It’s my birthday, but I ain’t no granny yet!

This is my Granny! Wasn't she wonderful?

Did your granny rock a smokey eye?

Mine either.

My maternal grandmother looked like a granny. White hair. Sensible shoes. Always face powder and pink lipstick. Maybe a little rouge. Blue Grass perfume.

Blue Grass smells like granny.

Today I turn 49. Words like “age appropriate” and “sensible” have started creeping into my mind as parts of my anatomy start creeping from where they started to where they seem to want to wind up. Things have drifted and rearranged themselves. My washboard is more like a washcloth wadded up in the bottom of the sink. I’m pudgy behind the knees. I have upper arm jiggle. I think I remember having a chin.

I’m turning 49, y’all. I’m realistically more than halfway to the end of the red dirt road. No longer a green seedling, but an old pine that’s more likely to break than bend. Knotty in places. A little prickly.

I’m turning 49, and I can’t see to drive after dark. My parents always treated events that happened after dark like strange and dangerous missions into the unknown. “Get home before dark” was our mantra. I always swore that when I grew up, I’d wait for the darkness and go out in it every chance I got. I’ll by God tempt fate and let the sun set on me every chance I get, I thought. I’ll see what all those bad things are that happen after the clock strikes midnight because you know nothing good happens then. I’ll see what goes on during those dark hours that everyone is so afraid of.

Now that I’m turning 49 I know what it is. It’s nothing. Now I know my parents just couldn’t see.

I’m turning 49, and along with my chin and my abs, somehow my groove has crept away too. I used to flat tear a dancefloor up, but now when I try to get down I look like somebody from Funniest Home Videos. I can’t put my finger on the exact minute I went from disco queen to hoedown horror, but I can tell you that when they say “dance like no one is watching,” they are setting you up for a fall. Everyone is watching. And laughing.

Now you know.

I’m turning 49, but fortunately for me, I didn’t get the early gray gene in my bloodline. My hair is still blond, although I’ve seen a stray gray here and there. They poke up from the crown of my head like broken banjo strings but there is no deliverance from the inevitable. And while my hair isn’t gray or white, my blond has gone from beachy to dishwater over the years, but fortunately that can be helped. Thanks be to the sweet baby Jesus for the miracle of modern beauty products and my miracle worker, Chase.

I’m turning 49, and I’m not ready to be a granny (although I do have a step-grandbaby who’s got me wrapped around his pudgy little finger). I’m not ready to be sensible like an old shoe. And I’m sure not ready to be appropriate — age or otherwise.

Why in the world should I start now?

I may be turning 49, but I’m still me! Should I change just because I’ve ripped another page off the calendar? There’s no magic age where you have to give up the ghost and head to your rocker to tick off the last years of your life.

I’m turning 49. And you’d better believe that if you’re watching, I’ll be dancing like I just don’t care. It might be my knees that pop and lock, but I’ll still be shaking my groove thang. (However, let me tell you right now, if you video me and send it in to FHV, I’ll hunt you down and … sing to you … and if you’ve ever heard me sing, you know that’s a threat).

I’m turning 49, and I’m going to stay out past dark. You know why? Because I live in the city where we have street lights! I don’t have to find my way home down an inky dark country road. I don’t have to watch out for deer that try to shoot across the road only to stop and stare into my headlights. In fact, I don’t even have to turn the damn headlights on to find my way.

I’m turning 49, and I’ll still be loud. I’ll still joke and cut up. I’ll still cuss. I’ll be the first one there and the last one to leave, even if it is after dark. Shoot, I might even crochet myself a bikini and sport it out on the beach at Gulf Shores. Yes, crocheting is my granny superpower, but I’ve been doing that for 25 years or more now so it doesn’t make me old.

I’m turning 49, and I’ll still be wearing my Dr. Marten boots, concert tees, and jeans. And if you see me doing the fit-and-flare dress, pearls, and pumps bit, it’s because I want to, not because it’s “appropriate.” And my heels will be sky-high and so will my spirits.

I’m turning 49, and you’d better believe I’ll be rocking a smokey eye because I ain’t no granny yet!