If you've been reading my blog, you know that my car broke down in Boca last week, that I was stranded on the side of the road with a friend, that my hope for humanity was restored during the incident, and that the people who passed me by were complete and utter jerks. Just about the only thing you don't know regarding the incident is that, as a result of it, I came to what probably shouldn't have been a startling realization but was: I'm old.
Okay, so first let me say, my approaching old age isn't exactly news. I've known for a long time that it was coming. But still, knowing and knowing are two completely different things. For years I've been able to convince myself that even though I'm oldish numerically, I'm still youngish physically, but on Saturday, I realized that I've been laboring under a total misconception. I'm almost forty, and apparently it shows.
On Saturday, I was on the phone with my friend, Curt, telling him the story of what had happened on Thursday, and when I got to the part about people yelling at Erin and me to move the fucking car, boom! all of a sudden it hit me: not only did no guys stop to help us damsels in distress, but not even one single guy yelled something sexually inappropriate at us. There were no whistles, no catcalls, no perverted ogles from behind car windows. There was nothing at all to indicate that one person who zoomed past us found us sexually exciting at all. If it weren't for the fact that people were being mean, I'd think nobody had even noticed we were there.
I've read, on several occasions, testimony from women about what happens to them once they cease to be girls and turn into what people commonly refer to as "ladies." I've read about how these women experience what can only be explained as culture shock, having gone from being objectified their entire lives to being all but ignored, and though the women I've read about it happening to were not much older than I am, I somehow thought it would be a long, long time before it happened to me.
I was wrong.