Thursday, March 26, 2009

Please Do Not Rattle My Signature Poise and Other Affronts to My Delusions

I really am trying to age gracefully. I'm coming to accept the fact that I have a daughter who is old enough to be graduating high school in May. I've let my natural gray grow in, changing the whole way I view myself. I was always a brunette or, sometimes, a sort of redhead. But this silver which some people think looks blond is a radical change for me.

Perhaps I'm not so much aging gracefully as I am trying not to fight the inevitable in a way that makes me feel ridiculous. I've not entirely forsaken dressing like a teenager meaning you'll have to pry the hoodie from my cold dead body. But you won't find me in butt floss and I only listen to hip hop when I relent and let the kids choose the radio station.

However, when I get an email that begins:

Dear Lisa H. Golden,

It's been 20 years since you graduated from IU and it's a great time to reconnect with your alma mater by joining your Indiana University Alumni Association.

I lose a bit of my signature poise. You can stop laughing now.

It's rather like the proverbial dash of cold water to be reminded in an email that I'm TWENTY YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE!!!!! Hells bells, shouting it in all caps isn't enough to make me feel comfortable with the idea that I'm TWENTY YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE!!!!!!!

In case you're wondering, yes, I AM crying big, fat tears of realization. They're plopping down on the laptop like big age splotches. Because you know that's next, right? I'll be sporting those liver spots, joining the Red Hat Society and planning a trip to Branson, Missouri, to see the Osmond Brothers and Barbara Mandrell and her sisters performing live on stage at 5:30 p.m. Their show will be sponsored by who else? Depends. (Note to MaryCatholic - please send Depends and Poise in discreet packaging. Thank you.)

Accepting the fact that I'm TWENTY YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE!!!!!! is going to take some time. Oh, all along, I've looked in the mirror and noticed the changes, fussing about the wrinkles, the sun damage, wondering aloud how my mother's hand got on the end of my arm, but when Indiana University sends me an email putting a number on the years stretching between then and now? I start to envision my personal decay speeding up like time lapse film.....

I'm not ready to be what? Middle aged? Seasoned? Mature?

Okay - stop right there. We all know that's not going to happen. Me? Mature? I don't have it in me.

If I.U. wants me to send in a little scratch to the alumni association, that's fine. I will. But tell me I'd better do it because The Dancer will get more scholarship money to attend the alma mater of MathMan and me. Or tell me that if I don't, little puppies will go unpetted. Or that without my twenty-five dollars, the Bluebird will close. Or tell me that if I neglect to pay up, I will find that my bras no longer fit, the toilet will overflow and that my favorite tweezers that I just found will get lost again. Anything. Anything!

But do not, I repeat, do NOT tell me how many years it's been since I graduated college!

There are some illusions I'd like to maintain, if you don't mind.

Beer in a plastic cup, anyone?


  1. You child. I'm nearly THIRTY years away from college. I turned FIFTY yesterday. Several of my high school classmates are grandparents.

    And I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

    P.S. Your hair is glorious.

  2. I am so far past anything like that, I gave up long You make me feel young. I guess that is why I enjoy reading your blog so much. My granddaughter will be graduating high school in another 2 years... geeze... now I feel OLD... LOL

    It gets better.. trust me. The worse for me was when my daughter turned 21, that's when I really realized my age, or maybe it was her age.. I am not sure

  3. Well, I'd really like to do you a favor and sympathize about you being TWENTY YEARS out of school. But I simply can't. I mean, I graduated from high school in 1973. Understand? When you say you've been out of school for TWENTY YEARS, I am reminded that I have been out of high school for almost THIRTY-SIX-FREAKIN' YEARS!

    I need to go lay down. I'll be back later with a better attitude. I promise.


    Huh? What? Oh, sorry was I saying something? No, no, I'm fine. I'll recover. Really. 'kay. Later.

  4. Oy.

    I don't even know where to start.

    All I know is that we're not old and I'm older than you.

  5. On a recent quiz my students had to write conditional statements:"If you are in Math I then your teacher is middle-aged". Naturally, I marked the answer incorrect. I am not and you are not middled aged. Unless of course 44 and 1/2 is middle aged betwween 44 and 45.

  6. Thankfully ever single person on the planet looks better now than they did in the eighties......

  7. Try being 34 years out of college! Hard to believe, it seems like yesterday in many ways.

    My realization of being "old" came when I turned 40. I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and say "How did I get here???" Now I'm cool with it.

  8. You just need a vacation. After all the stuff settles down this summer, go tubing or kick back in one of those salt lakes where you can't float, drink good beer or whatever you like, and 20 years will seem good instead of sad. Or at least you will not be as tense.

  9. Oh you little pussy. Embrace your coming invisibility, it gives you such freedom to do such outrageous things and get away with it. At least I think I'm getting away with it. I'll be 65 in June darling and as you know I'm not exactly all dignified and refined, or without at least the occasional hormonal blip that makes me think I need a man for a moment.

    Speaking of acting out, do you think blogger will kick me out of the club?

  10. Your hair is beautiful.

    Time: ugh! can't fight against it, can't hoard it--all you can do really is enjoy the moment and hope for the best.

  11. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
    Mark Twain

    I went back to my blog and that was the quote I found there so I had to come back to share. Blogger is acting up and won't let me sign in.


  12. It's all relative and what do the numbers really mean? You're either busy living or busy dying and if the former, just keep kicking up those heels and wowing the spectators.

    The nice part of being human is we get to pick the seasons we can bloom again in. So some bloom perpetually, some intermittently, and 'oldness' has no seat reserved to mock the performance.

  13. You should be crying tears of joy because this is the best part of your life! Really. Trust me.

  14. Just do what I do and forget how old you are:)

  15. I forget how old I am all the time. It really does work. Of course, the fact that I CAN forget how old I am is a sign of what? Old age. So, it's a mixed bag, really.

    This year is 20 years since I graduated high school.

    (On a serious note, I've found that 90% of my issue with my age is that I am not where I envisioned myself being at this age. I thought by now I'd be out of college, having a fabulous career, with a lovely home, nice car, husband and wildly successful children. I've got the 'husband' part. The rest? I'm working on it.)

  16. Oh, and I forgot to say...

    I didn't realize you had so many OLD PEOPLE reading your blog.

    /ducks and runs away in a zig zag manner/

  17. Lisa, by the time you, Mathman and I are ready to head to Branson the headliners will be REM, Duran Duran and the Thompson Twins. It will be cool to be old then, and we are over 20 years away from that. Cheer up we got lotsa time before we are really old.

  18. Does it make you feel any better to know that this May marks 30 years since I graduated from college?


    I didn't think it would.

  19. OMG! I LOVE your collage! Brings back memories for me...and I threw all my ticket stubs away a few years ago, dammit... Now I simply can't rremember all of the fab shows I think I saw! Bruce at the indoor arena in Cincy (see? I can't even remember the place's names)...but it was THE BOSS.... JImmy Buffet on the Riverfront plaza..... Loads of "Big Red Machine" bb games....

    And the picture of you and MM? I LOVE the perm!! And MM looks like Patrick Dempsey...yuuuuuum!! ;-)

  20. Old is always 20 years beyond whatever you happen to be on any given day.

    And that whole red hat thing has always baffled me -- it's like those old ladies are regressing to junior high when you demonstrated your "individuality" by dressing like everyone else and insisting your table was the cool kids table in the cafeteria.

  21. The Thompson Twins? They ain't NEVER comin' back.......

  22. OMG, where to start!? Your hair is fab, the perm from the 80' go girl!
    You are so far away from Branson trips and early bird specials, I know because I'm older than you woman! I often look in the mirror and wonder who that is.......she almost looks and when did that happen? I'll be 50 this year and I'm really trying to embrace know people treasure fine wines and aged liquor right......well I want to be right up there with those choices, or at least be drinking them!
    Mail IU a check and are fab!

  23. i voted for Nora for the Fangoria Spook Model competition at your recommendation..... the competition i stiff...... but i like her nurse hat and bright red lips......

  24. Thirty year highschool reunion currently being organized in my home town as we speak. I won't be attending! Not on your life!


  25. Fortunately, age doesn't have anything to do with maturity. I try to live by that rule.

    willis has already had his 40th HS reunion.

  26. Oh man. Why can't our bodies stay young while our brains mature and grow wiser!?

    Getting old sucks.

    44 and hating it.

  27. Each time my kids tell me I'm old, I'm going to come here, reread this post, and feel better. Merci!

  28. Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. There have been long stretches where I have forgotten how old I am, then again, they say memory is the first thing to go and I forget what the second thing is. Chalk me up as one of the old farts reading your blog. I drove thru Branson once, but never stopped, something there may be catching.

  29. Make sure you send them some money before you eat supper at 4:30 in the afternoon. Oh and do it right before your bus trip to the see the fall foliage in New England.

  30. It has only been 17 years since I graduated from college. Of course I was 36 when I graduated.

  31. That was really hilarious and I loved the collage.
    But you young whippersnappers need to shut the fuck up about getting old.
    And one more thing-I too thought you were a blonde. Imagine that.

  32. I'd be more concerned that you have published pictorial evidence of your ATTENDANCE AT A LOVERBOY CONCERT, if I was you - and it would be cool if I was you, because then I'd be younger - but then that would mean more years to live down the horrible stigma of hearing Lady Of The '80's live.


  33. Old? It's "The Wonder Years".

  34. Like darkblack, I was shocked not at your age but at proof that you attended a Loverboy concert! "Turn me loose!"

    I've been out of college for 23 years, and I'm still waiting to grow up. I don't feel any older than, say, 30. So I just go with 30. Although with each passing day I look more and more like my Dad in drag. Graying temples and weird skin thingys.

    Being invisible has it's advantages. I've started "shopping" for my kids at various lost and found boxes around town, and no one gives me a second glance. I'm considering bank robbery next.

  35. You are going to go see Osmond Brothers and Barbara Mandrell?!!??!

    I thought that you were going to age gracefully... ;o)

  36. That was hilarious, and the comments are even funnier. I went into Hollister a few months ago to buy a birthday present for a teenage girl and all I could think was "it's so LOUD in here! And it's so DARK! I can't read the price tags!" See you in Branson (but I'll see you and everyone else I know in Hell before I join that Red Hat abomination).

  37. Yes, but you graduated college when you were 16, right? So you're not really all that old. ;-)

    (If it makes you feel any better, I have a couple years on you.)

  38. If I don't go to my 30th high school reunion, does that mean it's not happening?

    (If it makes you feel any better, I'll share my AARP membership offer with you... Oops, can't do that. I tore it up and threw it out.)

  39. Ah, but you're so young at heart! That's what really matters, anyway. :)

    And by the way, Iwanski and I went to Branson last summer AND went to one of those touristy country music shows. I guess we're old before our time. :)

  40. Add me to the group trying to make you feel better by saying I graduated 32 years ago. That means you were, maybe in a training bra at the time...

  41. well darling, my highschool reunion is coming up on #40 so SHUT UP! oh, i was going to impress upon you the importance of NEVER losing those tweezers but then i decided you didn't need any more stress...and you sure are/were cute!


  42. But are you gracing agefully? That's what I want to know - butt floss denier!

  43. I know there are deeper thoughts to have to this post but they are all overridden by the adorable pictures of you and your Patrick Dempsey husband. Completely agree with giggles above - that was the first thing I thought. Holy shit! She dated Patrick Dempsey! And then holy shit! She married Patrick Dempsey!

  44. It'll be 30 years in May since I got my useless degree in Economics. And no way am I telling anyone how old I was when I graduated.

    Now I spend most of my time wishing someone would invent a whole-body (scalp to toe) panty hose. Or some kind of cellophane skin wrap. Or rose-colored glasses.


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