No cats today. This day we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary (the actual event was November 11) with an overnight stay in Niagara Falls, New York. We stayed at the Giacomo. It looks a little nicer than it was. The elevator broke down, and we had to walk up six floors of stairs after dinner! Gotta love old buildings. We had fun. Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and a walk in the 28 degree weather beside the falls.
As a follow-on to my post of the other day about aging and not caring what anyone thinks, I got an eye opener this evening as to what I don’t want to be when I grow up.
I made a late evening shopping trip to our local grocery super store, Wegmans. Wegmans is a big deal around here. Nearly everyone shops there. It’s more than a grocery store. They offer a little bit of everything, and they do a good job of it.
I was walking in, and as usually happens, people were coming out as we were going in. There was a small, elderly lady, coming towards me pushing a cart. She was probably in her 80’s with dyed, dark brown hair. Her husband was walking along behind her, and he was having trouble walking. He was quite a ways behind her.
She took one look at me walking in with my 23 year old son, and she turned to say something to her husband. He didn’t hear her so she repeated herself. I heard her quite clearly the first time.
She said, “I’m so sick of all these kids with their tattoos; that’s all I’ve seen since we got here.”
I was a little taken aback and didn’t say anything until it was too late. I should’ve either thanked her for calling me a “kid” or I should’ve said, “I’m 60. Bite me, Grandma.” Instead I muttered, “Go fuck yourself” under my breath. (She really ticked me off).
Getting older shouldn’t mean becoming intolerant to everything. What in the hell is wrong with people? It’s 2019. Many people have ink or piercings. If you don’t like it, don’t look, but for heaven’s sake, keep your trap shut about it. She was a narrow minded old bird.
She was talking about me, not my son. I have six tattoos. My son has zero tattoos. I have one on each ankle, two on my left forearm, one on my right forearm and one on my right wrist. I waited until I was 50 to get the first one. I’d always wanted one, but my mother was also intolerant. I couldn’t get my ears pierced until I was 21 because, “If God wanted you to have holes in your head, you would have been born with them.” I was, Mom. They’re called nostrils, ears, eyes, and my mouth. Insert eye roll here.
My neighborhood is full of intolerant old people. I see the hate on a daily basis.
There’s the big-mouthed old lady across the street who complained about my husband’s big truck being on the street even though it wasn’t breaking any laws. She stands in her front window in her bra and panties. Oh, but that’s okay. So is her constant bellowing at her grandchildren.
There’s the wizened old creep behind me who was catching small animals in have-a-heart traps and then leaving them there to suffer and die or he took them into his garage and did God knows what to them. I called animal control and the police on him. They made him stop. Here’s hoping his afterlife involves a big steel cage.
There’s the prissy old jerk beside us who cuts his grass three times a week. Over the years he’s sprayed Roundup on my flowers more than once – the hydrangeas my sons bought me for Mother’s Day, the special variety of black eyed Susan’s my friend gave me from her yard, the sedum my other friend gave me from her garden, and the huge clump of variegated violets from my Gramma’s yard come to mind. I’ve cried over many flowers he’s killed in his zeal to eradicate any and all weeds. He’s the moron who put wooden boards in the gaps in the hedge between our properties to keep my squirrels out of his yard. I’ve let my yard go on purpose just to tick him off. I don’t weed, and everything is overgrown. I stopped caring when he came in my yard and killed things I’d carefully nurtured.
Old age doesn’t have to mean intolerance, cruelty and stupidity. Perhaps these people were asses when they were younger; I’ll never know. I do know they’re judgmental idiots now, and I don’t want to be that way.
Aging brings freedom. It doesn’t have to bring bigotry, meanness and hatred.
You know you’re getting older most days just looking in the mirror. More wrinkles, gray hair, and things sagging that once were firm.
The gray hair has been there since I was a teen. My Gramma went white when she was in her 20’s and no one ever remembered her with darker hair. I have had my hair every color possible because why not? My biggest personal indulgence is my monthly hair salon visit. A natural brunette, I’ve gone blonde with pink highlights to help hide the white roots. You know you’re getting older when the few stray dark chin hairs you used to pluck out have turned white.
I was blessed with good genes as far as wrinkles go. It wasn’t until I turned 60 that wrinkles really started to catch up with me. I’ve been blessed not to have looked my age. Once the youngest in my office (I was 19 when I started my very first job, a temp job at a bank), I am now the old broad, the oldest one in my department. You know you’re getting older when you’ve been tasked with training (multiple) people. I spend a good portion of my day imparting my knowledge to others. After all I’m not going to be doing this forever.
I was never a star athlete or much of a fitness nut. I was fit enough in my 30’s to join a gym and work out every day at lunch time. Now I find myself working in the very same building with free access to the very same gym. I’m 60. I know I’m not dead, but I have zero interest in jumping around in an aerobics class as I once did. I could walk a treadmill or ride a stationary bike, but the things that once worked well enough for that no longer cooperate as they once did. You know you’re getting older when you add your name to the list of people in need of assistance during a fire drill.
I fell down the stairs a number of years ago and I have a knee that’s had physical therapy. It refuses to cooperate and swells up every so often. It buckles when I go down stairs. I have Achilles’ tendons with calcium deposits and a bum ankle from spraining it twice in my youth. I work on the 19th floor now. Walking down all of those stairs for a fire drill isn’t an option for me. If I don’t have to, I’m not going to. Period. Hell, yes, add me to the list. You know you’re getting older when your pride doesn’t hold you back from asking for help.
Yes, age has its benefits. I no longer care what others think nor do I walk around worrying about what they might be saying about me. Nope. I wear leggings, capris or yoga pants. No more tight waistbands for me. I remember lying down to zip up snug-fitting jeans and then looking damned good in them. I also got gas cramps and itchy grooves dug into my belly. Now I wear baggy, triple x sized t-shirts. I’m not that fat. I just don’t like anything tight or clinging. I wear flats 24/7. I used to stuff my feet into spiked heels, and I’m 5’9”. Now I wear sneakers to work, and I wear slacks and baggy blouses. I used to wear business suits, stockings and color matched high heels. I dressed for success. Did I ever succeed? Nope. So now I’m comfortable. You know you’re getting older when comfort comes before fashion.
I’ve reached the age where I can eat off of the 55 Plus menu or do the early bird specials. Do I? Nope. I’m not quite ready for that level of senior citizen label. I probably should because my digestion these days doesn’t allow me to scarf down bad food. I’d rather be hungry than sorry tomorrow. I only eat what agrees with me. You know you’re getting older when you order a full meal and walk away leaving most of it still on your plate.
You know you’re getting older when you can feel it in your bones. Age is freeing, but aging is permanent. The years slip by before you know it, and you can’t get them back. So take those instrument lessons you always wanted to or put pink streaks in your hair. Play live on stage with a band. Adopt a kitten while you’re still young enough to chase them around.
You know you’re getting older. Hurry up before it’s too late.