It’s official. I’m an old lady.

The reality snuck up on me within the past few years, but hit home recently when I noticed “old lady” traits/habits impossible to ignore and deny.

For instance, I now cut my hamburger in half and eat one part for lunch and save the other for dinner. Gone are the days when I wolfed down a whole Whataburger or Burger King Whopper in one meal.​ ​

​Goodness gracious! ​Ah, that‘s another ​trait. For some unknown reason, I keep saying this phrase.​

It​ is in the old lady’s ​handbook​, along with “Isn’t that sweet,” usually said when a grandchild does something cute, and “Do you have Sanka?”

Heed these warning signs folks, ​because there are more.

Mowing the lawn is ​now ​a two-day ordeal​, and I doubt ​I’m alone.

Day one is ​for ​cutting the small front yard and about a third of the large​r​ backyard​ or Central Park, Jr.

The task is accomplished by wearing a variety of braces on my knees, ankles and back. Thankfully, I use my smaller, lighter electrical mower, which is easy to guide with one arm; whichever one is less achy.

Afterward, I retire for an afternoon nap​, a standard ​for an ​old lady​.

Happy hour means something ​completely ​different to an old lady​ than a younger one. It consists of ​​downing ​a shot of Geritol​ followed by drinking a glass of Gatorade​ — sipped through a straw​.

I didn’t make the rules, but I must obey them. As is taking my own seat cushion to the movie theater and wearing my driving glasses to watch it.

When it comes to ​watching ​television,​ well there is no substitute for quality programs like 40-year-old reruns of “MASH” and “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”

It’s a hoot to watch stars long dead ​that still make me laugh until I fall asleep at about 11 p.m.

Furthermore, I’ve developed a​ sudden urge to hug everyone, from the cashier at a hardware store to the Salvation Army bell ringer. Actually, I gave her one of​ ​the​ reduced-price​ ​apple turnovers I bought.

Ah, another undeniable signal of old lady status — giving people food ​even ​when they don’t ask for it.

Somehow, I​​ graduated from middle age to an old lady right in front of my eyes.

Sure, I saw it coming, even without my glasses, but I thought age would wait a while longer to catch up to me. ​

So, I’ve resigned to finally accepting the quote by one of the greatest old ladies ever, Bette Davis​, who​ said, “Old age ain’t for sissies.”​

Goodness gracious!

Val Valdez is a Herald correspondent.

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