I tried to start this entry by typing in my real, true age, but I can’t. Either my finger reflexes block my brainwaves or my brainwaves block my finger reflexes but every time I try this I have a synapse misfire. It all stems from the fact that I hate growing older. I really do.
My coping mechanism for aging is denial. I recently read an article about denial, defined more or less as a human defense mechanism against accepting an obvious truth. The article referred mainly to those with a plethora of harmful and uncanny addictions, but it was plainly put, an obvious truth.
When I turned 50 my husband thought it was a good time to pay attention to my birthday. “Do you want a party,” he asked, “or a special present?” “What I want” I replied, “is to not be fifty.” When he said that he couldn’t actually do that, I said, “then I want nothing.”
I find very little good about aging. I’m wiser yes, but more bruised. I’m wealthier too, but more tired. Am I happier? I guess it depends on the day.
I’ve noticed a trend lately from women of a certain age who claim that being older is better because they are judged for their smarts and not for their sex appeal — really ladies? I can’t think of a single time when a little sexual tension didn’t work in my favor, but only if I had the goods to support it. Then again, those of us who have relied solely on sex appeal to for recognition probably aren’t the ones saying “thank goodness that’s over!” Personally I still want a little sex appeal but I have to appeal to a different crowd, the elderly will still flirt with me you know.
My good friend is a professor at a local college. She gets me. She told me that one of her students recently commented approvingly about a sweater she was wearing. This made her feel smart and trendy and welcome for ten to fifteen seconds until her student added, “Can you tell me where you got it because I think my mom would like one.” Shot down again. It’s not that we want to spend our social time with twenty somethings – we just want to know that we could do so without being considered the chaperone.
I had a recent epiphany however in dealing with these advancing numbers. You don’t actually have to celebrate your chronological age. Just pick a number. Next October I am going to celebrate my 32nd birthday. The good news is that I don’t remember if I ever celebrated being 32 so it won’t be a repeat performance. The bad news is that I have to write this all down on my calendar because otherwise I will never ever remember.