A Lesson in Getting Old

:: in which I mourn the loss of tight baseball pants ::

Have you gotten to the age where your doctor is younger than you? I have, and it’s hard to swallow. Nothing says “over the hill” like a 24-year-old lecturing you on your cholesterol levels.

Today I had a root canal and I was understandably nervous as I sat in the chair waiting for the dentist. All you want at that point is a kindly, experienced authority figure to come in and assure you that he knows exactly how to fix your tooth and everything’s going to be just fine. I expected someone older than me, basically.

What I got instead was a young man who was a little too good looking to be doing root canals for a living. He looked about 25. He seemed confident enough, but it was hard to refrain from asking him how long he’s been doing this.

While he systematically yanked the nerves from my tooth, I did the math and realized that this guy had been through regular college, plus dental school, plus whatever special school you go to for endodontics, and then had spent enough time working to establish his own successful practice. And I know the practice wasn’t brand new because they had about 2,000 magazines premium in the waiting room. Ooh-la-la. And he was still a lot younger than me.

I remember the first time I realized I was getting older. I used to watch a lot of baseball as a kid, but I got away from it as I grew up. Several years ago, I sat down to watch a SF Giants game and I was taken aback by how young the players were. Baseball players are supposed to be grown men! Older than me! These were kids, barely out of high school. I’m surprised any of them had facial hair. It made me feel old.

Original SF Giants Crew (my brother and me)

Incidentally, I noticed another thing when I came back to baseball. Who authorized the uniform redesign? Because I remember when the pants used to be a lot tighter, and I think that’s the way to go. And I’m not just thinking of myself and the other middle-aged women who would prefer to see men in tight pants. I bet a lot of players get caught up in all that extra fabric and trip on their way to home plate. That’s no good for the game, and it’s no good for America. So let’s get back to the tight pants. Can somebody get right on that?

Maybe it was the extreme relief of being done with my root canal, but as I sat in the chair waiting for my final x-ray, I got a little sentimental and I decided it’s ok. It’s ok that I’m getting older. That’s life. I’m more experienced and I’m more mature. And now I can say a lot more of the obnoxious things I want to say without worrying about what people think.

And it’s ok that younger people are coming up behind me, excelling at what they do, and moving past me. I’m getting older, but I’m still growing and learning and doing what I love. So why does it matter? Getting older is ok because the best isn’t behind you; it’s where you are right now.

Did that sound like it should be on a Hallmark ad? Good. I should be getting a call from them any minute now.

Any minute.



One thought on “A Lesson in Getting Old

  1. And, at nearly 40, it made me realize that in Aug. I will be twice your age. So much of life takes place in that 40 year span and I can say, “The best is yet to come.”


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