… on feeling twenty-two (plus a couple of decades (plus))


Happy Twenty-Two

Taylor Swift sings a song about being twenty-two.

The chorus is “I don’t know about you, but I’m feelin’ twenty-two…”

And it is as young and punchy sounding as those upbeat, hippity-happity words would have you think.

She’s twenty-two. She’s feelin’ it. She is a happy girl.

And I’m happy for her.

Although now she is 23.

I know because I just looked it up. Her birthday is December 13th. This makes her a Sagittarius. I am also a Sagittarius. So I am just like Taylor Swift.

Minus the international fame and backup band.

Plus a couple of decades… sigh…. plus a few more years… sigh again….that’s a lot of adding.


Minus a Mini Pinscher (short for a Miniature Doberman Pinscher), that she calls ‘Bug’.

Good thing too… if I’m going to get a Doberman, I’m getting the full-size version and naming him something like ‘Gladiator’. And if Taylor and I become good friends in the future, I will re-name her dog ‘Mini Me’ and we can walk our dogs together.

What was I…


Mac turned 22 the other day, and she, Half-Kid Jack, and I went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut and ate a ridiculous amount of great food and toasted with champagne.

Because of the stars.

You know, ‘Come quickly, I am tasting the stars’?

Hang on let me look it up.

Oh crap.

I just found out that quote is erroneously attributed to Dom Perignon.

Turns out that Dom, a monk, didn’t invent champagne or even sparkling wine.

Well, Wikipedia says that he did work very hard on the problem of re-firmentation though.

I suppose that’s something.

Because if a bottle re-firmented due to the sugars not converting to alcohol?  Two words:



One bottle would explode, and the shock would make the next one explode, and the next and the next and the next!

Though all of this would make a very cool movie scene, it turned out to be a little dangerous because corks were like ouch-y bullets to the worker bees in the wine cellars.

Hence, Dom’s scientific work on the prevention of re-fermentation was admirable.

Admirable enough to have Moet and Chandon name their best champagne after Dom.

Ya, right?

I had no idea that Dom Perignon was just the upmarket model of Moet.

It’s like Toyota’s ‘Lexus’.

Or Volkswagen’s ‘Bentley’.

Or Oscar Meyer Bacon’s ‘Center Cut’.

You can’t fool me people.


So Mac turned twenty-two in Stamford Connecticut and the reason that only Half-Kid Jack and I were with her was that I came down from Maine (wouldn’t do that for just anyone) to help them hunt for their first apartment.

Very exciting.

So we went all over Stamford Connecticut and the ‘kids’ had their first experience with:

1. Realtors:  “Oh, sure you can have a cat in this apartment. It’s pretty private. No one will know. I won’t even call the owner to verify. Just sign here.”

2. Used car salesman masquerading as leasing agents:  “A one bedroom? A one bedroom?! Well, we never have those come up for lease. Let me check… Um…. Oh LOOK! We have one!  And… when were you looking to move? Amazing. It is available for that. exact. date. The rent? Let me calculate… um considering that you already told me you are college grads, I’ll add a little for that. And you have incomes.. I’ll add a little for that. Oh!, and you seem well dressed and are wearing good shoes… Okay, I’ll add that all up and not tell you about any specials and let me see the rent for this closet-sized one bedroom comes up to…17 kajillion per month. A real deal, I tell you.  Okay, now let’s add a deposit for the cat, septic, water, utilities, security deposit, move in fee I have no control over and… specials? Oh, I don’t think we are running any. Wait. WAIT! Don’t go… I think I might have found a special!”

and 3. Real leasing agents who want you to rent their apartments and tell you about all that is included and not included right up front and bring you to the exact apartment you would be moving into.

The ‘kids’ went with door number 3.

And they applied yesterday and were approved yesterday and are so excited and it reminds me of how excited the Nearly Perfect Husband and I were when we were about to move into our first place.

We had nothing.

No towels or sheets.  No forks or spoons or knives. No bed or sofa or dining room table.

We had John’s stereo – a single plastic until with indents between the radio, turntable, and tape deck areas so that it looked like we had three separate components (didn’t really fool anyone).

Mr. and Mrs. D. (I called them that then… later they would become ‘Granny’ and ‘Grampa’ (the Old Yankee Man))… anyway, they bought us a 19″ television.

We had enough saved for a cheap sofa and a coffee table that was glass and faux rock (we called it ‘fox rock’. It was really cardboard covered with stucco).

We ate cheap pasta on a picnic blanket in the ‘dining room’ space for months and months.

It was awesome.

Our own place.


And now Mac and Half-Kid Jack are about to move into their own place.

I am smiling like a crazy person every time I think about it.

They are excited about the place, nervous about their budget, elated about stepping from our nest and into theirs, and panicked that they are ‘on their own’.

They are every single one of these things, swirled into toothy smiles and teeth clenched in excitement.

And me?

I don’t find myself bracing for an empty nest, or anticipating days or weeks or months on end with nothing in my head but wondering what they are doing. I have friends who think I’m in denial. But these are the same people who looked at me with the same pity and warnings when my kids started going to college.

But I’m elated for them (was with the college thing too).

Yes, of course it’s a new chapter. But it’s a new chapter in all of our lives.

You know those novels that are so engrossing and interesting – whether they are terrifying or happifying – that you can’t wait to find out what’s next, but don’t want it to ever end because then the book will be done and what will you do next?

The book doesn’t end when your kids move out.

You still get to turn the page.

And, as it has always been with this particular book, the next chapter is often and unexpectedly way better than the last one.

I can’t wait.

Thanks for readin’.


As always, you can come on over to Just Ponderin’s Facebook page to comment or just hang out.



Oh also! A photo of Half-Kid Jack with his head up a bull’s butt.

Because…well… funny.