I celebrated my birthday last week with a bang! Literally. Black eye, cut nose, bruises, scratches and scrapes. Everywhere I go people stare, too afraid to ask what happened—probably assuming my husband beat me and I’ll likely say I just fell down the stairs.
Actually, though there’s a simple explanation: I was acting my age, which is somewhere between teen-ile and senile.
Like a teenager, I was riding my grandson’s dirt bike. Like an old fart I got confused. Do I pull the gas handle forward or backward to slow down? I took a chance on forward… or was it backward? Semantics. The result was a resounding crash into the trees. That accounts for everything but the black eye—that happened while hanging up a large picture that required a level. Like a youngster I wanted to do it myself. Like an oldster, I was unsteady on my feet. You guess the rest.
I get it—I’m old. But I don’t feel old. At least not in my head. Could it be that I truly am senile? I have been forgetting a lot of things. Now what did I come upstairs to get? Who was the actress in that movie… can’t remember what it was called… I used to know the names of every plant in my yard. In everyone's yard for that matter, and I still can. It’s on the tip of my tongue.
These are sure signs you’re old: If a waitress calls you sweetie or hon. If your body makes weird noises you can’t control. If you wear your pants way up high. At least that’s what I used to think. Actually, waitresses call young people sweetie or hon as well (never mind how young.) And I’ve heard teenagers laugh in uproarious delight when they make the exact same noises I’m talking about. Besides, high pants are all the rage these days. So tell me, how do you really know when you’re old? Is it a state of mind? Or a state of out of your mind? I give up.
It’s not that I don’t want to grow old. I do! I think old is cool and it gets cooler by the year. Besides, what’s the alternative?
Looking at my battered body, my husband says, "You need to be extra careful!" My sister says, You should slow down and act your age."