Friday, March 26, 2010

I Can't Wait to Be Old

I love old people.  I'm just like some jerk about to crack a Polack joke, who says, "Some of my best friends are Polish people."  Well, many of my good friends are elderly and I love them dearly.

So while I confess to you that I often and joyously make fun of old people, I have to remind you how much I look forward to becoming an old person myself.  As I mentioned before, there's an 80 year old lady in me, who I very much aspire to be.  So my mirth is always mixed with the very real hope that I can be just like them someday.  After all, there are some real advantages to advanced age.

I can't wait to be old enough to pick a fashion decade and stick with it for the duration.  There's a gorgeous, stately woman I know, who must be over 80.  She looks like an ad from Sears & Roebuck's 1926 catalog.  She probably hasn't had to buy a stitch of new clothing in thirty years.  If she were my age, she'd be a social outcast, and have to compromise and at least buy a pair of oversized sunglasses or something, but at some point, she didn't have to cowtow to every fad anymore.  She just found what she liked and wore it.  The prime example of this phenomenon, of course, is the purple & red ladies.  Let's just say my youth group might have trouble focusing if I showed up in red & purple feathers each week.

I can't wait to open my car doors unapologetically.  I had to get a minivan, not because my two kids overwhelmed a sedan, but because I got so tired of the guilt that went along with watching my kids door-ding every parking lot neighbor I sidled up to.  Sliding doors are a real salvation for my guilt complex.  But as someone who parks daily in a church parking lot, I can tell you from experience that pulling up too close to a Buick or Cadillac when there's a sewing circle or fish fry going on will inevitably lead to car doors that look like Brad Pitt's acne scared cheeks (I have a picture somewhere that proves this about Brad Pitt, for those who choose to deny the reality of his failed teenage hygiene).  Someday, I am going to drive a big boat, park in the wider spot by the door, and throw open my doors with the boldness of an aged woman.

I can't wait until fake eye lashes and bright lipstick won't suggest to the men around me that I'm going to charge by the hour.  I can't wait until I get to subsitute a clear plastic bonnet for my umbrella.  I can't wait until a wig will be an acceptible alternative on a bad hair day.  I can't wait until I can afford to buy the best seats when my favorite band re-organizes to release a new album after a fifteen year hiatus.  I'll sit way in front of all the youngsters who would have died for my seat and dance like a maniac to all three "early" songs, then leave when the good music starts.

My daughters have trouble with the idea of my mortality sometimes.  They become deeply concerned about the reality that our parents will proceed us in death.  I worry about that too sometimes, because I still get to enjoy the company of three of my four grandparents and both my parents.  I don't know what it will be like to bid farewell to someone who made an intense inpression on my personality and my DNA.  But I tell my dauthers often that I pray, before we have to say good-bye, that we get to be old ladies together.  Because we're going to have a hoot!

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4

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