The event I semi-dreaded for the past year came and went last week.
And what do you know–I didn’t self-destruct.
I turned 50 last Monday.
A joke regarding growing older goes–
Well, it’s better than the alternative!
And yeah. I guess it is.
Anyway…I really did have a lovely birthday weekend. I ate out way more than any human should, and I got to see my grown children and their significant others for lunch on Sunday. On my actual birthday, my son’s girlfriend had him call (how much do you think I appreciate that?) and he told me he loved me before we hung up, and his girlfriend and I got to talk for a little while too, and my daughter wrote a really sweet thing about how much she loves me on Facebook for everyone to see and right before I fell asleep that night she and a couple of friends called and sang Happy Birthday to me.
I spent the evening of my 50th on a date with the man who makes my life a great place to be. We went out for pizza at the place we’ve been going to get pizza from for the past 1 million years.
My special day turned out exactly how I wanted it to be:
Simple. Easy. Familiar. Comfortable. Nice.
I also got to see both of my sisters that night too and that was good.
So, as far as gifts for a girl like me…
If you recall me mentioning before, anytime there’s a gift giving occasion, I pretty much always want the same thing.
I had an appointment to get a tattoo. And I had to put some thought into what I wanted to get because for a long time I couldn’t think of anything I wanted. I had knocked around the idea of getting Mary. You know, the Mother of Jesus? Because out of all of those scary-ass characters I was introduced to as a little girl in church, she was the only one I wasn’t freaked out by. As in–okay, these stories are really scary, but there’s the one lady in the book who wears a scarf on her head who looks like she would hug me and be nice if I got too weirded out by whales and floods and crosses and that devil character.
Also, Mary is beautiful. I like her star halo. I’d wear a star halo like that if I ever got the chance.
I thought about getting her on my arm, but I never really felt 100% gung ho with the idea. I don’t practice the religions she is associated with, and even though she is my favorite in the Bible, I didn’t want anything from the Bible or Christianity on me for eternity. That boat sailed a long time ago and I don’t miss it one bit.
Then I thought, hey wait. How about a goddess? As in, a beautiful woman with a triple crown across her forehead. That’s kinda more my style.
I don’t believe in God as in a real supernatural being somewhere in the universe controlling shit, but when I am super-stressed out and/or in need of comforting, I like to envision a woman out there, somewhere in the stars….
A beautiful grandma-type, who thinks I can do no wrong, who loves me no matter what, sitting in a big rocking chair. She’s always ready to listen to me and whatever I’ve got to say when I need her. That’s my idea of a good God.
That could work as a tattoo, I thought. So I made the appointment to get her on my arm.
A couple of weeks ago, when Bill and I were out to dinner talking about the tattoo I would get for my birthday, I had mentioned I had given a little thought to getting a Patti Smith inspired tattoo. But I didn’t know if it would look good or what. And then I told him about the Goddess idea and he said to me–
Well, who is a bigger inspiration to you?
And I was like, Patti.
He made a good point. He’s good for that kind of thing. So I thought about that for a moment, then we dropped the subject and moved on.
So fast forward to my birthday last Monday. I was feeling weird that morning, just sitting in my recliner, drinking my coffee, turning 50. Feeling old, getting older, feeling blah about it all. I was sitting there scrolling through my Facebook and I clicked on a video of Patti singing Gloria at a show in 2015. There she was with her long grey hair and sweet smile, wearing her jeans and jacket, dancing with Lenny at her side, singing her version of that song we all love, the crowd singing with her, throwing her fist in the air to punctuate each letter
G! L! O! R! I-i-i-i! G-L-O-R-I-A!
It was awesome. That chick has so much energy and she’s so cool. Poet. Mother. Artist. Says OUT LOUD what she wants. Watching that video lifted my mood. I thought to myself–What the hell. Would Patti be sitting around, feeling sorry for herself turning 50? I don’t know. Maybe she gets down every now and then. But in that moment, I was inspired, like I always am, by Patti Smith. I thought, I need to quit dicking around here, get up and get going and have a good day.
Before I did, I posted the video on my Facebook and told all 311 of my friends that I want to be like Patti Smith.
I texted my tattoo artist friends later that day and said–hey, can I get a Patti tattoo instead?
So here ya go.
Done last Wednesday by my friend Naomi Fuller-Brown at her amazing shop Thrill Vulture Tattoo in beautiful uptown Westerville, OH.
I have to say, I love it.
I made the right choice.
It’s not Mary. It’s not the Goddess
It’s so much better than that.
It’s Patti fucking Smith!
He saw Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses!