When I think of the phrase, “coming of age,” I’ve decided it fits where I am right now. Sixty.
Yes, I am 60. In my opinion, I am “coming of age” and my so-called Tween years are between “responsible, contributing to society” adult and “wise old woman.” You know what I mean. The outspoken, been-there-done-that-have-a-teeshirt-as-proof kind of grey-haired granny full of profound one-liners that inspire and educate youth.
O.k., so I don’t have grey hair. And my one-liners borderline on sarcastic. And when I speak, jaws don’t drop in awe and wonder.
This coming of age stuff is a process, I’ve decided. Yes, I’m still trying to figure it out. To be perfectly honest, I expected something different than what I got. Respect, for one thing. After all, I survived 59 years of marriage, divorce, child birth, diapers, teething and surly teenagers.
I paid my dues as a soccer/softball/tai kwon do/cheerleader mom. I admit not your stereotype “sports mom” – more or less the passive/agressive, twitch-jerky one who grudgingly buys ALL the chicken dinner fundraiser tickets herself.
At 60, I admit I expected the entire world to “stand up and give me a seat on the bus” (as an analogy). Nobody stood up.
How does one BE 60? Since I’ve never BEEN 60 before, I don’t know. My mother never seemed to be 60 as far as I remember. She was 45, then 73, and then GONE. Am I just going through my “pre-gone” phase? Am I “tween” 59 and…? Gone?
I wonder…when do I get the burning desire to buy a red hat? (I LOVE those Red Hat Ladies!) Do I wake up one morning and decide that today is THE day that I MUST have a red hat? Or, does an invitation come in the mail like that AARP card appeared the moment I hit 50?
Now that I’m 60, do I have an option which path to take as far as choosing between the big wide brimmed hat “garden lady” or the Bingo lady or the walk the wheezy arthritic dog lady? Does one choose to become a social activist?
Yes, this coming of age is, indeed, a process. I am most definitely “tween” because (1) I’m still “carded” to prove I deserve a senior discount (it’s not an automatic: senior? oh, duh! yet), but (2) when I contact my doctor about nausea, he doesn’t suggest a pregnancy test.