The Great Divide

Every week on Facebook, I receive lists of names of people with birthdays, and I dutifully try to wish them a happy birthday, and this week was no different. My lists consisted of several people that I know, and it seemed that all of them turned 50, which is the Great Divide between one and 100. They seemed to be worried about it, as well they should because, after all, it is half a century and 50 per cent of anything is a lot.


Being 50 years old was so long ago that I can’t remember what it was like, so I searched Dr. Google who knows everything and found some interesting facts. Age 50 is the best time to learn math. I wish I had known that when I was 14, trying to master algebra, but if I recall correctly, I wasn’t any better at math at 50 than at age 14.

Age 53 was supposed to be my sexiest year, but I was teaching sophomore grammar that year, and it was no time to be sexy. Sophomore minds often stray to sex, but it wasn’t something I talked about. Wisdom peaks at age 60, which gives the 50-year-olds some hope for the future, but for me, at age 75, my wisdom has come and gone and what do I have to look forward to? The experts say that vocabulary is at its best at age 70, but I beg to differ, because at about age 65 I began to forget the words that were balanced on the tip of my tongue. Now at 75, all is lost, my conversations seem to be random thoughts, punctuated by lost words. It’s downright embarrassing.


Dr. Google must be romancing Timothy Leary because Dr. G. indicates loudly and clearly that body image maximizes at age 70 and we begin to see ourselves in a better light. Well, I beg to differ. Dr. Google must be looking at my saggy skin, achy bones, and graying hair through LSD eyes, because no one has ever said, “Wow, you look a whole lot better at 70 than you did at 30.”


I try to be content with my age and circumstances. I’ve done most of things that I’m supposed to do to make myself feel better about aging, like getting a cool haircut, doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, and traveling, but life happens, and none of these things have worked well. I’m counting the days until I am 83 when, according to Dr. Google, psychological well-being will kick in and I’ll be happy with everything. My kids call it senility, though, so I’m not sure about that.

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