This I Believe

Linda - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on February 5, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: community

The Invisible Woman

I am 55 a year old woman, approaching 56, with 60 lurking right around the corner; the new 40 so I’ve been and told and I believe that I am invisible. No I didn’t say invincible – invisible. I am not sure exactly when it happened and maybe that’s because my invisibility was a gradual process, a fading away so to speak, but it has happened.

Maybe it’s my own fault because I’m not a very social person, which doesn’t mean that I’m not friendly. I am friendly, but I’m also a little reserved and shy when out of familiar territory. I live with my adult son, I work as a nurse and enjoy solitary pursuits that don’t require other people and I am going to school. So I think that’s why I didn’t notice it in the beginning, as I am kind of busy. It’s probably rather ironic for a self-conscious person who never liked being noticed in her youth to suddenly slip into the background of the daily life going on in front of me and feel irritated about it.

I kept thinking I’ll have to talk to someone about this, maybe I just have a complex about it because I’ve fallen into middle age frumpiness and now I look like my mother and my father.

I became aware of this condition while shopping one day; where were all those helpful sales people? They were no where to be seen, in fact I had to track them down, even when I found one he was almost looking over my head to see if there might be someone else who needed help instead of me.

I started thinking about times past, when people would come up to me and ask if they could help me, or hover three feet away, and how annoyed I would be, wishing they would just leave me alone. This must be pay back!

I guess I could continue to be annoyed or even saddened by this, but listening to my women friends this weekend over a cup of tea; after I brought up this subject they all started mentioning similar incidents. It was then I realized that this doesn’t have to be a negative thing. I am quite capable of asserting myself when necessary. But it is always comforting when you realize that you are not alone and there is a sense of freedom not to be under a microscope. I can relax and be grateful that I can actually go out on the weekend and instead of trying on 10 items of clothing and worry about my hair before I go to do my exciting weekend errands, I can just put on my favorite, if not scruffiest pair of jeans and t-shirt and not one person is going to notice because this I believe that I am invincible – oops I mean invisible!