Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old Ladies Don't Drink Margaritas

"...and they tell him, "take your time, it won't be long now
'til you drag your feet to slow the circles down" Joni Mitchell, "The Circle Game"

You say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you. Beatles, "Birthday"

When I write the Great Australian Novel it will be called "Controlled Falling". Watch out for it.

The expression came from an old boyfriend. I don't know whether it was because of his Dutch heritage or his science major, but he tended to see the world through unemotive eyes.

We were walking down from an outcrop of rocks. It was a hundred years ago in a desert somewhere in Australia. "It's much easier climbing down," I commented. "Climbing down is just controlled falling," he explained in his Dutch lecture-style way.

Since then I've seen my life in terms of a prolonged and (mostly) controlled falling, from one stage to the next.

The speed of a person's life-fall is not constant. It is extremely slow during childhood, perhaps to twelve years of age, speeding up from then on, until one gets to a certain age and time starts to screech by, somewhat short of the speed of light.

Major changes in speed occur several times in one's life, often associated with life events, such as one's first sexual experience, birth of one's child, the first gray hair, divorce, death of a parent...

Some changes in speed are sign-posted by an epiphany or a comment from another person marking indelibly the precise time of the change.

When I was about 10 I used to run home from school jumping over rubbish bins on the sidewalk. On one particular day I suddenly stopped dead short of a rubbish bin. "You are to old for that," an inner voice whispered. And I jumped no more. My childhood was over and its slow speed accelerated to the faster speed of adolescence.

Marriage, children, divorce, menopause, career ... the wheels of change move increasingly faster as life events pile up rapidly, sometimes even colliding with each other.

Old Lady Not Drinking a Margarita
A "sign-post" manifested itself just yesterday. I was talking to a friend. "My husband invited you over for margaritas," she was saying. "I told him," she continued," "Kate is an old lady and old ladies don't drink margaritas."

The world sped up and I recognized another turning point.

I, who I believed could never get or look old, was defeated.

About to fall, tumbling to the last rung of my descent.

But first, I think I'll have a margarita!

Stay tuned.



Anonymous said...

Now, Kate. You know I make the best margarita in the world and I still drink 'em. But, I'm not an old lady. Fed one to an old lady t'other night and she didn't complain. She didn't fall slowly forward, but then she was a Texan and they usually hold their likker.
Getting older is like flying through the speed of sound. Some do it gracefully without a shudder. Others buck and kick and some spin out of control. I suspect you're just approaching the mach with a few little burbles. Punch in the afterburner and you'll go through as smooth as the Starfighter you are.

Jaded NYer said...

Oh melodrama! I'm sorry. I have a big mouth. You are not old or defeated and clearly proved me wrong because you DO drink Margaritas. And the more Margaritas you drink, the younger you will get. So, rather then speeding to the end of time you will have your hand on the button. Benjamin Button.

Lesley said...

Well as I am mentioned in this article (See husband who had had the
idea for you to come to our favorite margarita place) I wanted
to at least comment here. You're not old, for the love of Pizza. I'm way older than you, and I'm not old. Well, I'm an old soul, and you're just going to have to take my word for that. But you're not old. Okay, she's telling me that you're just razzing her. And I'm concerned she's hurt your feelings.
Maybe I'm the idiot. No one ever explains these things to me. Anyway,
I hope you enjoy the record I made for your birthday.
Love, ~Lesley

Fionams said...

You're only as old as the woman you feel! A wise (older) woman told my young adult children the other day that the way they felt inside, that anything was possible & the world was wonderful & fun, well their mother still felt that way, & it didn't go away just because you got older. My kids were so surprised. My daughter said 'do you feel the same now as you did when you were my age?' She was astonished when I said yes!

Jaded NYer said...

I said something stupid.
I said something bold.
I said with drunken fluid
I said that you were old

I said that I was Sorry
I said that I was wrong
I said why pause to worry
I said it all along

I said we all are living
I said we all time passes by
I said where are we going
I said we all are going to fly

I said don't lose a minute
I said look at every day
I said be glad you're in it
I said Happy Birthday

Anonymous said...


Ilze Dickson said...

What age is old?I'll be drinking Margaritas and Cosmopolitans when I'm 100 years old.

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