My boys, when they were teenagers, used to say “If I were in charge of the world, here’s what I’d do.” It usually translated to things like:
- Eliminate homework
- Drink soda for breakfast
- Never make my bed
- Play video games all day without mom yelling at me to get-outside-and-get-some-fresh-air!
Well, now it’s my turn. There are so many things about this so-called midlife I embrace and celebrate. But then again, nothing’s perfect, is it? There are many others that I think need changing. And at the end of this post, please chime in with yours. After all, the truth is that we ARE in charge. We just have to let other people know it.
If I were in charge of midlife, here’s what I’d change:
- Fashion. Don’t tell me I’m “too old” to wear a miniskirt if I still have legs that look good in a miniskirt. After all, I work hard for these legs. But if you think I’m buying those stilettos that I “must” wear with that miniskirt, you’re sadly mistaken. No way am I going to put on something that tortures my feet. I know better by now.
- Ma’am. Please don’t call me “ma’am.” I know to some, it’s endearing and shows respect, but I can’t help but wince each time I hear it. It just makes me feel…old.
- Clothing Stores. When I come in to look at those miniskirts, I’d rather you didn’t look at me like I had three heads, or ask if there is anything you can help me pick out for my daughter. (I don’t even have a daughter.) And please don’t try to flatter me into buying something by telling me it looks fabulous. I’ll only be back next week to return it when I get home and look in the mirror – and reality hits.
- Bars/Restaurants. When I sit down and order a drink because I’m a bit early and waiting for my friend or husband to arrive, what makes you think I’m a woman on the hunt, aka a cougar? I just want to be left alone – except by the bartender, who is ignoring me in favor of the younger man/woman he/she is busy flirting with.
- Hair. I happen to like long hair. I’ve always liked long hair. And especially after losing all my hair when I had chemotherapy years ago, my long hair is even more important to me. So, just because I’m past 50, does that really mean I have to deny myself what I love and cut it to suit an “older woman” better?
- Technology. This is a big one. If you grew up without knowing a language and it was suddenly thrust at you all at once, would you be able to pick it up at warp speed and be as knowledgeable as the people who grew up speaking that language? Of course not. So the next time I ask a “stupid” techie question, or don’t understand your explanation (if you’re even patient enough to give me one), please don’t look at me with disdain and contempt. I’m trying here, I really am.
- My opinion. I swore I’d never say this, but I’ve been alive longer than you and happen to know some things. Experience is a great thing. It helps to teach you the truth of the world, even though those truths can be harsh sometimes. It also helps make you a much wiser person. So the next time I give you my opinion, take a moment to reflect on it rather than roll your eyes. You might learn something.
- Memory. I know a lot of people think that when an older person forgets something, it’s a sign of senility. But I’m not senile. And I sometimes forget things (even you do, too). Rather than senility, forgetting is a sign that I have a lot of things my brain is trying to store, and sometimes the queue is too full, or the cracks widen and things fall into them.
- Driving. I’m a good driver. I’ve gotten two speeding tickets but that’s when I was younger. I learned my lesson the hard way. So if you’re tailgating me in a 40-mph zone because you want to go 50, cut it out. Pass me. But when you do, don’t look at me and shake your head. I may not be clairvoyant, but I know what you’re thinking.
- Menopause. Just because I went through it, don’t look at me like I’m all old and shriveled up. I’m still a vital and young, and I’d like to think I haven’t lost my hipness factor, either.
Okay, your turn. Here’s the challenge. Add your gripe. Let’s get it up to 100!