I know they call me middle-aged. And I have accepted the label because it is so much kinder than being universally known as old. However, I must now face the fact that middle age is a myth. I am on what I hope will be a long path toward being truly and unfathomably old, moving each day one tick closer to triple digits with no promise that I will arrive.
Gone are the days when I needed to prove my age to be able to drink alcohol in a public establishment. On the extremely rare occasion that I order a drink, the server is more than willing to believe that I have lived the years to earn a cocktail. Even though it would most certainly result in an enormous tip, there is no restaurant worker with a greed so big that he or she would ignore the obvious owned-Thriller-on-vinyl vibe I exude and ask to see my license. I am that old.
Old is a process. The women who are wearing lacquered lip gloss and eyelashes which should have their own phylum are young. They have a long time to spend Saturday nights sipping mojitos on the terrace of . However, one day they will cross the street. They will be the well-groomed ladies in Scandanavian clogs sampling Oolong at . They will care about the antioxidant properties of pomegranate as served in a form other than martini.
That is not to say that any of us should go gentle into that night of undetermined quality. I plan to rage against the dying of the light. I deeply hope to be that elderly woman with eyebrows painted on well above the line where my original ones once lay. I want to be the woman who laughs too loud and talks to strangers in the line at the DMV. However, I am already that woman in a younger form. It is just a matter of degree. I will not just wake up one day and decide that I’ve taken to wearing loud prints and orthopedic stockings. I will get there by small steps and I will never know which one marks the middle of the journey.
Even so, I know that I am more Teavana than Jackson’s. I am a mile past but mere inches from. I am a decaf soy latte and not a shot of Jagermeister, and I am perfectly okay with that. I am just hoping not be a heaping glass of Metamucil any time soon.
I am not middle-aged. I am something more complex. I am wearing shoes that do not pinch. I am invisible to the kind of man who drives a sports car. I am always carrying both tissues and aspirin. I am wearing glasses in order to see and not in order to be seen. I am always ready for a nap. I am not familiar with that band. I do not know the DJ.
I am old, and, with any luck, I will just keep being that.