Yesterday I made the single most disturbing impulse purchase I’ve ever made. While walking with purpose to the toy aisle to get some puzzles for my daughter, something caught my eye. I was compelled to reach over and grab it off the shelf. It was a jar of pickled beets. Sliced, pickled beets. Something happened in that moment as I placed the jar in my cart. I came face to face with the fact that I am now middle aged. Ouch. Still smarts.
In my 20’s I would impulsively grab a bottle of nail polish, or a new lipstick, or some new shade of eye shadow or hair care product that I felt would change my life. In my 30’s it was baby and toddler toys that I scooped up impulsively. There was a time when my home was clogged with toys. Yesterday, however, it was pickled beets. They are tasty, they have fiber, anthocyanin and they make your poop turn pink, which is irresistible, so why is it nagging at me? Because it’s a sign that I’ve truly entered a new phase of my life. I thought I was ready, but maybe not.
When I turned 40, about 6 months ago, I didn’t feel like the woman in the Depends commercial, or the woman in the Miralax or Metamucil commercials, I felt like the spry, bouncy young thing in the Nair commercial (even though my legs might not be ready-for-short-shorts). The pickled beets, to me, represent a shift in my priorities and in general, getting older. I suppose that’s ultimately better than living like a 20 year old and pretending that I’m not really a grown-up, but it just feels like giving in to something. And I despise giving in.
So, I opened the beets today, after leaving them in the fridge last night. They were chilled to perfection and just as delicious as I imagined they would be. Even with the bitter aftertaste of middle age.