A funny thing happened on the way through life.
People around me got old.
My brothers, my sisters, my mom (she got really old!), Auntie Ruth and Uncle Jim. They all got old. It happened so slowly, I didn’t notice it at first. And yet I look the same as I did at 37. My face is unlined, still spotted with too many freckles. My hair I used to dye blue black, I now dye a black brown. That hasn’t changed so much, either.
I’ve developed a muffin top—all the young girls have them. I bought a sports car a few years ago, another thing young people do. I put my sunglasses on, and rip through the traffic, it’s a symbol of youth. I am. Youth.
The person that my kids see–the person that looks out at me in the morning as I perform the ritual of waking that I have done for the past three score—well, I don’t even know that person. I am the girl that flew off to Finland as a high school junior. I am the girl that ventured from Montana to California. I am the young woman who followed Mary Tyler Moore to Minneapolis.
But those other people. Those close friends—including my husband who died of a massive heart attack–my neighbors at the lake, the circle of couples who go every Monday night to eat buck burgers and drink beer at Leaf Valley, even my book club—Those people somehow transformed from warriors to retirees who debate when to leave for Arizona. I humor them by hanging out with them.
The humor may be that the joke is on me.