Published April 17 2011
Swift: Time’s arthritic knees keep marching on
I lamented about how even the people I used to think were cool – like my big sister Mabel – were now driving minivans and listening to Jimmy Buffett.
If only I’d known then what I know now.
I was way, way cooler back then. Ten years ago, I’d never had a single serious conversation with my doctor about colon health. I didn’t need bifocals or watch “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I still wore high heels.
But another decade has brought great perspective. I could now make my living writing “Over the Hill” copy for Hallmark. I now really know what it’s like to feel old and obsolete in a youth-obsessed culture.
Here’s just a sample of the ways I now feel old:
- I’ve seen every “SNL” episode for the past three years because I’ve spent every single Saturday night at home.
- I don’t remember much about high school beyond taking “home economics” and “data keypunch entry.”
- I own a swimsuit with a skirt on it.
- I can never make it to younger co-workers’ parties because they start at 9 p.m. and I’m in my pajamas by then.
- I know what “hypercolor” is.
- I own a pill organizer, which is significantly larger than my makeup kit.
- I buy shoes because they have good, grippy soles and don’t chafe my bunions.
- All the professionals I once thought of as real grownups – my doctor, my dentist, my accountant – now seem suspiciously young. Conversely, the people in cholesterol ads now look young to me.
- My bras are all beige.
- Instead of dressing to be sexy or attractive, my primary concern is that I’m clean and don’t embarrass myself.
- I sometimes forget exotic, complex words, like “husband” or “chair.”
- I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least a little tired.
- I know the Scud Stud isn’t a home-improvement gadget and a “VDT” isn’t a social disease.
- I have actually used the term “social disease.”
- I have said to friends: “Is every man under age 40 named Tyler?”
- I once had a boyfriend who wore a mesh, cut-off T-shirt – and I was proud to be seen at the mall with him.
- My thighs want to take the stairs, but my knees want to take the elevator.
- I remember when people smoked openly in the office.
- I cannot text faster than seven words per minute.
- When I wanted to have a private phone conversation with my boyfriend in high school, I had to stretch the telephone cord into the bathroom and lock the door.
- My attempts at pop-culture references are met by blank stares from co-workers, who will then say: “Who is Don Knotts?”
- I remember when we viewed pop as a rare treat. And whenever Mom bought it, she would only get Elf brand.
- I once attended school lyceums about the Satanic undercurrents in REO Speedwagon songs.
- The entire cost of preparing for my prom – which included getting an “updo” from the only beautician in town – was $95.
- I used to routinely use pens to wind loose tape back into my Def Leppard cassettes.
- I once firmly believed margarine would save me and eggs would be the death of me.
I can’t wait to revisit this list in another 10 years. That is, if I’m not too busy starring in cholesterol commercials.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525