Monday, February 2, 2009

. . . realized I'm old




Here's the gist of a conversation my daughter had with her daughter, Betsy: "Mommy, what did Nana look like before she was old?" "She had long blond hair that she put in a bun sometimes and she wore dresses and high heels." "Why doesn't she still wear high heels?" "I don't know." "I do, because she doesn't have any. I know, I've been in her closet and I've never seen any."


That first sentence just put a dart in my heart. . . no, make that a spear, a javelin, a harpoon. I'm sure that to a four-year-old, I am as old as the world. But I don't feel old. I try not to look OLD, just appropriate to my age. I have never considered my age to be a defining characteristic. Both my kids thought that comment was just the funnniest. . . just wait, you guys, your turn is coming.


And, Betsy, let me tell you, the glam look these days isn't high heels worn with paint-stained sweat pants. I suspect that Betsy has been snooping around the closet looking for dress-up clothes and high heels. She just didn't look in the right place. There is an entire wall of shoeboxes filled with high heels left over from my working days, as well as a whole room full of work clothes. I guess I kept all that stuff because I suspected I would need them again. Wise move on my part, under the circumstances, although most of the stuff is seriously out of date.


And speaking of old, the collage above was inspired by a photo of an old paint-splattered piece of equipment. . . hey, wait a minute, that could describe me.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember when John turned 39, the girls just couldn't understand how Daddy could be the same age as Grandmother? Remember what our Dad always said--age is just a number.
Anna

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Holy cow. I know this feeling! Kurt took my picture on our walk, and I thought "who is that person that looks like an older person with white hair?"....Just remember, when we were kids, we thought the neighbor who was 14 was old! Live with gusto and don't worry about the rest I say!

Margaret Ryall said...

Funny Mary. You should try it with gray, no make that white, hair!. I picked my son up at a birthday party twenty two years ago and the child who answered the door yelled, "Adam, you're grandmother's here for you'. Now that was humbling at 35!

Possibly Leslie has had similar experiences. I hate it when people tell me if I dyed my hair I would look younger. What does hair have to do with anything? I feel more alive today than I did at 35.

A rambling rose said...

Oh I SO agree with all that's been said as another grey haired woman who keeps been told by daughters she would look younger with dyed hair! But the expense of it even if I wanted too which I don't!!!
Another great piece of work Mary

Miki Willa said...

As another gray haired artist, I completely understand. My daughter had something different to say to me yesterday. When we were talking about a friend of ours who lives a very different lifestyle than ours, my daughter said to me, "Well, Mom, you are not exactly a poster child for normal." It was said with love, but I was taken by surprise. I have been working so hard on normal lately. I guess my version of normal is not hers.
Great collage, by the way.

Jeane said...

one of my young friends asked me the other day - "Geez, do you ever look in the mirror and think, god I look old?" I told her, "yes, everyday." I agree with Leslie - live with gusto! we still got that!

Mary Buek said...

Anna: Dad was another one who was always 39, like Jack Benny, remember? I was confused, too, as a kid.

Leslie: I love "live with gusto." Now how do you do that without getting in trouble?

Margaret, if my hair would turn white like yours, instead of dead mouse dull yuck, I would keep it that way, too. I, too, feel better now about myself than I ever did when I was younger.

Rose, it is expensive; something I budget for three or four times a year. I will die a blonde. Just not the blonde of 40 years ago.

Miki: That cracks me up. Aren't you glad you are not a poster child for normal. I wish someone had said that about me, especially one of my kids.

Jeane: I look in the mirror and see my mom, who is 81. Yikes. I think I'll just start being like Pink, in her song. . . I'm a rock star. Oh, wait a minute, maybe I'm just a rock. No, I think I will definitely start a fight. Live with gusto...

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I love this conversation; gray gusto! Don't worry about the trouble Mary; it happens if you live with gusto or without! But it is more fun with....

Jazz said...

I remember my first "Ma'am".

Damn that hurt.

Wildeve said...

I'm always surprised when I see a photo of myself or catch a glimpse in the mirror. When did I get old? I still feel the same inside, so expect to see the same person I think I am... *sigh*

Mary Buek said...

Jazz: I'll tell you something that happened to me. . . I'm driving down the road and a car full of teenage boys draws even with me in the other lane. The boys are behaving as only teenage boys can, and I glance over at them. They take one look at my face and race away. I guess I look pretty hot from the back sitting in a car. In other words, where most of me is concealed.

Eve, I know exactly what you're saying. I heard Whoopi Goldberg say that she had no mirrors in her house. That might not be a bad idea.