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Pushing Past 50

#451 A brassy old lady

#451 A brassy old lady

For my 500 Things Project, I am getting rid of one thing every day for 500 days until my son leaves for college in August. Today #451: An "Old Lady" Purse…

Act you age.

Is this one of those “fake it till you feel it” commandments? Or just “fake it,” period?

I know I’m a fairly youthful 49. The vague “fairly youthful” is based on Facts: I can ride a half-century in under 4 hours due to my strong legs, but I cannot hit a tennis ball with any zip due to my pitiful right elbow. Fairly youthful.

“Forty-nine” is also based on Facts and easier to prove. But don’t ask my mom to verify, because she’ll tell you I CAN'T possibly be 49, since I was born just the other day.

I know what she means. I feel that way about my Sam. No way is he old enough to go off to college in 49 days. He’s just a baby! He’s my baby!

So when your baby goes off to college, does that make you an old lady? Do I have to start acting my age?

Is there a rule book I should consult for pushing 50?

Back in 1977, my sister, not quite brother-in-law, mom, and I went to London together. We were uber-tourists. We gazed at every jewel; marched through every museum; cheered every guard; munched every crumpet; got on the bus at Luton Hoo and off the bus at Stonehenge…

Ah, Stonehenge.

Can I just say that I would like to be buried at Stonehenge?

I felt (feel, really) about Stonehenge the way my sister and brother felt about Westminster Abbey. We each wanted to look at every single bloody stone. Twice. But my stones were way better than their stones.

Mom gamely went along with everything. Every single bloody thing. Here’s the kicker for me to realize: My mom was just a little older then than I am now. She was only 50! Fifty! She was a baby. She was better than “fairly” youthful. She was a hoot!

And yet…

We had to, well, push her up one of those ridiculously steep escalators coming up out of a Tube station, because she was feeling a bit fatigued.

Literally: we were pushing 50.

The “old lady purse” I’m downsizing today used to be my mom’s. I gave it to her, once upon a time before her stroke. Besides the styling, you know how you can tell a purse is old? No cell phone pocket.

And by the way, my past-50 mom is still a hoot.
No faking.

For more about downsizing at any age, please visit Naperville blogger Suzanne Thibeault's site,

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