Okay, so I’m at the Apple Store yesterday, here in our fancy-schmancy end of Scottsdale, AZ, sitting at the ‘genius bar,’ — (a counter where you go when you have a question about your Apple product), and a song comes over the music system in the store. It’s an old song, something from maybe the 70′s or so, and I don’t recognize it or pay much attention.
In the meantime, the man sitting next to me at “the bar,” (it’s like a bar, but without food or drink), starts up a conversation with the young kid who is working behind the counter. They’re both working away on a new iPad. The two of them begin discussing the name of the band that is playing on the store’s music system, and then they both turn to me to verify what band it is.
Well, I don’t know the band, but I listen for a moment and realize it’s clearly a 70′s song, and I look at the semi-bald, pot bellied man next to me, assuming by the mass of wrinkles around his forehead and eyes that he is about my age since men famously age faster than we do. At minimum, I guess that he’s from a similar musical history such as I’ve had, so I make a JOKE about the young kid behind the bar, being “too young to remember the 70′s.”
The young kid agrees. Then he adds that he was “born the 90′s.” (Born in the 90′s and he’s working an adult job? How can that be, … it was just “the 90′s” ten minutes ago.)
So I say to the man next to me, whom I am SURE is of my same era, “Well, I’m at least off the hook, I’m pushing 60 soon so I’m excused if I’m losing my long term memory,” or something to that effect, meant only as a pre-mature and self-deprecating JOKE that I am SURE he would easily and readily relate to. After all, he’s balding, wrinkled and getting a bit thick in the middle, — the latter, just like I seem to soon be heading toward sometime soon.
Then he says to me, … “YEAH, MY DAD JUST TURNED SIXTY THE OTHER DAY.”
(Audible gasp!!! WHAT????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????? HIS “DAD” IS MY AGE????)
OMG, OMG, OMG! (and yes, I use acronyms like “OMG” and I often still employ multiple explanation points, — that’s how out of touch I am with my age.)
This was one of those unexpected life’s ‘moments,’ — the kind that hit you over the head that TIME — has — indeed — passed. I’m now old enough to have a balding, pot-bellied SON with crow’s feet, — rather than that description just being of a ‘peer’ of mine that I might see at a class reunion? The latter had been bad enough.
It’s ironic, I think, when you don’t have kids, or now I guess I’d have to add grand — kids; You are truly and constantly without any sense at all of time having passed, both for the good and the bad of it. Nothing more marks decades gone past other than maybe the changing models of cars, the shrinking size of cell phones, or the gradual absence of side burns and shoulder pads. And damn, I miss those shoulder pads! They made our butts look tiny by comparison. Verg Wang, Donna Karan, I beg you, please bring them back!
Without some kind of clock-minder in your life, like I suppose the daily presence of growing kids must be, your mind and heart STILL fully and perhaps cruelly allow you to earnestly believe that you’re still 39.
So this morning, I’m home alone bemoaning this new ‘reality’ that seems to have entered my life with a distinct thud yesterday afternoon. Dear Lord, could it be time for ‘sensible shoes?
Right now I’m googling the name of any famous woman I remember seeing in the media when I was growing up, and staring at their current age photos to try to discover what the hec a ’59 year old’ is supposed to look like or what I can expect at 62 or 65 or beyond. Who are these women, what do they look like these days and I am now one of them?
I guess the answer is yes. Candice Bergen, Goldie Hawn, Madonna, Kim Bassinger, Kirstie Alley, Twiggy, Christie Brinkley, Sally Fields, Cheryl Teigs, Olivia Newton John, Cyndi Lauper, Whoopi Goldberg, Condoleezza Rice, Lynda Carter, Oprah herself, and then there’s the ultimate 70′s icon, Farrah Fawcett, who sadly is now deceased … (rest in peace Farrah.)
(BTW; I don’t recommend this exercise. Be forewarned, it may send you diving head first into a one gallon container of Pralines and Cream.)
Could this be one more element of having children that had never occurred to me before this very day? Maybe they’re in your life in part to ease you into your new reality slowly, gently, kindly, year by year. I’m not certain about that, but trust me, this was far too much for this childless women to handle in a single afternoon.
Well, just sharing. Thanks for letting me.
In the grand scale of things like the threat of chemical warheads in Syria, 25% unemployment and utter economic chaos in Greece, the perils of global warming, etc., etc., — I realize this has no place on anyone’s worry list. Truly, don’t fret, I do fully get that. I’m just another aging female, it’s no big deal.
BUT, — if you’ve also had such ‘moments’ too, please, — DO feel free to share! - Scottsdaleroad@aol.com
Jeanne Butare is an avid photographer, a published author, a magazine contributor, a world traveler, a perpetual student of psychology and sociology, a periodic television correspondent on network news, and a former investigative interviewer of high-trauma victims and eyewitnesses in high profile criminal cases. Her book, ‘Portraits of Guilt,’ was an Edgar Award nominee and she was a recipient of the national Women in Business ‘Magnificent Seven’ Award in Washington, DC..
Her work and life story have been featured in LA Times, The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, The London Times, German Vogue, on the covers of US and French Reader’s Digest, in Biography, People, McCalls, Redbook, National Geographic and Elle magazines, in La Repubblica in Milan, The Moscow Times, US Magazine, Australian edition, and Time Magazine’s China edition. She’s worked on such notorious cases as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Susan Smith child drownings in SC, the Polly Klaas kidnapping in CA, the Ennis Cosby murder in LA, the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping in Utah, the Molly Bish kidnap and murder in New England, etc. Her iconic drawing of the Unabomber suspect was featured on the cover of Newsweek Magazine.
She was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the ‘Top Ten Innovators’ from a world wide forensics field for her pioneering work in interviewing high trauma eyewitnesses and crime victims. She’s taught investigative interviewing skills to the Militia in Moscow, Russia, in Tokyo, Japan, Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzou, China and taught trauma victim sensitivity skills to multiple task forces comprised of special investigators of political assassinations in the war zones of El Salvador.
In addition to frequent photographic expeditions in Mexico and abroad, she also spends time with her husband Joe in their homes on the coast of S. MA, in Scottsdale, AZ and the place they nurture their inner-22-year-olds the most, San Miguel de Allende, MX. She has no children and earnestly believes she’s still 39.