It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Everyone can use some sometimes

I had a birthday recently. A birthday ending in a zero, and thus a Significant Occasion. An occasion which we commemorated with a celebration in our favourite local pub, to which a few (dozen) people were invited, including my clients.

Now, my day-to-day persona is casual. Which is only sensible, given what I do. I wear the same pair of jeans all week. Well, barring truly revolting messes, that is. I suspect, mind you, that what I would term “truly revolting” is probably several orders of magnitude beyond what would preclude anyone else from wearing it. (Yes, indeedy. And people leave their children with me. I know!)

Yesterday afternoon I had the children outside, festooning my sidewalk with chalk. Which meant, of course, that they festooned their small hands and knees with the stuff also, with generous drifts of it scattered about their clothing as well. As each parent arrived, mindful of parental work garb, I dusted the child down before handing them over. Most of the kids go home in strollers or on bike trailers, but Tyler and Emily were collected by car.

We dusted them down, but Tyler’s hands were inches thick in chalk, enough to coat the entire back seat of the car, I’m sure.

“Here, sweetie. Use my jeans.”

Dad’s eyes widen. “Oh, no! You don’t need–” But it’s done. His face is a study of chagrin, which I hasten to assuage. “Oh, it’s no problem. I know, I know: normal people shower at the beginning of their day, but, for me? Well, what would be the point?”

We chortle at that. Yes, indeed. Chalk dust is the least of it,

So, yes. Casual. Jeans, turtlenecks and sweaters in the winter. Skirts (nice long, flowy ones for practicality and a modicum of modesty) and t-shirts in the summer. Make-up? Hardly ever. Jewelry? Equally rarely.

So, my birthday party. A casual venue, but still, an evening affair. For which I went to a certain amount of effort with my appearance.

A mother commented today. “So the husband and I dropped in and looked around for you, and we saw your husband, and he’s with this woman! And she’s wearing make-up, and her hair is all done nicely, and she’s wearing nice clothes, and we said to each other ‘Who is that sexy woman with Mary’s husband??'”

Hee. It seems I still clean up pretty well. (Even at my advanced age!!)


March 31, 2011 - Posted by | commemoration | , ,


  1. Ha! Happy belated birthday!

    Thank you!

    Comment by Sharkey | March 31, 2011 | Reply

  2. That’s a brilliant ending! And if it’s the 0 I think it is, you’re still young enough to be my daughter (and I’m young and gorgeous, okay?).

    happy birthday.

    Unless you’ve passed the big seven-oh, I doubt it… But either way, I’m quite SURE you’re young and gorgeous. Just like me. 😀

    Comment by Z | March 31, 2011 | Reply

  3. Oh, Happy BIRTHDAY!! I’m sure you looked beautiful!

    My clothing choices are equally (atrocious) sensible! What’s the point when I’m likely to be rolling around on the floor, or covered in some kind of cooking or art activity, and just hoping to avoid having my hair pulled or earings ripped out by chubby baby fingers. Oh, you know how it goes. 🙂

    I do, indeed know how it goes! And thank you for the birthday greetings. I felt beautiful, mostly because very nearly EVERY person I invited, came. Do I need anything more to make me feel gorgeous? Not really!

    Comment by C. | March 31, 2011 | Reply

  4. I will be joining you in the same number that ends in 0 on my next birthday. I’m confident it’s the same number because of the need to be 70 to be my mother too! (Though my actual mother turns 90 today.)

    I love that your parents got to see a whole other side of you – the you that is a beautiful, stylish person. It’s often difficult to imagine people outside their workplaces; especially so for those in childcare.

    Happy Birthday, I hope it’s a fabulous decade for you!

    Yes, I’m pretty sure we’re just about age-mates. My mother was quite young when I was born, as her mother was when she was born. I was my grandmother’s first grandchild. She was 39 when I was born, if you can imagine!

    Comment by Maisy | April 1, 2011 | Reply

  5. Happy Birthday Mary! I’m sure your ROCKED the glam look!

    Thanks for being such an inspiration around here!

    Thank you! I don’t know that I achieved ‘glam’, but it was definitely a cut above chalk-dust jeans and paint-spattered t-shirts!

    Comment by Chelsea | April 1, 2011 | Reply

  6. I just had a birthday ending with 0 as well. Pretty traumatic!

    No, no, no. Wrong attitude entirely! Birthdays ending with 0 are the start of something new and exciting!!! (Me, I’m hoping for menopause.) 😀

    Comment by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy | April 5, 2011 | Reply

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