A phrase heard all too often today has to do with age and how Age X is “the new” Age Y. There are a few things that really bother me and they typically center around cliché phrases. Just last weekend I shared my disdain for the expression, Everything happens for a reason. I don’t like to say I actually hate anything, but I hate it when people say this to me. I know it’s a way for people to cope when something bad has happened, a way to find some good in a presumably horrible situation. However, if it were me, I would prefer someone to just say “Wow, that sucks!” Because you know what? It probably does.
Back to this age issue. I am 34. I’ll be 35 at the end of July. Am I ashamed of my age? Of course not. Who would be ashamed of being in their mid-thirties, or any age for that matter? The first time I heard this was during an episode of Sex And The City. It was sometime in the late 90’s, I would have been in my 20’s and Carrie Bradshaw said 30 was the new 20. If that was the case, how old was I? 10? Please, no! I don’t want to go through puberty again!
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the intent behind the phrase, but what is the obsession with trying to be something you aren’t? For me, there is nothing better than someone assuming that I am younger than I am and then getting to reveal how old I really am. It’s not often that I get mistaken for being in my 20’s anymore. If I do, it’s usually because my husband is with me (he is always assumed to be younger than his age), or it’s a waitress trying to get a big tip.
I hope to embrace all of my upcoming ages as gracefully as I can. And along with those numbers, accept the titles that will hopefully accompany them. I read an article a friend had posted on Facebook this morning about grandmothers not wanting to be called Grandma. This is again something that perplexes me and yes, is a source of some irritation. Since when is “Grandma” a bad word? If someone is shocked that you are in fact a Grandma, isn’t that a compliment? Aren’t they really saying, “Holy Shit! Not only do you have a kid, but your kid has a kid too? Well done!”
I understand that some names are tradition or the result of a toddler’s mispronunciation. I’m not referring to those instances. In fact, those names can be quite endearing – even more so than the real title of Grandma. I met a woman in a park a few years ago who was playing with her great granddaughter. The little girl kept calling her something and I couldn’t quite understand what she was calling her. I asked the woman and she said “She calls me “Great” because Great Grandma was too much for her to say.” I loved that. How fitting and well earned, in my opinion.
Many of these women say they don’t “feel like a grandma”. Really? You want to go with that? In my mind, the title of “grandma” doesn’t depict age, afterall, I’m sure there are some grandmothers who are my age or possibly younger. Instead, I think of my own grandma and how she fit into that Grandma roll perfectly. She was barely 50 years old when I was born, but all I have ever gotten from her were hugs, kisses, candy, presents and love…lots and lots of love. She is the epitome of Grandma! Here was a woman fully embracing her roll as Grandma and she was only 15 years older than I am right now. My children get to experience that same love and they aren’t getting it from Nana, Meemaw, Poopsie or Bubbles. They are getting it from Grandma(s). Wear your Grandma Badge with pride!
UPDATE: I found a relevant little nugget on one of the blogs I follow. She must have read my post because even in her super creepy song, she’s still calling herself Grandma. Well done, though slightly disturbing.