The choices are just too stark. It seems that you’re either young and stupid or old and jaded. I’ve reached the stage in life where I am definitely too old to pass for a kid, but damn it, I am too young to wear the label of middle age people keep trying to pin on me. I have the fantasy that in between these two worlds is a place, a nirvana, where age is just a number. It’s a place where:
- Responsibility is a privilege, not a burden.
- Laughter is a given, brooding is frowned upon, and conflict is resolved with rock, paper, scissors.
- The day’s most pressing events are interrupted with recess. We discover our friends and our world through a game of tag, a foot race, or playing hopscotch, keep away or flag football.
- Bills are paid by rolling the dice and counting out monopoly money. If you come up short, the bank will actually give you a loan.
- Risk management is playing your “Chance” card and knowing that benevolence awaits somewhere in the “Community Chest” deck.
- Eating breakfast for dinner isn’t the end of civilization as we know it.
- You remember the thrill of your first car, learning four on the floor, and your first solo drive even if you’re stuck in stop-and-go traffic.
- We kiss the people we care about on the forehead, inhale their scent, and say “I love you” every night at bed time, whether they are too old for it or not.
This weekend as I lace up my running shoes, tie jingle bells to the laces and don a furry Santa hat, I’ll also be humming a few bars direct from Neverland: "And if it means I must prepare to shoulder burdens with a worried air, I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me!” and be proud to represent a demographic of women who live between the ages.