I always thought approaching fifty would be signaled by achy joints, graying hair, worsening eyesight, and a growing waistline. Unfortunately, I haven’t been disappointed in those regards. But there’s another part of passing through midlife that I didn’t expect until later. I honestly just don’t give a fuck anymore.
Not about important things, mind you. I certainly care about spirit, and health, and peace, and justice, and fairness, and Disney parks. It’s just that pesky your opinion thing that I’ve become very Roseanne about.
I always expected this lack of shits to occur in my elderly years. I’ve never had any doubt that I’ll be one of those senior citizens who tells people exactly what I think of them–because I have no problem doing that already. I’ll eventually just be shaking a cane in your face while I’m doing it. But up to now, I’ve always had this inner Urkel prodding me after every outburst, “Did I say that?”
Not so much anymore. More often, whenever Steve shows up now, my inner Medea claps back, “Yes, beyotch, now shut up and sit the hell down,” while smacking the shit out of him.
Turns out, the older you get, the more you realize the good sense is in being exactly who you are and not asking for permission about that. Not in advance before you put it out there. And not in the rearview mirror, either.
When you’re almost fifty, I guess this starts to become a universal thing. At home, at work, with Ryan, with friends, with strangers, whatever. I say what I mean, when I mean it, and if you don’t like it, I didn’t say there was going to be a Q&A period after I spoke, so write me a letter.
Julia Child said never apologize, never explain. The Queen Mother and Mary Poppins never explain either. Three pretty good role models (especially the Disney one) for doing your thing unabashedly.
With this in mind, you have no idea how many people who have torpedoed me with their baby strollers at Disney have lived to regret it this year. Want to bring me your work problems without actually working on them yourself? Try again. And probably the most annoying way to leave an argument has increasingly become my favorite–no, you really have nothing left to say that I intend to listen to.
Does that make me a bitch? An ass? Hard? Difficult to deal with? A complete pain in the fucking ass? Totally unlike native Chicagoans who are always too afraid to say what they actually think about things?
And once my knee stops hurting enough to pry my pants off so I can crawl into the shower and continue to wash what’s left of my graying hair down the drain, so I can kill the rest of another night berating myself for being nearly a half-century old and still not fluent in any language but English, I’ll maybe consider whether I give shit about that.
Have a problem with that? Drop me a line. I know just where to put it.
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I’m an #OpenlyAutistic gay, Hispanic, urbanist, Disney World fan, New York native, politically independent, Jewish blogger in Chicago. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I write words and raise money for nonprofits. I’ve written this blog since 2005. And counting...
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