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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

She Works Hard for the Money; or, So Far, Aging Has Been Lucrative


She is drunk.  Not outrageously, and perfectly within reason, seeing as how we are standing outside a bar.

“I’m so sorry to interrupt, but do you have a light?”

We do, and Diana hands it to her.

“Thanks”, she says, exhaling toward the stars.  “I didn’t mean to intrude.”

“You’re not intruding,” I say.

“We’ve just come out for a smoke,” Diana says. “You can join us if you want.”

And she does, because if there’s one thing Northeast Minneapolis is, it’s friendly.  Inside the 1029, a boisterous gaggle of talented drunks are singing karaoke, one of whom who encourages the crowd, to its roaring approval, to “holla, mah ninjas”.

“My favorite part of Nordeast,” the new girl says, “is the age range in the bars.  Twenty-one?  Seventy?  They’re sitting next to each other.”  The streetlamps spill on to the sidewalk, pools of light at intermittent intervals that continue up the block and past two- and three-story houses.

Diana and I nod in agreement.

The girl ashes on the sidewalk.  “I mean, us, we’re all the same age.”

I laugh.  She is clearly younger than I am.

“What,” she says.  “I’ll bet you money that we’re the same age.  I’ll bet you $10.”

I smile at her.  “I’m definitely older.”

“You want to bet?  Within three years, okay?  ”

Along with the admonition to sit up straight, suck in my gut, and straighten the house before company arrives, my parents also instilled a strict money-is-not-for-playing-with policy.  I take a look in my wallet.  I have two dollars. 

“I’ll bet you two bucks,” I say.

We shake on it.  “You’re on.  So how old are you?”

“Fifty,” I say.

Her mouth drops.  She looks at Diana, who is smiling. 

“It’s true,” Diana says, shrugging.  “And yet she lives a remarkably depraved life.”

The girl squints at me.  “Well, I’ll be danged.”

I smile at her.  “How old are you?”

“Thirty-five,” she says, digging in her purse.

I hold up my hands, shake them at her in a gesture of refusal.  “You don’t have to pay me.  I don’t want your money.”

“Nope,” she says, handing me two bucks.  “I always pay my debts.”



And that, my friends, is how I doubled my money Friday night.

42 comments:

Shelly said...

Score one for the Pearl!

R. Jacob said...

I thought you looked thirty five! and I was right!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

You'd be a blast at the "guess your age" booth at the carnivals....
and congrats on looking younger than you are.
Happy July 4 Pearlie girl.

Geo. said...

I can't even guess my own age all at once. It's nearly 8 a.m. and I'm just over 60. An hour ago I was twice that. Excellent post.

Joanne said...

It probably is the extreme lenght of the extreme cold every winter that keeps all of you young.

SparkleFarkle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SparkleFarkle said...

$urely you would do well with your own carnival booth.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

--and it's two bucks well earned...LOL

fmcgmccllc said...

Good genes or as Joanne said, y'all are too flash frozen to age. You look great in the picture.

haphazardlife said...

Remarkably depraved. I like that.

Lynn said...

Looking 15 years younger that you are? Sweet!

Lynn said...

Looking 15 years younger that you are? Sweet!

ellen abbott said...

man. maybe I need to come up there. I've been looking for alternate forms of income. where did you say that bar was?

Ms Sparrow said...

Don't spend your winnings all in one place!

TexWisGirl said...

lucky you! winning money AND looking 35 instead of 50!

Eva Gallant said...

You go, Pearl!

fishducky said...

I don't know how I would have done on that bet. I was born 77 years ago & I'm only 36--don't you just LOVE the new math?

jenny_o said...

And it's just come to me in an epiphany - THAT is why you endure the yoga, hour after toasty hour, stinky strangers and all, isn't it? :)

Buttons said...

Cool just like me I am 110 and only look 59:) B

Buttons said...

Forgot to thank Fishy Duck for the new math:) B

Indigo Roth said...

Double?! Woo hoo! Just do that eight more times and you'll have a grand. Now then... can I borrow a two-spot til payday? =D

Stephen Hayes said...

I hope you invest that two bucks wisely. Save it for your old age, which is many many years away.

NotesFromAbroad said...

This might be a scam that you and Diana have going here ... you really are closer to her age .. aren't you .. go ahead, you can tell me. I won't tell a soul.
My mother used to say that if you tell people you are older than you are, they will think you look So Great For Your Age !!
You are doing that, aren't you ?
love you. C

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Looking younger than your actual age can have its drawbacks too: getting carded when you apply for senior rates, not being taken seriously when you tell people you are a snowboarder, and being expected to know the names of people you forgot about years ago.
Rosemary

Ian Lidster said...

Aw, I thought you were less than 35, dear. BTW, and i know from experience, that 50 is a wonderful age for women. Meanwhile, dumb bet on her part. But she was drunk and that is part of God's penalty.

Leenie said...

All that yoga pays you back in flexibility but also dollars. Way to cheat the calendar, Pearl. P.S. spending a few months every year in cold storage helps.

Gigi said...

According to Fishducky's math I am four - somehow THAT doesn't seem right. I was never any good at math. I'm sticking with 29.

Linda O'Connell said...

I've been on vacation and having serious Pearl withdrawls. Glad to be catching up.

HermanTurnip said...

I remember being a kid and betting on football games with my dad. The limit? 25 cents. And people wonder why I'm not willing to throw down big money on bets. When I'm in Vegas it's strictly the $5 blackjack table for me where I can mingle with other like-minded tightwads...

vanilla said...

Few people are blessed like that, and you are blessed!

(What happened to the parental rule that money was not to be played with... oh, there was no risk, you knew!)

ThreeOldKeys said...

happy 236th U.S. birthday, young lady. and happy independence days.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You should have done the 10.

PattiKen said...

Don't you just love it when that happens?

Tempo said...

You win all around Pearl. First you get the money and now of course you can honestly claim to look 35.

NellieVaughn said...

That must have felt wonderful. Kind of like when people card me for smokes. Such a lovely feeling. Card away, boys!

River said...

That's it! I'm taking up yoga.
As soon as I can unglue my bum from this chair.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

It's those wonderful genes...are definitely worth two bucks. ":)

Laurel's Quill said...

Let's hear it for beer goggles!!! You do look young, honey!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Well played. And nice use of sunscreen;) That's certainly the secret of your youthful good looks, right?

Susan in the Boonies said...

You do all us fifty-somethings proud, Pearl!

Pat said...

Did I tell you 80 is the new 60?

akh said...

So how does the painting in your attic look?