Al Roker summed up my future this morning as he speculated about a hurricane’s ultimate destination. He called it a Cone of Uncertainty and I know it well. I live in it along with all the other Baby Boomers who inhabit the planet and get blamed for everything wrong in the world today.
As I wandered aimlessly through the new Starkville Kroger yesterday (which incidentally is the 3rd largest in the State of Mississippi and almost as large speaking square footedly), I had five people ask why I had discontinued my newspaper columns. (Did I detect relief or true concern that I was deceased and among the walking dead?)
I used four different excuses – 1) I had been fired by Don Norman for using a four letter word; 2) I broke my index finger and could not type for five months; 3) Senility kept making me forget my deadline 4) My death occurred about the time the thermometer hit 100; and lastly and honestly, 5) The columns had grown boring with too much stuff about aging.
The fifth is the honest answer and one I tested on my best friends who, like me, are over the age of 50 and facing aging with mixed reviews. They denied the boredom thing, but age does one of two things to you – makes you really sweet and nice like a good grandmother, or really mean like an attack dog.
The reason I came out of retirement this week is to save those of you who are getting daily junk mail from the AARP. You know you are in trouble when you begin OPENING that junk mail and shopping for drug coverage.
But the one thing I’ve noticed since contracting the condition call “advanced age” is that I’ve become extremely negative. I criticize everything and everyone – especially if they are young and beautiful. I feel it is my right to complain about slow service, the color yellow, people who drive too slowly and women with baby voices. When did that happen? When did I become Ms. Negative USA?
I think it was about the time my hair turned silver and when preventing it became a line item on my household budget.. I think being negative is the only defense available to people not happy with what life has handed them when we should be extremely grateful to be fighting the condition.
I can give you hundreds of names of people not given that opportunity.
Well, Al, you said it best. A wider Cone of Uncertainty is brewing in the lives of folks whose youth left the building a decade ago. We’re playing it by ear and only one ear is halfway working.
This weekend six of my high school friends and I are heading into the Cone of Uncertainty for real. We’re cruising the coast and challenging each other to scratch all vestiges of negatory remarks. We are determined to reframe our lives and experiences with a positive note. As in – “Isn’t arthritis great? No one expects you to get dressed up and go out.” We’re even toying with leaving our make-up, AKA “war paint” at home.
Nah – we’ll do that in the next decade after our sight has left the building along with muscle tone and the sense of smell. See? Nothing is as bad as it initially seems.