Standing in line at the local pharmacy, I realized
that I am definitely becoming an older person because
I no longer care what people think of me. I also
think I have finally lost the last shred of
self-respect I ever had.
Not only was I wearing form-fitting sweats (and my
form is not something fitting to show like that), but
I then noticed that I had a foxtail in my sweats on
the back of my left thigh.
So I tried to get it to push through the fabric by
pinching and pulling at it from the outside, but the
tip was too dull and it wouldn’t budge. Meanwhile, it
kept painfully jabbing my leg. So right in the middle
of the store I reached down inside my sweats and
pulled the sticker out.
That’s right. In front of the entire world to see I
revealed a flash of my unmentionables because one
cannot shove her arm down her sweats without ‘briefly’
exposing such things.
And then it hit me. I realized just what I had done
in PUBLIC. But I wasn’t mortified…perhaps it was
shock. Perhaps shock temporarily short-circuits one’s
intellect because I decided that the best thing to do
was to act like I didn’t know what I had just done as
if maybe by playing dumb, everyone else would.
You know, there was a time when I would have endured a
knife sticking me in the rump, before I’d ever remove
it in public. I mean, what does it look like when a
grown person, contorts herself, jams her hand down her
pants and fishes around? It’s very odd, to say the
The only redeeming value my behavior has is that I can
use it to mortify my children and promote their good
behavior in public. “You better NOT bug me to buy you
stuff while we are shopping or I will start
singing/give you a big kiss/pick my nose.”
“Mother! Act your age!”
“But I am, dear.”
In fact, I can’t wait until my hair turns blue and I
feel free to tell people what I think of the way they
dress, the way they drive, the way they walk and the
way politicians behave.
You know the type. The family gets together and
Grandma says to the twenty-year old grandson with the
well-groomed goatee, “Are you trying to grow something
there?” To the very pregnant daughter-in-law, “Boy,
are you HUGE.” And when she’s driving, Grandma has no
problem tooting her horn and saluting innocent drivers
as she zooms by.
It’s as if God turns off the censor center of the
brain as we get older. Younger people have to make a
conscious decision to flaunt social norms, but it just
comes naturally to older people. Time makes you