This weekend I went shopping with my son. He is going to a winter formal and needed a new outfit so we headed out to Santa Monica to spend the day shopping, walking around, and having lunch. It was a beautiful day, there were a ton of people out and about, and we had a wonderful time.
I am blessed that my teenager enjoys spending time with me, and there is no massive separation happening. I don’t see him as often as I used to as he is usually with his friends, but we spend time together and it matters. He is my favorite person and our hanging out is special to us both.
By special to us both, of course I mean it is special to me. Truth be told he thinks I’m silly for loving him so much, and gets a kick out of the pure joy I get in being with him, more than he thinks it’s special. That said, I’m going to continue to tell myself he thinks it’s special too.
I will be turning 46 this year and I must tell you I don’t get how I got to this age so fast. My son keeps me young and I don’t feel that much different today from how I felt when I became a mother at age 30. I live my life without the burden of age. I am in my forties and fabulous.
This weekend however, it became painfully clear that I have in fact gotten old. Things that never would have bothered me in the past, suddenly become “situations”. I use this word because when I am faced with these moments of getting old, my son announces that we have a “situation”.
Our first situation happened while shopping. Why is it that stores need to have the music playing so loud? Each and every store we went into was blaring music so loud you could not have a conversation. My son wanted to try on pants and I had to ask the clerk 4 times for his size.
The store employee could not hear me because the music was so loud. Of course my son did not think it was loud and even sang along to the screeching of a song I had never even heard before. I found myself screaming a conversation with my child.
When we went to the register, I told the cashier the music was just too loud and made shopping difficult. She gave me a look that said, “I’m really sorry you are so old lady, but the music is not loud.” She gave me this look right after she laughed at me for a minute.
Situation number two came at lunch. We decided to try a rustic pizza place in Santa Monica Place, settled into a great table outside, and ordered pizza and salad. I don’t remember exactly what kind of pizza it was, but it was something fancy, not your basic plain cheese variety.
When it arrived, it was swimming in oil. Just looking at it caused arteries to clog and I could not eat it. I called over the waiter and told him it was too oily. He assured me it was delicious and I should just try it. He then looked at my son and shot him a “your Mom is really old” look.
I ignored his look and lifted up a piece of the pizza. The oil that was dripping off of just one piece was enough to fill a soup bowl. He then gave me a slight tilt of the head partnered with a condescending look of, “maybe I should just get you some cottage cheese and prune juice”.
Does finding things loud and oily make me old? I can’t stand loud music in a store, yet my television is always loud because I can’t hear it. I also find myself ordering lunch with a side of cottage cheese instead of fries. How did that happen? When did it happen? Where is my young self?
I experienced two situations that were subtle reminders I am getting older. I can accept that I am now closer to old than young. I can even accept that cottage cheese is officially a side dish. I cannot accept however that blaring music is acceptable when shopping. Turn it down people!
I had a great time with my son this weekend. He is a pleasure to be with and I will get earplugs if that’s what it takes to spend time with him. He keeps me young at heart and as long as people continue to think I am his Mom and not his Grandma, I will stay young, and keep the faith.
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