I have a birthday coming up in a few days – and I’m extremely dissatisfied.
It’s not the fact I’m having one that’s troubling... any day I’m above ground and breathing is a day in the WIN column as far as I ‘m concerned.
And my gripe isn’t even about having:
a) varicose veins on my legs resembling a street map of Cincinnati and the surrounding metropolitan area,
b) a cottage cheese ass,
c) deja vue and amnesia at the same time – where I know I’ve forgotten something before,
d) bruises the size of Wyoming on my thighs for which I have no explanation,
e) ‘wing spans’ where my upper arms used to be,
f) stray, grey eyebrows - on my chin!
g) continental drift in which my boobs and midriff are combining into one large land mass – and it’s headed to the southern Hemisphere.
While I never expected to deal with ANY of these conditions, I’ve come to accept them.
Forrest Gump was wrong – life isn’t like a box of chocolates; it’s like a box of Ritz and the contents will definitely settle in handling!
I remember the arrogance of youth, when I looked at older people – with their nose hairs, drooping, enlarging earlobes, non-estrogenized skin, thinking "How could they let themselves go like that?"
Like it was a choice.
Like they could have changed the reality that gravity always wins!
No, my particular gripe about my birthday is with the wording of it all.
I am NOT middle aged.
I have neither the intention, desire nor retirement account to live to be 124.
But I can’t possibly be OLD.
That’s always 20 yrs older than you are anyway, right?
There’s just not a decent, accurate word for this phase of life.
I never bought that I was part of the ‘sandwich generation’.
I hate that phrase – it conjures up images of ‘flat meat’ stuck between dry, doughy white bread or worse, watercress with the crusts cut off, looking pretty and dainty but having no substance whatsoever.
Nope, sad to say, I’m more of a drippy Philly Cheese steak on a hoagie with onions and Whiz – and who wants THAT image as your identity?
A friend suggested “Ripe” as the term du jour.
Nope, I’m seeing fruit flies.
How about “Mature”?
Nope; I’ve had some heady responsibilities since age 5 – and a shortened childhood as it is.
I’ve been ‘mature’ most of my life.
“Someone who’s peaked – and still standing on the mountaintop”?
Nope, nope and maybe.
I guess trying to craft the perfect word can be my goal for the next phase of my life –
at least until I get too tired and too old to care anymore...
and drift contentedly out to sea on my ice flow.