[SeMissourian.com] Fog/Mist ~ 36°F  
Dense Fog Advisory
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Middle age plus

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My title of Middle Age Plus was contrived to show that I am not old, but I am past middle age. It was also designed to point out all the pluses of being this age. I realized that I had neglected that aspect of my column in recent weeks. Sometimes we feel we may have overused a theme and so we get away from it for a while. The danger is that we may stray so far away from the original theme that there is no connection between the title and the contents of the column.

I used to put the words, middle age plus, within each column. That got a little stilted after several months, so I stopped that. But when I was describing my newspaper work to a new reader recently, I realized that some of my columns had nothing to do with being middle age plus.

Do you suppose it might be because I may have outgrown the title? I remember Chuck Nash once paraphrased my title by saying "Old Age Minus". That would never work for me because I don't want to dwell on the negatives about my age. Enough other people do that for me.

I have been sitting in hospital lobbies, doctor's offices etc. quite a bit lately waiting for various loved ones who had appointments. I usually pick up some nearby magazine to pass the time. Today I got some excellent ideas for decorating my dining room table for Halloween. It might look a little odd since it was using cartoon characters from a 2003 movie. But that might be one of the pluses of my age. I don't recognize the cartoon characters of today anyway. Now Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck I know. But Sponge Bob is not one of my circle of friends.

During the recent Academy Awards I was very interested to watch the 3-hour show. I wanted to see the movie stars arriving in their beautiful clothes. It saddened me to realize that the economy has become so bad that many of the women couldn't afford enough material to cover all of their upper body. It was encouraging to see the bravery of the women who went ahead with what little covering they could manage and came to the show anyway.

As I was watching for the stars to arrive I found that there was only one that I felt a real close relationship to. That was Mickey Rooney. Now he and I go a long way back, but it looks to me like his road might have been a bit bumpier than mine. He looked older (to me) than I do; yet I know from write-ups that we are about the same age.

I hadn't seen any of the films being honored, but when they come out on DVD I will order some of them. That's another plus of my age. I can have just as good a time watching a DVD in my lounge chair as I can getting dressed up, driving into town and buying a ticket to watch the same show. And microwave popcorn isn't so bad.

Since I am now writing for the newspaper, my age doesn't cause me problems except when I want to be accurate about some facts. I never was too good on dates and now I am quite hazy on whether something happened in this decade or not. The kids have all grown up so fast that repeated events, such as Christmases or birthdays, seem to all blend into each other. But then it doesn't really matter because there aren't many people still alive who can dispute me on the facts.

Being older than middle age has a lot of pluses and I sure wouldn't want to go back very many years. Today looks just fine if I squint just right.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus