I was driving yesterday, taking the Mini to get its annual check up, and thinking as I am wont to do when I’m driving. I observed it is almost my 60th (retch) birthday and I’m not happy about getting older. There is no such thing as aging gracefully. "Age appropriate" is repulsive on either of the spectrum–teen age or my age, necessary but appropriate.
I concede that there comes a time on either end of that specturm to embrace or give up mini skirts and shiny eye make up and really high heels and at the far end of the ‘appropriate’ specturm I turned loose of those manifestations of my culture with grace and gratitude.
But, to circle back to my red convertible, as one of those who in the past snickered at ‘mature’ ‘oldsters’ driving really nice convertibles and cars I have to say I have rethunk my position. I think my previous disdain was 3/4 jealousy–I would have looked fabulous in a convertible at 30 or 40! Why not me? Why didn’t I have the money and leisure? Well… four sons and a house would answer that question pretty fast. I have come to the conclusion that old dudes in Corvettes have them because they can–and when you get up in the morning you still feel the same inside, looking in the mirror is the shocker.
Where did I get those crows feet and the smile lines around my mouth? How did I start to get spots on my hands and when did my eyebrows lose their mind and join my gray roots? Yes, I have all those things and more that I don’t even want to think about, but I also still have a keen zest for what’s around the next corner. I still love to drive fast and well and I can. My Mini Cooper convertible is probably a truer manifestation of who I am inside that anything else I currently own.
It makes me smile to drive it and it stops the clock and maybe turns it backwards for awhile when I head out on a road trip. I feel better and younger and happier in my car–and unless the guy in the Corvette has a blonde 30 years younger than he is in there with him, he’s my compadre on the road of life, literally. If he has the girl friend trophy wife thing going on, he’s so damned boring I’m not interested in talking to him anyway–she’s the male version of a mini skirt, fish nets and too much make up.
Happy birthday to me, I made it this far. When I’m rolling down the road smile and wave when you see me, and know someday you’ll get your red convetible too.