Last week on Facebook, my oldest weedling made a post lamenting “I’m in that awkward stage where I’m not skinny enough to be called a ‘beach body’ but I’m not fat enough to be labeled as ‘bravely body positive’.” People laughed and got a kick out of it. Problem is, she wasn’t kidding. At brunch this morning, she admitted that this really bothers her. And i get it. I really do. Being “in between” holds no allure for anyone, but especially not for a blue sheep.
At 50 years old, i am smack dab middle age (Or a little past it, most likely, given my life expectancy.) I am too old to be young, and too young to be old. I am in decent health, still learning, still growing, still wanting. I’m not ready to be “old” yet. Sitting in a group of my chronological peers, i feel like i was given a one-time pass to the grown-ups’ table. Like i’m neither aged enough, nor wise enough, to really belong there. But if i try to hang with the young movers and shakers, i feel like a rusted out Volkswagon Thing in a sea of shiny new Jeeps. I see me as woefully out of place. I suspect they see me as “Mom”. Or, more likely, “Mom off her meds”. Anyway, the point is, it’s no fun to be stuck in between – No familial group and no extreme to reach for.
And it’s not just the age thing. Physically, i do plenty well for my age, but not well enough to be remarkable. I live well-beyond any need for subsidy, but not enough to be debt free. Not spicy enough to be hot, nor bland enough to be comfort food. Not odd enough to be truly unique, nor boring enough to be average. I’m neither stunning, nor a train wreck. Neither genius, nor idiot. Neither beast, nor fowl, nor good red herring.
I’m just me.
And like my daughter, i, too, am bothered by the fact that i am not extraordinarily something.
I do realize that there is no sin in this. I mean, by definition, you can’t have superlatives without the masses to compare them to. And i see, even if she doesn’t, that my daughter is extraordinary, even if it isn’t in the way she lusts after. She is beautiful and creative and big-hearted and talented and larger than life. And tho it may not give her something to boast about in a politically correct way, i hope it makes her truly feel her worth during the quiet moments of thought. And, i suppose, i have my own virtues as well, even if they aren’t always the ones i wish i had. (Please, God, can i look like a young Elizabeth Taylor for just one day???? Please??????) From a philosophical standpoint, even among the differently colored sheep, there are stages of tone and brightness. Who is to say that the Chartreuse sheep is any less spectacular than the Kelly green one? Is the lighter green better than the darker? The subdued green better than the bold? Really, is any hue of green less awesome than the other?
Well, i personally don’t care much for Olive, but that doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t love it.
In the crayon box of life, there are times when one of the yellows will get stuck in the blue section and seem all out of place. We know it belongs with the rest of the yellows. We pick it up and move it. Easy peasy. The indecisive agony comes when you are forced to confront the teal. Is it blue or green? Which end of the spectrum? Where does it fit? And are we able to find a place for it before we give up, screw it, and jam it in with the reds?
Come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea. Then it will really stand out.
Because no one wants to be just plain old red either.