I’m aging in the same natural way we all are, but I seem to have left my biological clock behind. I say this because every time I see women my age, I think and oft refer to them as ‘older women’. Seems like my biological clock is stuck and because of that I’m not consciously willing to accept that I’m in that same age group. Hub’s seems to be stuck as well. We all laugh at Hub because he is so totally harmless but whenever someone describes to him the new lady cook in camp, or manager at the bank, or cashier at the grocery store, he immediately responds with the same excited comment, “Is she my age?”
But all that aside, to get back on topic, a while ago I mentioned on my blog an author’s reference to what aging is like. He said it is like ‘fruit in a bowl rotting from the inside out.’ That didn’t sit well with me, and I told my readers so. And it didn’t sit well with many of my readers either. Unanimously, I and so many of my blog friends, dismissed it as a totally false perception of the aging process.
Now I know that sometimes I really dance around when I’m writing and leave you all high and dry as to where I’m going next but before I pursue that thought further I must tell you something else. I stopped making trips to town after nine o’clock in the evening many years ago.
What brought those jaunts to a determined halt is one night I quickly dashed into town to the all-night convenience store for a few things. Parked in from of the store was a small sports car overloaded with young adults (?). They were all smoking and I could see some of them were sipping open liquor. That was upsetting enough but what was really upsetting was that strapped in the back seat was a wee babe, no more than 3 or 4 months old. The car was so full of smoke it was in a complete fog. And the young people were loud, vulgar, and obnoxious in every way. It made me sicker than you can imagine. I wanted to do something but what can one do in that kind of situation? So I fled. I rushed home at breakneck speed and told Hub that ‘after what I saw tonight, I will never, ever be going to town after nine o’clock.” And I never have.
But now, returning to the ‘rotting fruit’ theory, the other day while I was sitting in a waiting room in town, there were a clump of ‘older women’ (not my age, at least not in my mind), having an animated discussion about starlets, including Brittany and Anna Nicole Smith. And what I heard made me return to that author’s original comment about aging being like fruit rotting from the inside out. I was hearing comments like, ‘people like that get what they deserve’, ‘it was a blessing cause she was no use to anyone even herself’, ‘when people have that much money they need hardship for a reality check’. On and on they went with their mean thoughts and dire hopes.
I could not help but think, ‘Aren’t these moms and grandmoms? Where is their compassion? Have they not ever had to deal with young people’s horrendous mistakes in their own situations? Do they not understand how lost souls are really seeking, though perhaps not through positive means, a way to recover self-respect? What is going on here? Why are their hearts so cruel and unfeeling?’
And so I came home and said to Hub. “I don’t want to sit in waiting rooms anymore. I don’t mind the wait, but there is stuff going on in those waiting rooms that I want to avoid. I am sad when young people lose their way, but far more sad to hear the mean-spirited bitterness of ‘old people’ that should, because of their own experiences, be somewhat understanding rather than hoping these people will disappear off the face of the map.”
I like to think of life as a race. And the prize is wisdom and understanding. And with that wisdom and understanding and my own kind and compassionate heart (sarcasm here), all I could think of is what kind of legal consequences would there be if I gave each one of those ‘older women’ a good hard slap!
And does that nasty thought mean I am rotting from the inside-out as well?