January 1, 2010
Today is the first day of, not only a new year, but a new decade as well. I have never been one to think much about the changing of the year except to wonder how many checks I will mess up writing the wrong date.
However, it was brought to my attention that this year is not only the beginning of a new decade but it is the end of one, as well. This is the end of my 50's. I will have completed six decades.
Wow, I don't know what to do with that.
I don't even remember my 50's. Let's see, I was busy with the last stages of child rearing -- college, broken legs, broken hearts, new loves, weddings, babies, new houses for all, new cars, smashed cars, surgery, fear, prayer, tears, laughter and most of all, love.
But, I don't remember my age -- or what I wore.
Clothes have always been an necessary evil. I was never at the "right age" for the clothing I was interested in. The last time I remember being what I thought was correct was probably junior high school -- Bobbie Brooks and soft socks -- not difficult to achieve. I remember trying to figure out what to wear to work -- it shouldn't have been that hard but it was at a time when slacks were just becoming acceptable so that just sort of threw a monkey wrench into the whole thing. Then, I remember my mother telling me that 27 was the best age -- the clothes were great, you were adult and could dress up but still be young.
Hm...27, I was wearing rice cereal and formula most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of it but still, not exactly the picture that my mother painted.
So it went for the next few years, I was a stay at home mom, IT DIDN'T REALLY MATTER!
So, here I am. Almost -- well, almost not 59 anymore and the question still comes up, what am I supposed to be at this age. I realize that question emcompasses more than just attire. It also relates to attitudes, concerns, acceptable appearance, societal expectations -- wow, who knew that a birthday meant more than a cake and some gifts.
I don't feel my age -- well, my right knee does. I am shocked everytime I look in the mirror and see silvery hair -- THIN, silvery hair rather than the thick, dark auburn mane I used to possess. If I don't use the 10X mirror I don't see the little wrinkles but if I don't use the 10X mirror I can't see to put on my makeup. I realize I am wearing cardigan sweaters more and more -- that is definitely an "old" lady thing. It is like the upcoming decade is sucking me up into the mist of old age! I must fight this and fight it now!
So, I have been doing a lot of thinking today -- what does this age mean? I think it means what you want it to mean. I guess for some it will be Vicki Lawrence's character "Mama". For others it will be Meryl Streep or Paula Deen. I think that in this day and age the concept of age is going the way of newspapers and books and pay phones and corner mailboxes. Age, or aging, just doesn't exist -- after all, isn't 40 the new 30? Hmm. then I guess 60 is the new 50 --- damn, that still sounds old. But, I think my mom was right -- age is a matter of the mind and with all the technology and "stuff" we have out there today, age isn't really as much of an issue these days.
So, I think I am going to approach this decade the same as I have the past ones. I am going to ignore it. And just think, with debit cards, I don't even have to worry about messing up the date on the check. Ain't technology grand!