OK, I'll go first.
1. I've become a lousy judge of age, especially of anyone under twenty-five. Fifteen-year-olds, especially girls, look nineteen to me, nineteen-year-olds look twenty-five.
It works both ways! My doctor, around thirty and just out of medical school, casually referred to me as "an old person".
2. Salespersons use certain tactics less. They do not, for example, tell me they "bought one just like it"; they rightly figure I may not want what a youth wears. I get sticker shock, but am careful not to say so. That's probably related to no longer working, but jeez Louise, $300 for a sweatshirt? $125 for a tee shirt?
|Not my dress!|
Occasionally a sales associate seems utterly paralyzed in dealing with me; when I was shopping for a dress for Etienne's wedding, I had my best service from those over forty or so. Younger staff seemed unsure of what to suggest to a 67-year-old who wanted no truck with bugle beads.
3. A prudish strain has hit out of nowhere. When I see a young woman on the street in shorts that offer a view I find gynecological, I wonder what she is hoping to communicate, and also worry for her safety. I had my own minis, halter tops, and what one date called "your gownless evening strap", so I'm doubly shocked, first by by her display and then by my response.
I'm noticing welcome changes too; these include,
1. Small pleasures deeply satisfy, and now there is time to enjoy them: children playing in the park, two guitarists giving a spontaneous concert on the bus, the waft of blooming linden trees: all experiences I would have rushed past even at fifty. The more I take in these small pleasures, the more I find them.
2. My ego is still there, but moved back many rows. When I meet friends still immersed in work, I am reminded of the demands of a career, of the competitive nature (especially in large corporations), and of how a certain drive carried me both upwards to achievement and down toward exhaustion. I have ceased to miss that intensity.
3. Not long ago, one of my sons ran a burdensome errand on my behalf, unasked. "Ah, 'taking care of Mom' begins", I thought to myself. I was grateful—if a little surprised—that this era has dawned.
Related to that, since I went to grey hair, I get offered a seat on transit during rush hour, nearly every time. Sometimes I accept, to reinforce my neighbour's kindness; other times, especially if disembarking in a few stops, I thank the person warmly, but stay upright.
It's your turn, and you don't need to be my age to contribute. Some readers may notice the changes earlier, like the first time you walk into a restaurant and think the music is too loud or when you dig a pair of stilettos out of your closet and think, Whoa, I wore those?