Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May the Fourth Be With You

...and also with you.*

This post is a part of Blog March 2017, a movement for Raising Voices for Freedom of Expression, Knowledge, and Information. We will be broadcasting voices throughout the month of May. Previous blog marcher was Domino Valdano at on May 3, next blog marcher will be Mary McGinley on May 5.

I am unapologetically a nerd. And a Geek God (according to the Geek Test). I have been so for my entire life, even if those particular terms weren't used for girls until I entered high school. Today is May 4th, which has been co-opted by pun-loving geeks and nerds and then elevated first by Lucasfilm's and later by Disney's marketing departments as Star Wars Day. Because puns.

So for Star Wars Day, I hereby post my obligatory photo of my hands-down favorite character from the franchise:

General Leia Organa. Although when I think about Carrie Fisher, I feel more like this:

I loved her when I was 20 in May of 1977 when I first saw the film that was to be retitled "A New Hope". I love her today and I feel her absence the most of all of the famous people who died last year.

It's difficult to separate the woman from the role she played; she admitted this herself in her writings and performances. But what is important for me to write about here and now is that she advocated for a woman's right to grow old. She did it through humor and out of necessity. Really, who among us can continue to look and feel like they did at 20 for the next 40 or 50 years?

I'm staring 60 in the face. It will have consumed me before the year is out. There were older friends who warned me about this milestone birthday. They poo-pooed my trepidation of 40. Of 50. "Wait until you're 60...Then you'll know," they said, ominously. Like they knew something I didn't. I still am not sure about it, but I can guess. I mean, I was alive through the last election cycle.

I don't know what's the huge deal with this "milestone" birthday. Maybe it's because you know for sure that the bulk of your days are behind you and you can see how many of them you squandered. Maybe it's because you realize you'll never ever be an astronaut or a swimsuit model now, and the chances of being a rock star at this point are pretty slim.

Getting old is scary. But it beats the alternative. Still.

*No, I have never been Catholic, but I have many friends and family members who are practicing or lapsed Catholics and apparently the "and also with you" response is programmed into them at an early age.

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