I’m feeling good this day! I’m looking good too…wasn’t that young man over there checking me out?Yep. And didn’t he buy me a drink? He did…yes. But then the waitress came by the table on my way back to the bathroom, and I heard him ask her…”Just tell me if she is 50 or over…I draw the line at 50, put ’em out to pasture I always say!” he cackled. HE CACKLED!!! The audacity! The nerve! Why that little piss ant! I caught a glimpse in the mirror behind the bar and with my face all snarled up, I felt the weight of my 50 years suddenly placed squarely on the one part of me that couldn’t deny it. My face. Jesus. It was true. I was about to be OLD.
I felt hot. Hot flashes. Great. Another sign. My heart was pounding. Heart Disease? Blood clots? My mind raced merrily, all too happy to be occupied with my impending agedom. But my soul was wounded, it literally wept! I had to get out of here…I couldn’t face that quip-tic punk. Out to pasture? As IF. I stalked haughtily to my table, snatched my purse and my jacket, drew all 50 years of me up in perfect posture, and glared down my nose at him. “Get Fucked.” I said quietly, spinning 180 on my 6 inch heels, tossing my pink/silver/blonde hair over my shoulder. “Asshole,” I shot over the other shoulder.
‘What had happened?’ I thought to myself as my eyes burned. I would NOT cry. Nope. I would NOT CRY…Hell no. I would fix this. I can fix this right? I mean, I had been aging pretty gracefully, and I know that I looked way younger than my age, but how did that little idiot know then? I got in my car and sighed. Reaching up and twisting the rear-view mirror, I checked to see what was amiss.
My hazel green eyes stared back at me, swimming in unshed tears…red-rimmed and wide. My skin was like porcelain, and showed no signs of nearing a nursing home level. My neck was smooth, my hands soft and wrinkle free. THEN HOW DID HE KNOW??! Shit! I forgot! Had we talked of politics, and community work? My career? My stomach hit the ground outside my car. Yep.We sure had. And that was the kiss of death wasn’t it. My conversation, my intelligence, my independence? Those were no longer a good thing, I reasoned. He knew because I was ‘too confident’, ‘knowledgeable’, and he knew he had no control. I clearly did. Over me and my space. Oh Holy God, why did that puppy have to buy me a drink? I mentally wished it away. Is this where we all end up after growing up and growing into ourselves? BACK HERE in “dumb yourself down or they will know”-land? I can’t. I couldn’t. Not this shit again!
I had spent too many years in my teens and 20’s and some of my 30’s finding myself. After an extremely neglectful and abusive childhood, I did the work and had earned my confidence, my power. And now here I was realizing society has created a black hole and expected me to give it up again. HA! I thought, “Not bloody Likely!” After all? That’s how I have done my life right? I mean I am blunt, and in your face. No denying my existence I’m afraid. Hell I didn’t even lie about my age! Oh hell no. I wasn’t going to lie down and receive this without one hell of a fight.
I know many women watch me in this world. Although my own mother and daughter don’t speak to me, I know they watch. Everyone has always watched, waiting on me to fall, to fail, to flounder. And I have never, not even once, cared that they were watching, worried about their response, or even slightly concerned myself with their glory or their gossip. I know what most folks don’t. What others think about you is not your business. Ever. So why this huge emotional response??
Its the fact that society has been trying to make me ‘mask up’ before Covid-19 ever did. My grandma told me to sit still, ‘boys don’t like girls who figit’. Mom said, ‘don’t think and don’t speak and you will make a fine wife.’ Boys broke my heart when they dumped me, for being, ‘too smart for my own good’. And countless others. And I was pissed then, but it wasn’t the pissed you get when you are my age now. No no. My ‘pissed off’ in my 20’s was embarrassing. Drivel. Feathers. Stuff and Nonsense. But my ‘pissed off’ at 49? Epic. Legendary. The stuff people who are lucky enough to see it, never forget. I simply can’t pretend. I can’t fake it. And I wont start now.
This is to the young fools in bars…if you can’t stand being out-classed, or out-played by a 50+ year old woman? DO BETTER. Open doors! Buy drinks, but hey, could you buy what SHE drinks? Converse! WELL. Be educated, be learned, and be up to date. She is. Trust that. Be prepared to be judged, oh you young judgemental folks you. Only her judgement is smarter than yours. She can tell you haven’t a car by your shoes, you live with your mother by your fabric softener smell, and that you are broke by your belt. Don’t fib to the lady either Mr. Man. She smelled lies on you when you sat down. And as far as appearances go?? She out-maneuvered you there as well, since your lunch is still on that tie that your last college girlfriend bought you. How did she know that, you might ask? She didn’t. You asking that question told her. She hears what you say, and what you don’t say. And baby? She will hear you sigh after her, when she walks her fine, pilate ass away too.
‘So 50 huh’, I mused? This could be fun. My way?? A blast. I’m down. My soul stretched out in the massive space my doubt used to take up before I hit 40. Nah. I think I will continue to do what I’ve always done.
Flip ’em the bird, and toss my hair, and let my laughter trickle into eternity. Timeless beauty and boundless hope. Keeps you young my friends.
Peace and Love. And lots of middle fingers ladies!!!!!