I was discussing the current season of the Handmaid’s Tale recently with some gals, and I casually mentioned that if I found myself a handmaid that I like to think I’d be one of the kick-ass ones, who are constantly getting side-eyed for being suspect. A fighter and supporter of the resistance, you know – not some Bible-thumping follower or dead-eyed prisoner who just goes along. One of the chicks spoke up and said “well, you wouldn’t be a handmaid – you’d be a Martha!“, much to my bewilderment. If you indulge the series you already know that the handmaids are the younger and fertile lot, and the Martha’s are the older women of the society, who function as servants.
Yes, I said bewilderment because for one stinkin’ second there, I had NO IDEA what she was talking about. Had I been fucking on it I would have punched her in the throat immediately, but I wasn’t – I was all, “of course I’d be a handmaid, who else would I be?” Well, she’s right, I’d totally be a Martha. I am a fifty-one year old woman. I don’t know if I could have had children, or not – I never gave it a whirl, but be that as it may, I remain a 51 year old woman, therefore, I’d be a burlap and beige Martha. Shit.
How the hell did I get old? Moreover,
Fast forward to my recent trip with the Douchebags, my three life-long best friends. We met in our twenties and now we’re almost all in our fifties, and naturally our trips together are quite different then they were twenty years ago. Well, especially me, as I’m not getting Yeltsin drunk every hour of the day anymore. We’ve always enjoyed relaxing – whether it be at the beach, or by a fire, or in a spa. This trip we set up camp at Jane’s new house and thanks to non-cooperative weather and an open schedule, we found ourselves with more downtime than usual. We sat around one evening eating sushi take-out while lamenting the ridiculous downsides of aging – orthopedic insoles, bifocals and thinning eyebrows, for starters. That quickly turned to C-PAP machines, heart burn and soreness in joints and muscles you didn’t even know you had. I looked around the dining room table at my three best friends. I could see the bright moon low in the Denver sky and I was ridiculously grateful – for these three, and for all the aches and pains that go with friendship, and getting older. Of course I realize we’re not elderly, and some would chastise me for lamenting getting older at all, compared the alternative, and I get that as well. It’s just that aging with the same gals you were once YOUNG with, is a special and hilarious treat. I mean, we survived shoulder pads together, you guys.
That’s the thing about aging, and getting older – no one really thinks it’s going to happen to them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go yell at the kids on my lawn.
So indulge me, won’t you? What’s the best part about getting older, besides not being dead? What have you found challenging and/or hilarious? Don’t leave a sober sister hanging, yo.
P.S. I can hardly wait until menopause.
For me, getting older and menopause WAS the fun part! I hit menopause in my early-40’s and it sent my libido skyrocketing! So the “old” part translated into “cougar” and I felt in my Prime! Then I hit 50 (now 56) and settled into the comfortable with my Sex God, letting the others slide away. But age is an attitude. I type this with electric blue/green mermaid hair, contemplating if I’ll lose some (any!) weight before going to Nocturnal the 2 day rave in September. I’ve had knee surgery because of age, I’m replacing teeth with implants annually, I fell down 2 steps in my house and was in a wheelchair for weeks! I’m wondering if my eyesight will soon need TRIfocals!! And the most sad is the lactose sensitivity that has me thinking of ice cream the way I think of sky diving! Do I risk it?
Oh Heather! You are such an inspiration! I find age is an attitude too and I’m not sure why I’m having such a hard time settling into my 50’s. I guess I suddenly feel like I wasted too much time, but that’s silly – start NOW! You are such a terrific example of living your best life no MATTER your age and I think I will follow in your footsteps, although I don’t know I could handle a two-day rave! LOL! Oh, and the lactose vs sky diving comparison made me snort so loudly that I hiccuped too! Keep on with your bad self, gurl! Much love!
I’m at an age where I feel like I have kind of a delicious secret. Because of my often-brutal and always-effective yoga routine, I feel like a ten-year-old boy (I’m 63.) I dress like one, too – tee/skinny jeans/Converse – and wear my salt-and-pepper hair in a modified Mohawk, but the color is the only thing that’s noticed, when I’m noticed at all. When younger people – strangers – do acknowledge me, it’s with that palpable “elderly woman” look and/or comment (a sort of pitying-yet-slightly-dismissive “hello, ma’am.”) It’s a bit of a ding on my psyche every time because I’m still in the “why do I get this reaction?” phase.
I feel joyful 95% of the time! My 30-year-old friends are all worrying about the same things I worried about as a 30-year-old. It was a miserable time! Now I know those things don’t matter AT ALL. I know that all the corny things you hear “old people” say ARE TRUE: life is rich, it’s the little things, simple pleasures are best, true friends are like diamonds. There’s so much to explore, so much to learn, too many books to read, too much fun to have. I intend to stay in shape as long as I can so that I can enjoy them. I feel like a time traveler! Kids see an old woman, but inside I’m giggling like a lunatic!
Maybe next year I’ll feel like an 11-year-old boy.