Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Stuck in the Middle (Age)

I guess it's to be expected to see a bunch of old people shopping at JCPenny's on a Tuesday mid-morning. And maybe that's why I was there too. ;-) Well, I figured it was safer to go with the old people than later in the day since there have been at least three shootings at the mall in the last year, most in the afternoon or evening. Anyway, old people, bless their hearts I hope I live long enough to be as old, are so slow when they are paying for things. I shouldn't complain. What's my rush? Maybe they are just as lost in this world of expanding technology as I am finding myself.

It's like I'm stuck in the middle between these old people who barely get around and hardly know how to use a debit card and the younger people who are constantly texting friends on their high-tech phones while negotiating all sorts of other gadgets and whatnot that are intimidating to me. While my cell phone can receive text messages, and all I get are spams, my service does not include allowing me to send text messages. I could add that option, but not that it really matters because it seems like texting is mostly for people who need to sneak around about their communications. Okay, not really, but isn't it easier just to call?

One of my reasons for shopping was looking for a cute phone for my daughter to put in her room so she could answer her own calls. Not a cell phone, but a nice old-fashioned land-line phone. There were none to be found. Anywhere. Not cute ones anyway. Man, I'm getting old and behind the times. See, where we live cell phone service is still kind of iffy sometimes, so I don't think it's a good idea to eliminate the land-line like many urban/suburban people are doing. Besides, in some circumstances a land-line is more reliable and possibly more secure (though I don't really know about that for sure.) I ended up buying a plain phone and will just "bling" it up with some rhinestone stickers.

Then I went to Hot Topic because my kids are at the age of liking that kind of stuff. The music was too loud and there was way too much stuff. Sensory overload for a middle-aged momma, so I had to ask the nice young guy working there to help me find things. Pathetic.

Just in the last couple of weeks I've been fretting over getting older and all the things that go with it. It sucks! I'll never be the cute little 20 year old or even 30 year old I used to be. And what really sucks is that I didn't even really know I was cute then and therefore didn't actually enjoy it as much as I now know I should have. Yeah, it's a mid-life crisis thing. We get to an age when we regret our stupidity and wasted youth. If only we knew then what we know now. These cliches are hard and real. I can't even look at myself in the mirror sometimes. Who is that fat old lady I see?

I have to admit that I offered God a deal after my mom died nearly 12 years ago. I told him that I would accept whatever aging brought me as long as I got to live much longer than she did. And then after my dad died earlier this year I realized that I've certainly been paying on my deal already and wondered how much more I owed. Mom died shortly after her 54th birthday. Daddy died a few months before his 71st birthday. Both died about 10 years after their appendices blew. Averaging their ages at death is 62.5. Adding ten years to my approximate age when my appendix blew is 50. Those numbers probably don't mean anything, but when you're feeling old already they don't look so good.

Sorry if this is a downer. Maybe next time I go shopping I'll be adventurous and go at night. ;-)


e. l. wood said...

if you get a chance, check out a poem called "play-by-play" by joan murray. there's a great line in it about how the youth would like to see themselves as they are
"bathed in the light of perfect expectation,
before their shadows lengthened,
before they
walked together up the darkened hill,
so beautiful they would not have
recognized themselves"

i really like the poem's juxtaposing of youth and inexperience with aging and wisdom.

The Guy said...

"I didn't even really know I was cute then and therefore didn't actually enjoy it as much as I now know I should have"

I got a good laugh off that one.

But really, there might have been a little wisdom in the choices the young you made. Life is a river of turning points, who knows how things would've turned out if you'd unleashed your cuteness? Regrets are as easy to make as triumphs.

But I can really relate. Oh! what I'd do different if I could...

But you gotta wonder, what would the 52 year old you or me say about what we're doing right now?

Rae Ann said...

e.l., thanks, that's very fitting.

guy, lol, glad to make you laugh. You're right that our youthful folly or missed follies ;-) are part of what we are today. It's very hard for me to look that far into the future, but I'm sure we'll be laughing at our current selves and that 'midlife crisis' silliness.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's any consolation, but my appendix is 53 years gone and I'm not quite dead yet.

Rae Ann said...

Anon. Thanks, it is good to hear that.