One of the easy things about being fresh-and-young is that we don’t even know how much we don’t know. I –like so many young people—had lots of opinions on all kinds of things that had to be true simply because I thought them. Now that I’m young, primarily only in my head, I’ve managed to evolve my thinking on a few things. Like:
• Kids. I still don’t want to raise one (or even be around one for too long), but I do often admire the mother-daughter dynamic I sometimes see between a grown woman and her grown daughter…assuming the daughter turned out to be my-definition-of-normal…which isn’t always the case. But when she does, I think I might have liked that. I wish someone would come up with a way I could have a 24-year-old daughter without me having to do the previous 23 years.
• Husbands. Similar to the kid thing, above, I still haven’t figured out a way to want to share my life with the same man in the same house every. single. day. but I often see 60+ year-old couples and like the way the way they take care of each other, communicate without talking, and just hang with each other. Of course, I’m excluding those couples who are miserable but just stayed together because they were too __________ (fill in the blank) to leave. And he would have to have his own place.
• Men Who Live With Their Mothers. That seems like the punchline to a much-cliched joke, doesn’t it? It’s not. For most of my dating life, I –like many others—made fun of grown men who lived with their mothers and assumed they were Losers, with a capital L. I’m talking really grown men, not guys in their 20s. But recently, I met two pretty great guys, both 60, who live with their mothers. They weren’t losers, but a divorce, job loss, and heart attack in a short period of time could do in almost anybody. Life happens. I still don’t want to go out with either of them, but I’m now smart enough to realize “there but for the grace of God…”
• Lying Can Be Good. I tend to believe that honesty really is the best policy most of
the time, but honesty can be tricky. Sometimes telling the truth can be hurtful…and it just may not be necessary. Today I ran into a famous actress who is on the other side of 50. The side that Hollywood doesn’t really like. As far as I can tell, she hasn’t worked in a long time. Partly, I’m sure, because Hollywood doesn’t have much use for older actresses and partly (I imagine) because her face is so messed up. She’s clearly had too many rounds of cosmetic surgery and her face looks crazy. I couldn’t stop staring. In my head, I’m thinking “she looks ridiculous”. What I said to her, though, is “You look great.” And she beamed as she said “thank you.” So part of me is thinking “why did you tell that lie?” But the smile on her face made me know I had done the right thing. I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to wake up every morning and look at that face. Maybe my little white lie made it feel just a bit better for a minute or two.
My book, The Spinsterlicious Life, has 20 Life Lessons I’ve learned in all my years as a single woman. Maybe it’s time to update it with a few more. And what about you? What long-held beliefs have you modulated with the wisdom of time?