This is a sequel to It's Great Being Sweet Sixteen!
It's almost time for sweet sixteen again! This is number fifty-one!
My friends were telling me that it's really number fifty-two because I turned sixteen for the first time way before the turn of the millennium. I might have turned sixteen way back then, but it wasn't sweet!
Mom tells me that I wasn't ugly, but nobody else told me that. I sure didn't feel pretty! And the people in school were so mean to me.
And I was busy adulting back then. My useless sperm donor left Mom taking care of all us kids and I was the oldest so I had to do my part. I was busy busing tables when I turned sixteen. What a way to spend your birthday! I got hardly any money and no tips. And I had to give it all to Mom so she could take care of my little brothers and sisters. And Mom couldn't afford to get me any presents and she didn't even have time to make something.
All those television shows had the high school kids partying and making out and going to dances and going to spring break and having so much fun. But I was stuck working to support my little brothers and sisters, and babysitting them so that Mom could work without paying for daycare.
When I graduated, I didn't get to go to college because there was no money and I still had to take care of my little brothers and sisters.
But Mom taught me to work hard and be polite so that the boss would like me and give me more money. And that worked sometimes, but when I got laid off, I had to start all over again at another job.
Those people that got to go to college had a piece of paper that told their new bosses that they were smart and stuff, so they got to start out with more money. Me? I had to prove myself every time. And then the college kids complained when I got promoted because they had a degree and I didn't and why should I be promoted when they were smarter?
But I worked hard and took some classes at night. But that stopped when my spouse left me holding the bag and taking care of the kids all by myself.
I thought we were supposed to stay together forever, but asshole disappeared one day never to be seen or heard from again.
So anyway, when all the kids finally got old enough to adult for themselves I felt like I was too old to go to college and I didn't have money anyway because I spent it all on the kids and putting a roof over our heads and food in our mouths.
The kids went off their own way and struggled their own struggles. We kinda kept in touch, but we were all doing our own adulting and didn't really have time to get together much.
I didn't spend my money willy-nilly when the kids left. I kept driving a cheap car and kept eating cheap food until I could afford the down payment on a tiny postage stamp of land. I put a tiny house on that land. It was small, but it was home, and it was mine. At least, it was mine when I got it paid off. And I lived cheaply so that I could get it paid off as fast as possible.
And somewhere in there, while I was paying it off, the Internet came. And Facebook. And Second Life.
In Second Life, I could be anyone I wanted. I could be young and pretty. I could live in a lavish beach house on the ocean and bask on the beach in my bikini and date handsome men.
Even with just a keyboard and mouse and monitor, I could really get into it. My imagination supplied the rest.
When I got my first pair of VR goggles, it was almost like being there. I could talk with my normal voice and a cute sexy teenage voice would come out.
VR headsets led to VR body suits that could make you feel what your avatar feels all over your body.
By that time, I was getting older, but I still felt young and strong in my VR headset and body suit. Most of my internal organs were bio-printed replacements and my skin was wrinkly, but my boyfriend and I were still young people cavorting on the beach.
When I retired, my pension was plenty enough to supply my small needs. The house was paid off, the car was barely used, the groceries were delivered by drone, and the Internet was free. I had to buy computer stuff once in a while, but that was getting cheaper and cheaper.
I knew that some people were connecting to the Internet with direct neural connections to their brains, but I was too chicken to try. Nobody ever got hurt, and nobody ever got trapped in the Matrix, but I never went to the clinic and had the connections put in.
We purposely kept our real life identities separate from our Second Life identities. We wanted to forget RL when we were being young and attractive and active.
But I wasn't spending every minute on Second Life. There was a charity nearby that built Santa Claus machines and used them to help the poor.
They revamped old shut-down restaurants and installed the kind of Santa Claus machines that made food.
There were different kinds of machines that made different things back then. And they didn't have any machines that could make a new Santa Claus machine from scratch. They were working on it, but they didn't have it yet.
But we would refurbish old restaurants or build new ones and make them run without much help from people. No employees. Only volunteers. And the customers didn't have to pay anything. Donations were accepted and used to make more machines and revamp more restaurants, but people could eat for free.
We put them into poor places. We put them where there used to be soup kitchens.
And other people made little shelters kinda like camp trailers and left them all over the place.
At first, people fought over them. Some cities tried to outlaw them, but the people complained and they couldn't hire enough police to do anything about it, anyway.
The little houses were simple enough that they could be made entirely with a Santa Claus machine. They even had their own power and plumbing and water filtering and stuff. And Internet computers.
And they kept building them and kept putting them out there until there were so many that everyone could have one and not have to share, and there were still empty ones.
And they built robots that would fix the wrecked and abandoned and empty ones. And the robots would put the new and improved Santa Claus machines and stuff into the shelters.
So while I was helping people feed everyone that lost their jobs because machines could do their jobs for them, other people were making houses and putting them on land that was abandoned by companies that used to make things that the Santa Claus machines made now.
And they were talking about making autodocs. People out in the country were designing them and testing them on farm animals.
So one day, this guy drives up with a big old van. He came and knocked on my door. It was my boyfriend! No, I mean it was really my boyfriend just like he looked in Second Life! I wanted to hide so he couldn't see what I really looked like in RL.
But he hugged me and took me out to his van and showed me the autodoc. It wasn't just a rumor! They actually built them! And my boyfriend was making them when I was helping feed the people!
He showed me the new me that the autodoc printed up. It looked just like the second life me!
So, when I turned eighty-six, I actually turned sixteen again. It was my first sweet sixteen!
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