This weekend I was chatting with some new friends and they reacted strongly to the fact that I have a son who's 22. "What? How does that work if you are only, like, 25 yourself," said one of them, who has my undying devotion. "You're forty seven? That's ridiculous," said the other. "I thought you were our age."
"I am," I answered. "I'm just older."
And then we laughed ourselves silly.
Which gets me thinking, again, about how weird it is to be getting to be old as dirt, especially now that I have friends of all ages with whom I hang out on a regular basis, altogether forgetting about the decades that might separate our birth dates.
As I enter the far side of my forties, it's so much fun to have such a range of people in my life, from my BFF Ruby who's 11 on up to Diana who's more than 60 (just guessing, Diana, don't know for sure since you defy categorization!). It's so weird to think about how ancient my grandmothers seemed when I was a child, and to know that my spry parents are at least 20 years older than that now and still living it up and growing and changing. Have things changed or just me? Probably a little of both.
No matter what, I'm still going to sit bolt upright in bed, out of a dead sleep, awakened by the thought, "Holy F*ck! I'm going to be 50 in three years!" The 50 makes no sense, doesn't match up at all with the idea I have had in my head for most of my life about what it represents. It's truly wonderful that it's different than my expectation and that each year continues to get better and better as the numbers go higher and higher.
What a shame it is that people have such a complex about their age, that we live in a culture that glorifies youth to such a degree that women and men will have surgeries to maintain the face, the ass, at 55 that they had at 25. How much more fun it is to see the passing years as an accumulation of wisdom and experience and capacity for sheer enjoyment of life, keeping youthful curiosity and enthusiasm alive while gaining an ever-deeper sense of how miraculous everything is.
Anyway, that's how I'm planning on rocking it from here to 95, hanging around with the youths, partying with my elders, each birthday's bigger number an opportunity to celebrate how great it is to still be on this earth, swept up in all of this wonder. And periodically, if I still get carded, that's cool, too.