I’m getting a bit touchy about my age. A few associates have recently implied I might be on the downhill slide of middle age, but if they are trying to tell me something, I have decided not to listen. And if they know what’s good for them, they’ll pipe down.
Now I’ll admit I’ve noticed a few grey hairs in my husband’s head, and his beard isn’t as red as it once was, but I always figured that was just a fluke of nature. It’s a well known fact men age prematurely at twice the rate as we ladies.
I’m tired of people trying to make me feel old.
The advertising agencies have even joined in, thinking aging baby boomers have money to spend, but I have ignored the fact my favorite Monkees tune, Wake Up Sleepy Jean, is now the theme song for a stupid commercial. And I refuse to acknowledge that Alice Cooper has gone establishment and is a spokesman for Outback Steakhouse. I guess he no longer bites heads off bats — oh no wait, that was Ozzy. Alice Cooper pulled the heads off chickens.
And no, I’m not having a senior moment, I just have my rock and roll files jumbled.
Even my niece is out to make me feel old.
We were driving around Olathe looking for a blooming bush – yes, that’s right, a blooming bush.
Now that it’s rerun season we use any excuse to get out of the house – when I decided to detour past my first house in the old Navy Hill area.
And that’s when my niece Michelle started in on me. Not too keen on viewing my old home place for the umpteenth time, she tried to distract me.
“There are new people there, and they had a big trash dumpster in front of it,” she chimed in. “I guess they gutted the interior.”
I was horrified.
“What? We completely redid that house when we moved in,” I said. “We repainted all cabinets, recarpeted and put in Z-brick.”
“Z-brick?” she said smiling.
“Yes, Z-brick under the kitchen cabinets. I tore down all the old tile and put it in myself.”
She smiled a diabolical smile. “And what color were the cabinets,” she said oh-so-sweetly, sarcasm dripping from her mouth.
“Pumpkin,” I replied. “And the Z-brick was grey.” I was savoring the memories of our first home, the pale yellow living rooms walls with rust carpet, orange and grey kitchen, and rich avocado carpet in the family room.
By now we had pulled up in front of the 40s tract house, replete with its new exterior paint and front deck. I was furious someone had redone my first home – erased my memories and replaced it with theirs.
And then Michelle piped up again. Always the stickler for detail, she didn’t see my pain. “Orange and grey kitchen,” she said repeating herself. “How lovely. And just when was it you lived there?”
“When I first got married,” I said. But she wouldn’t leave it alone.
“And when was that?” she asked yet again.
I paused. “1980,” I said. And she smiled again.
“Well then,” she said, moving in for the kill. “Maybe it’s okay they redecorated after 30 years.”
I looked at her, gulped, and did the best possible thing. I ignored her, put the car in drive and went in search of a blooming bush. What does she know? She probably thinks shag carpet is something new and innovative that HGTV just dreamed up. Little does she know I still have a shag rake in my basement. . . . . and I’m not afraid to use it.
These young people just don’t understand.
As long as I can buy hair dye in a box, a grey hair will never be seen on my head. I intend to remain groovy forever. If Tina Turner can still dance at 65, I know full well I’ll still be able to shift the gears and Boogaloo Down Broadway in my four-wheeled scooter. I am not getting old.
And that AARP card the mailman put in the box? He delivered it to the wrong address.
COLUMN: Growing old doesn't mean changing styles