Friday, February 8, 2019

Didn't Get The Memo

How do you know when you're old? Not aches and pains old, but like, when you look more like you're going to do laps at Del Boca Vista, Phase 3 in your glitter sneakers versus going to the club?

I ask this because I had this thought last Saturday. I had like four hours to walk around NYC last Saturday. I had work stuff to do, but I also needed to go to Soho to It's Sugar, the candy store of my dreams. I've been out of my Island Punch Jelly Belly beans and I was craving them like a crackhead craves...crack. I don't usually go to Soho because it's far from where I need to go for all my work related items in the garment district. I took the subway though, which is another story, because I lost any knowledge of the NY subway system over the past ten years. I was just blindly hopping on.

I got down there, found the candy store, and was walking around a little. I wasn't exactly sure how to get back to a subway line that would take me where I needed to go. It wasn't the same one I took down there. I ended up by NYU and Washington Square Park. I saw all these college kids walking around, doing their thing, with friends, playing basketball, doing whatever. I remembered being in college and thinking how they look like they're having fun, even in the bitter cold. Then, I caught a glimpse of myself in a building window reflection.

I thought about how I didn't FEEL any different than they look. I looked at these kids and thought that I feel like one of them. I'm sure we could find some common ground of conversation, but I would be the mom. I'd leave and they'd probably be like, "How weird was it that mom was just hanging out? Right?! Maybe she was lonely? Or has dementia?". Ok. Maybe they wouldn't go as far as to wonder if I had dementia, but, I realized that at forty-four, I'm not just blending in with the kids.

E's swim coaches and former babysitters are college kids. I talk to them. Obviously I know I'm not twenty, but it feels like we're on the same level when we're chatting. But I'm still the mom. 

There's nothing wrong with being in my forties and a mom. I wouldn't WANT to literally go back to my twenties, unless, of course I could know then what I know now. It's just a really weird feeling to know that there have to be younger people who don't think of you as a peer. Not that it doesn't go both ways too- I mean, I have used the term "millennial" in not so glowing terms. I've started a sentence with "Kids these days...."

I'm really just talking about the FEELING though. Not feeling like the age you are. I can't be alone since a guy recently went to court, in another country, I think, to see if he could change his age to the one he feels, not the age on his birth certificate.

When I get dressed, I don't think that I'm too old to wear this or that. I was watching Jimmy Fallon last week and he was talking to someone, saying, he's feeling like he's too old to be wearing jeans. I was struck by this because I didn't know there would be someone who even thought there was an age limit to jeans. Jeans aren't crop tops and mini skirts. Not that *I* think there's an age cap on those things either- wear what makes you feel good. It just got me thinking about age and looks and how we feel.

I'm sure I've heard someone say they're too old to wear a bikini. Personally, that isn't about age for me. It's that I looked different after having a kid and I didn't want to be stretching & bending in a bikini all over town pool, in front of my neighbors, chasing a toddler. Old was never a reason. I do wonder though, when I think I've dressed cute for the day, do I look like Rita in her tube socks and denim fanny pack?

Granted, my mother admittedly was not a fashion plate. She wore that blue mascara and probably a tracksuit, to her funeral. I do remember what I thought about her fashion sense. It left a lot to be desired. She still, definitely, never looked or seemed old to me. I don't think she looked or seemed old to other people either. But there are other people her age who always seemed old, even when they weren't.

I'll never think there are rules to what people should wear based on age. Except, with the short shorts. I always say that it's a good thing I didn't have a girl. That would be an epic battle in my house, for sure. I'll say I don't think there's any fashion that's off-limits because someone is "too old". I just never stopped to think about other people's perception of ME, age-wise, since I don't feel any older than I was twenty years ago.

I guess that's how people who are happily married for fifty years feel too, when they say their spouse is just as beautiful now as the day they met. They still see them as fifty years younger and they really feel it.

I've been seeing those ten year challenges everywhere. People are putting up their first photo of themselves on social media next to the most current. In a lot of cases, the person looks better currently. Do they feel any different? Older? Or do they look at those photos and think about the memories from back in the day but not actually feel any different?

This is how someone ends up with the same hair style or same make-up for twenty years. Looking at you Lisa Rinna. Even she actually just changed up that hair-do she's so well known for. She grew it out and it probably took ten years off her appearance. The rest of us, we just go on, day after day, not feeling any older than when we started our routine. That routine still seems fresh because times moves faster than we feel.

I just know I had this hair at one time:

I still like it. If I had somewhere to go that required an up-do, I'd want to go old school with that Alicia Silverstone one you're seeing right there. If you believe you can get away with it, you can. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway....

And if I can get my hands on some glitter sneakers, bet your ass I'll be rocking those too. All the way to Del Boca Vista, Phase 3.

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