Friday, June 17, 2011

Middle Aged?

Help! I’m middle aged!
I remember distinctly the first time anyone called me middle aged. I wasn’t long past my 40th birthday. I was sitting in the front pew at church when the pastor announced that a few middle aged women were bound for a trip to I forget where! I couldn’t get past the ‘few middle aged women’. I looked around at my friends who were nearly my age. It was just a year before I was in my thirties. How did I take a flying leap into middle age and no one warned me what it was all about?
I sat in the pew thinking about what my friends and I did together. We all liked the same music. We enjoyed going to quaint bistros and having lunch. We talked about our grand kids, college kids, diets, exercise, supermarket coupons…oh no! I really did turn into a middle ager!
I remember when my Grandmother was telling us stories of the ‘Old days’. She drove a horse and buggy. She made quilts and home made soups. I wasn’t middle aged, that was my mother!
All of a sudden the years came crashing in on me. I could remember televisions with just three channels that you had to turn by hand. I can remember when I had to put things on the stove to reheat. Microwaves were not invented yet. There was no internet while I grew up. No video games either. Why, I used to go OUT DOORS and WALK to my friends house to do something. Don’t ask me what we did though because I don’t remember anymore.
I don’t understand how I used to fit into a size 6 and think it was wonderful. I look at the teens today and it seems they only come in two sizes. They are either pencil thin or they are sporting a tummy. In fact, they wear form fitting clothes over the tummy. I remember when we’d wear loose clothes to HIDE the tummy.
Have you ever looked in the mirror in the morning and wonder who that was staring back? Don’t be afraid to look. It’s just middle age! The thinning hair, the dry skin, sunken bloodshot eyes with dark circles really is you. I used to laugh at those women who never left the house without their make up. I’d see ‘middle agers’ with pancake make up and ruby red lips dashing here and there. I swore I’d never be like that. Just don’t come knocking at my door before I put the real me in place with the magnifying mirror and make up tray.
A little girl was playing in the park one day and I sat with her grand mother who is my friend, and two years older than me. All of a sudden I heard a tiny voice say, ‘Did they have parks when you were my age?’
‘No, we swung from trees in the woods and gathered nuts to throw at the passer bys.’ I wanted to say that. I just smiled and nodded.
Each night I go through my routine of cleansing my face and removing all makeup. Then I slather on the moisturizer for night time. I don’t know how they managed to find moisturizer for night time and another one to apply before make up application in the morning. Still, I see those lines creeping in around the eyes. ‘Rays of sunshine’ my daughter tells me. Sure!
What really stinks is that since I’m middle aged I get one of two responses from the younger set. The ones with manners are polite and think that with age brings wisdom. They sit next to me for a few minutes and plow me with questions about physics and historical facts. I know I went to college but I am still baffled by which president did what to whom in the eighteenth century of a country I never heard of. I am NOT smarter than a fifth grader!
The other response I get are from children who think that I need help crossing the street and am not capable of knowing anything since I’m so ancient.
Truth be known, I was probably a little of both to my Grandparents and older people years ago. But, it was so long ago I can’t be sure. Shermy says not to worry though, I'll always be 16 to him!

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