Hooray for Middle Age

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The other day, my husband said, "These jeans might be a little young for you" and I realized I've been 39ish long enough. Let it be known: I'm 53 years old, more than half a century, and I'm proud of it.

Being old is not fashionable. Back in the day, people didn't get old as I have gotten, and so 53-year-olds were treated with a certain respect, if for nothing else, their survival.

But not in the 21st century. Nowadays, we people who get middle age become somewhat suspect; as if they did something wrong to get old. To hide our shame we're all so busy dying our hair, working out and getting facelifts that we've forgotten how to sit in the rocking chair and rock. They say that 50 is the new 40, but they're wrong. Fifty is the same old 50. And if you're as gay as I am, 50 is the new 65. I earned every one of my gray hairs.

I don't intend on having a 29 inch waist again. To paraphrase Dolly Parton, I'm a 29 but a 32 feels so good that sometimes I just slip into a 36. A big belly says, "This is my monument to family dinner, to all the Thanksgiving dinners and Easter chocolate and Christmas cookies we shared."

Don't bother telling me that if I lose 10 pounds I can live another 20 years. Or that if I ran 20 miles a week, my blood pressure will drop. If 53 is this unpopular, I don't want to see 83. Instead I intend to enjoy my status as an eccentric senior. I'm going to eat that apple pie and not care where it goes. I'm going to start wearing those bifocals and stop squinting at fine print. I'm going to put on those bifocals every morning, look at the mirror, and say, "What marvelous crow's feet I have. Raising two boys, three dogs and a husband has been good for me. I am well on my way to making myself into a world class grandfather."


With a Perspective, this is the middle-aged Kevin Thaddeus Fisher-Paulson.