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Deborah Divine

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Forget Reinvention

Posted: 10/05/11 09:39 PM ET

Something must be wrong with me. I'm 57 and unlike every other woman my age, I don't want to reinvent myself. I don't want to do something thrilling or test my fears. I did that already -- back in sixth grade, when a bunch of us grabbed some flashlights, clambered down a manhole, walked four miles of underground sewer line and made it out alive.

Or when, on a dusky fall Toronto evening, my girlfriend and I pulled in our thumbs and hoisted our young, tight blue jean-ed asses up into the cab of an eighteen wheeler and asked the unknown driver if he wouldn't mind just "letting us off somewhere near Montreal"

Nope. My testing days are done.

Start a business? Don't want to do that either. I did that already -- back in 1983, when a dear friend and I lost our financial and emotional shirts producing a trade show with purpose -- not the crass kind -- the kind that draws millions of people like the SEX show, or the DIVORCE show. No, we produced the EDUCATION show where you can find "everything you want to learn under one roof".

Well, apparently no one wanted to learn a thing, because we took in zero attendance; the three days of horror culminating in a revolt by the exhibitors somewhat akin to the mob scene in To Kill A Mockingbird. An experience I'd rather not talk about frankly, unless of course you happen to be a gifted therapist.

No, the question I have, as I sit with some money saved, my adult children almost supporting themselves, my elderly father finally accepting that the woman who lovingly shows up to care for him isn't out to "steal everything I own" -- as I sit here after all these years -- amongst all the this, the that, the give, the take, the buying, the selling, the nip, the tuck, the up, the down, the text and twitter, the over and out is this: When the hell do we get our Granny Clampett moment? When do we get to wear the bun?

Again, there must be something wrong with me. Most women I know are still shopping at Aritzia alongside their lithesome daughters who will gladly avert an eye roll with the up speaking cashier and the truth: "no, Mom that looks really GREAT on you" in exchange for leaving the store, three bags full without ever opening their own wallets.

Most women I know have a bucket list as long as their dieting history. Come on! Do I have to wriggle into the new Stella? Can't I just wear Granny's long hopsack skirt that covers the veins and doubles as a hand towel? Do I have to pit the Paul Smiths against the Tom Fords? Can't I just take these wire frames, hook them around my ears and say "dang, that's better!" Do I have to finish my abandoned degree when really all I want to do is rock on my porch and wait for the first opportunity to raise my fist in the air and yell, "Get off of my land!"

Do I really need a second or third act? Do I?

Can't I just wear the bun?