I Don’t Give a Damn if You Call Me Old
I don’t give a damn if you call me old.
It’s one of at least five things I no longer give a damn about. You know why? Because no longer caring about things that once made me crazy is a perk of age.
I recently wrote a piece about aging and in it I used the word “old.” A commenter took offense at my “negative” use of the word. “Just stop,” she instructed, implying I was promoting stereotypes of older people by saying my attitude is one of refusing to get old.
My point is age is a number but also an attitude and if you have the right attitude, your number doesn’t much matter. I don’t think she fully got me. She lost me at negative. Because even if you mean “old” as a negative when you toss that word my way, I simply don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me what you think my age is or means; it matters what I think it means because I will act accordingly.
I recently heard Bill Maher refer to Hillary as “old girl,” while complimenting her on the DNC speech. I could feel the feminist rage in his audience and heard the groan. Me? Nope, didn’t give a damn. Don’t mind old and am okay with girl too. I just don’t bruise that easily anymore because I’m old and I’m a girl, a double whammy of strength and fortitude. Attack me if you like but see the first line of this post to find out if I care.
The other four things I no longer give a damn about include:
1. Being less hip than I used to be. You can tell I’m less hip because I use the word hip. So when someone used the phrase “resting bitch face” in conversation recently and I didn’t know RBF was a “thing,” I wasn’t embarrassed. I was actually pretty satisfied to know that “a thing” was a thing. Not giving a damn is very liberating. I can feel free to use YIKES in conversation whereas I once tried to suppress my inner 50s cartoon character along with my 60s hippie. Now I can let my freak flag fly. It’s liberating.
2. If you like my outfit. Chances are if I’m wearing it, it’s because I like it. It could also be because it was the only clean thing left or because it was less wrinkled than the other items I pulled out of my closet, or because it’s roomy and I’m having a chubby day. Whatever the reason I picked it, I just don’t care if you think it’s cute or age appropriate. It’s not that I don’t care about my appearance because that is one of the things I still do give a damn about. It’s that I don’t care if you agree with my personal take on my look. If I’m happy with the way I look in it, I’m going to be happy about it no matter what you think. By the same token, if I don’t think I look that good in it, you’re telling me otherwise isn’t likely to make me suddenly rethink my opinion. Having said that, though, if you do think my outfit is cute or sexy or looks good, you can say so and I will thank you. (As if I gave a damn.)
3. If you agree with me. I will argue my point, particularly political, and after making my case I will give you a moment to agree. If you don’t, I no longer feel like I have to beat you senseless for not having the sense to know I’m right. I know I’m right, I feel secure in my opinion and that’s enough for me. However I do give a damn if you’re voting for Trump. Don’t tell me. Then again, do tell, as I’ll need to know I must avoid you from now on.
4. If you’re judging me. I mean who are you to judge me? You’re not the boss of me! (See? There’s my 50s cartoon character again.) I do accept criticism of my work; that I do care about. But if you need to judge me as a person, go for it; just don’t expect me to let your assessment matter.
Are there things on your “Don’t Give A Damn Anymore” list? Let us know what they are in the comments. The advantage of aging is that list just grows and grows. Enjoy the freedom. It’s far out.
Want to hang with me for a few more minutes? Meet me at GRAND Magazine.