Thursday, October 2, 2008

Slouching towards middle age

This morning while waiting for my coffee, I was accosted by a large poster advertising, of all things, REO Speedwagon & Rick Springfield in concert. Though I was having a flashback to the "good old" eighties there. It really took me back for a moment.

I used to lurve Rick Springfield. So much so that one young admirer, and I had quite a few back then, thought the way to my affections was to buy me a copy of Working Class Dog. Which he shoved into my hands outside Aquarius Records in Tunapuna. Right there on the Eastern Main Road in full view of his friends no less. He then took off at a rate with me looking suitably puzzled. Now in my defense I did have better taste in music, but he was soooo cute, what with the long hair, brown eyes and guitar. Rick Springfield that is, not the young man whose name if memory serves, was Harry.

Poor Harry didn't understand that he didn't fit my demographic at all. Sure he went to a "prestige school", but I, happening young thing, used to have a number of worthies hanging on to my every word. Which considering that I was totally oblivious as is pointed out to me by my friends from that time, is hugely remarkable. I was girl with opinions, yes, even then. One of those terribly ernest types who had causes, knew about the world, much older than in chronological age. But I wasn't aware of myself as attractive, which apparently, I was. I thought boys wanted you to be stupid and in fact, the really good looking, hot ones, did. You couldn't be smarter than them, better looking yes, but not smart. That was a huge no-no.

Now despite all that social conscious stuff and world view and well read etc, I was still shallow enough to want a trophy boy. You know the type, tall, good looking, cool, preferably someone that would cause envy in other girls. And really, from time to time I would manage to snag one, and then wonder why I found them boring but you know, arm candy was still nice. Poor worthy Harry was short, okay looking, and gack, NICE. Who wanted NICE! See how stupid women can be.

It was a phase, that flirtation with Rick Springfield and his ilk. Cringe worthy but I was fifteen, some stupidity is allowed. Fortunately it didn't last that long. While it seems like yesterday, much to my dismay I still know ALL the words to Jesse's Girl, it's been a long time. These guys were already older when I was a teenager, they must be ancient by now. And that made me realise yet again. I can wear the cute little capris, with kitten heels and a little t-shirt. Or stalk around in my stiletto's and dark nail polish, it does not change that I'm not 16, or even close. Nor would I want to behave like that or even be there. I see a lot of women clinging to a vestige of their former selves, or competing with their teenager to wear the current fashions, suitable only really for the very young or club hopping frenetically. I want to say, have some dignity, there's nothing wrong with being older.

There is in fact something a lot more comfortable to being past twenty, and even thirty. Many of the callow young fellows of my youth have grown into some nice men, all a little rounder, some greying and balding, but okay guys. Some you still avoid like the plague, but nice is now not such a bad word. Even the X man, who used to be the epitome of a bad boy, has mellowed into a chunky, bifocal wearing dude, still with attitude but older. And while I might still wear the towering heels and work out feverishly; I'll never again have a twenty two inch waistline, my knees ache when I stand too long and I have to visit the hairdresser a little more often, but it's all worth it, because it's okay to be older. Rick Springfield may remind me of the cool chick that I used to be, but you know, this middle aged gig isn't so bad.


Wuzdescene said...

when I was young(er) .... I used to think that getting old is pretty scary .... but now that I'm old(er) ... I realise its pretty great ... and what's great about it is .... very little phases me anymore ... I am who I am .... I doh have tuh conform .... and who vex lorse!

PS: dat concert soundin damn good, been gapin at de ads in de papers! :-)

Gabriela García Calderón said...

What a beautiful post! As someone in her thirties, I felt very identified with the words: I was having a flashback to the "good old" eighties there.
My crush wasn't Rick Springfield, but Bruce Springsteen... the Boss. And I remember every word from "Dancing in the dark". I remember i had that song taped, and kept listening over and over again, taking notes of the lyrics. And I finally did it!
Thanks for bringing back those sweet memories for me.
All the best from Peru!