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?