"For your age" -- is it a compliment or a cut?
I had to have knee surgery 5 years ago. When the orthopedic surgeon was showing me my x-ray, he said, "Your bones are nice and white. Sometimes at your age I am already seeing calcification."
Talk about a backhanded compliment. I was 32--certainly too young to get the "at your age" bit
I might forgive him, because after the surgery, he was amazed at my healing prowess, and said I was "healing like a teenager."
I have a birthday later this month. Birthdays don't bother me, but this one will put me firmly into the "late thirties" camp. When my grandmother turned 88 this year, she said, "Oh, you don't really celebrate birthdays anymore. At this age, you're just borrowing time." She's not ashamed of her age. She will tell anyone how old she is, and I found myself using it a lot when she was visiting to explain myself, "My grandmother is here -- she's 88 -- so I've been laying low this week."
Since Terry and I have been blessed with rather active octogenarian grandparents, we haven't realized how old they truly are. Mimi's right -- most don't get to live that long.
My twentieth high school reunion was this summer, and I saw a little video montage on someone's Facebook page. My thoughts -- those people are old!! I saw a lot of bald guys and a lot of girls that looked overly bleached or made-up like they were trying to hide the toll of the years. Not me. I look good "for my age" according to my magic mirror.
Unfortunately, the more I see others and make judgments on their ages, the more I think that perhaps my mirror is lying to me. I think I see what I want to see, and that's okay . . . right?
What about you? Do you shrink from your age? Do you feel, like my grandmother, that you've lived out your years well? That they are a badge which you can display proudly? Has your idea of "old" changed?