Next week I will be 74, but I don’t think that has quite the ring to it that 75 does. So I’m thinking about saying I’m 75 and just staying that age for two years.
I ran this idea by some friends, and along with the looks came one exclamation, “You are just weird!”
But think about it. I have a dear friend who has always tried to pass herself off as ten years younger. “That’s not the best idea,” I tell her. For your age you look terrific. For ten years younger – not so much.
Now there’s no denying that I love to hear, wow, you don’t look that old, how ever ” that old” looks. But there’s also no denying that I have more wrinkles or that my energy has lagged or that my recall has taken a hit. Ask me a question, and I might say, “Can I get back to you on that?”. But I’m certainly not giving in. I buy the latest wrinkle cream, paint my toenails neon orange, and declare Google my new best friend.
Joan Didion, in her recent book “Blue Nights” recounts complaining to the doctor that she is distressed because she can no longer wear her red sandals, is often fatigued, and has trouble remembering words and names. His response: “you have an inadequate adjustment to aging.”
I suppose that complaining about any of my failings means I also have an inadequate adjustment.
As for saying I’m 75 when I’m 74, there is precedent for that. When I was a kid, the day after a birthday, we’d all say something like this: “I’m five going on six.”
So one son came up with a solution for me. He said, “Wait until the day after your birthday and then, when asked your age, say “I’ll be 75 my next birthday.” If they ask, “When is that,” and you reply “a year from now,” don’t be surprised if they think you’re weird!
(c) Dorothy C. Judd