It’s not a date marked on a calendar like “Birthday” or “Anniversary,“ but a day does come along when you are no longer carded buying alcohol. On that day, if you are lucky, you are probably not trying to get into the hottest club - which they may not want to let you into, due to your own lack of hotness. Knowing this, you may feel relieved, but there might also be a twinge of regret. It’s hard to surrender that “anything’s possible” openness of your early days, especially to a crop of tight-as-a-drum, ungrateful brats you could have given birth to (see my essay below, “Death to Ma’am!”).
As long as we’re wallowing, here are a few other things you may have already let go of:
1. “Days on the Green.” You find yourself passing on any musical event that involves “festival seating“ - fighting crowds for a damp spot on the grass is about as appealing as a colonoscopy. These days, if it can’t be enjoyed on pay-per-view from the comfort of your own La-Z-Boy, fuggedaboudit. But have you noticed that when you are able to leave town for the weekend (not on a senior bus trip - not yet, anyway), you find yourself at shows you would have died rather than be seen at in your 20s?? Worse yet, you’re raving about them: “We saw Tony Orlando & Dawn when we were in Reno, and you know what? They put on a great show! You should’ve seen their salute to the troops - I was crying my eyes out!”
Girl, you are so over.
2. Natural Fibers in your Wardrobe. Clothing is chosen not for fashion but for expandability: more polyester than pure cotton, more acetate to cover your - assets.
Simultaneously, in a twist that redefines irony, what you lack in natural fibers in your closet, you will need to increase in your diet.
3. Full Use of Existing Body Parts. I now have hearing aids, reading glasses, and bras that involve an intricate series of levers and pulleys to support breasts that used to defy gravity on their own. I need L’Oreal for my gray hairs, meds for moods, Pepcid for digestion and orthotics for my shoes. I know adult diapers are in my future, looming like the plague, I just don‘t know which is worse: lack of bladder control, or relief in not having to find a place to “go” everywhere I go.
4. "Because I Said So." I don't know about you, but I no longer have the final word with my kids. They have learned well from me and know how to argue back when they think something is stupid - what a wonderful legacy to have left them. As if that weren't bad enough, my memory is not what it used to be, so by the time they've made their case, I've forgotten what we were arguing about. Great: now that I can’t remember anything, my teenagers know everything.
And I need a nap.
The sad news is, there is no way to re-negotiate this contract.
When you find out the good news, please let me know.