My idea of a leisurely Sunday afternoon is my couch, a plate of nachos, and Oreo\’s while I watch yet another rerun of Agatha Christie\’s, Poirot. Not so for my best friend, Liz. Hers involve anything announcing to the world we\’ve reached mid-life. Like paying some guy who dresses in nothing but a sheet and sandals twenty-five bucks to teach us how to … get in touch with our inner “baby boomer” selves, to find that child within, to … whatever. For some reason known only to my inner child, I agreed to go along with her latest obsession of self-finding. I should have known when I said, “Okay, okay, stop whining, I\’ll do it,” that it couldn\’t or wouldn\’t be that easy, or that cheap. If it sounds too good to be true …well, you know the rest.

The day before the big event, Liz dropped by to see what I was going to wear to our exercise class. “EXCUSE ME? DID YOU JUST SAY EXERCISE CLASS?” She immediately threw up her hands in defense and said hurriedly, “Nowwwwww wait. It\’s not THAT kind of exercise class. This one exercises your mind and spirit, you see. It\’s not a bunch of jumping around to the beat, or sweating to the oldies. Honest! I saw the sales video. You\’re like a new butterfly, just floatin\’ around the room, basking in your natural beauty after shedding your old skin.” Wondering if she\’d been smoking anything illegal, and still skeptical, I gave her my “come on, convince me,” look, but felt my resistance softening … just a smidge. Hmm … I\’d always liked butterflies, so how bad could it be? (I\’ll never learn, will I?)

“So why are you here at 9:00 on Saturday morning when we aren\’t scheduled to find ourselves until tomorrow?” The other shoe fell. “Welllllll…don\’t you think it would be nice to have new outfits to wear to class to match our new skins? I really would like for you to wear something else besides that t-shirt that says, “I\’m with stupid.” I\’m tired of people pointing and laughing. Let\’s go down to Marie\’s Made Just For You shop and get something made, ah…just for us. Wanna?”

I knew it! I just knew it. I knew my twenty-five bucks was going to sprout wings and eventually dig into my “Cruise for Lovers and Lust” fund; or fun … if you will. I had yet to tag team with Liz that it didn\’t end up costing me the price of a future vacation or liposuction. Not that I would ever DO liposuction. Not me. I was saving it up ah … ahem, for a friend.

I stared at her just long enough to wonder if she had been dropped on her head as a child. Then I started my speech very calmly and let my voice “kick it up” a notch with each breath as I said, “Liz, remember the last time you talked me into joining that class that promised to explore our past lives? And remember how the $19.95 special turned into $495.00. All because they threatened to tell everything we said while “in that other life” and hypnotized? Remember? I had almost saved enough to have one leg lipos—ah, for my love cruise, too. Remember? I\’m saying this one time and very slowly so that even YOU can understand, so listen up. There\’s nothing on God\’s green earth you could say to convince me to accompany you to Maries. Got it? Ain\’t going. Ain\’t gonna happen. End of story. Are we clearrrrrr?!!!!”

She folded her arms on her chest and with a smirk said, “I heard that Joyce Dillon signed up with Mattie Loufer and they bought all new find yourself clothes. Word is that Marie gave miss smarty pants Loufer, a two-fer. Also heard the instructor is single, has a head of hair, his own teeth, well … most of um, and—”

“ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT! You driving?”

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