Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
I was convinced that the mailed offers to join AARP were sent in error, and, when an ad for a dating service appeared on my Facebook page, I thought that the “Date 50+ Men” headline meant I could date more than 50 men. Even as I found myself choosing Simon and Garfunkel over Slayer, and opting for sensible rather than sexy shoes, I didn’t get it. I didn’t figure it out until a week ago: I’m old.
The realization hit me while I was standing on a packed bus on Wednesday. This guy gave me the once-over and smiled, and, given that my last date was in 1997, I smiled back. He wasn’t my type, but he wasn’t unattractive, and, unlike many of my fellow passengers, he wasn’t talking to himself. I fixed him with my best come-hither stare and watched expectantly as he got up from his seat and sauntered towards me.
“Ma’am?” he asked. “Would you like to sit down?”
I responded by asking him if he’d like a kick in the tuchus,which is something my grandmother, an old Jewish lady, would have said.
It’s not that I was surprised or even unprepared; I knew that if I continued to ride crowded buses and trains, some asshole of a do-gooder would eventually inquire as to my ability to stand. Besides, I’ve been wisecracking about my age since I was 30, when I started saying I was too old to see any band after sundown and insisted on being home by Hal.* But it’s one thing to joke about oneself being “seasoned” — as we called out-of-demo actors at E! — and another thing for it to be confirmed by someone else.
As much as I’d like to, I can’t really complain — I got away with acting like a teenager until I was well into my 40s. Further, there’s an upside to getting old: with age comes wisdom, and less standing up.