In my mind when I really think about aging and actually when I hear that someone is 50, I still think that the age of 50 sounds pretty old, unless the person has passed away. It still sounds too young to die but for everything else it sounds old. How many times do you hear of a 50-year-old ballet dancer or a 50-year-old basketball player? If someone is just getting married for the first time or having a baby and they are in their 50’s … I think to myself, “gee they are old to get married and heavens isn’t she pretty old to be pregnant?”
I have always been a little late with accomplishing important stages in my life. I finished college at 23, didn’t get married until I was 30, had my first child at 36 and my second child at 44. For my generation that was old. I was fifty when I was taking my son to first grade. I had worked in high school and at small jobs after college. I went back to college for my second degree when I was 28 and graduated for the second time at 30. I worked with my husband in Europe for about six years but I got my first full-time job with a large company when I was 54 and started my own business at 59. Moved to my apartment, separated and now alone, when I was 65 and just started out as an available single woman again, at the age of 66! Now, here I am single and available at 66 years old!!! That is really pretty old to be out and about dating again. Okay, I will mention the word. What about sex???? Really???? Am I too old to date? Am I too old for romance? Is it ridiculous to even contemplate as a senior? Sometimes I actually can’t believe that a man here or there actually wants to take me out. Shouldn’t I be sitting in a rocker on a porch somewhere in Illinois, knitting booties for my grandchildren while sipping tea? No, wait, I don’t have any grandchildren because my sons are still relatively young and my youngest is still in college. I hate tea and if you see me at all in the evening I am usually sitting on my balcony on the 16th floor of my highrise apartment building in a large city in the West, sipping a nice large cold glass of white wine.
I have had short hair for the last 30 years. My mother always had short blond hair. She had very thick, really very pretty, hair. She always told me that she wished that she had enough nerve to let her hair grow out so that she could wear it in a long braid down her back in her 60’s. She never did. So about two years ago I decided to grow my hair. I now have very long blond hair that reaches to a few inches above my waist and I often put my hair into a long blond braid. I am lucky because I too have thick hair. My mother was very pretty and very stylish and very smart but she was shy. Everything actually scares me too but I think I have my father’s push and even though everything scares me, I do it anyway. So even though I am 66 I have a long blond braid and I did it for her. My mother was also a single woman when she was in her 60’s. She was tall and slim and really always very pretty, therefore, men were always interested in her and she occasionally went out on a date or two. She was very shy and I think it was difficult for her to consider a serious relationship. I am shy too and it is shocking to me that anyone would want to date me however, I bit the bullet (so to speak) and actually went out on two dates in the last few months. They were with men that I knew years ago who happened in town on business. I frankly didn’t want to go out, but then I thought about my mother. She was such a beautiful woman but she was so modest and reserved. She could have been anything and done anything with her life. I so wished that she had more faith in herself. Well, I forced myself to go out on those two dates and it was a pleasant experience. I really forced myself to go in honor of my mother.
This afternoon I went out to lunch with my friend. She is going back to school to get her Master’s degree and then she wants to go on to get her doctorate degree. I just told her how proud I was of her. My mother would have been proud of her too. We really have all kinds of possibilities ahead of us. Yes, I am afraid and shy but I think maybe it is a good idea to just close our eyes and take that leap off of the spooky cliff. Okay, I am not a spring chicken anymore, but I want to write a book or two and maybe a play and a movie before I kick the bucket, that is waiting out there inevitably for me and really for all of us, in the future. Until then, why not pretend that, that inevitable day, is very far off and let’s start planning our futures right now. I don’t want to keep thinking about the past. Why not start planning ahead? I might have the romance of a lifetime waiting out there in my late 60’s or early 70’s. Who knows??? At the very least I can make one up and write a book about it.
Until Next Week…