The M Word
January 23, 2007
I hate to say it, but there’s been some serious trash-talkin’ about us going on. Read it and weep, honey. I mean, hitch up yer mom jeans, put on your bifocals, slip in your choppers, and chew on the bald, hideous fact laid plain right there in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald:
“At Mason Dixon Knitting, two more traditional style middle-aged knitters, located on opposite sides of the country, share with one another their personal knitting stories.”
They’re calling us “middle aged.” MIDDLE AGED. MIDDLE FREAKING AGED. Halfway home. On the slidey side of life. One step closer to Thee. One foot in the—aw hell, you see what I mean, right?
Here I’ve already made a resolution to swear off cosmetic surgery this year, and now the Portland Press Herald is putting us in the Metamucil demographic. Nobody’s ever called me middle aged before.
I asked David, who just turned eleven, whether he thinks I’m middle aged. He said, trying to be helpful, “No, Mom! Really. You don’t. Middle aged would be, like, 52. Fifty-two is middle aged.”
Which means he’s thinking 104 is your average lifespan.
Why does middle aged sound so dire? Can’t we come up with some new way of describing a person who is, in my case, 43? I liked it when they cooked up a new name for furniture from the 1950s. It was no longer called old, crummy furniture; it was Midcentury. Midcentury is great. Maybe middle aged should be midcentury.
In my Pilates class today, there were a trio of Jessica Simpsons wiggling their way through the exercises. I’ve never seen such a collection of glutes. I was like, “Darlings! Take the day off! You could bounce quarters off those buns! Somebody could get hurt!”
I think the trick is to hang out with 20 year olds and just pretend I’m one of them. If somebody could just loan me a Chi Omega Valentine’s Mixer 2005 T-shirt, I’d be much obliged.
You’re as old as you feel, right?
P.S. Just to be clear about the cosmetic surgery issue, I’m no fan of the injecting and puffing and slurping out and hoisting up. Here’s a beautiful quote from a beautiful 82-year-old guy, Paul Newman:
“I’m not vain and insecure like many of my fellow actors and actresses. Quite frankly, I like the way I look. I’m not jumping on the Hollywood bandwagon and turning the clock back with a facelift. So what if my face is falling apart? I don’t give a damn. Everyone thinks they can stay pretty forever, but some come out of Beverly Hills surgeries looking scary to me. Everyone in Tinseltown is getting pinched, lifted and pulled. For many, it’s become a sick obsession. They lose some of their soul when they go under the knife and end up looking body-snatched.”
Clink! I raise my bottle of Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing in his honor.