Monday, September 6, 2010

Obvious obfuscation

With an iron will and guts of steel, I braved the cultural insanity of Toys R Us this afternoon.  As I was standing in the checkout line, an elderly gentleman in front of me turned round and, with a knowing wink said, "Grandson?" as he gestured toward my armload of boy toys.

In terms of preventability, that kind of social faux pas is right up there with asking a fat lady when her baby is due.  I'm afraid I could not spare him his crestfallen "Ooops - I just shit myself!" reaction as I grimaced and replied "Nephews" through clenched teeth.  A better woman would have been able to gracefully save him from himself, but I'm afraid at that moment I didn't have it in me.  

Twenty minutes later, still ruminating about how anyone could possibly interpret that I'm THAT old, I squared off against a sullen check-out clerk in Target (and, by the way, I maintain that Clear Lake is where the slang "tarjay" originated, for reasons to lengthy to discuss here).  Arms folded and eyes wandering everywhere but toward me, she flatly refused to capitulate to my protestation, "But I'll be forty-six in three more weeks!"   

So opened was the purse once more, and out came the driver's license.  And no, it was not a fluke, nor was an immigrant clerk ("They all look the same to me!") - I still get carded routinely, more frequently when I'm wearing gym clothing (which Lawrence says look like pyjamas).  It's a Bad Day in America when the sight of a fit older body is so confusing to the general population that they assume the only explanation is that it must actually be a young body in some sort of a freakish disguise, this despite the substantial evidence to the contrary presented in the face and the hair that would make Jaime Lee proud.

So in the space of twenty minutes I had one thinking I was older than dirt and one thinking I was younger than yesterday, which I suppose is a propos of nothing other than the fact that shopping is not one of my favorite activities.


  1. Sometimes, mama,You just have to laugh.
    You have a better body than I have had since I was 17. You are healthy, and fit. Simply because you choose not to color the grey, you have to accept that some will think you are older than your true age.

    And when it comes down to it, the number never speaks the truth of how old you are. We have a cousin who behaves like a child. I am an old soul who has a hard time living in this world. It's all relative. i'm in love with a 53 Y/O man who is younger than me.

    Maybe this made no sense,but the main point is that if you buy into there version of reality you have already lost. You and Lawrence and Cayley have created an acceptable world view for yourselves. No one else needs to honor it or even acknowledge it. If it is right for you, then rejoice and be happy.

    The rest of the world is attempting, OR NOT, to create their own vision of perfection. If it doesn't coincide with yours, so be it. They don't construct your reality and you don't make theirs.

    So, some man thinks you look like a grandma and in another truth an aware child sees you as a young soul. Neither of their perceptions matter. Your perception and response is the only thing that defines you.

  2. And after re-reading it, it annoys me that I used the wrong there, their, they're. What did my english teacher say about review, revise, and publish? UGH

  3. Thanks! And yes, watch out for those young old men. There are good ones out there, but the relationship often doesn't work when the body is in decline and the brain simultaneously never attained the zenith it would need to qualify for decline. I speak from experience, but none of it recent.