Don’t Sugar Coat The O’s!

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Editor’s Post by Deborah Hetrick Catanese

Twenty and thirty and forty, OH MY!  Certain birthdays can push our buttons, especially those that end with a zero!

And it starts YOUNG.  Remember 1-0? Otherwise known as ten?  Yes, you reached the excitement of double digits, but what fun was there in that, since you STILL weren’t a teenager?

It brings to mind that old phrase…”It’s just a number.” Well, don’t believe it! It’s kind of like a lot of that unsolicited advice, right, Allison, LOL? (See “The Tango of Unwanted Parental Advice” )  You can choose to believe the myths that keep on coming at you, but when it comes to age, it’s probably best to just trash the rationalizations and face up to the O’s.

Trust me on this, since I have more experience with these O’s than many of you. So let’s just take a look at all of these potentially troublesome numbers and let my hard earned “wisdom” guide you along the way.

2-0. Well, THERE is a very annoying number.  You have to stop being a teenager. But you are not officially an adult. Adulthood is not necessarily something you are striving for just yet, but you DO want to be able to have a legal drink.  You want to show that real ID while being carded, and get all those free drinks!  Next year, sweetie. Enjoy limbo for a year, while your friends run out to bars!

3-0. There was a phrase when I was young that sums this one up…”Never trust anyone over thirty.”  We were so foolish as to think we had absolutely FOREVER before that ripe old number ever struck. AS IF! If you aren’t there yet, get ready, it will happen to you. And soon!

4-0. This is when fashion mags and blogs start saying stuff like “Forty is the new twenty” and dribble like that. Well, duh, guess how old these writers are?!  Rationalization can be a beautiful thing, right? (I think I already gave my views on rationalization above, but I guess sometimes we just have to do it.)  But honestly, dahling, you look really great…for forty!

5-0.  Half a century, baby! But remember, “This is the first day of the rest of your life!” Blah, blah, blah!  But hey, lots of candles!  Get your husband to take you to Paris with full shopping privileges to celebrate. (You’ve earned it, after all these years!) Or to Costa Rica for a face-lift, if you are so inclined. (You’ve probably earned that, too!)

6-0. Well, then.  This is the last birthday that ends in O that I’ve experienced, but now I think it should be spelled “OH!” since it truly is an eye-opener of a birthday. I usually begin preparing myself for an OH! birthday on the 9’s, so as I contemplated the approach of this intimidating number, I KNEW I had to take the bull by the horns. So I threw a birthday party for myself! I invited EVERYONE.  My invitations said, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!”  Maybe you younger ones don’t know this moldy oldie, but it was a very popular song – so check out Leslie Gore on youtube and you’ll understand!  But my friends got the joke, BIG TIME.  It was raucous fun…dancing the night away with almost a hundred of my loved ones, playing only tunes that were about tears and crying. FYI – 90 per cent of all songs seem to be about crying, LOL, and not only in the country-western genre!  So, yeah, “The Gypsy Cried”…about my lost youth, darn! (look up Lou Christie, youtube!)

At this time, I will not dare to predict any future O’s in my life, especially since they are soooo far away. (Yeah, right :/)  But as I was getting ready for the big six-oh, a friend of mine assured me that I was “still young”. With a wry smile, I answered, “Yes, I AM still young.  But tell me, what number do YOU like after sixty?”  Well, honey, that pretty much sums up my views about good old 6-0 in a way just about anyone can fully “grok” (You MUST read Stranger in a Strange Land from back in the day to fully grok the meaning of this useful word!)

So here I am…still building the numbers.  And I’ve got an interesting birthday coming up later this month, without a zero…sixty-four!

So, I’m resorting to song again as I steel myself for this upcoming milestone! And in spite of my teasing in the report above, I want to remember to celebrate and not be overly concerned about those passing years, other than to reflect happily upon them. Hello, Hello, Paul McCartney, will you be singing with me? Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?!

Paul  wrote his prescient song about aging when he was 26, a true seer at a young age!! Catchy tunes aside, let’s just say this “64” thing comes with a bit of sticker shock to me, kind of like 3-O did!

But, truth is, every day is borrowed time no matter what our age, and I am grateful for the chance to grab each day that comes my way.  Yet as time passes, I realize more and more that aging isn’t for sissies. Or for sugar coating! (Right, Paul? Aren’t you turning 7-O in this jovial month of June, right before I turn 64?!  HELP! I need somebody…to sing me a new song, quick!)

Well now, do you Mamas want to chime in about these birthdays?  Tell us your true feelings about your age, unless you prefer to sugar coat it a little 😉  We really do understand, either way!

Fashionably yours,

Deborah

Comments

  1. Linda Somma says:

    Very well said, to my awe inspiring ,wisdom granting friend ! I will be singing with you soon! Happy Birthday!

  2. L. Somma says:

    There is an UP side to 60 ish :
    1 – You care less about what others think of you and more about what you think of yourself.
    2 – You reallize you can still look to the next horizon.
    3 – You can retire from a job you don’t love and find a better way to spend your time.
    Personally I enjoy being 62 and am thankful for everyday that I can dress myself, feed myself and have my independence!

  3. Andrea Morgan says:

    I’ll still feed you, when you’re 64. With pleasure. Anytime you’re in the neighborhood, cousin.

    • Deborah Catanese says:

      I took 44 years, but FINALLY, we have an answer to Paul’s question!!!! Andrea will feed us! Hooray!

  4. Rosemary McLaughlin says:

    Well done, Deb! I got every single reference. I must be getting close to 64 as well! (63 in October–yikes!)

  5. Laurie Klatscher says:

    It’s so funny–I just had a conversation with a mother of 3 daughters about her kid’s obsession with the “0” birthdays. One daughter lamented at 10 that she was no longer a single digit; a second daughter said that 20 was just a wasted year for the very reasons you listed in your funny, spot on article. I tend to do my freak outs on the “9”s. Perhaps I prep a little TOO well. Happy upcoming birthday. I imagine it will be filled with Sir Paul’s enduring questions. love, love, love, Laurie

    • Deborah Catanese says:

      Thanks, Laurie! I think I must have had my fingers on the pulse of the universe when I wrote these reflections, LOL! But with inspiration from Sir Paul, I just felt like my troubles were so far away 🙂

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