It all started when I attended a birthday party for a fellow member of the Hot Flashes, a senior tap dance group I had been invited to join in California. I thought it was a nice gesture on the part of the director, but I soon learned that the birthday party was actually a farewell party – what a shock! I had no idea that when a member turned 80, she was kicked out of the group. Instead of getting a birthday gift, the guest of honor was asked to give one – her costumes back! Her days, or shall I say dances, were numbered.
I had to think fast. My picture along with my age would soon appear in the new program. It only took a minute for me to decide to shave off 10 years from my birthdate. After all, 10 was easy to work with, and it might allow me to be the last dancer standing – I mean, tapping.
Suddenly, I felt empowered and I slowly began to believe and even feel my new age. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? It wasn’t really a lie, just a fabulous fabrication. And I figured I could always reclaim my actual age, perhaps in my 90’s when people like to brag that they’re still alive.
As it turns out, my days with the Hot Flashes were indeed numbered when I relocated to Indiana. And when I moved, the lie traveled with me. There was no turning back, especially since there was a woman in my new group who had a friend in the Hot Flashes. I actually felt 10 years younger, so I embraced it – never gave it a thought and still don’t.
Later I started my own entertainment group, but one with no age limit. Our oldest member was a 97-year-old singer, and we’ve had many performers in their 80s. Who cares? The show still goes on.
So how old am I, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. I’m having a senior moment, and I just can’t remember!