I was walking slowly through the fruit market on Saturday, taking time to smell the produce, dreaming up recipes and luxuriating in my 85 minutes of me time disguised as errand-running. I was wearing a simple sun dress, one that has been in the summer rotation for eight years and shows it, pairing the dress with equally worn-out sandals and a face free from make-up. I arrived at 9:30am, early enough to beat the crowds on normal weekends, but just in time for the rush of a holiday weekend crowd. Having lost my sense of vanity around 2010, the birth of my second child having signaled the universe’s orchestra to play Taps as I laid down all attempts at looking appropriate when leaving the home, I was OK with my lackluster appearance in the crowd.
As I was sniffing around the fresh herbs I started determining our menu on the spot, pocketing my carefully planned grocery list in favor of living dangerously. A modern song came on over the speakers and I started humming along. Without really realizing it the humming intensified and I started singing quietly. I started to feel less old and weird than usual — I knew a song the youths of today know! The words make sense and I know them!
Then I realized something critically important, I was singing along to music in a grocery store. I had become the unkempt middle-aged woman who bobs her head while singing songs considered appropriate enough for public consumption through a loud-speaker at a local market. I am the person I would look upon and feel sorry for when I was younger. Not only that, but the modern song I was jamming to? It was at least 7 years old because I remember jamming to it while pregnant with Twinkle.
Sometimes the passage of time is sneaky and biting, other times you look up and realize that the greatest fears of your youth, the person that personified failure and old age in your thirteen-year-old eyes, might have actually been having a rocking good Saturday morning while feeling happier and more self-assured than your angst-ridden teenage soul could imagine. Or perhaps she was just enjoying the relative silence and anonymity sweeping through the apple aisle while wearing a shapeless frock at the crowded fruit market afforded her on a perfectly beautiful Saturday morning.