Bridging the Divided

Mom? Is That You?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and found your parent staring back at you? The other day it happened. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. The youthful glow is there no more. Was it ever there in the first place? Now I see silver tresses and laugh lines, otherwise known as wrinkles, staring back at me. Not that my mother has silver tresses – she doesn’t, thanks to Lady Clairol. Several years ago I opted for the au natural hair color. Most days I’m ok with it. 

There is a car insurance commercial where a guy is helping middle-aged people avoid becoming their parents. It’s one of my favorites. At what point do we morph into our parents? I think it is one of those subtle things that fly under the radar for longer than we realize. It starts with hearing yourself say the exact same words to your children you heard growing up. “You better stop crying or I will give you something to cry about!” Weird. Didn’t see that coming. Later, you opt for sensible shoes and comfortable pants. What? Why? Oh, I remember, I broke my ankle nearly two years ago wearing less-than-sensible shoes. While I am reminding my 80+-year-old mother to watch her step, I am the one falling. And now I am in search of a comfortable pair of jeans. I am considering stretchy, wide-leg boyfriend jeans – whatever that means. If I were to guess, I would say it means the jeans are one step away from the comfortable polyester pants my mom wears. What’s next? Dentures? I hope not. 

Speaking of teeth, I bought over-the-counter whitening strips a while back. The box said it would remove 15 years of coffee stains. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was five years old. So does that mean I will have 41 years of stains remaining? If I use it three more times will all of the stains disappear? Enquiring minds want to know. 

Interestingly, by the year 2030, the number of baby boomers in our country will exceed the number of children. One in five adults will be  65 and over. Currently, our culture is youth-driven. Will the flip-flop change how we view aging and the elderly? Will youthism replace ageism as a discriminatory bias? In another eight years, those of us 65 and over will be cool again. There could be a revival of the hippie generation. Woodstock take two, perhaps? Until then I guess I accept mom staring back at me when I look in the mirror…..

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