I was going to write a comment on Ronni’s post, Imagining Old Age and as I started typing, it became a longish reply and I thought I’d better post it here.
You want to go there and read the post and not miss the comments!
What struck me in those young people mentioned at Ronni’s, was how they project themselves as affluent elders, who can afford living abroad and sleeping in satin sheets.
When I was in school, the teacher would ask us which century we would have liked to live in and we were not many saying that we wouldn’t have liked any century but the 20th. Everyone thought of the 17th, 18th or 19th century, always thinking that they would have been a princess or a noblewoman and not belong to the same social class as we did then.
In the same way, I remember how just before graduating, we were asked what we were planning on doing after our Baccalauréat. And most of the girls in my class were going to get married and have children. It turned out that most of us did, but before that, most of us also went to university and got a job, which was all I had in mind at the time.
I’ve always had a lot of trouble projecting myself in the future. I just couldn’t see myself married and even less having a child.
At the time, I saw myself as some crossroads between Simone de Beauvoir and Alexandra David-Néel, with a bit of George Sand and some Françoise Giroud to spice it up.
But 65! Even now, I have no idea what I’ll be like two and half years from now.
Just yesterday, my doctor asked me if I would like to have grandchildren, and maybe you’ll think badly of me, but no, at the moment I feel perfectly fine without grandchildren.
To tell the truth, when I was 20, I never actually believed that I would grow old.