2=3. 1+2=3. 6×2=12.
Now, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but to me it seems that 12, 6 and 3 all have something to do with 57, and how two prime numbers come up with a number that can be divided up in all sorts of ways. Does that mean I’ll have to divide myself all sorts of ways this year? Will I need 12 people to help me out? Or 6? Will I go on three, five or seven dates this year?
My sister was born in 1957 and she’s 62. I was born in 1962 and I’m 57. Think about that one for a moment. And if you add 5+7 here, you get 12. If you 6×2 here, you get 12.
This is what happens when you let your mind wander on your age, and that of your sibling.
Of course, I couldn’t resist looking at my horoscope to find out what this year will mean for me. Eugenia Last said that I should “Choose wisely. Look at what you can do and surround yourself with people who can help. Use intelligence, innovation and charm to get others to see things your way. You can get ahead if you offer something in return for what you want. This is a year of give-and-take and collaboration, so don’t downplay what others have to offer. Your numbers are 6, 14, 22, 27, 35, 41 45.”
Actually, it sounds more like good advice than a horoscope. Why wouldn’t I surround myself with people who can help? And I think I’m pretty intelligent, charming and of course, innovative. I love to collaborate. Look! One of my numbers is 6!
Numbers are kind of everything to me. Not that I’m into math or anything, but I am fascinated with it. I wish I’d been better at it so I could earn a more lucrative earning, like finance. Alas, even with tutors I barely managed a C in Algebra II. And maybe it’s because grasping mathematical concepts is so foreign to my brain, it intrigues me.
I chose to have a birthday party. Nothing big or dramatic. Just a cluster of folks who I find entertaining and fun. You know, friends. Besides, I live in a small cottage and there just isn’t enough room for too many people.
My sister came up and we decorated the dining room. I made coq au vin, gnocchi and quiche, plus put together a cheese plate and bought a really, really, really rich chocolate cake from the neighborhood French bakery. Add to that champagne, hard cider and chardonnay. Everyone came, pretty much on time and we gathered around the table while I placed all that food in the center of it.
No, it wasn’t a wild bacchanal but it was an evening filled with witty banter, lots of laughs and some really gross personal anecdotes. After the cake, my sister turned to everyone and remarked how different this birthday was for me. “How?” someone asked.
“Well,” Sister said, “last year my sister didn’t know many people in this town. She only just moved here. Her husband left her. Her son chose to live with her ex. She was alone. She didn’t really feel like celebrating anything. Now, here all of you are, celebrating her 57th birthday. You’re her friends.”
“And we love her,” said a friend of mine, who sat next to me. Everyone around her agreed.
I honestly didn’t know what to say. Almost felt like tears began to well up inside. But if ever there were a gift more valuable, it was those words and seeing the smiles that came along after them. For a few hours, my house was filled with happiness and so was I.
Maybe turning 57 is a turning point for me.
Should I mention I invited 12 people to the party?