Strength in Numbers: How it feels to be 47

In this series, “How it feels to be…” I talk to humans at different ages and points in their life. In this first installment, I interview my 47-year-old mother Elizabeth Morin to see how it feels to be in her shoes. We are sitting on the back patio in the late Friday afternoon sun. My mother is wearing a black T-shirt with Karl Lagerfeld’s face emblazoned on the front in white embossing and a lime green pair of running shorts. She struggles to stay awake as I fire questions off at her.

What is making you happy right now?

Falling asleep in the sunshine.

What is bothering you?

I have to chop down a tree in the neighbor’s yard now and don’t want to because I’m enjoying the sunshine.

Tell me a happy memory.

Bullhead fishing at Plainfield Pond. In some parts of the world, they call them catfish. They have big long whiskers. Their little mustaches are like big spiky spears and it’s an absolute nightmare if you get stabbed by one. My dad would have to take them off the line for us. You go bullhead fishing at night and I remember struggling to stay awake in the car because we’d have to stay up so late. How old was I? When was “Ebony and Ivory” popular? That’s when. Google that shit.

[I Googled it. It was 1982. My mother was 12-years-old.]

When’s the last time you received an unexpected nice gesture?

The cute guy sitting next to me at the Red Sox game last night smelled delicious.

What is something small that you regret?

When I was in sixth grade our barbershop quartet didn’t go up on stage because one of our members got sick with the flu. We had practiced and practiced and practiced. When I look back that’s something I regret because I never went up on stage.

What is something big that you regret?

My philosophy is that everything gets me to right here and I like being right here.

[We pause for a moment as she crosses yard to chop down the neighbor’s tree with a chainsaw. She drags the tree into the woods. Hang on a moment, she’s coming back now]

In high school, I took a typing class and I cheated all through typing class. I fake typed in class and brought my work home to type. My father told me, “You’re going to regret that,” and I do regret it because I never learned to type. I two finger hack at the keys.

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What do you wish you did more of?

I wish I read more.

What do you wish you did less of?

I wish I did less commuting. I commute as little as 39 minutes and as much as an hour each way to work.

What frightens you?

I hate putting my feet at the side of the bed. That stems from being a kid. I’m also afraid of vampires biting my neck as I sleep for the same reason.

What are you looking forward to in the near future?

Our New York City trip next week. We’re going to the Freedom Tower on the Fourth of July.

When you imagine yourself in your head, how old are you?

I’m 17. I’m wearing unmatching tube socks. One sock is yellow and green stripes and the other side is blue and red stripes pulled up high. I’m standing between my house and Kari Scott’s house. I have pigtails but there’s still some long hair hanging down in the back.

How do you feel about aging?

I’m okay right now about it. I still look relatively good and I still feel relatively good.

What’s the best thing about being you?

Sometimes I act first and think second.

[“You like that?” I ask]

Yeah, I like that.

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6 thoughts on “Strength in Numbers: How it feels to be 47

  1. Pingback: Strength in Numbers: A 12-year-old talks life | Stories for Strangers.

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