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On the 5th of November I turned another year older.

I’m into my 50’s now and for the most part I don’t mind getting older, though I wish my knee didn’t hurt for no good reason and I wish I could still read itty bitty printing.

The only thing I dreaded were the ” now you’re old ” speeches and advice that people dish out when you hit the big 5-0. I’d heard a lot of this advice flying around me in the past, but it’s another kettle of fish when it comes straight at you and smacks you in the face.

My Dad’s Mother told me- when I was a teenager- that when a woman turned 50 she should cut her hair- yeah that wasn’t going to happen to this girl  being I was a huge fan of Ann Margret and my goal was to have long wild and wavy hair FOREVER.

My Grandma’s advice reflected a sad view on life.  If you’re past the breeding phase, it’s time to walk away from being considered pretty or sexy.

But she also  said that when a woman turned 50 she could wear red lipstick and diamonds  and if she wanted she could even swear – oh- and you could talk out of turn and tell dirty jokes.

So Grandma Ginger’s advice may have sounded a bit dated but she also passed on the side advice that when you turned 50 you could almost do whatever you wanted.

On the other hand when I did turn 50 my so enlightened women friends who should have known better- being that they used words like ” She-ro ” instead of Hero but oddly they also used  cutesy  words like ” Rapey ” and scolded men who used it too and  they were first in line to ride zip-lines and held jobs that our Mother’s generation could never had held because they had a vagina,  and  they scolded women for coloring their hair and not letting it go gray and told me that if you went to a restaurant alone or with other women you’d get a lousy table and the wait staff would ignore you.

Here’s the thing, my Grandmother passed on advice because that’s the world she lived in, but she had also found a way to skirt it and she passed that on too.

My modern day friends?

Gee ladies, I’m sorry if you feel like you became invisible when you turned 50 and maybe it was miserable for you, but it wasn’t for me.

My first thought when I hit  50 was,  ” Well. What next Anita Marie?”

And it’s been an adventure of sorts ever since.

So are you turning 50 soon?

Take my advice, do like I did and think of Ann Margret and her fabulous hair,  wear flashy makeup, learn some great jokes and if anyone tells you different, well.

Screw them.


She Looks So Cute When She’s Thinking Hard


Today I was talking to a friend about writing and they said that this other writer could be good but that their  lack of a college education showed itself at times.

“Really,” I said. ” I don’t have a college education.”

” Well. You’re self educated.”

” That’s like being home schooled. And I know what you think about that. Besides I didn’t pay for it and I never got tested and accepted. I didn’t walk away from my ‘self taught book learnin’ with a degree. So it doesn’t count.”

I hate having this conversation with anybody, but I will have it and I will hammer my point home with a rusty nail and rock.

” Sometimes people wave their degrees around 40 years after the fact like a girl waving her engagment ring around so that everyone notices and asks her about it.”

” Oh ” people are supposed to ask, ” what’s that” and then she’ll tell you all about it until your ears  bleed.

I’ll make no bones about it.

I did want to go to College. My problem was I lacked the confidence to go and the few people who I chose to ask about the process weren’t terribly supportive.

” It’s really hard.” I was told ” and you have that good job at the t-shirt store. Maybe you should stick with retail. You’re really great at that.”

I was 16 at the time.

So I saw college as this elite group of people and it was ok if I chose to not attend  because not everyone was ‘meant to go.’

I wasn’t bitter about it.

I just thought I wasn’t good enough.

Do you know who didn’t do a thing to clear that up?


So I try not to be a bitch when my College educated friends don’t understand science or physics. I don’t make fun of them when we talk about literature and the minute they open their mouths all the lines from Cliff’s Notes fall out.

I sold a ton of those things when I  had one of my ‘great jobs’ at a bookstore. I always heard the same thing, ” I just don’t have the time to read the entire book.”

Let me point something out. If you are in a place where you can savor the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky fucking DO IT. Don’t cheat your way around it. I read Dostoevsky in high school for my Russian history class. I read him last year (again) for the pleasure of it.

Don’t tell me you ‘remember his books from college.’ His works were intense, dark and because he dealt so much with psychology the characters were complicated people. You’re not going to nail them down in one reading and have it stick because you understand what the characters ‘represent’

You can re-read his works a few times and you will always see a new twist, understand a bit more or depending on the social and political world see it in a new light.

Anyway that’s what I’ve done.

So no, I didn’t go to college. I don’t have papers-  at least my dog does. He’s a Chocolate Lab and registered with the AKC. He also eats cat poop and licks my phone when it rings.

The only paper making me official is my birth certificate and my high school diploma.

Still. I write and read books about physics to relax.

I didn’t go to college but someday I might.

I just hope that after I don’t end up eating cat poop, licking my phone when it rings or walk away from the experience thinking it’s ok to read great works of literature only once or that you can get all the science you need from your friend who was really good at it…in College.

Anita Marie (Godfrey) Moscoso

Edmonds High School

Class of