Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Antique? Really?

It was on my trip north on Sunday that I saw it- a beautifully restored 1957 Ford Fairlane in sky-blue and white. It caught my eye because the '57 Fords were a special favorite of mine, with their sleek lines and gentle fins, both eye-catching and uniquely their own. I remember the one owned by my dad; how I loved to drive that car! And the one in the Starbucks parking lot in Charlottesville, VA was reminiscent of those long-bygone teenage days in Dad's '57 Ford.

Imagine my consternation, though, when I saw that the car before me displayed an "Antique" license plate. Antique? Really? I thought something had to be at least 100 years old to be considered "antique". But here was a car which I remembered well, being classified as an antique, that classification being verified by the official VA "Antique car" license plates on both its front and back bumpers. (Yes, Virginia still requires plates on both the front and back of the car, one of the few states which still does.)

Well, that set me back a bit, I can assure you. If this car, age 55, is considered an "antique", what in the world am I, at age 70? I know I've long been considered a "Senior Citizen", both by the AARP and American society, but antique? I don't think so. I know that both my eyesight and hearing are not acute as they once were, and jumping out of bed in the morning is no long a viable option. My face is wrinkle-lined and the many places on my body which droop are too numerous to elucidate. But antique? Just not ready to go there yet. I am far too aware and alive and interested in the happenings of everyday life to be relegated to the shelf, only to be regarded as a somewhat lovely but no-longer-relevant knick-knack with no apparent usefulness in this busy, ever-changing world.

So you may call me "aging" or refer to me as an "elder"- or even, if you must, designate me as "old"...but, please, don't call me an "antique" because I still have a contribution to make, a relevant part to play in this society of ours, a special value because of my experience and garnered wisdom. And don't you forget it!

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