"Man oh man, this turning sixty is really getting to me."
"What do you mean, hon?"
"I don't know. Like just yesterday I was playing back some of my ordinary life. Sorta like a movie."
"Did ya fall asleep in the middle?"
"Funny. Very funny. I'm serious."
"Sorry. Couldn't help it. So what did you see?"
"Not a whole lot to be honest. Which got me to thinking about how I wished I had taken advantage of my twenties a little more."
"What does that mean?"
"Well, I wish I had taken the opportunity to sow my wild oats. Nothing too crazy. Just a few oats here and there would have been great."
Keaton stared at me for the longest time, until it was all interrupted by this god awful laugh only she can produce in these situations. She was trying to contain herself as she spoke.
"That's what you came up with? Sowing wild oats? Oh that's a good one. Please, take it from me, a person who knows you pretty intimately, the only oats you ever had were over-processed. Wild oats? Now, that's a good one. And as far as the sowing goes, you can't even sow tomatoes and we live in Jersey, tomato central."
She started laughing again, raising her hand and shaking it, as if apologizing, except she wasn't. She was trying to collect herself.
"So you don't think I have what it takes to sow some wild oats? That's pretty much what you are saying."
She could barely speak.
"That's right, bucko."
"Hmm ... well don't be so sure sister!"
"I'm so sure that even though your birthday is past and you have all your gifts. I'm going to give you one more. How about that?"
"And what would that be? A hoe and pitchfork?"
"Well, you may have part of that right. I'm going to give you one year to sow those wild oats of yours."
"Get outta of here."
"No, I'm serious. One year. Happy birthday."
"Nah ... this is some sort of feminist trickery."
"Nope! It's my gift to you."
"Haven't been so serious since I gave you the silent treatment for killing my prized climbing Clematis vine in that mistaken poison ivy identity thing you pulled."
"You're not kidding are you?"
"I'm telling you. Go out and sow those oats of the wild kind."
"Wow! I'm not sure what to say."
"A simple thank you would do fine."
"Okay then, thank you."
I tentatively reached out to shake her hand. I'm not sure why. She shook my hand vigorously in return.
"All righty then. I guess that about wraps this up," I said, "Look, I promise I'll be discreet. Ya know, I don't want to hurt your feelings or nothin'."
"You discreet? That's almost as funny as wild oats. Don't worry. I'll be fine because they're over-processed. You'll see.If anything, it'll be kinda sad a year from now. Because you'll be all sulky."
"We'll see who will be sulking. One year?"
"That's right one year and it starts right now."
"No strings attached," I asked one last time.
"One more question and I'm returning the gift. So go! You don't have much time."
I gave her a kiss, and she just laughed and walked away.
A whole year. What a present. So I grabbed some pretzels and an ice cold beer and started to think about how I'd do this. To be honest, the first step would have to be getting the old wild oats all fired up again. I'd have to find them first though.
I know they must be around here somewhere.