It was just your stereotypical day in the life of a working mom. I was out running errands after work because it’s the only time I can do it without having to schlep a car full of kids. I was in Shoppers when I saw it, right there staring me in the face. Too bold to deny it any longer, I was old.
From the time I was a little girl, I knew people smoked, people drank and that there was an age when one did those things, at least legally. I can remember standing in the grocery store line and seeing the sticker that let’s everyone know how old you had to be to buy cigarettes and a six pack. It also gave you the year for all of those individuals like me, whose basic math skills are just a little below the National average. When I was growing up in the 80s, that date was always firmly planted in 60s. Well before I was born and encapsulated people like my brother who was always old in my eyes, that’s what happens when you’re the oopsy 12 years after the first kid was born.
I’m digressing and that’s okay because I feel old today and that’s what old people do, we digress. We talk about the good ole days back when cheeseburgers where $0.59 and you didn’t have to have a special dollar menu because everything was under a dollar anyway.
Those were the days, they say.
Moving back to Shoppers.
There I was, at the self check out, scanning my grape juice when I saw it. 1993. I looked again because I thought to myself, my macular degeneration must be the cause of me seeing things because someone born in 1993 can’t possibly be old enough to buy beer. There’s no freaking way, I repeat no freaking way. It’s just not possible. I attempted to do the math in my head but instead just pulled out my phone’s calculator because let’s call a spade a spade, it was just quicker. There it was 2014 – 21=1993. NO!!!!!!!
I had watched the years go up sporadically over time. I used to even joke with whomever I was with that I was 9 or whatever age when that person was born but 1993. Oh, hells no. I was in High School, in fact just started High School. There’s no way that someone who was born when I started High School is old enough to buy Tequila but the cold hard truth is, they are. In the span of time from when I started High School until today, a child was born and grew up. It makes me feel old and I’ve never felt old before. I’ve never felt like anything other than that same girl who was dropped off by her mother in D.C. in 1997. Yeah, I’ve gotten married, had kids and got divorced in the years since that day but I’ve never felt anything less than young. I’ve always felt that, God willing, I have more years ahead than behind me. Now, I’m starting to feel the reverse.
Needless to say, I promptly left Shoppers feeling a tad dejected. I felt less like the spry young girl that had walked in not 10 minutes prior and more like just another middle aged woman trying to ease into her later years.
In 15 years, some check out boy or girl will look at me and wonder why is that old crazy lady crying? It will be because I just happened to look over at the sticker and see the year 2008, the year my daughter was born. It will hit me all at once, how fast time has flown by. I’ll realize that no matter how much I still look in the mirror and see that little girl in the supermarket with her grandmother, I’m not that girl anymore. I’m a woman with a daughter of her own. On that random day in 2029, when I see that sticker and complete the crying jag it will likely ensue, I’m going to go home, share a shot with my daughter because we made it and THAT is worth celebrating.