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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An up-and-coming old fogey's dream: Getting proofed at 58

Just when I was worried about getting old, a wonderful thing happened Monday morning as I signed in for my annual exam at the gynecologist: The receptionist handed me a medical history update form with the heading "For women under age 50." I was as happy as if she'd asked for a photo ID to serve me a well-chilled cosmo. But of course that would have been impossible. It was only 10:30 in the morning. And I am pretty sure they don't have a liquor license at Women's Care, though I bet it would boost revenue. Feet in stirrups, wine glass in hand. I tried not to smile too broadly when I tapped on the receptionist window to let her know I needed the form for women past 50. "Really?" said this wonderful woman, with a straight face. She gave me a different sheet titled something like "For decrepit patients on the back nine" and I pocketed the flattering form. I've only been 58 for a week, and I am still adjusting to the idea that calling me middle-aged is as laughable as wishing to be proofed at the bar. Or going to a bar. But I can party and have been known to stay and out past 9. At the Bruce Springsteen concert the day before my birthday, I was in good company in the gray-haired crowd that packed the Times Union Center, though I couldn't match the stamina of the Boss at 62. However, at The Palace this past Sunday for a rousing show by the Avett Brothers, my husband and I kept an eye out to see if we were the oldest fans in attendance. It was touch and go. There were some groups of young adults and their parents, but we weren't sure who brought whom. Earlier that day I was with classmates from the Voorheesville High School Class of 1972, planning our -- how can this be? -- 40th reunion. More time at these get-togethers is spent reminiscing than planning, followed by wondering how things that seemed to have happened yesterday (throwing rocks at a freight train, counting a girl's hickeys) occurred decades ago. We're going to invite teachers, many of whom are still alive. Turns out some weren't much older than we were. Yet we think of the teachers as old fogeys and ourselves as a bunch of kids -- several of whom happen to have grandkids. What the heck. I may be a member of the Class of '72, but I can pass for 50. I have the medical history update form to prove it. Barbara Lombardo is managing editor of The Saratogian. Read her blog, Fresh Ink, at


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