October 5, 1999—on turning 56

Jun 24, 2021 | 2019 Fall - Growing Older, Poetry

Actual remarks made during my birthday celebration week:

By Lani Ka’ahumanu

“Oh, but you don’t look 56! I would have never guessed. Lucky you.”
As if looking 56 [whatever that means] is a negative.

“You’re so young, no one would ever have to know.”
As if people knowing I am 56 is not a positive.

“Don’t worry about it, I thought you were 40!”
As if I should be worried!

“Oh god, you can’t be 56, how depressing. Don’t you feel old? What are you going to do?”
As if there is something to do!

“Why do you tell people how old you are? Just stretch the truth a little, no one will know.”
As if lying is appropriate! As if people knowing is bad!

“Why are you so proud of being 56?”
As if I should be ashamed!

When people say, “OMG, you’re as old as my mom!” Responding “Perfect—is she single?” brings a loud shriek and laughter—fun.

Lani Ka’ahumanu’s business card lists ~ poet, author, educator, artist, bisexual historian, agitator ~ not much has changed in 40 years. Watch for her Bi+OLD Blog on www.lanikaahumanu.org, relaunching December, 2019.

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