Couples interacted, families interacted, but they did not want to interact with me. I felt a little unnerved by the silence and the quick glances, and a little lonely as well. It surprised me that a midlife woman traveling alone should be almost shunned. At least, that's the way it felt.
We baby boomers have not been rule-bound by much, so it seems natural that we would be challenging the stereotype of "older people." But what about the energy involved in maintaining your joy in life, when you're experiencing natural losses from growing older?
Not too many years ago I was a washed-up empty nester, a sad, depressed ex-soccer mom with no clue about what to do next. The bloom had fallen off my stem in a dull and squishy mess, and I watched from my lonely window as new school children of new moms kicked my old bloom into the gutter.
For one thing, I always thought it would be a relief to be old, and no longer concerned about my appearance. Not true. I care. I want to always care. How I look on the outside impacts how I feel about myself.
Sometimes I feel smarter than I was 30-something years ago. I don't remember how to do Algebra or how to diagram a sentence, but I can read several newspaper articles about seemingly disparate issues and immediately see how they are connected.
You can do two interesting things with your body when you're a woman over 60: Cover up (with hat and gloves!) like the delightful Diane Keaton (69), or strip down like audacious Susan Sarandon (also 69).
February is An Affair to Remember month. This makes perfect sense to me and other women of my generation who shed buckets of tears over this movie. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. A beautiful theme song that also makes me cry. So romantic. So tragic. Spoiler alert: Such a happy ending.