By Elizabeth Speth
Today is my last day of being 48.
At least, I think it is. I’m a little fuzzy on the math, but I’m mostly sure that tomorrow I will be 49 and not 50.
Today, therefore, is the end of my relative youth (meaning that I am younger than many of my relatives). I’m only a whippersnapper for a few more hours, still officially in my 40s, full of pep and idealism. Mostly continent and arthritis-free. Practically a crazy kid.
After tomorrow, I won’t be young ever again, because 49 is nothing but a heart-stopping, screaming plunge into disappearing bone mass, uncooperative skin and suspicious-looking padding under my riding pants.
Tomorrow, I will be dragged, kicking and clawing, into the void of old age. Tomorrow I will stop buying lipstick because it’s all disappearing into the wrinkles around my mouth anyway, thank you very much, Revlon.
Tomorrow I will begin asking for senior discounts, giving unsolicited advice, and swinging my soon-to-fracture hips to the irresistible stylings of the big band era.
But today I think I’ve got to do something really, really special to commemorate the last little wisp of my viability as a human being in this crazy, youth-obsessed thing we call life.
Here are some suggestions I have submitted to myself:
1. Go on a crime spree
2. Go on a drunken crime spree
3. Get a tattoo (possibly of a smear of egg yolk on my chin)
4. Become famous
5. Start hoarding cats (better late than never)
6. Become a nudist (except for the adult diapers I will start wearing tomorrow)
7. Buy a motorcycle
8. Get filthy rich as a result of being famous (see #4)
9. Shave head and pierce eyebrows (or possibly shave eyebrows and pierce head)
10. Eat kale
11. Eat cheese, a lot of it
12. Join Weight Watchers
13. Learn clog dancing (check outYoutube tutorials, get distracted by teacup pig and monkey videos)
14. Start biting nails (but only my own)
15. Take a long nap, wake up grumpy and disoriented
16. Write my memoirs (make stuff up so they are interesting)
17. Re-enroll in elementary school and really pay attention in geography this time
18. Buy a car suggestive of a mid-life crisis
19. Have a mid-life crisis
20. Carry on hoarding cats, stowing extras in mid-life crisis car so no one realizes the extent of the problem
After careful consideration (and I did opt for the nap so I could sleep on it a bit) I have decided that I’m going with the kale and the Weight Watchers options, and, if I have enough points left today for alcohol, I will see if I can fit in a brief drunken crime spree. I know my neighbor leaves his door unlocked while he gardens, and I’m sure I could find something at his house to steal and then return tomorrow, after the adrenalin high has passed and I am an old woman taking stock of my life and making amends.
Alternatively, I will re-binge-watch Grace and Frankie on Netflix and clean the cat boxes.
It’s hard being young, I’m not going to lie. I can’t wait for tomorrow.