Some things about getting older are funny as hell.
Like, when you turn 50 and you get the AARP card in the mail. I resented it when I got mine. Did I ask you for this card? Turning 50 was interesting enough without getting that little reminder. There’s something about being half a century old that takes a few minutes to get used to.
But other things are funny. Like gray hair in the eyebrows and eyelashes. When you’re younger, you don’t think about the fact that all hair on one’s body has the capacity to turn gray. I first noticed a gray hair in my eyelashes while I was driving, and looking for hairs on my chin in my rear view mirror.
Those, too, are funny.
But my eyelashes? Seriously? Once I saw that, I would do a witch hunt every day, looking for the little unwanted visitors, tweezers in hand. And yes, I did tweeze them until I realized they were not really growing back, gray or otherwise. While I hated (and still do) the gray eyelashes, the alternative of not having them at all was not acceptable.
Chin hairs! What in the world? They come onto our chins, again uninvited, and stick out, like little sticks. There are gray ones there, too. Sometimes you cannot see the little gray ones, but you can feel them. I thought about making it explicit that when I die, whomever “does” me makes sure the chin hairs are gone.
I am fortunate; I don’t have stiff joints, and my health is good, but the physical signs of getting older have truly amused me. Once, when I was a tad late in getting the rinse on my hair to get rid of the gray, a guy came up to me and said, “look at all that gray!” Oooh! Needless to say, I left church and went to get my rinse.
Then there are the wrinkles. I have deep wrinkles in my forehead, so I have gotten a couple of creams to see if I can lessen them. How about NOT? Every time I hear the commercial that says, “Is your anti-wrinkle cream gone…but your wrinkles are not?” I laugh out loud. I am not going to do Botox, and walk around with a frozen face, but the deep creases in my forehead kind of make me laugh. They are stubborn and are here to stay.
The cellulite is pretty interesting. How did that happen? I can remember seeing “old” women with “funny looking legs,” and now I am one as well. Seriously? Will doing my ballet stretches help to alleviate that? Time will tell…but geez! Who invited the cellulite? It came stealthily, quietly, and when I look at my legs, I promise it looks like the cellulite is smiling at me, victorious.
This process of transitioning from what we used to look like to being “older women.” is immensely interesting …and funny! My sister said she passed a mirror once and backed up and looked again, asking, “Who is that old lady?” How about I know that moment well.
Everything changes. Our necks change, and Kathy Lee Gifford says that we get “peach pits” instead of sexy cleavage. That hasn’t happened to me yet, but I suppose it’s coming.
I am not complaining. I am glad to be older, yet alive and healthy. I do not think being attractive or not looking old is the ticket to having a good, full life. I have plenty of friends who are not so old, and who are very attractive, who have empty lives. Mine is not empty, nor will I allow it to be.
But it is funny how this physical part of getting older thing just kind of crept up on me. I concentrate on eating well and being active so that no matter how old I am, I feel good. There are some things I’d like to do before I get too old to enjoy them like I’d like to, things like visiting the Pyramids, and the Great Wall of China.
I am writing this because I am hoping that more and more of us women are looking at ourselves getting older and are smiling, not panicking or becoming depressed. The cosmetic industry absolutely counts on us panicking and spending tons of money on creams that will never get rid of our wrinkles, but make us feel like we’re doing something to fight the inevitable.
Rather than spazzing out over getting older, it would be nice if we just “walk in it,” and be as elegant and as classy as we can, kind of like Helen Mirren or Betty White or the late Lena Horne. Better that we thank God for one more day, wrinkles and all, than to waste a single moment being sad that we are going to get older and continue moving away from our young, fresh look, no matter what we do.
We are no longer young and fresh; we are seasoned and mature. We are beautiful, that beauty defined by the trials and experiences we have been through. Better that we bask in that reality than to create or recreate something that will never be again.
Getting older is funny…but a blessing.
A candid observation …