TITLE: I Thought I Grew Up
GENRE: Adult narrative nonfiction
I am middle-aged.
I am an older woman.
People call me “ma’am.”
I call underwear foundation, and, after years of the weight of gravity
on my body, I now look better with foundation than without it.
I am a much different woman than I was when I moved to New York more
than twenty-five years ago. I was a fresh-faced Midwestern girl with
little life experience. The wildest thing I had ever done was drink
sloe gin in the college dorm room of a young man who wore pink leopard
print spandex pants like Rod Stewart. I let him kiss the sloe gin from
my lips and then went tearing back to the safety of my own dorm room.
I came to New York, seeking my fame and fortune as a serious actress.
I imagined I would quickly be discovered and, just as quickly, my
career would skyrocket. I would be a household name.
Things didn’t proceed quite as I had imagined them, but landing in a
city where I knew no one and no one knew me set me free. I managed to
get myself on the A-list at New York’s hot spots. I dyed my auburn
locks amazing shades of platinum with soft pink and gold rinses. I
sang in clubs that ranged from CBGB to the Playboy Club. New York City
and I embraced each other. I was where I belonged. I came of age for
the first time in New York, and now I find myself coming of age again.