Older and wiser

Older and wiser

Remember when you were little and everyone seemed older than you were?

Chances are, you probably don’t remember much from when you were a toddler. That is the ideal time of life. You are the center of the universe. “Give me cookie,” “I go make,” “Mine!” “I want!” “I no sleep now!” Yup, good times. You are so busy learning and exploring and your parents are learning what to do with you and are trying everything in their power to keep you alive: 1. Because that is their job at that point (and to, hopefully, not turn you into a spoiled brat; though some things cannot be helped) and 2. Because they don’t want their parents or in-laws to criticize their parenting. (Though my relationship with my in-laws has never been ideal, they always thought I was a good parent. Of course, now I have no idea what they think, and that is ok).

Nothing bothers a new parent more than someone telling them that what they are doing is wrong. Or the parents who think they know everything… Ah, those are the absolute best kind of parents.

But parenting aside, as you grow up, when you pass the whole “me, me, me” stage (sadly, some of us never pass that stage), you realize that everyone who takes care of you is older than you are. Your doctor, your parents, your teachers — that is the way it is in the beginning. The people who are older than you are, are supposed to be wiser than you are. Ha! If only that were true. But that is the way things seem to be. If someone was older, they knew what was best for you, and you trusted them.

Even superheroes.

I loved Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter was the absolute bomb. She had those awesome bracelets, so she was always accessorized perfectly. Her hair, even after saving the world, didn’t frizz or look out of place. Wonder Woman was the ultimate role model. I was also a big fan of Spider-Man, and my friends and I would sing the theme song as we pretended to shoot webs from our wrists, just like Spidey did. (Yes, I didn’t have many friends back then either. Pretending to be Spider-Man could be just one of the many, many reasons.) And the superheroes were older than I was, so of course they knew what they were doing.

Christopher Reeve was the ultimate Superman and it still breaks my heart to recall the tragic turn his life took. How could something like that happen to Superman?

In any event, husband #1 and I went to see Wonder Woman a few weeks ago. In my mind, I though it was going to be like the TV show. Some kitschy plot about an evil mastermind who is trying to destroy the world, and perfectly dressed and accessorized Wonder Woman foils his evil plan and saves the world. Easy breezy. But I was wrong. The movie was so much more than that, and Gal Gadot, the gorgeous Israeli who plays Wonder Woman, is so incredibly amazing.

Two things, though, struck me about this Wonder Woman. The first — in this day and age of cross fit and weight lifting designed to make us strong, Wonder Woman’s arms and shoulders weren’t especially muscular. Don’t get me wrong. I would still be quite happy to look like her (that was not an invitation for a Medifast coach to contact me privately) but I was a little surprised at her lack of muscular definition.

And the second, and more important thing that struck me — WONDER WOMAN IS YOUNGER THAN I AM! Now, the first time I went to a doctor who was younger, I was a little taken aback, but I got over it. But this is a superhero. This is someone who is saving the world from evil. How can she do that if she hasn’t had the joy of having a hot flash? How can she know what she is doing if she hasn’t used the line, “Of course life begins at 40!”

With age comes wisdom! With age comes experience! And if Wonder Woman is younger than I am, does this mean that Spider-Man and Batman and Superman are also so young?

I need a superhero who takes Geritol before he puts his cape on! I need a superhero who takes a calcium supplement and wears reading glasses. Then I know we will be safe from evil. Yes, I am in denial about getting older. And, yes, I do know that if these superheroes were older, they probably would forget where they parked the Batmobile and the codes to disarm the nuclear reactor.

But sometimes, we all need someone who makes us feel safe — at any age…

Banji Ganchrow still wants to be some form of superhero — perhaps LaundryWoman or SuperCrankyLady. The possibilities are endless!

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