On Monday three of us went out to lunch at the very posh bar “Off the Record” in the basement of the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington DC. We had a lovely meal and enjoyed the ambiance which was familiar to us (read: old fashioned). Its walls are dark red with white trim. There are deep leather chairs and red velvet banquettes. The food was delicious. After a while, we gathered our things and left the quiet interior for the street outside.

The day was warm and sunny. March 2nd, and it felt like Spring. We were carefree and relaxed as we walked three abreast on the sidewalk. Walking in tandem with many other pedestrians hurrying about during lunch hour, we did not have far to go. We were suddenly approached from the rear by a young woman on a scooter who said, “Sorry, may I go through?” as we parted for her passing atop her electric conveyance. Within our site were others on scooters and bikes of the type they can rent and leave wherever they like.

As we crossed the street by Lafayette Park, we three all saw a young man standing erect on a scooter, his blond hair well cut and a bit long lay neatly against his head. He was wearing a pale blue button-down shirt and khaki pants. There was a dark canvas backpack resting against his upper back, and he had earphones in both ears. He was looking at his phone as he sailed along at a good clip. He headed down inclined curbs to the street and up again at the next sidewalk. These curbs were conveniently indented for wheelchairs and inadvertently for scooters.

We all gazed after him. The young god on his trusty scooter perfectly balanced as he multitasked. His posture and forward tilt of his body exhibited complete mastery and self-confidence. He was not afraid of falling.

I said, “You know, there are some strange sights on our street today. And do you know what it is that is strange?” They both looked after the golden-haired Adonis atop the scooter.
“The strange thing on the street today is ‘us’,” I said. “No one else is dressed as we are. None of us are looking at our phones. We have no earbuds. We are not riding scooters. We dressed up as ladies who lunch. We are three older women, and we are the ones who are unusual on this street.”

It was one of those moments when the fact of aging is brought home with a thud. We are the Old Guard. Our Glory Days are behind us. No scooters for us!!!

So, it is time to re-invent! Start a new phase. Move on! And I find that exciting. Moving back to Charlottesville is exciting. Finishing my book is compelling. New beginnings are a sure way to feel young and adventurous and inspired.

Copyright?. 2020 Bonnie B. Matheson

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