Somehow I said “He’s young, he’s barely 40”, and that’s when it hit me! Smack! It felt like a good slap across the face. At that exact moment I realised what I had just said: Forty wasn’t old. I started thinking of how "old" people would always defend their age group for some reason.
One has to be forty or over to understand this. Remember when in primary school they would ask us where we would see our self in the year 2000? I remember coming home and telling my mother:
“Today at school we had to say where and what we would be doing in the future, like in the year 2000. I told sister Yvette that I would be old by then. In the year 2000 I will be 34 years old!”I still see my mom, peeling potatoes, slowly turning around with this puzzled look on her face, and all she said was “I’m 36, do you think I’m old?” At the time I did. I didn’t tell her that, at least not that time. Now, I’m over 40 and I don’t think it’s “that” old. Yes I do see the changes, and mostly feel them, but still. In my head I don’t feel like a forty years old woman…
My girlfriend laughed last night when I voiced that observation or rather “realisation”. Her comment was “I don’t think fifty is that old either, and yet my body is telling me otherwise”. Whatever my body is telling me is one thing, but to go to the butcher and be called “ma’am” by a man older than me, that’s another slap, and yet:
Really, I don’t! It's all part of growing up… uh… I meant old…older… argh, whatever!