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.

You can just see the many things she may not give a damn about anymore!

You can just see the many things she may not give a damn about anymore!

11 Responses to “I Don’t Give a Damn if You Call Me Old

  • …people in the US are so affected … we have so , so bought into the trappings of the material world that the messages of our culture continually reinforce values related to youthful physical attributes and the practical purpose we serve in the endless pursuit of material progress …everything else is somewhat marginalized… including us grands…to my mind ,its as destructive as it is overwhelming sometimes if you buy into the linear timeframe this kind of thinking projects…if not , and see more than the mere physical at work here and feel the pulse of the intangible in your heart , it is possible to transcend the madness that surrounds us and wear any damn thing we want … say and act any damn way we please ,too, as long as it doesn’t injure anyone else…peace…

    • Acting any damn way we want is one of the best parts of getting older and wiser about what really matters. Honestly, the only people whose opinion of me has any import are the people I love and those are the ones I don’t want to let down or disillusion. Peace at last, at least peace of the heart, soul and mind are the only goal for me now. 🙂

  • You go girl. We have to do what makes us happy. I still like the word groovy, and it seems many of my family and friends use it too. We don’t have to conform to everything. Nothing wrong with staying unique, wearing what we want, voicing an opinion. I admire you brevity to just say what you feel. And PS, you or your thinking are not old! 🙂

  • I love this, Debby! I don’t care as much as I used to about stuff, but I still care too much about trivial things, such as whether people think I look fat, or if I have said the wrong thing (I do that all the time)!!!

  • Age is baseless in defining a person! I know people half my age who are less fit, less healthy, less informed … bottom line just less “groovy” than me. I’ve given up listening to doctors, friends and family who think I shouldn’t be doing things I want to. Life gets too short as you get older!!

  • Patti Boersma
    3 years ago

    I really like your blog…I like the way you think and write and I’m now a subscriber. And I’m not voting for Trump:)

    • Ha! Thanks and I’m so happy you’re with her… if you are… but even if you’re not I’m glad you’re not with him!

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