One thing about living as close to a college campus as I now do: There are numerous reminders, in vivid, effervescent detail, that I am a forty-year-old woman.
There are leggings worn with cropped tops. I don't know that my 20-year-old behind would have fared well under such circumstances, much less the derriere of today. Nevertheless, there is that young lady with the long, blonde hair, walking nonchalantly down the sidewalk, perfectly-plump posterior paraded for anyone who cares to look. (Come to think of it, how creepy is it that that person is moi?)
There are the uber-short P.E. shorts worn under long T-shirts, so that one cannot actually tell whether the wearer has on an undergarment, much less proper shorts. Oh, but the toned and tanned gams that effortlessly issue forth from the T's hem. *sigh* I've never been anything but uber-white, and have I mentioned that my lower legs are now prone to evening swelling since my sciatica has forced me to stand so much? Who has sciatica? OLD PEOPLE.
There are the ridiculously informal neon tank tops that I'd feel self-conscious wearing to Wal-Mart, and these beautiful children pull them off as though they're on their way to a magazine photo shoot.
Oh, goodness, and the joggers. There are so. many. runners. I watch them go by, nothing on their body shaking in the least as their feet pad the ground. It's tempting to rue the whole lost youth thing, but... dang it, I'm way too comfortable and content to waste any time feeling anything other than pity for people who are out doing cardio while I'm making pancakes. (And, yeah, I get it: some of you like to run. Some people also like to get tied up and whipped. It takes all kinds.)
There are low-rise jeans with one-inch zippers; beautiful hair the lengths to which I can no longer get my hair to grow; Daisy Dukes; skinny jeans; iPhones and Starbucks to-go cups, and other treasures I couldn't afford when I was in college and choose not to afford now; the bright pink hair (jealous... the processing of my own locks to achieve such color is one huge reason it won't grow anymore); and a general air of youthful exuberance, alongside which I feel... well, pale and flat and, yep, old.
I wonder if I'd feel differently if James and I had gotten together in our youth and he'd been able to experience and enjoy that with me. Truthfully, I didn't enjoy my youth a whole lot, and I'm a lot more at peace and happy now than I have ever been in my life. There's just something about all of the eye candy around here that is a constant reminder, and maybe a good one, that the clock's ticking. I have to make the most of this thing, because it's getting away from me.
That's certainly the plan!