Friday, August 24, 2012

Old Before Your Time

DebI have a few friends who are old before their time. Do you know what I mean? I am not talking about “old souls” here. I am speaking about the people who act their age. Or what they perceive to be the way someone of their age acts. When we are young we tend (mostly girls I think) to want to be older. This can start as early as six or seven, when a girl has her first cool girl babysitter or is perhaps visited by a cool older cousin. It can also happen when a little girl gets her first crush and longs to be taken seriously by said crush. I did not have this particular trait. I always loved the exact age I was and I was serious, silly, mature and immature within the framework of any particular year. Still am. 

But as I watch these friends “acting their age” I marvel at the progression of it. Suddenly they are stuck in their ways. They have lost their openness. They are unwilling to try new things. They must have what they eat and what they drink no matter where they are or whom they are with. And for the record, I am a picky eater but I don’t travel with my own tea or my own biscuits or that ilk. I like to try and go with the flow as much as I can, given the givens of my allergies and dislikes etc. But people who are old before their time seem to lose their sense of adventure. They seem to become stuck, fixed, planted, immovable. 

As I listened to one of these friends on the phone the other night I thought wow, she sounds eighty years old. But she didn’t. Or at least she didn’t sound like the eighty year olds in my life. My Mom still sounds eighteen in her attitude towards life and adventure. So I realized that she wasn’t acting any particular age, but instead she was acting an attitude. A fogey attitude. She was behaving in a way she thought was befitting her number and her stature. And she is far too young to be this much of an old coot in attitude. My other friend has even affected a voice, a slow admonishing pinched voice. And seriously she is a doll and I love her. But what the hell? I felt like yelling “you are my age! What’s with the nosy neighbour demeanor?" She was all “we don’t vacation out of the country any more, it’s too dangerous. We stay fairly close to home.” She said that they travel on day trips with their own food (not because of the expense or diet) but because they are more comfortable knowing they have their own food with them. She went on to express some political opinions that so shocked me, as she was one of the instigators back in the day of many a good “sit in” for great causes. She has gone from left to right and I mean RIGHT and I realized in talking to her that it is partly out of fear and more surprising, out of embarrassment. I cannot tell you how many times in our conversation she expressed embarrassment about something she saw or something she did. It’s as if the simplest act like riding a carousel at the park would reduce her to a red faced sweating heap. Anything that she used to consider fun was now beneath her and humiliating to even think about. 

I told her about a trip we were planning with friends and a website that allows you to gamble with where you stay. You put in how many stars you want your hotel to have and what area you want to be in and it places you in the best hotel. I am so excited about this concept and she would have been as well in the day. But she scoffed.  She was in awe that I would even consider this radical idea I could tell I had just gone down in her estimation. She used to play a mean guitar and I asked her if she still played at family gatherings or at the local pub. She said she has not picked it up in years and that did not surprise me. After all, it happens to all of us from time to time when we drift away from something for a while. But her reason shocked me and it was the only time I responded by slightly challenging her. She said “the guitar! For heaven’s sake I am fifty-eight years old!” I was so taken aback. I told her that I drum. She asked if I was any good. I said no but that I loved it. She asked if I ever played in front of people and when I said yes, she reminded me of my age. Well that got my rebel dander up and I told her I was starting ukelele lessons this week and that I also sketch, often and badly. And then she hit the nail on the head. She actually stated exactly how she felt. I didn’t have to surmise her feelings for this post because the words flowed out. 

She said she was shocked that I would do that because there were so many other pursuits that were age appropriate and when I asked her when she started down this path of least fun, she responded by saying that with each decade since high school she has felt the call of propriety. She has felt it was imperative to act her age, whatever that means. She said that when children came along she felt and still does, that her fun was over. She is a good mom but very strict. She has lost her joy. Joy is to be observed now from a distance with a disapproving frown. Joy is for others. She is a grown up lady and she is going to act the role. I got off the phone and just sat there. We have made a date for lunch in September. I am meeting her at the restaurant in her town that she and her husband eat at twice a week. She will not try other spots because ... well, because “this is the restaurant my husband and I eat at twice a week.” And I will love seeing her because I loved her so much when we were young. And we will meet and we will be the same age. She looks great for her age but does everything to make herself look older. Her clothes, her hair, her make-up is so beyond her. If you had known her young self you would be as shocked as I am. So I will go and I will be who I am: the ever-changing Deb. And I will accept her for who she is and enjoy our time together. And she will be embarrassed by me and I won’t care. 

And when the lunch is over I will get in my car and when a great song comes on the radio I will make the car dance. It’s one of my favourite things. 

64 comments:

  1. Hi all, I will make the first comment so you will know why the post is late and why it looks funny. I have been monitoring the post for Barb as she is away and I sent my blog to her yesterday afternoon and it disappeared. She emailed me, concerned and told me how to post it so that at least it would be out there. She will pretty it later. Thanks for the email Rigel. Believe me I knew it was not there as I scrambled to make it happen! Thanks everyone for your understanding. I am having email issues!

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    1. lol I was just gonna say. HA! Emails...yikes...All the best Deb.... YOU GO GET 'EM!!

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  2. Yay! Deb with the save! Swooping in all superhero like! It's Bloggerina!

    Please know that I wasn't trying to nag. I knew Barbara was out of pocket and didn't know if you were so I didn't know if y'all knew. Blogger has been known to hiccup on occasion so I was trying to make your phone chime just in case Blogger had snuck up on y'all and played a dirty trick.

    Hmmm... now to remember the key combination to embiggen things in Chrome. Ah! Ctrl+ ! Now, I can start to read it! :)

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    1. Yeah she is!!! Deb's Awesome!

      Ya know maybe we should have two posts... "WE LOVE DEB" and "WE LOVE BARB and just yap away.... Tell them how much we love them...and make these girls blush so much...They're faces will stay red for A MONTH!
      Thats an idea..... What do you think Rigel? I mean we are well known for our "BRIEF" comments here XD

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    2. Thanks Rigel, it was appreciated. Must. Solve. Email. Problems!. Thanks Shalaka. You guys always have our backs.

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  3. First up, Deb, the way your are living your middle age is way, waaaay better for brain health than what she's doing. Your lifestyle is, for example, helping to stave off dementia when you get old.

    OK, but onto more serious things: UKULELE LESSONS?!?!?!? Yay!!! That is soooo cool! I am so jealous!!!

    Have you heard Amanda Palmer's album of ukulele covers of Radiohead songs? It is so pretty! Here's my favorite song on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-w3ulxYkqU

    Oooo, ooooo, are you gonna join the handmade instruments movement? Lots and lots of folks are crafting homemade cigar box ukuleles. Can you imagine? I have major maker jealousy about this. lol Look! http://boingboing.net/2009/02/10/shelley-rickey-plays.html

    Wow. From percussion to strings. You rock, Deb!

    (p.s. I recommend the following dessert for your friend: a bowl of chocolate pudding with a long pretzel poking out of it - a stick in the mud!)

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    1. A stick in the mud! Hilarious! And yes we have a wonderful Uke player, singer, teacher in our acting community who's name is Judy Marshak! Cannot wait.

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  4. p.s. Now, you need a sexy grass skirt! teeheehee

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31GP-Gss8pL._SL500_SS500_.jpg

    :D

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    1. I wore one on Getting Along famously. Took me back to the days of dress up parties!

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    2. Oh Yeah....you looked Pretty! :)

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  5. Oh my god. Barb you know....How depressing this is to me of all people. I mean your friend has so many dark clouds of beliefs in her life that she could really do with some sunlight! I really hope she finds it soon.

    Ya know, weirdly this post says a lot about almost every Indian woman Ive ever met. Including my mommy dearest! She is 58....and When I say "Ya know mom...I'm gonna get a BIG HOUSE once I get settled in Canada...and you are coming to live with me then"..you wouldnt believe what she said. She said, "You think I'll still be alive?"....SHE'S 58 !?!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!!! What the heck? OR how long does she thinks its gonna take ??? like 40 years for me to settle?....WHAT AM I GONNA WALK MY WAY TO CANADA????? Indian women have a lot of the "it should be age appropriate" crap. C'MON...its your life...WHO CARES...Doesnt matter if you're 70 with a hip problem and you wanna go bungee jumping....DO IT...(take your medication first...)I know so many people like your friend.... I think its mostly because they have the whole "what will people think?" attitude. And Its really shocking!


    In my childhood I always wanted to be older...Like you said. Coz I was the youngest and I didnt fit in..so it got lonely. And I didnt have many friends in school. But now....OH NOW'S THE MOMENT....I FEEL FRIGGIN AWESOME.... And fun thing I dont act my age....I JUST ACT WEIRD!!!! I AM WEIRD...And...I LOVE IT!
    I have my negative moments (Had one a while ago) But every moment is just a bouncing off place. Its in the past before you even realize it! I am SO SO HAPPY to feel this way and get the meaning of all of it so early in life!


    .....I mean WHO CARES...WHEN YOU LIVE OR DIE....YOU'RE ALIVE NOW SO STOP THE JIBBERJABBER AND MAKE IT A FUN MOMENT FOR THE LOVE OF GODDDDDDDD! I've got hormone issues in my blood extra fat on my body.....but I'm not sitting at home with the whats-wrong-with-me face.. I'M DOING WHAT I WANT...AND I'M HAPPY!

    P.S. And you play DRUMS??!?!?!?!??! AWESOME! I sooo wanna play guitar..I'll do it after my entrance exams. :D

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    1. I see you can relate to this one Shalaka. You have lots of this in your life. YOU sure didn't get it, thank heaven. Me either. And just for the record, these are my friends, not Barb's. This was my post lead today. I guess it wasn't clear because there is no response from Barb because of the email screw up.

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    2. Aww...I thought so When I read 58yrs old..and LOL it sounded a lot like you XD
      I kept thinking why did she write "I am-the ever changing Deb." ???

      LOL...Aww my comment is hilarious now....Talk about being weird XD

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  6. I think I act more of my age now at 22 than I did before. I've done A LOT of growing up since then (you can thank being out on my own for that). I've also had people tell me that I act OLDER than my age. Which I don't think I do. But anyway...

    I think you can act your age and still be goofy too. Like me, I suppose. Geez, some of the things me and Kelly talk about/laugh about...you would never guess we were 22. haha.

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    1. Holly, I just realized there's AN ADORABLE KITTY with you in the pic... and........ I COULDNT RESIST !!!!!!! She is so cute!!!

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    2. I agree Holly. You can act your age and still be goofy!

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    3. That's my Yoda kitty. She's a doll. :)

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  7. FWIW, I was way too old in my late teens and early 20's.

    I look forward to having my misspent youth in my 40's. ;)

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    1. ...Hopefully with Tory Belleci ;)

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    2. Shalaka! You just made me smile and laugh! *MWAH!*

      Much needed since it's the end of the first week of school, and I already just got off the phone with Eddie's guidance counselor about IEP noncompliance. *bangs head on desk* Gotta break that new batch of teachers in. *groan* Trying not to let problems get huge and bury the kid. Educating the educators.

      Mom the Dragonslayer - Back on duty! I'm gonna be tired before I even get to work this evening.

      (p.s. Deb - Email problems! Ick! I sent you a big email w/pics late last night. Yes! I got the tally! :D Do I need to resend?)

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    3. :D I'm glad I made you smile :)

      Arrggghhh....Mom the Dragonslayer, if you need reinforcements! Gimme a call!

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    4. Aaaahhh!!! How much am I squealing over your pic?!?!? A LOT!!!

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    5. Rigel I hope the school stuff works out...and Tory Belleci!

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  8. This is so sad to me. I am 63 and my life has never been as adventurous as it has been for the last 20 years when my kids left the homestead. I was always busy and always acting younger than my years and I think I still do. My one grandmother was old always to me and she always sat in her chair and I remember her just being a lump. My other grandmother was active until the day she died (she died in her 70's). I have too many things on my bucket list to ever stop until I am dead. I travel, explore new things and even visit people I know only through FB (Deb and Barb). I am part gypsy I believe and need to explore for me to breathe. Sorry for this person Deb, she is missing life.

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  9. I agree Madge she is. And I know what an adventurer you are. After all, isn't that what life is supposed to be??? For my part, I am off to see Springsteen tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Have fun. Be sure to bring your own food :)/ Also, when you go to the restaurant with your friend, order the oddest thing on the menu as you know she will not. Or better yet, bring your own biscuits and drink.:)

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  10. Feel truly sorry for your friend, Deb. Perhaps you'll give her some pause for thought. In my opinion, if you don't laugh at the fart joke, you're an old fart!

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    1. True Therese. I just don't want to say anything to her about it because she seems perfectly happy with her life. I just know who she used to be, so it is sad to me.

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  11. Deb, for the life of me I can't understand why people choose to go gently into that good night. I'm not talking about 'not acting your age' in a way that does cause you and those that love you embarrassment or concern. (Let's face it...if you are smoking joints and driving at 55...an activity normally associated with the young and foolish...there may be an issue.) But to loose the joy in your life...to sacrifice it for some presumed standard or code of behavior. Well, I plain don't get it!
    I mean I'm aware that I'm getting older...and I've made some concessions. I scrutinize what I buy clothing-wise so as not to end up looking like I'm trying too hard. I'm also mindful of I have children and my pursuits may reflect back on them so I keep my name out of the paper and generally hold myself to society's accepted standards but beyond that...to hell with it. I'll be dead long enough that I don't have to suffocate myself now.
    The other night by beloved boy, my 23 year old son, called to tell me that a band, Alexis on Fire, is playing their last few shows. When he was 11 and they were new and unknown, I used to take him to see them all over the place. Wanted to know if he could us tickets for Christmas and if I would go with him to their very last show. They're a alternative metal band - loud and brash - and he wanted me to go as we have followed them together all these years. I said sure that I would be game. Knowing it'll be mosh-pit central, he said, "Are you sure you'll be good with the crowd!" and by way of response I reminded him that I was there at the beginning with him, being knocked into traffic outside the radio station. I'll be honest...I'm hoping to avoid that kind of physical contact now but would I miss a night like that with my boy? Never! Do I care that people will think I'm nuts and not acting my age? Not an iota. Just charmed to bits that I have the kind of relationship with my son that would see him ask me. Good luck with your lunch...be sure to take your friend's recommendation for who would know better than the person who always eats there?:)

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    1. Annette, I love that you are doing this with your son! Love that he asked and loved that you said yes. These moments much be grabbed mustn't they? I think you have the same attitude I do. I know when to hold em and when to fold em aging wise.

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    2. Souzan Rezai from Vancouver, BCAugust 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      This is amazing.

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  12. If your friend reads this blog she is sure to recognize herself.

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    1. Madge, she does not read the blog. She does not go online and does not have a smart phone. I would never blog about someone I knew that could be hurt by my words. Plus I took liberties and actually combined two people and fudged some facts of their background. I always do when talking about real people.

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  13. Mehe...your friends sounds like my Grandparents (and they are over 80, or were over 80). This is so depressing, and I feel sorry for your friend.

    I don't act my age at all. Sometimes I feel like a child, and then I do things, I did, when I was a child. And I don't care at all (ok, that's a lie...sometimes I fear people think I'm crazy or weird :P).

    I love to go on the swings...so I go on them. I love to read some of my old books, or listen to my old cassettes.
    I always smile, when I see Eeyore or Shaun the Sheep.

    Sometimes I'm just silly....why not?

    Life can be so sad, boring and serious. I want to have some fun!

    And I don't really care how old a person is...do what you want to do, be yourself, and don't think you have to fulfill some expectations or roles.
    Yes, there may be limits, but sometimes it feels good to cross a line, and live.

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    1. So true Becki, life gives us so many reasons to be angry or sad so why not just live and think young?

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  14. I never want to be a grown up Wendy who can't return to Never Land.

    My grand-mother is 87, but you wouldn't know it. She acts 27. She is aware of her age and wise about her activity choices, but she goes at each activity with such life, you would never know she was in her 80s. She took all my kids to a museum of play several months ago. The kids got tired after a while. She didn't. My husband on the other hand was never a child. He has always been an adult. He just turned 38, but he acts like he is 70. Having 5 children has helped him out with getting loose and having more fun. With my teen improv group that I do, he is very involved and it has really been amazing what a little comedy improv has done for him. I think he has benefitted from it more than any of the teens.

    I want to be like Gran. I want to be like Peter Pan. I want to always be a kid and have fun! But as a "responsible" adult, sometimes my idea of fun is way different than that of my children's ideas. :)

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  15. Yes Peter Pan with responsibilities that's good! I love your Gran. She sounds wonderful. And I am glad your husband is grabbing a little of that joy. The teen improv group sounds great!

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  16. I remember talking with my sis when I was younger about this. How we were expected to behave as grownups but when we tried to do something we were treated like kids. Well by one person mostly. Now don't get me wrong I do remember having good times and it has not been all bad. I definately didn't act my age. I think I am finally getting to the age where I have been a long time. I feel like all my friends are doing the catching up. As for the role model, I think I've never really had one. Just to take care and make things happen have been the motivating factors. Have I already mentioned that I am borderline absolutist? There were plenty of opportunities for me to be the polar opposite, but yeah I don't know... In this country if I were to act my age, I should have spent my teens and young adulthood drinking. Now I think I lost the trail of thought. I am babysitting my niece and nephew for few days, so I have to do this late at night and from my (new) phone.

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  17. It is hard to believe someone like that is happy. I say this from my own experience...I walked that walk in my thirties when I started popping babies. I was a mama bear and became very set in my ways. Now in my forties, I have slowly been crawling out of that place...I realized so much of that lifestyle choice, for me anyway, was fear based. If you had asked me, I would've said I was happy and in many ways I was. Nowadays, I'm far more inclined to embrace whatever comes my way (even if I have to wrestle with it or hide for awhile) and go where it leads me. I don't always like where I end up, BUT I always recognize the baby step or two that I took and I feel invigorated. As for your friend, maybe she is happy (and I personally try to refrain from making any judgments), but it does sound a little like she may confuse feeling safe with being happy.

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  18. I will never grow up!!!!
    That is my motto. I love all things Disney and kids stuff and plan to stay that way : )
    But yeah I have some of those people who look down on me because I am 19 and have no problem going to play on the swings at the park : )
    Since when did swings get an age limit? LOL : )

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    1. I love swings! I haven't been on one in ages (damn you, weight-limit!) but I wouldn't hesitate to go on one strong enough again! :)

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    2. Pffft! Who says swings are just for kids? Let's have a contest to see who can swing highest! Meet y'all at the park! :)

      I'm the mom who has shorts on under my skirt at the playground so I can climb on the jungle gym, too!

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    3. Wait, I'm coming, too :) I also love slides, btw :P

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  19. Deb, I doubt it would do much good to talk about this with your friend any more at lunch. On this subject, at least, it seems you are in two different worlds. I'm glad you still want to meet with her. Perhaps by talking with her, reminiscing with her about the past, something might click. But even if it doesn't, at least she's her version of happy.

    My mother's big on "SHOULD" and "you're too old for that." My daughter is the same way with me. "Mama, stop it!" It seems I embarrass her when I'm singing along to the radio. She was rather mortified, at age 11-ish, when we went to Disney World and I danced around in the middle of the Magic Kingdom.

    When I was shopping for summer clothes this year, all I found were shorts that came down to my knee. I ended up in a store my daughter normally shops at to find shorts I like. (Hey, I have good-looking legs. I like to show them off.) Clothing stores seem to discriminate against plus-sized gals who want to look GOOD. All they sell is stuff that makes me feel "Old." One store my daughter and I both can shop at, without criticism from her, is closing. I don't know where I'll shop, or where we'll get her clothes, for that matter. Apparently, plus-sized women are only supposed to dress a "certain way," I guess to hide what might "offend" the general smaller public.

    I refuse to act a certain age or a certain way just because someone else thinks that what I'm doing is "inappropriate," according to their standards. I "shouldn't be out all night" when I go to shows. I'm not doing anything illegal, immoral, or offensive to the standards of decency. (I'm not stripping and standing on corners waving to passing cars, dealing drugs, or providing alcohol to underage kids.) I'm having FUN.

    Age is more than just a number. "Act your age" is more than just one person's definition. It's whatever keeps you going. Whatever keeps you living, not just alive.







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    1. It's sad enough when other people try to tell us what's "appropriate" for our age. It's even sadder when it works.

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  20. An interesting and powerful post. I don't really believe that most activities are for people of certain ages. I don't mean that an 8 year old should drive, but rather a person my age can dance and laugh and enjoy a party with friends, and so can anyone else, any age. I have often been mistaken for older than I am. I liked it when I was in my early and mid-teens, but now in my 20s, I get a little annoyed. I take a bit of offense because people say things like, "Oh, you are so responsible. I thought you must be 30." Some people seem to think just because I am not bouncing off the walls and drunk and so on, that I must be older. Age stereotypes are crazy.
    If you do what you enjoy and live your life the way you want to, then you are acting your age. Age is just a number....and mine is unlisted! :)
    Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

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  21. Just be yourself and have some good clean fun is always the way to go :)

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  22. I don't think I've ever acted my age! I love mucking about with my kids, and most of the time I'm the silliest one. :P I love just having fun and not worrying about adult things for a while. Pillow fight? Bring it on! And, although I'm now in my thirties, I really don't feel my age. The only thing that has threatened that has been my recent health issues, which have certainly made my body feel very old, but I'm still young at heart.

    I hate age stereotyping. I've always looked younger than I am, which I'm sure will pay off in later life but when I was pregnant with my first child in my mid-twenties I had to put up with a lot of older people throwing me disgusted looks because they thought that I was in my teens. I felt like wearing a t-shirt with my age on in huge letters and numbers. But there's too much expectation that goes with age in society as a whole. Like Steph says, it's just a number. We're only as old as we feel, and we should each live our lives as we please.

    Happy Friday, everyone! :)

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  23. Ageism is something we can sometimes do to ourselves. I don't think youth is an excuse for being irresponsible nor do I think age is an excuse for being boring.

    Take today for example, I took a group of kids to a local playground which has a huge sand/water section and ended up in my bare feet having just as much fun as all the little ones. Most other parents/caregivers were hanging around the edges refusing to dip a toe into the water or get a little dirty because they think it's too childish. Hey there's a bunch of water, sand, shovels and pails I'm building a sandcastle damnit!

    Youor story did though remind me of a friends mother who started to become more and more like this a while back. She would only go to the same places, became fearful of new stuff and easily embarrassed. As it turned out she actually had early on-set alzheimer's and it was just a defense mechanism. She was fearful of the changes she sensed in her mental well being and it was simply her response to that unease. I'm not saying that's what is going on with your friend but just something I thought to mention.

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  24. Back from Montreal (was moving Michele into her new college apartment) -- and have a moment of quiet to catch up here (and going to Bruce Springsteen with Deb tonight!!!), but wanted to add a little something here. Did anyone ever play that parlour game where you decide for the group what your "real age" is? Like there was some definitive age that we acted no matter what actual age we were. Most people we did this with decided their real age was in their twenties or thirties. There were a few "adolescents" and then there were the "old people". They were definitely old before their time, with all the stereotypical "symptoms" of aging. Most of them admitted this with a laugh. I guess it never occurred to me that some people might wear their older age like a badge of honour -- that in turn needs to be honoured with some requisite habits, expressions and garments. The sad thing for you, Deb, and hence for me is that this is new behaviour for your friend. She decided that she was old and so therefore must BE old. The sad part being that she was dropping utterly happy and lovely and harmless expressions of her youthful days. I hope she realizes it one day and finds her abundant and fearless joy again.

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    1. How do you play that game, Barbara? What's the rubrik for determining the ages?

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    2. Yeah I really hope everyone who feels "OLD" should realize that soon...

      BTW that game sounds AWESOME! I think I indirectly play it with everyone I meet for the first time. lol And they're ALWAYS wrong at guessing my age. First few questions I normally get are

      "Are you studying or working right now?" (Got this one when I was in 8th grade)

      "20???!?!??! I thought you were 25-26!" (Get that all the time..They keep adding 4-5 years to my actual age)

      And this one is the most irrational one I ever got. LOL INDIAN WOMEN LOVE asking THIS QUESTION....

      "ARE YOU MARRIED????"

      (And I get this a lot when I'm wearing a saree. LOL A Lotta people think I'm wearing it coz my parents are trying to "ARRANGED-MARRIAGE" me soon. And I'm seeing "APPLICANTS" right now :P)


      P.S. SPRINGSTEEN....(Deb, isnt he your favourite????) AWESOME! You girls... You dance for me too k!

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    3. People always think I'm younger :D
      Wait, are you even 18? Errr...

      but it's ok.^^ I rather look younger than feel older. :P

      Oh, and I don't know that game...

      and yay for Bruce Springsteen and concerts in general.

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    4. Shalaka : I had similar thing as well. I was once asked if my oldest is in which grade in school. I was 17 at the time... I should have received the "kid" when I was 10 for him/her to be in school! Weirdly once I was asked if I was in elementary school (by a woman) and if I had many kids (by a man) within a month when I was 15 or so. Luckily now that has stopped :))

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  25. That is a sad story, Deb. It sounds like your friend has internalized some kind of teachings without really thinking them through for herself to see if they're true or not. It sounds like she is depressed!

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  26. I'm with you, Deb! When you become hard and rigid, it's like mental rigormortis is already setting in. Might as well be dead. Me? I'm still learning every day with childlike wonder. I love life and love new adventure, and can't wait for the rest of it! Growing older means growing better!

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  27. Dorothy Sayer's "Gaudy Night"
    "it's a mistake- ...I shouldn't have come, Mary is a dear, as she always was..but we have nothing to say to one another. And I shall always remember her n o w , as she is today, with that haggard face and look of defeat. Mary Stokes seemed cut off from them...by- it was no use to blink from the truth- by a kind of mental stagnation....It had not, after all, been so bad..Though it was melancholy to find that one had grown out of Mary Stokes, and a little tiresome, in a way, that Mary Stokes refused to recognize the fact.Harriet had long ago discovered that one could not like people any better, merely because they were ill, or dead- still less because one had once liked them very much."

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  28. Souzan Rezai from Vancouver, BCAugust 31, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    My parents and I have this very same conversation often. My Dad is 66, and my mom is...in her late 50's. She's always been sensitive about her number so I won't betray her, even here though she and I don't see eye to eye on this...

    They are so young, my parents. So full of life and youth and joy and adventure, my Dad always says he doesn't feel 66 at all. He feels 45. I tell him he acts 33...
    My mom is the same, my mom get's so frustrated at her physical body for not accompanying her spirit, and that THAT is the thing that makes her feel old sometimes. Like her body is putting her in her place, aching when she wants to dance, and sagging... My mum is amongst those who does the little cosmetic things, a little bot-ox, and whatnot, and I used to really be anti, until I got older and realized that when my mom looks in the mirror and sees a ''tired old face'', it made her feel tired and old. (And it really is cruel. My Dad looks fucking awesome for 66. Other than some grey, he has the skin of a 40yr old. It's not fair)
    We still don't agree completely, but I always supported her, and more importantly now I understand her. And when I see how some of their peers react to ''aging'', I admire her.

    I have an aunt that reminds me of your friend, Deb. It was like one day, my awesome Aunt woke up, and decided "I'm gonna be old...NOW." And everything was just out the window. No staying out late, no going into town for dinner, dressing like an idiot to parties...
    And then she had grand kids. All of a sudden it was like watching her oldness wash off. She came out of it shiny, and new, and thank heavens cause she really was a pudding cup with a pretzel stick in it...

    I really admire your ability to respect your friend for who she is and the choices she's made, Deb. I don't know if I could be as honouring to a friend, it feels like a betrayal when a friend "drops" who they were in this way (to me).

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