by Gail Forrest
In my desperate need not to be culturally defined as a “senior citizen,” I am thrilled when I see articles that re-calculate age. It is confusing but I try and keep up as best as my brain can do the math. I actually just read that sixty is the new forty. But I thought fifty was the new forty. Wasn’t sixty the new fifty?
I’m confused and can’t count that high. What’s up with this altered subtraction? Is it like the “new math” I couldn’t do in third grade? Do French people do this? I don’t think they even care about aging. Is this crazy calculating something to make us baby boomers feel better?
I personally would like to feel better about aging and soon. But do I really believe I’m going to be forty again? Do I want to be forty again? Hell yes, as it was a great stretch for my hormones and hot sex life. Here’s the rub, when I turn sixty I’ll be the new forty, but my hormones won’t know so they’ll still be sixty…damn those mean spirited mid-life hormones.
Ironically I couldn’t wait to turn thirty. Most people find thirty traumatizing, but for me, it was a piece of cake, a no brainer. I was so confident about how young I looked I couldn’t wait to blurt out, “Hey, look at me, I’m thirty!” Then came thirty-five, oh my God, wait, no, no stop, not forty! Forty was a big traumatizing number and looming on the horizon. And back then it wasn’t the new thirty. I freaked. My friend Bob told me I was taking it too seriously, duh! Forty sounded so close to 95. But surprise, not as close as fifty. Does fifty just have too many fs? And there’s sixty out on there with a big “x” in the middle. I’ve never had an “x” before.
Am I one of those baby boomers fudging the numbers, cooking the books, re-inventing subtraction? Do I hope to wake up one day and read I’m twenty-five but ironically and sadly can’t get out of bed without 4 Advil and a walker? I hate math.
Gail Forrest recently started doing standup which she finds is a complete blast. Gonepausal is her blog and she has a book on Amazon by the same name filled with stories of her skewed, funny view on midlife and all its attendant surprises. Humor is the only way forward at this point.