When I Grow Old ...
I thought I was having a nice afternoon with my boys, cozied up in a movie theater with a box of Raisinettes and Diet Coke. Turns out, I was having a moment of clarity.
We were at the SuperSaver, where the darkened halls are a bit of a gift, covering years of wear and tear and lord-knows-what else. The lobby is lined with pinball machines and arcade games - some that work, and some that don't, and the cotton candy costs about the same price as a movie ticket. It's perfect. It's a blast from the past - nearly exactly like the little theater my friends and I went to in Festus, Missouri when I was a kid. There, they played the same single movie for weeks at a time, so date nights were often limited to re-runs. It was good stuff.
Back in the day, we always wanted to sit in the back corners of the theater, hidden from view of the adults in the room. Those adults - the men with their mustaches and sideburns, and the women with their Zena "mom" jeans and perms, knew nothing (or so we thought). They had their jobs and their bills, and they made all the rules. They didn't know anything about what it was like to be a teenager at a time when Motley Crue, Poison and Aerosmith ruled the airways and cool things like VHS and MTV were filling our minds with ideas and new perspectives.
Looking around the SuperSaver at scattered couples, there they were. Only now, they looked like grandparents. It struck me quite plainly that I am now one of the adults. In the blink of an eye, I will follow the generation before me into my senior years. Yikes!
Why are we scared of old age? Fear, is my guess. Fear of not looking the same. Fear of not achieving the things we want. Fear of becoming irrelevant.
It all happens fast. That's all I know. A few months ago, I decided (and told some close friends to seal it) that, when I turn 50, I will let my hair grow out naturally and I'll wear flowy linen clothes. I'm planning to do that until I go bald - at which point, I may go for a brightly colored wig.
I feel kind of good knowing that my wardrobe is figured out, but I'm also trying to envision who I want to be. I want to be an intuitive, empathetic, strong woman who does whatever the hell she pleases and calls it good enough. I think I'm on the right track.
I want to wear funky shoes. I want to wear hats - lots of them ... big ones. Most of all, though, I want to laugh, and I want to be remembered because I experienced life fearlessly, and because I loved and was loved back.
I came across the photo above while dinking around online. I'm pretty sure it's a glimpse into the future. So rock on, future me. Go be your bad self. I ain't skeered.