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Thursday, October 2, 2014

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.


Shelly said...

Even fully sober, I suspect she would have lost that bet.

vanilla said...

More than doubling your money, you increased that feeling-really-good-about-yourself. C'mon, admit it.

Anonymous said...

And every time you remember it, you get a little glow.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Of course that does the 35er no credit at all... What? Just sayin'...

&*> Nice repost (I hope, or the meno is worse than I thought and you didn't give up smoking after all)... YAM xx

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

You DO look very young, you remarkably depraved gal, you.

jenny_o said...

A shame you didn't find a couple fifties in your wallet instead. Well played!

VEG said...

And somewhere in the attic is a picture of Pearl with grey hair, tweed coat, head scarf and slippers. :) Well not at fifty, but you know...I'M MAKING A POINT.

Joanne Noragon said...

With Yamini, hope the cigarettes are in the past, to keep that fifties look.

Elephant's Child said...

Big smiles. Again.

Daisy said...

You're on a roll! You should buy a lottery ticket while your luck is still hot! :)

Merlesworld said...

It is a compliment but she could be shortsighted and drunk.

Linda O'Connell said...

You could make a fortune hustling those carny guys who try to guess your age.

Sioux said...

Will $4 even buy you a cheap drink at a dive-y bar?

What a great (and flattering) story.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Pearl, I would never have guessed you were over 35.

River said...

How lovely to be thought fifteen years younger! It's that smile and the 'life is good' attitude of yours.

Anonymous said...

It's the three limes in her gin and tonics....

The Savage said...


Daisy said...

You're 50!!! I never would have guessed! I find I get more depraved with age - lose a lot of silly "hang-ups". So have fun dear Pearl, and thank you for sharing it with us.