The trouble with middle age is you know too much and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. I’m not pondering flipping real estate knowledge; I’m talking gut punching, jaw dropping, mind bending reality. I can only speak for myself, it may be of little concern to other 50 some-things. Possibly the “middle-age” ship sailed without me, and I’m wallowing in delusional jelly.
Granted – reality television and media saturation have changed the stereotype of how a middle aged woman is supposed to act. Problematic is the fact that these factors tend to make laughing stock out of “characters” who tread outside comfortable norms. Deviations revolve around botoxed “real housewives” or uneducated divorcees running southern trailer parks. Either way – we laugh at them which isn’t any improvement over June Cleaver in Leave It To Beaver.
Hitting fifty feels like a horribly lousy punch line to a sick joke. I’m not laughing – well maybe a little, and only because irony isn’t lost on me. I’ve figured out that I like myself, have stopped boo-hooing over a childhood that didn’t go my way, stopped acting out because of it, raised three beautiful children, been married over 30 years to an equally off centre man, realized age will never alter who I am, and forgiven myself for being human and making mistakes.
All well and good, but it took 50 years. I have no desire to golf, shop, or have my nails done. I would rather slit my wrists than go on a cruise or all inclusive vacation. I want to be a storm chaser, take road trips (yes – travel great distances by car – off the interstate no less, with no destination in mind), and dig for fossils. I don’t care about possessions, and would go barefoot year round if only I could get away with it.
I don’t feel middle aged; I feel young and alive – trapped in a fading package, and adrift in society that worships youth and status. Worse still, and weighing heavily on my mind – I’m starting to spend way too much time pondering how things “used to be” I’m becoming that person I rolled my eyes at when I was a kid; that person always saying “when I was your age”
The greatest relief is I don’t give a damn. I’m dancing my ass off to Jonathon Richman singing Pablo Picasso Was Never Called an Asshole, and remembering his concert at the Filmore in San Fransisco, 1982. It makes me happy – middle age can bite, but I won’t hide. Life is far too short.