People are living longer, and more than a few of us are looking pretty good for our ages. Since 50 became the new 30 and some are finding new life at 65 after retirement, I’ve found that a lot of people are throwing celebratory parties and are happy to answer the inevitable question – telling everyone who asks, exactly how “old” they are.
Gone are the days of hiding your age – and I’m talking women here, since men never seemed to have that problem. Nowadays women are fine with proclaiming that they’re grandmothers because they know they don’t look the way our grandmothers used to. Those of us who weren’t teenage mothers or who got into the child-bearing game a little late, can’t be sure that we’re going to be in that same boat.
But it should go a long way towards helping us to manage our expectations.
I ran into an acquaintance last week whom I hadn’t seen in years. She brought me up to speed on her life so far, including what all her children were doing and how many grandchildren she now had. When I last saw her, her children were already “grown” and I think she had already been blessed with at least one grandchild.
During this meet-up then, she showed me a picture of the latest addition and said that she didn’t mind babysitting for her children just as long as they came back in time to allow her to go on her periodic hikes. She then said that she needed her rest because she was 60.
She paused after she said it… and I kind of got the impression that she was waiting for me to say something.
So I said, “60? No way! You are looking so good”.
And she preened. But she honestly didn’t look bad for her age.
A couple months prior to this meeting I ran into another acquaintance in the supermarket. We exchanged pleasantries and she remarked that I was looking well. I read somewhere that you should always return a compliment – and there are times when I can only do so by focusing on a particular item (outfit, hairstyle), because I’d be lying if I complimented the whole package.
This was one of those times – except that I was struggling to find that one thing, because the “housedress” wasn’t flattering and her hair was covered by a scarf.
However, she quickly put me out of my misery by saying proudly that she would be celebrating her 50th birthday in a couple of weeks and she knew that she didn’t look anywhere close. I was sure that when she threw her party she probably wouldn’t look it, but at that moment – she kinda did.
And she looked at me expectantly, because she paused after she said it….