We live in an ageist society . It’s been said before and I am saying it again. Maybe forever 21 came up with their slogan on a whim but today it’s the widespread norm.
There was a time when the formula youth = success was limited to the Fashion and entertainment industry. The ordinary, everyday people took aging as a natural phenomenon and went about their daily lives and jobs unaffected.
Neither was older than 20 something need not apply was a box that needed to be ticked on a job application .
However in the recent years this obsession with youth has trickled down and become mainstream in our society and culture. Every where you go , you are bombarded with the latest in anti aging innovations , ranging from high tech skin care, makeup, supplements , gadgets , surgical procedures and the last I checked anti aging water and even drinkable collagen !😕
It doesn’t matter where in the world you live or which ethnicity you belong to. Once you cross the 20 something threshold you are guilty of committing a grievous sin.
Owing to circumstances beyond my control it was well into my late twenties that I had the opportunity to start crossing items off my dated and yellowing bucket list.
Little did I know I was ineligible for over half the things on my list since I no longer fit the 15-20 age bracket anymore.
I remember signing up for dancing lessons and considering penciling in the 25-30 age box myself in exasperation.
For me at 16, finishing homework and passing exams was the limit to my ambitious thinking. What I learned that day while attempting to blend in with the other 18 year old somethings , was that life goals today are not only planned out but close to being achieved when you hit the 20 something age mark.
As I stood there , I realized that I had completely missed “The young and The successful” boat ages ago. I remembered the time when our mothers would lie about their ages out of sheer vanity and getting older meant becoming wiser , smarter and more graceful.
As I crossed out the 18-20 age box and handed over the form grudgingly I realized lying about my age was going to be more out of necessity than of vanity.
Ever since I was a teenager I was notoriously bad at crossing the street having invisible blinders strapped to either side of my face which enabled me to look straight ahead not on either side and therefore step brazenly albeit dreamily right into incoming traffic read mad, speed happy, crazy, graffitied rickshaws, taxis, buses and motorcyclists who were forced to brake, holler and shake their fists in mid air in order to startle me from my reverie.
Today years later I happened to be walking to the supermarket with my dad and just as we approached the busy street and waited to cross Papa immediately clasped my hand firmly and guided me across the street all the while chatting nonchalantly about this and that and didn’t let go until we were safely on the sidewalk.
The fact that my incredibly busy and seemingly unassuming father took note of and remembered this habit of mine years later made me feel ridiculously happy , incredibly touched and left me a wee bit misty eyed which I attempted to cover under the age old got a speck of dust in my eye alibi.
I as a daughter may or may not remember his quirks and oddities but I hope as a parent I will be as mindful of my kids as my parents are of me 💕💗💖💓❤️.