Once you hit 60, the last thing you want is to act your age

I tried to get Jan. 4, 2012, officially removed from the calendar.

You know, the way Samoa skipped over Dec. 30, 2011, to change time zones and sync up with its trading partners, Australia and New Zealand.

Sadly, I wasn't able to make a good enough case for it. Apparently celebrating a "landmark" birthday — and not in a good way — doesn't count.

There aren't any black balloons and streamers and "over the hill" toilet paper for 60. Nobody dresses up to toast your big day and display a totally inappropriate amount of curiosity as to whether "all those candles" will set curtains on fire. There aren't any cute party favors or gag-gifts associated with 60.

And wrapping a box of Depends in birthday paper and ribbon is not funny. Do you hear that, Doug? Not funny.

Sixty is too old to joke about, but too young to get the kind of respect more elderly people are afforded (mostly because they'll hit you with their cane otherwise).

Sixty is an in-between birthday. You have to start buying foundation make-up to fill in your wrinkles, like Cover Girl's new "Spackle Pretty; and your knees hurt when it rains. Yet your kids still think you're stupid.

Besides, "50-something" has a nicer ring to it than "60-something" — although you couldn't have convinced me of that a decade ago.

What's to celebrate about being 60? Reaching the age when you don't let anyone recycle the Sunday paper until you've checked it for Metamucil coupons? Refusing a gift certificate for a spa facial because you don't want anyone, not even a trained professional, getting that close to your pores?

Since I couldn't get Jan. 4 deleted from the calendar, I decided to put on my big-girl panties and deal with it: I hid in a closet with Hello Kitty and a bottle of sangria. Unfortunately, Doug found me; the cat gave me away. (No kitty treats for you for a week, missy!)

What's the big deal, right? My mom always said, "Age is just a number … a really, really big number."

I don't feel 60. I carry funky hobo bags and wear T-shirts emblazoned with peace signs, big dangly earrings, and sandals in winter. Maybe that's not a sign of being young at heart; maybe it just means I haven't progressed emotionally since high school.

Consider my three huge, grown kids, who tower over me and pat me on the head. It seems like only yesterday we were playing "got your nose" and "get your hand out of the cookie jar, it's almost dinner time." Wait … we were playing the cookie-jar-dinner-time game yesterday. Still, there's no way I'm old enough to have a 38-year-old. Is there? There is? Oh, shut up.

"They" say, "life begins at 60." That's because "they" are 97. The only thing beginning for me right now is a bad case of turkey neck. I'm too old for the New Poet's Award, but too young for a lifetime achievement honor; too old for streaking, but too young for Medicare; too old for Band-Aids to be "universal health care," too young to give up pizza (but too old not to regret eating it after 11 p.m.).

Sixty means having to ask the pharmacist, in front of strangers, where they keep the stool softeners.

The only upside to turning 60 that I can see is the senior discount. And, hey, at least I'm still young enough for my kids to think I'm stupid. There's always that.

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