A friend asked the other day, via facebook status, "If you didn't know how old you were, how old would you be?" It was obviously intended to remind us all that as long as we stay young at heart we never have to feel old, and to get us thinking about how short life really is and how much of the daily bullshit could be brushed aside if only we'd make the choice to be Toys R Us kids forever. Without hesitation, I answered, "53". In reality, I turn 34 in 2 months.
I don't feel 21, and considering what an immature ass I was at 21 I'm kind of glad for that. But I don't feel young at heart and I resent the implication that I should. The idea of a gray-haired old grandmother out rollerblading through the park because she's young at heart (and most likely being filmed for a Depends commercial) is endearing, but the reality is that the people who think they can stay 21 forever don't become gray-haired old grannies rollerblading int he park. They become Botoxed denial queens who hang out in the bars wearing too much make up and too few clothes, smoking Menthol cigarettes and trying to pick up young guys, all while wearing a cropped off tee shirt with the words "Young at heart" printed on it.
I make a conscious effort not to dress too young. I don't want to be one of those moms who shows up to the parent teacher conference braless in short shorts. When I get chilly, I put on a sweater rather than walk around looking like 2 tanks are preparing to fire through my blouse. I don't giggle if someone asks me if I'm my daughter's sister; I roll my eyes and wonder just who they think they're kidding. I don't wear bikinis or low-rise jeans and I get excited about new flavors of oatmeal (they make a latte one now, can you believe it!). My hobbies, rather than roller blading or jogging, include crocheting and gardening and sewing.
Now that I think of it, maybe I underestimated when I said 53. Maybe 72 is more like it.