I still think I’m 20
Yes, it’s true. I still think I’m in my early twenties. Given I have four daughters (one of whom just turned 16), was born before the mid-70’s, went to my 20 year high school reunion last year, say things like “it’s my job as a mother to make sure you go to school and get an education and don’t spend too much time internet shopping” and used to drink beer when it cost $1 for a middy, I am OBVIOUSLY NOT 20! But finally, I am cool enough to be 20, and I’m not!
My sister (who is older than me, but honestly only slightly) started this conversation in my head when she made a jokey reference on the weekend to the “middle aged ladies club” and then said “which I count myself as one of by the way”, and I was all taken aback. But she is 40 this year. And I do believe 40 is middle aged? Isn’t it? So then I’m there too, and that should be OK with me. But I haven’t caught up, and now I’m starting to understand why no-one thinks they’re old, because in your head you’re the same age you’ve always been….
I’m nearly forty but I still think stuff that’s completely frivolous, vain and twenty-something, I want to look hotter than I ever did before my body was ravaged by four rounds of child-birth, and when I’m talking about people and some asks me their age I say “oh about my age, or maybe a little bit older” and then realise that person is 20 or 30 and I’m nowhere near it!
I hope I’m not mutton dressed as lamb. I nearly wore a mustard coloured t-shirt with a tiger print on it today (I’m SURE it’s a cool t-shirt, it’s what everyone is wearing!!) but when I saw myself in the hallway mirror I had to do this cougar kind of growl and that cat paw hand move and then I ran to my room and put a different t-shirt on – with no large cats or diamantes’ and just an irreverent saying instead (I think irreverent is also far too youth for me!).
I’ve always thought (or more likely said out loud when I was 22 and had had too much beer) that I would age gracefully, and never want to be young and silly again, and that if I got to go back I’d want to take everything I knew with me (but honestly, then you’d never drink so much you’d dance on tables or kiss hot but totally unsuitable and unworthy boys or have too many photos with bad hair and worse make-up and taffeta – and what would you laugh at the high-school reunion??? How cool you were at the school ball and what great choices you’d made in life??)
I know forty is the new 30 and that everyone I know is the same age in relation to my age as they always were, but I think I’m going down in a clutchy and graceless manner and will be making my grandchildren call me by my first name while I wear too tight pants and too much leopard print and tell too many stories about the fun and crazy stuff I did back on the 90’s. And everyone I talk to about this (except those who are 20, and say cute stuff like “oh, you don’t look THAT old, not that 38 is old anyway but you know what I mean”….and they toss their cute twenty hair and shrug the shoulder off their mustard coloured tiger t-shirt) says “oh, but we’ll be the cool middle-aged crew!” and I KNOW that that’s what everyone before us has said. And maybe they were, and no doubt we will be too. Or that’s what we’ll tell ourselves and that will make it more than OK.
I’m off to find me some grace, carrying on like this is immature and ridiculous and when I’m older I will look back and laugh and be glad I’m not that silly 38 year old. Totally. I’m already there….