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What a Birthday Will Do To You

July 25, 2006

I had a birthday recently. My plan was to cancel it due to lack of (my) interest, but Mr. W. and my mom didn't believe me, so I got a couple of quite cool presents. More on those in a moment.

I'm vain enough to realize that the years (and gravity) are not my best friends these days. However, I was brought up short yesterday by my reflection in a shop window. Who is that?

Now, granted, I've never been accused of being a girly-girl. I didn't frou-frou myself up for an afternoon of strolling Old Town in 100 degree weather, but do I often go out of the house looking like one of "those" women?

Wait. I can already see that this isn't going to come out the way I mean it to. You know how you're at a community fair and you see a not-young-but-not-old woman with long, semi-unkempt hair, wearing clothing and sensible shoes obviously for comfort, blatantly flaunting said comfort in the face of the Fashion Police? The woman that you just assume is (or is married to) a biker - and I'm talking Harley, not Schwinn - and who is no stranger to manual labor. Because she has to be, not because she wants to be. She's lived her life. It hasn't been an easy life. She is W-O-M-A-N. She gets tools instead of flowers...

That's who was looking back at me yesterday. While I have seen "those" women throughout my life (and secretly thought fondly and sometimes sadly of what they must have been through in their life), when did I become one? I'm not sure how I feel about this. And for the record, neither Mr. W. nor I have a Harley. He does, however, have a Schwinn...

Now onto the cool presents, while I avoid coming to terms with that person in the window. Mom sent me a Barnes & Noble gift card. She hadn't even read my blog post about The Rules of Gift-Giving beforehand, but she nailed it straight on. I had mentioned that I was hoping for one or two of Barbara Walker's knitting stitch books, so she was hoping that I'd be able to pick just what I wanted. Guess what? Barnes & Noble doesn't carry them!! This is NOT the end of the world. The day that I am unable to spend $$ at Barnes & Noble will be the day after I die.

Mr. W. took a convoluted path, but managed to get me this:


It's a Garmin Street Finder i5, a portable auto GPS system. WAY cool. It talks to me ("turn left", etc.), shows me where I am, how fast I'm going, how long it will take to get to my destination. It even finds points of interest (first place we looked for was Starbucks, of course!) and gets me there. And another cool thing? It can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, so I can use it wherever I am, whether I own the car or not!

So far, I've had only one semi-minor problem (cough) with it. It doesn't know that at least one of the streets in Longview is a one-way. Of course, I find this out while trying to navigate with it, driving due west at sunset, already blinded... It says, "turn right". I start to turn right. Mr. W. freaks out- "That's a ONE-WAY! That's a ONE-WAY!" Okay, so disaster averted. I turn right at the next corner, the i5 re-calculates my route. It keeps recalculating and trying to get me back to that street and then to turn left, because it doesn't understand why I'm looping around to above my destination. Once I've gone far enough north, the recalculation is accurate and it gets me to where I wanted to be. No undertone of {Moron} or {Idiot} when I don't do what it tells me to do, just a patient recalculating of what I need to do next. (What a nice change from my previous navigator, whose name will be withheld....!)

Not too bad for a cancelled birthday, huh?


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