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    Friends tell such lovely lies

    On my 50th birthday, my older daughter gave me a pin that said: 50 is nifty. I wore it to work that day, and what fun it was! All day, people kept saying things to me like, “Anita, you don’t look 50,” or “Why, Anita, you can’t be 50,” and “We know you can’t be 50.”

    It was wonderful. Now, I knew they were lying, and they knew I knew, but isn’t that what friends and co-workers are for? To lie to you when you need it, in times of emergency, like divorce and death and turning 50.

    You know how it is with a lie, though. You hear it often enough, and you begin to think it’s true. By the end of the day I felt fabulous. I fairly floated home from work. In fact, on the way home, I thought: I really ought to dump my husband. After all, the geezer was 51, way too old for a young-looking gal like me.

    Arriving home, I had just shut the front door when the doorbell rang. It was a young girl from a florist shop, bringing birthday flowers from a friend. They were lovely. I stood there holding the flowers and admiring them, and the delivery girl stood there, waiting for a tip.

    She noticed the pin on my jacket and said, “Oh, 50, eh?”

    “Yes,” I answered and waited. I could stand one last compliment before my birthday ended.

    “Fifty,” she repeated. “That’s great! Birthday or anniversary?”

    Anita Cheek Milner, U.S. lawyer, humorist and public speaker, genealogist.  From Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul, Kay Allenbaugh, editor (1997).

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