There is a moment.
When something changes. Or more likely when you realize something is changing. Or has changed.
Most of the time, I see what has changed and it seems gradual and it’s not so hard to accept. Or it’s a good shift and I’m glad. Like the time Davis first talked to me about a book he’d been reading in terms of what it means to him or means in the scheme of the world and not just the literal translation of the story. That was huge. But it didn’t change in that moment. It had been changing over time and in that minute I realized it.
We’re at the pool. (Sorry to all you freezing cold friends.) It’s almost 90 degrees and there is not a cloud in the sky. It’s as blue as I’ve ever seen a sky. There’s a gentle breeze. A slight mist is coming from the canopy above some of the chaise lounges and it looks so tropical. (And a little like the mister over the broccoli at the grocery store.)
Andrew is reading The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach. I just finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. That wrecked me. But I digress.
There are a lot of people here from all around the country. I hear them talking. One blonde from North Dakota. A 30-ish guy guy from the Twin Cities. A brunette from Ohio. A pack of men with goatees and great pecs. They’re tossing a Nerf football across the pool. Some know each other. Some just met. It’s friendly. Nice.
And it looks like fun. Andrew’s in his book. I’m finished mine and I’d love to play. But I don’t get up. I watch from afar.
I look around the pool deck. And I realize. This is the moment. The moment I guess I’ve always dreaded.
I’m too old to play. I don’t fit in.
The others who are on their chaises and not playing? Some of them are like me. We’re not old and decrepit by any means. We look pretty darn good. For our ages.
Yikes. For our ages.
It’s not that I feel old. Or older, if you must. But today, I realize that I am. Older, that is.
And though I know full well I can keep up with those 20’s and 30’s, they don’t. And frankly, I’ve decided that they don’t care to know.
And all in a flash it hits me. This is how the ones who are older than me feel about me and my peers. We don’t change, really, but outside of ourselves we do and others see us differently that we see us.
Don’t go feeling sorry for me. This is not my point. And besides, I have plenty of friends – some my age, some younger, some older. They young ones? They know me. They like me for who I am and my advanced years aside, we have a lot in common. And I’m not sad. I’m just aware.
Last night, we went to Rosemary’s* for dinner. What a meal. Seriously, you must go if you come to Las Vegas. It’s a little out of the way, but worth it. I think this started sinking in then. All the young, attractive people. All the style. This is a crazy city. I feel a step out of it.
And something really, really, really terrible happened before we went to dinner last night.
I chose the comfortable shoes.
I did. I chose the comfortable shoes.
All those years I secretly snickered and judged the older women with the practical shoes.
And today I realize. I am one of them.
*Andrew promised me he’d blog about all the amazing food we’ve eaten here in Vegas. It’s been inspiring. He’ll be working on it on the way home.