Per Jane Glenn Haas’s column today, there are 77 million of us baby boomers who are reaching 65 and will be altering life as we know it in the United States. Wow! And here I thought I was unique – one of a kind. According to her, we baby boomers who have settled in the West and Sun Belt areas are part of the “silver tsunami”. I don’t appreciate being coined with that phase for several reasons. Most of us prefer to disguise the silver, men included, and more importantly, I can’t shake the mental picture of the horrific damages that the tsunami did in Japan and Thailand. Coming of age in the 60’s and 70’s, we wanted to change the world for the better, never destroy it. That hasn’t changed.
What’s changed for me personally is that I have become a walking, talking oxymoron. I have dozens of hair, skin, and wrinkle-reducing products lined up on my bathroom counter alongside dozens of makeup that I can’t apply without using the tripled-magnified mirror that does not dare answer “Who’s the most beautiful of all?” for fear of being shattered with one of my deadly glares. My medicine cabinet is stocked with supplements, herbs and minerals that promise to reverse the damage that I’ve done to my body throughout the years but I forget to take them.
I am currently multi-reading two books, Forever Young by Nichols Perricone, M.D. and 20 Years Younger by Bob Greene. In other words, I am obsessed with becoming young again even though I know it’s impossible. Turning 65 will do that to a gal. Yet, I balk at getting Botox, fillers, face-lifts, liposuction and exercise. Another side effect of coming to age in the 60’s and 70’s is wanting the “natural look”. I want to still be me and me is getting old so I tell myself, “deal with it. “ But I keep on reading.
I’ve also culled from my closet the clothing that no longer accents the figure that I no longer have, replacing them with flowing skirts that show off my still trim ankles. Suddenly I find I want to look more feminine when I didn’t want to when I was younger and had some sex appeal. I’m trying to add more color to my wardrobe of black that has filled my closet for years.
I signed up for an online dating service even though I am quite content with the unconditional love of my two sweet pups and good friends. It was a disappointment as I anticipated, especially when I realized that I was too old for the young cuties and way too young for the men my age. I am apparently still a teenager at heart.
I also complain about having to work full-time even though I know I am blessed to have a job. Yet, deep down, I dread retirement. To me, retirement is a synonym for becoming old. I went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago with a very nice man that I’d met online. Although he was a few years older than me, he looked younger than his age, was pleasant and had a nice sense of humor. But when he asked me for another date, I quickly declined. At first I thought it was because I either really didn’t want to date or I just wasn’t attracted to him (like I said, I’m still a teenager at heart). While both may be true, I finally figured out the real reason. It was all the “I used to ride horses” and “I used to have two dogs” and “I used to….” in his conversation that turned me off. I don’t think I want retire after all. Not if it will keep me from becoming a “used to”.