Don’t Call Me Ma’am


Nothing can ruin a concert like a polite 20-something, who has been taught manners by a loving mother.  Don’t get me wrong, my hope is that my 20-something-year-old sons would ruin a concert for another menopausal woman, but that is not my point.  My point is that youth is wasted on the young! I won’t say that I am immature (although many others have said it) but I do like my Converse Chucks, a slouch beanie, and a loud stereo.

I also enjoy going to concerts with my younger son. I like Pop Punk Music…Green Day, New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, Good Charlotte, and Blink-182 can all be found in the CD changer of my car. An added bonus to being menopausal and immature is that I have a really sweet ride and all my punk tunes are blasted from a Harmon Kardon sound system. Good quality sound systems come with a price and after you reach a certain age, you have money to spend.

All of this background information is primarily to prove (either to you or to me, I’m not sure) that some people think I’m cool. That being said, the people who think I am cool are not the ones who exited my womb 20-something years ago. Anyway, my ADHD has hijacked my writing again, and I am off point. What you need to know is that I am somewhat cool, have some money to waste, and I like concerts.

OK, back on track… so, I am standing at a concert with my son. We have pushed our way to the mid-front. I am ignoring the incredibly sweaty and hairy guy to my left, and I am in the groove. Big screen TVs show Travis Barker breaking drumsticks, I am doing the pop-punk jump (which takes a lot of synchronization skill, so as to not get motion sickness if you should get out of phase with those around you) and I am just sucking up all that youthful energy. The Fountain of Youth is not in South America, but rather, in the mosh pit of a high energy show.

I am only feeling my age occasionally, in my left knee, when I land from a jump; but, as the bumper sticker proclaims, life is good!  My son and I are singing filthy lyrics at the top of our lungs when… it happens.  I feel a hand on a part of my body that lies between my waist and my knees (closer to my knees than I would like to admit) and I turn around. A 20-something young man, looking like the poster child for an affluent liberal arts college, looks back at me with an expression of shock. His face turns red, his eyes have the look one expects to see in an advertisement for a 1950s horror film, and the dreaded words are uttered. “I’m so sorry ma’am; I didn’t realize you were old. Please forgive me.” This kid’s mother has reason to be proud. I on the other hand wish he would have just shrugged his shoulders and moved on.

The fact of the matter is that I am an anomaly. Society’s mores dictate that with age comes wisdom, maturity, and a sense of decorum. I agree that I shouldn’t wear my Green Day tee shirt to a job interview and that when attending a Board Meeting, I need to suit-up; but, why does society dictate that acting young is only acceptable for the young?

I think more 50-something adults need to embrace their younger selves.  As Dylan Thomas said, “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Don’t pass on the torch, make them take it from your arthritic hands. Don’t let your age prevent you from living the life you want. Remember forgetfulness is not a symptom of old age, even the younger generation suffer from this malady. To quote Mark Hoppus, “What’s my age again?”