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Crusty Old Girl

I’m on the down slope to 60; only a week until I hit that number. It’s a big one, and I had planned to rest up a bit before the day and reflect on how I’d like to spend the next decade.  But life intervened, with the holiday season and run-up to my birthday spent dealing with family issues, to use a vague, polite euphemism.

I’m grateful to make it to 60 – provided I live until next week, that is. My sister didn’t see 35, let alone 40, 50 or 60, so her absence has served as a steady reminder that every day above ground is a good day.

Christopher has been home for the holidays.  It’s been a messy holiday season, literally, with the house an unholy wreck, holiday meals hastily flung together, no time to shop for Christmas presents, nothing under the tree for him, and little time to spend with him. I’ve noticed that Christopher uses “crusty” as a catchall pejorative, applying the term liberally and making me laugh every time he says it. He’s used it to mean something dirty or nasty, whether describing the wreckage of his own room or peering dubiously into a wastebasket I’ve asked him to empty. Maybe it’s a millennial thing.

According to Webster’s, “crusty” means “giving an effect of surly incivility in address or disposition.” As I approach my dotage I’ll try to avoid that sour outlook even if the times, both personal and global, seem to justify it. Instead, I’ll take crusty in the form of a freshly baked baguette — warm, fragrant, and eaten in its entirety with butter.