Officially on the Road to Old
April 9th, 2010 by Christina

Lately, I’ve become increasingly aware that I am not young anymore. It’s not just the obvious, cliche stuff like the chronic back pain, the chronic need for reading glasses, the chronic need for the word chronic, and the conviction that plastic surgery isn’t all that crazy. It’s other, subtler things that catch me off guard and force me to acknowledge my advancing age.

Such as:

I now shop at Lord & Taylor. For years, I’ve teased my mother, who has been loyal to L&T since the days of well-made pencil skirts and Kelly Girls. Now I happen to work a few blocks away from the grand old department store. After a frustrating experience on Zappos.com last week, I decided to take a twirl through L&T’s shoe department. Well, no sooner did I enter the second floor “shoe salon” when a pleasant young woman asked me if she could help me. And then, by god, she helped me! She was totally there for me, graciously bringing every shoe I asked for in two sizes, just in case the shoe in question ran small or large. I just can’t get over it. I ended up buying a pair of flats and a pair of sparkly sandals. Soon I plan to return to the store for foundation garments.

Sometimes I stare at my cell phone in pure wonderment—at how tiny it is–so small and shiny and lozenge-like that I could swallow it without much effort. Why, when I was a child, you had to hold a clunky barbell of a receiver in order to chat on the phone. And it was attached by a curly cord to an even clunkier base unit (did that have a name?) You couldn’t even leave the room, let alone wander into a cafe and obliviously order a tall Sumatran blend while blabbing. In those days, too, the phones rang–with a real, mechanical ring, not one of 500 freaking ADD-inducing ringtones. In fact, there was no such thing as a ringtone. Don’t even get me started on my iPod Shuffle; When I was a girl, the Sony Walkman was beyond cool and sleek.

I’m attracted to men in their 50s. When R and I first separated, a friend of mine tried to sell me on her belief that 51-year-old men were the sexiest of all. I tried to be polite about it, but I was secretly thinking Ew. Gross. Can you say “grandpa?” But I have totally come around on that one. Among the men who manage to emerge from their 40s without having gone to seed, there are quite a few who are–to use a juvenile term–hot. (George Clooney, anyone? Ed Harris? Liam Neeson?  Jeff Bridges, despite the beard?)  Men in their 20s, 30s and even early 40s look weird, babyish and unformed to me now. What’s with the unlined faces, the lack of gray hair and all that? I obviously have no future as a cougar. I like my men slightly craggy and weathered.

I’ve said the following to my kids: “Can you see in that light?” “You’re not leaving the house wearing that.” and “One day you’ll appreciate me.”

When the Land’s End swim suit catalogue arrives, I keep it, rather than chuck it immediately into recycling. What’s worse, I flip right to the bathing suits with skirts. This year, I’m hoping to find one with OLD LADY printed across the butt.

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9 Responses  
Jessica writes:
April 10th, 2010 at 9:14 am

Awesome post, Christina! Really great to see your sense of humor on roll. And I can SO relate to all of it!! Oh an by the way I think that part of the phone was… the phone!

L1za Lauber writes:
April 10th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

So true.

Charmian writes:
April 11th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I used to have a bar-bell of a phone. The only good thing about it was you couldn’t lose it! My teeny-tiny cell phone? Where it is is anyone’s guess.

ellen De Money writes:
April 19th, 2010 at 11:57 am

plus with the old phones you had to DIAL and if anyone had a 0 or a 9 or consecutive higher numbers it took FOREVER…

Alexandra writes:
May 11th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Hello. Found you through Jennifer Fink, and I’m impressed.

No wonder she finds you a blog she can’t live without.

I agree..so much kind, compassionate, mature writing here.

Well done.

Jeremy Shatan writes:
May 18th, 2010 at 5:36 am

I will totally come out of the closet with my Lord & Taylor love – great service, selection & prices and they keep up style-wise. I discovered them the last time I bought a suit. First I went to Men’s Wearhouse because I wanted to “like the way I looked.” The service was dismissive and indifferent so I hightailed it to L&T where they took care of me and made a lifelong customer. No shame in their game! Great post.

Ricki writes:
May 18th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Finally catching up… loved this one. Not to mention how the curly cord always knotted up. And oh yeah, those high numbers took FOR-E-VER.
And, I see I’m once again mentioned…Glad you came around!

Rachel writes:
May 28th, 2010 at 5:42 am

We still USE 2 of those old-fashioned clunker phones. Husband finds them cool and retro. Ringers are turned off, dialing almost never used (forget 0 and 9, how about 1+ area code + number!) Also no “press one for etc.” Have you noticed how those canned menus never say, “if you’re calling from a rotary phone…” anymore?

I was thrilled with my smartphone at first, now i use it just as a… phone.

Don F writes:
July 3rd, 2012 at 11:37 pm

At least one 57-year-old guy yes, flattered, but wishing this were a somewhat less earth-shaking, epochal discovery.

(Also that maybe you don’t have to be a film star to make it work.)


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