On the Way to Being Me

Photo by Chris Leaman
Mary Bird with performers at the Harmon Center Gala.
Mary Bird with performers at the Harmon Center Gala.

The end of a year is a time of stock-taking, so this is a confession--a bit of Peter Pan and I believe a bit of all of us. What is being “me?” What is being “grown up?” I hope never to discover the latter since all of us continue to evolve.

As a little girl growing up as an only child in Saint Louis, I was far more of an adult than I happen to be today. We lived near Forest Park and my father and I would walk our poodle, Emma. Emma was sent in grand style from a kennel in New Jersey as a surprise Christmas present when I had just turned eight. Poodles were newly fashionable at the time and had such names as Fifi and François. My mother wanted none of that and so “Emma” joined the household. The housekeeper considered that “Miss” Emma was more fitting, although she threatened to depart if the canine ever announced her menu choices.

On our after school walks with Miss Emma, my father told me that each age of our lives has its compensation. I have learned that over many years and now find the sentiment most fitting as we launch this new venture. I quote from a recap of a not-too-long ago school reunion:

“Thank heavens for name tags. We had acquired a patina, sometimes obscuring, but always enhancing the more recognizable features of our youth. And beneath the patina, as the weekend progressed, we all found that the minds, the souls and even some of the bodies had improved with age too!”

To further quote from the reunion: “In short, we are a group of survivors who in the 1960's thought that the world would be our oyster, but as some of us found out, 'it sort of clammed up on us.' Happily, many of us have remained content with what we 'became.'”

I went to a cocktail gathering for the same school a number of years ago when I was still rather new to Washington. An older graduate remarked that many of the glamour gals from schooldays were all too conversant with booze and pills. The lesser knowns had soared as they gained in confidence and pursued their goals. How true I have found that to be. How to know when we actually peak?

I've had a 30-year professional government career, divorced, happily remarried, was devastatingly widowed and now look forward to a new start as we launch The Georgetown Dish in a rapidly changing media environment.

0 Comments For This Article

HHF

I wish Mary would cover more parties in Georgetown. Everyone trusts her.

jennifer

Mary Bird is a star!! Thank you for publishing Bird's Eye View again in Georgetown. We missed it!!

Anonymous

Mary, I love your style. You are inspiring! Keep it coming ...

Anonymous

YES!!!!

Felicia Stidham

Brava!

Anonymous

What was the connection between the poodle and class reuinion wisdom? Do we have a copy editor?

jocelyn

Great good luck. Here's someone who knows who's teetering
on what rung of the old social ladder and what is their
trajectory! What they wore and where they went.

A scribe invited everywhere and welcomd anywhere. Looking foward.

Karen Fawcett

Mary is smart and irreverent and knows when something is fun and when it's phony.

She's a pleasure to be around and I'm delighted to count her among my friends.

Wishing her and the other stellar contributors to The Georgetown Dish nothing but success.

Webroot

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