Pushing Past 50


a brassy old lady

Urgency Day 49

500 Things Item 451: Old Lady Purse

  • History: I gave it to my mom b.h.s. (before her stroke)
  • Value: Orig.  price $139
  • Parting pain: No
  • Un-possessing: Gift

Act you age.

Is this one of those “fake it till you feel it” commandments? Or just “fake it,” period?

I know I’m a fairly youthful 49. The vague “fairly youthful” assessment is based on Facts: I can ride a half-century in under 4 hours due to my strong legs, but I cannot hit a tennis ball with any zip due to my pitiful right elbow. Fairly youthful.

“Forty-nine” is also based on Facts and easier to prove. But don’t ask my mom to verify, because she’ll tell you I can’t possibly be 49, since I was born just the other day.

I know what she means. I feel that way about my Sam. No way is he old enough to go off to college in 49 days. He’s just a baby!

He’s my baby!

So when your baby goes off to college, does that make you an old lady? Do I have to start acting my age?

Is there a rule book I should consult for pushing 50?

Back in 1977, my sister, not quite brother-in-law, mom, and I went to London together. We were uber-tourists. We gazed at every jewel; marched through every museum; cheered every guard; munched every crumpet; got on the bus at Luton Hoo and off the bus at Stonehenge…

Ah, Stonehenge.

Can I just say that I would like to be buried at Stonehenge?

I felt (feel really) about Stonehenge the way my sister and brother felt about Westminster Abbey. We each wanted to look at every single bloody stone. Twice. But my stones were way better than their stones.

Mom just gamely went along with everything. Every single bloody thing. Here’s the kicker for me to realize: My mom was just a little older then than I am now. She was only 50! Fifty! She was a baby. She was better than “fairly” youthful. She was a hoot!

And yet…

We had to, well, push her up one of those ridiculously steep escalators coming up out of a Tube station, because she was feeling a bit fatigued.

Literally: we were pushing 50.

The “old lady purse” I’m downsizing today used to be my mom’s. I gave it to her, once upon a time before her stroke. Besides the styling, you know how you can tell a purse is old? No cell phone pocket.

And by the way, my past-50 mom is still a hoot.

No faking.


One Response to “Pushing Past 50”

  1. melanie Says:

    Yes – you are youthful (no modifier needed). No – you don’t have to act your age.

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