I’m pretty sure that I officially crossed over a divide this past weekend. I think I’m officially on the “older” side of divide. Now, as has been previously addressed, I’ve always secretly (or not so secretly?) been an old soul. However. That didn’t necessarily translate into a complete outward manifestation of this fact. As difficult as it will someday be for my children to believe, I was young once.
I was chatting over dinner with my sister and her husband (who, interestingly, had just finished inquiring as to whether my sister had always been 90. Apparently this “old soul” thing is somewhat familial). He mentioned that the next day he was thinking of going to see Thor Ragnarok. And I asked whether that was a friend of his.
As soon as I said it a little voice in the back of my head was screaming “movie! character! stop!”; but it was too late. We all had a good laugh about the mix-up, but I mentally acknowledged the fact that It Had Happened. I’d seen the signs for awhile. Here’s a few that I’ve noticed:
- I’ve started shopping from Land’s End. A lot. This catalog has been around forever, but the practical, timeless comfort never appealed before. Now all of the sudden I’m all about supima blends, practical down vests, and more turtlenecks than I could wear in a week. I’d like to think that these pieces are still subtly blended into my wardrobe. When I start layering my turtlenecks underneath appliqued sweatshirts we have a real problem.
- I rarely wear heels over 2 inches anymore. Ever. I remember waltzing into the NICU during a residency rotation in pointy-toed slingback heels and laughing breezily at the nurses’ astonishment at my wardrobe choice. I’ll never be that painfully practical, I thought. Well, let me just say one thing: orthotics.
- I’ve started sighing and saying “well, whatcha gonna do?” Also “golly.”
- I make a lot of noise when I get out of bed in the morning. Between my intentional and automatic joint cracking, it sounds like I’m attempting to break free of a graphite prison. Jimmy is much the same, although he’ll deny it. The bonus is that the first person up always wakes up the other, and we now spend some pleasant time alone over coffee every morning.
- I don’t spend too much time about how I look anymore. No matter where we’re going, it’s highly unlikely that any strangers will spare more than a passing glance on my appearance. I’m in the “older lady” category, and am valuable mostly for my droll wit, wicked dance moves, and open bar tab. I don’t mean this to be a sad meditation on the state of female ageing. To my mind, it’s totally understandable and definitely a relief.
- That being said, I spend a lot of time on how I look. The number of skin care products on my bathroom counter is amazing. I have my roots touched up every 6-8 weeks. I have multiple types of foundation and concealer that are applied with an artist’s precision. All of this to avoid being asked “what happened?” “are you tired?” or “were you on call last night?”
- In those magazine articles where it’s “hairstyles (or whatever) for every age, I have to flip ahead a few pages. You know the ones. There will be a section for 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and then 50+.
- And speaking of magazines, who on earth is that? When I’m at the hair stylist every 6-8 weeks, I will indulge in a trashy magazine, and I really don’t know who most of these young starlets are. And the really funny thing is–I don’t WANT to know. As long as I’m not the “youth ringer” on the trivia team, it’s not my problem.
- I’m hoping that technology just stops. I actually wish progress would have stopped about 10 years ago because I just can’t learn anymore. When my grandfather died a couple of years ago, I was amazed to look back and realize that he’d been born in a house without running water or electricity, and when he died he was posting on Facebook and emailing his family. This will NOT be me. Luckily I have a technology obsessed husband. However, if he goes before me, I’m pulling my old Palm Pilot back out and reverting to 2002.
So, It Has Happened. But, whatcha gonna do? And, while I’m thinking about it, if anyone wants to see Ladybird with me, let me know. I’ve always been a huge LBJ fan.