Monday, August 18, 2008

MENTAL AGE VS. REAL AGE

I recently came upon a blog called “Twenty-four at Heart”. (If you aren’t already reading it, take a look) (And THANKS to Midlife Slices (read this too) for teaching me how to add that link!) Anyway, it struck me that we all have an age in our minds where we remain regardless of how much time passes. Mine is 27. Sometime during my 27th year, I finally stopped being my Mommy and Daddy’s little girl and grew up. Relatively speaking, of course. This is a little sad, given the fact that I married at 19 and became a mother at 24. What can I say except, I’m a late bloomer. But suddenly, I was a bitch. And I mean that in the most positive of ways. I can’t say that I still don’t lapse into people pleasing occasionally but at the age of twenty seven I realized I don’t always have to do what people tell me to do, expect me to do or want me to do.

At 27, I was fit, thin, young, not completely unattractive and confident. When I imagine myself in any situation now, I don’t picture the forty-something me, I envision the perkier, firmer version. When I dress to go out into the world, I always check myself in the mirror before leaving. Occasionally someone will take a picture of me and then be “kind” enough to share the photograph with me. I’m always shocked to find that the image in the photograph is much older and heavier than the woman I saw in the mirror before I left the house. A camera defect? I think not. It’s that state of complete denial and a mental image of the twenty-seven year old version of me deeply planted into my brain that I just can’t (won’t) let go.

I’m not alone. I’m sure of it. My grandfather died when I was a teenager and my grandmother came to live with us. She always referred to our next door neighbor as “that old woman next door”. That “old woman” was probably 30 years younger than Grandma. That leaves me to wonder, what was Grandma’s mental age?

Recently while sitting with color on my hair at the salon, my stylist, who I will call Stacy (because that is her name) was getting ready to cut the hair of what appeared to me to be a woman of no less than 90 years. The woman was very thin, with many lines in her face. Her skin showed many (what my mother referred to as) age spots. Stacy asked, “What are we going to do today?” The woman flashed one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen and said, “Just make me cute!” In her eyes, I’m certain I saw the sparkle of a twenty-something young woman.

So, I ask you, what is your mental age?

13 comments:

midlife slices said...

My mental age changes daily. Somedays I'm 29 and some days I'm 69 and just writing this made me laugh because somebody will that that all wrong. Ha!
You write some great stuff so keep after it. You are good.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I know what you mean. This morning I woke up with a kink in my back that left me no doubt that I am NOT 27. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!

nanadiaries said...

Oh, I love your blog. Midlife Slices "sent" me over here with her link. I think my mental age is 29 too. And strangely enough, that number comes up over and over again for me. In phone numbers, extension numbers, key FOBs, etc. So I guess I keep attracting it. :)

KJ
http://nanadiaries.wordpress.com

Jan said...

Hello! I followed Midlife Slices too. And I have to agree with her - it depends on the day and my mood. Sometimes I feel a crotchety 84 and wish I carried a cane so I could beat some young whippersnappers over the head with it. Some days I feel like a 4-year-old.

In fact, a lot of days I feel like a 4-year-old...and act it. :D

smiles4u said...

I just found your blog through midlife slices which I found through twenty four at heart...both are great blogs too. I just love your blog. I can relate on so many levels. I am 46 and all 5 of children have now left the nest as of recent but am back playing the mommy game as we are now raising our 2 grandchildren. So although I can still relate to those that have "mommy blogs" it is so great to find some blogs written by women that around my age.

The blog Twenty four at heart caught my eye because in my heart and mind I still am 24 even though I am actually 46!
Great post!

Midlife Slices said...

Oh man, I just reread my comment and it looks like I have either a spelling problem or a slight stutter stutter. Anyway I'm most impressed that you could make head or tails out of my instructions. After I wrote them I looked at what I wrote and said....Huh?
Kudos girl!

Bear Naked said...

Welcome to the blogosphere.
I came over for a visit via "Midlife Slices" and I am enjoying reading your words of wisdom.
Visit me when you get a chance and I am adding your blog to my blog roll.

Bear((( )))

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Midlife, Nana, Jan, Smiles and Bear, Thanks for your kind words and comments. I'm off to take Daughter #2 to college for fall. (Freshman year) Tears, tears, tears. Will write to you each as soon as I can.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Thanks for mentioning Twenty Four at Heart! (Obviously my mental age is stuck at 24.) And yes, when I look in the mirror I wonder who that lady is looking back at me.
I'm so happy to have you as a new reader! Hope the college trip went well! We have that coming up in a few weeks for my daughter.

Jason said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog. I, too, am a twenty four at heart fan.

My mental age? I'd say at this point in time, about 39. Which is my actual age. I'm kind of at an even stage, I guess.

See you around!

Susan said...

My real age is 58 but my mental age is 27. That is the age I was when I married my BFF-DB. I don't feel old but that woman who shows up in my mirror each morning says something different. Botox or collegen (sp) is looking better all the time.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

We are as old as we feel, right? Mirror, Mirror, on the wall: SHUT UP! Thanks again, for stopping by.

Midlife Mama said...

I, too, enjoy Twenty Four At Heart blog, and I can identify with that sentiment! And I just discovered Midlife Slices, and she's great too.

Mental age? Depends on the day. Sometimes I am 12, sometimes 24, sometimes 112. My emotions go up and down along with my body temperature! LOL