Your Inner vs. Outer Age

Suzette and 1620 Plymouth Rock - a metaphor for older than dirt
Suzette and 1620 Plymouth Rock – a metaphor for older than dirt

My two-cent theory is that we each have two ages. The age you think you are, and the one on your driver’s license. The Inner Me says, “I’m 18!” The world is harsh when answering back, “Oh no you’re not.”

Back in the 1970’s, I’d stroll through street fairs to ooh and aah over what vendors knew I wanted: crystal gem trinkets, bohemian skirts, Renaissance-style hair garlands. Recently, I took my 59-year-old self to the AARP conference, and spent time exploring what vendors think I needed: hearing aids, varicose vein surgery, and pain relieving gel. When did “Oooh, yeah” turn into “Oh, no”?

My Inner 18-year-old panicked, “I don’t belong here! Quick! Find a jewelry counter!”

And I did, pronto, along with other gray-haired or the excellently colored-over-gray-haired folks. Face it, I am one of them, and it’s time to take stock.

Droves of seniors filled the acreage of the Boston Convention Center. What are the product demands of my age demographic? A big sign read: DRY CRACKED SKIN?

I’m a sucker for skincare. Tutankhamen ain’t got nothin’ on me for industrial strength preservatives. I zoomed in on the “highest grade aloe vera,” purported to remedy dry skin, stretch marks, psoriasis, and in short, moisturize Tutankhamen back from mummy-hood. I bought three jars.

During my walkabout, it was unnerving to realize a need exists for hands-free shoes (Quikiks!) or vibration therapy machines that will jiggle you back to better circulation when your stair-stepping days are over. My Inner 18-year-old whispered, “Too scary. I don’t want to learn any more about leakage.”

Quikiks - a special heel allows your foot to slip in with no need to tie laces
Quikiks – a special heel allows your foot to slip in with no need to tie laces

Then suddenly I spotted fellow senior Elsie Saxon from Philly. Big neon glasses twinkled from the top of her red leather hat, and she clued me in.   “Reimagine Life is giving them away over there.” I am part of 76.4 million Baby Boomers, a generation known for being playful and imaginative. It’s curiosity that makes one interested and interesting, and plenty were exploring all that was offered that day: new life purpose, travel, technology, and ways of giving back. (More free samples, please.) It was a convergence of fun-loving people, and why not? Boomers have always been idealistic, bold thinkers, and as seniors, we are just catching a second wind. I told my whiney Inner 18-year old, “Pipe down, these are my peeps.”

I made assumptions and I was proven wrong. Lactose-free cheddar cheese is delicious.

What is your “inner” age?


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17 thoughts on “Your Inner vs. Outer Age”

  1. I invented hands-free shoes but nobody believes me and I can’t even discuss it because of the impending lawsuit!

  2. Suzette…you are marvelous. I love your humor. The reality of feeling 18 but being waaaay older, is painful, but thank goodness for humor and a good attitude, which greatly help to get me through the day.

    I love your versatile writing.

  3. Oh my, I cannot even say my age out loud any more, because I still can’t believe I am a Medicare recipient. My body isn’t what it was, but the mind still opines and dreams and ponders. And all those commercials during Jeopardy and daytime TV. Are we the only ones still watching TV in real time?

  4. I almost bought a new blender, and I already have that brand of blender!
    The coolest thing for me was meeting Mollie Katzen, the vegetarian cookbook author.

  5. Ohhh I could relate to everything you said here. The only way I’d go to an AARP conference if if they were giving out free adult diapers and catheter sample packs. HAHAHA!!! Great post!

  6. I also struggle with the teenager who wants to come out and who curses at anything directed at the 40 and over crowd. The problem is that the “older” services and products are for old people. Life Alert, walk in tubs, etc. Let’s get some fun stuff going on.

    1. Yeah! Let’s have more fun games for us! Like: “Who Remembers Where We Parked The Buick?” and “How Many Seconds Until That See’s Candy Appears On Your Hips?” and “What Did You Just Say? No, Seriously, What Did You Just Say?”

      We could make a million.

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