The Myth of Middle Age

I'm just a younger version of old.

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.

Christine March 14, 2011 at 12:26 PM
Love the chico's line. My mom keeps insisting I need to shop at Chico's and I keep telling her I'm not that old - yet.
Mary Ellen March 18, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Must be over 50 to shop at Chico's...............you're not there yet J.


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