Thursday 13 October 2011

Age Gracefully? No Way! (reprinted with permission)

I celebrated a birthday recently.  I didn’t celebrate it very well, mind you. I don’t celebrate anything well anymore.  I don’t know how to, primarily because the only time I stay up past midnight is with sick kids.

This was not your run of the mill, once a year, sort of birthday.  No, it was more your “SOB!  Not me!  I can’t have lived this long and still not paid off my charge cards” kind of torture.

The thing is, nobody needs birthday parties in order to feel older.  Our Drivers License photos do it perfectly well on their own.  Besides, you know you’re getting older because the cops keep getting younger and younger.  Soon they’ll be putting little cub scouts in uniforms and sending them out with toy guns to man the speed traps.
Getting older is particularly discouraging when you realize what other people have accomplished by the age of 40.  Attila the Hun had conquered most of Europe before he was old enough to vote.  Cleopatra had vamped the entire Mediterranean coastline while tossing Caesar Salad on the side, and Beethoven managed to write all sort of world class symphonies and go deaf by the time he was my age.  Actually, he was dead by the time he was my age.

The worst thing about growing older is not the weight you gain, but the dreams you lose.  For instance, I’m having trouble coming to terms with the fact that I will never be a major Vogue model.  For one thing, we older broads can’t walk in high heels anymore without toppling over sideways.  Something to do with the weight distribution further up.  For another, we can’t see five inches ahead without our glasses.  So unless Vogue wants a model crawling along the catwalk on her hands and knees, modeling is out.

No question, this birthday signals in new stage in life: when your furniture is much too nice to have another baby.

On the bright side, one of the minor irritants of aging is you tend to forget things.  This has certain advantages.  I forgot to phone my inlaws last week.  I haven’t weighed myself in weeks.  Any day now, I might forget I am married… oops, I forgot: this is a family column. 


  1. Oh so true! Just wait until you are my age. I can't even say the year 65 without hyperventilating.
    Funny column Mel.
    Pam Blance

  2. I had two major dreams.

    1. To become a published author. Woo-hoo! I made it. (Just call me a late bloomer.)

    2. To be kidnapped by aliens, save the universe, return to Earth young lithe and athletic with a technology that will save the planet and make me rich. (Still working on that one.)

  3. This made me cry. With laughter. I hated 40, detested 50, was horrified by 60. I can't imagine 70. 70!!! What on earth have I been doing? Or what have I been doing on earth? I became old while I wasn't looking. I've only touched Brad Pitt's elbow, no other parts, and shook Tom Cruise's hand. My books have not become movies that either of them could star in. In fact, no movies at all.
    But there's still time, right?

  4. I'm still working on that portal where you walk through the wall 30 years and 30 pounds younger! Yup, that would be about right.
    Thanks for these fun comments!