Truth or Dare
I turned 51 last month. I’m getting to be an old broad, and I'm confronted with it daily.
My mental calculus has changed: it reminds me of that game I used to play as a kid – Truth or Dare.
Truth: My hair is going gray.
Dare: Am I vain enough to drench my scalp in toxic hair dye? Tune in later to see if I’ve grown a second head.
Truth: I think I’m developing jowls.
Dare: Will this visit from The Hag Fairy drive me into the arms of the plastic surgeon? Not yet, but only because he wants my firstborn child. Now there’s a thought…
Truth: I lost a tooth this year and need a bridge.
Dare: I grind the teeth I have left when I think of my dentist running down a beach in Aruba, cackling and flinging my money to scantily-clad beach bunnies.
Truth: Clerks and shop girls call me “ma’am” and use assumptive sales phrases like “your grandchildren will love this.”
Dare: Working out where I’ll hide the body wastes time I could be spending earning money for a facelift.
Truth: Facelift isn’t a dirty word anymore. An acquaintance once said that she’d never have a facelift because “you don’t look like yourself anymore.”
Dare: Do I have the nerve to say: I thought that was the whole point?
When I checked my Facebook birthday messages last year, one of them jumped out at me. It was from a high school classmate and read, “Congratulations! You have joined The Special Club.” I know it was meant kindly, but I beat my head against the keyboard for 30 minutes.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a member of The Greatest Generation. I’m vain, selfish and shallow, just like millions of other Boomers. And having to cope with the fact that everything’s starting to sag, wag and drag. The fact that I am not alone doesn’t comfort me at all.
Let the big picture grab you – millions of us, reaching the Prozac threshold all at once. Brings chill bumps, doesn’t it?
Truth: I am now receiving invitations to join the AARP. I just got my first senior discount at the grocery store.
Dare: Can I come up with a plausible story to convince others this is a ridiculous mistake? Believe me, I’m trying.
Truth: My computer has been hacked. It no longer advertises dating sites or makeup. Some evil basement dweller thinks it’s funny to show me B-52 wigs and Russian undergarments.
Dare: I wish I knew where he lived.
Truth: I am beginning to get phone calls from teenage boys who tell me that they are employees of my bank. They warn me that I am in danger of identity theft and promise to help me.
Dare: Actually, these calls are a lot of fun.
I don’t think I’m going to beat myself up too much over my lack of -- um -- maturity. It’s never been my generation’s strong suit. But think about the looming tsunami we represent. Sure, everybody in the world wants to sell insurance and mutual funds to Boomers, but so far nobody’s given a thought to the Millennial retirement home workers who are going to be spending big bucks on therapy and medication when we drive them right around the bend.
As my uncle once said: “I can’t wait ‘til I’m senile. Everything may be going crazy, but I’ll just roll my head back, look up at the younguns, and grinnnnn!”
Truth: I have never acted my age.
Dare: I’m not about to start now.