Being Myself

There was a napkin on the picnic table at a lunch I went to last week. On it was an Oscar Wilde quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

Under the writing was a picture of a woman of another century barely covered in what looked like palm fronds and Christmas ornaments.

The wrinkled stained napkin spoke to me.

It said, “Borrow this quotation and use it as an invitation to the story readings you’ll be doing Saturday, October 14, at 3:00 PM at the Art Parlor at 5302 Laurel Canyon in Valley Village.”

It said, “You are finally going to tell some of the family stories you wrote long before confessing you were a geriatric prom queen. The stories are about parents, brothers and cousins no longer around to protest.

I used to want to write like John Updike and Dorothy Parker. What comes out is more like Sholem Aleichem and me.

I’ve scheduled my readings for a Saturday afternoon when there’s plenty of daylight for driving and parking for seniors and decaf coffee and comfortable seating. The $5 charge pays for refreshments and the use of Merritt’s lovely art shop.

I hope to see the Story Salon crowd whose stories I applauded and the new best friends in Line Dancing, Restorative Yoga, Dollars for Scholars and education, the old friends who live in Senior Living hotels and the young friends who are still in condos.

I’ll arrange for car pools and Uber requests and send reminders and wonder all the while why I’m going through all this, when I could be home sipping a glass of Chardonnay and enjoying TCM.

I think I know. It feels so good when I’m finished and can take off the fronds and Christmas ornaments and go back to being my OTHER self.

Hope to see you Oct. 14,