I’m not one who’s ever obsessed over age. It really has just been a number to me. Growing up and into my 20s, I spent a lot of time with my mother’s friends, who never treated me like a kid; and, as a result, I always felt like they were my friends, too.
In my youth I was attracted to older men and a lot of the guys I dated were at least 10 years older than I was. One was actually not much younger than my mother, yes, scandalous I know.
Even as a child, I wasn’t crazy about my birthday. Unlike most kids, I was never wild with anticipation as THE day got closer and closer. Not even the prospect of gifts particularly excited me. Or parties. Or cake and ice cream. I have no clue why. Ridiculous, I know.
Maybe even at three years old I wasn’t crazy about the idea of time marching on. Who knows. Bet a therapist would have a field day with this one. All I know is, nothing’s changed.
Unlike my mother, who celebrated each and every birthday she had. Yes, she celebrated each and every year she was blessed with ‘living’. Not that she liked getting old. Staring her mortality square in the eye. She just didn’t dwell on it. What I’m about to say may sound like a fragrance commercial or a Hallmark card, but I’m saying it anyway. Because, in my mother’s case, it’s absolutely true (as anyone who knew her can confirm). It defined her and all she stood for:
She defied it. When she looked in the mirror she saw a woman much younger than she really was. She saw a woman with the spirit of a forty year old. And the energy. And the enthusiasm. A woman filled with the joyful anticipation of what each new day could bring. Would bring. Because she willed it so. She’d tell you how old she was, before you asked. To her it was an accomplishment to be proud of.
Vain as she was (and I don’t mean this in a bad way), she NEVER shied away from saying “I’m 75”. Or 80, or 84. I think she