Women of a Certain Age
Women of a Certain Age-- What's that all about?
Well, we would just say that if you are asking that question, you might not have reached the point yet--that you can "enjoy" the experience first hand. But trust us, it's coming, and if not you, without a doubt, you will know someone who will knowingly shake her head upon reading this title. The word "enjoy" is chosen a bit tongue in cheek, because some of this rite of passage (into Lord knows where) is excruciatingly uncomfortable. Yes, the physical pinch, chafe, and wrinkle, along with a dose of self-consciousness and self-confidence (!) aptly represent both the physical and emotional aspects of reaching this seasoned, and dare we say, "mature" point in life. In Women of a Certain Age, we will be laying it all out there for you to experience with us. Janet Greenfield, with her aware sense of self and irony, is leading us through.
On Truck Drivers and Construction Workers
My recent catapult into my 6th decade has necessarily shifted my perspective on what it means to be a 60 year old woman. It's still a brand new arrival into the Land of Sixty, so primarily I'm left with a feeling of total incredulity. It just doesn't seem possible that I have disembarked here. How did I let this happen?
Still, I am aware of a gradual transformation, both in how others see me and in how I experience the world. Take, for instance, the attention and (uninvited) comments from truck drivers and construction workers. When I was younger, these loud appraisals (often veering into the lewd and/or crude) infuriated me, leaving me feeling harassed and angry. Then, gradually, this gratuitous assessment of my physical assets tapered off to a mere trickle. Then, it stopped altogether. This was not because of any enlightenment on the part of said construction workers and truck drivers -- it was rather because I had reached A Certain Age. I had apparently become invisible. It is true, although definitely not politically correct, to say that I even missed it.
This is why, when recently crossing the street, after hearing someone yell out of a truck, "Hey baby, lookin' good!", I looked up stunned at the driver and shouted back, "You talkin' to me?" When he confirmed that indeed he was, I have to admit that it made my day. For a brief moment, that veil of invisibility lifted. Of course, this has to be balanced against other recent (and not nearly as affirming) experiences-- such as when a young man sitting on the subway looked up at me, standing in front of him, and offered, "Ma'am, would you like to sit down?" Reality has a way of slapping you in the face, but still, I did get my moment.