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So today is my birthday.

I've never had a problem with getting older until now. Something about the sound of "thirty-two" feels vulgar rolling off the tongue. Turning thirty was a milestone--and people always said I looked really young, so that helped.

My husband and I have three kids. People have often asked if I was around fourteen or fifteen when Dylan, our oldest, was born. I was a little young (twenty-three) but not an infant. That has always been an issue. Some folks have no tact.

For this wonderful celebration of my birth, my husband took me on hiatus--for the first time without our three kids--to a charming little tourist town. We planned it all out; hotel in the middle of town so we could walk everywhere and drink without worrying about transportation, or the law pertaining to transportation. We ended up in this Italian wine bar of the main strip of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. For the first time ever I was not asked to provide identification. It was nice, but at the same time I was offended.

I guess it's hard to make a woman happy no matter what you do. Do I wish to mature into a confident older woman or do I wish to be thought of and treated as a young girl. Do I have a choice? On a television show I recently heard the line, "Don't pout, it's unattractive on a woman your age." I should agree. Maturing is slowly morphing into being taken seriously in my mind. So I will attempt to make like a fine wine and age gracefully.

Micki Hatcher