There are plenty of reasons I admire women my own age.
They have faced dizzying twists and turns in what society expects of them. They have had to cope with an often confused generation of men. And they can be counted on to know what a good song sounds like.
But there's another reason they have my respect.
When they were girls, these women played jacks. And the game pieces they used were not made of safe rubber or plastic. No, they played with cold, skin-piercing pointed metal.
This was an angry toy.
A girl who fell on those babies came up adorned with imbedded jacks. It happened.
I'm not saying that was as bad as getting hit by shrapnel. But any boy who ever saw a girl pluck a couple of those nasty little stingers out of her tender, fawn-like flesh intuitively realized he was seeing in action a gender not to be taken lightly.