You’ve got bright make-up on. You’re carrying your plastic bags, waiting on the corner for the lights to change, and the clicking to start; a green man will appear to beckon you across the street. Your bleached blonde hair is blowing in the wind, and you’ve got your umbrella at the ready by your side.
I meet your eyes and smile and say “Hey, would you be interested in a comedy debate tomorrow night?”
and you say “Ha! No, I’m too old for that, honey.”
No, you’re…really, really not. How can you be too old for comedy? I don’t understand. How can a human ever reach an age where they are no longer capable of enjoying laughter?
I wish you hadn’t walked away, because I have so many questions.
What do you do with your life? Are you happy? Who do you live for? Are you living for a woman who has struggled, and been, and is? Where did you meet this thought; this idea that somehow age has any bearing on what you can do with your evenings?
What else are you too old for?
Are you too old for tree houses? For champagne for breakfast? Too old for finger-painting? Too old for playdough or late-night phone calls, or emergency ice-cream runs? Are you too old to play tag or dance in the rain?
I want to take you with me. We’ll go to a park. I want you remember what it’s like to breath in the sun. We’re going to touch the bark on every single tree. We’ll catch ants on leaves, and watch them crawl. We’ll draw our names in the dirt.
Our clothes may very well get dirty.
We’ll pet the dogs being walked. We’ll go to a petrol station and pick up some bottom-shelf over-sugared penny candy in a toxic color with a flavour that has never existed in nature.
We’ll play frisbee, because it doesn’t matter how much we suck. It just matters that you’re smiling.
What I’m trying to say, dear lady from the sidewalk corner, is that life is beautiful. The only person who thinks you’re too old for anything…is you. And I’m sorry that no one has ever had the chance to ask you why you made the decision that you were too old for life.
You’re beautiful, and this world is a huge and incredible place. I’m sorry no one ever told you that age is in your head (and possibly the number of joints you’ve had replaced), but honestly…no one cares.
This world is a huge and incredible place. And it’s full of beautiful people. All of those beautiful people are way too worried about their own noses to give a single flying fuck about whether or not you are “too old” for something.
So, maybe you should use that age. Don’t hide behind it. Maybe you should try a different spin. “I’m too old not too”, for example? If you’ve decided that you can’t do all of the things you could do in your apparently long-gone youth, then maybe you should think about all of the things that are still left to you.
There’s so much in this world to do. There’s so much in this world to say “Yes” too. Age has nothing to do with it.
You are the only one deciding you can’t do things.
And why in the world would you do that?