Page One: A Wrinkle in Time
I’ve been thinking a lot about getting older recently and have been trying to blog about it. Every time I do, however my thoughts are all over the place and every draft is too long and lacks cohesion. I have decided, instead, to do several posts, a continuing series, if you will, about aging. My life is a continuing series, after all and none of us are getting any younger.
Now you might think I am obsessed with this subject and maybe I am. Okay, I probably am. But that’s nothing new. I’ve been obsessed with it long before it started happening to me!
I can remember teasing my first husband about his age every year on his birthday. He was so much older than me, you know. Five and a half years to be exact. Not five years. Five and a half. Is it obsessive that I felt the need to clarify that? In my defense we were married when I was 17 (and a half) and he was just a few weeks shy of the ripe old age of 24. Yes, I can remember to this day how I thought he was so old.
When his philandering finally finished our marriage I can recall telling him in one of my many many tantrums during that time: “You bas****, I knew you would leave me when I got old! ”
I was 31.
31 and a half, to be exact.
When I was in my early twenties I worked with several women who were ten or more years older than me. I would make fun (lovingly of course) of their age. They would laugh and tell me one day I would be old too. I always thought that was so funny!
My best friend is 6 months older than me. When she turned 50, I was still 49 and a half. I still am, if you ask me; unless of course I am trying to order off the senior citizen menu; but that’s another story. Anyway, my best friend; she has never been worried about the age thing. Each year as a another birthday captures her and she paves the way for me she laughingly says “It’s better than the alternative”. Hmmm…still thinking about that one…
I have made many friends over the years that are close to my age. Some of them are a little older than me and some of them a little younger. When I see them randomly or socially now I smile politely then mentally count their wrinkles and compare them to mine. I know that sounds a bit weird, maybe obsessive, or even insecure but a lot of us do this, I think. When I was younger I would compare my body to random women I saw in the department stores. I’m not afraid to admit this. admittedly because so many other women have told me that they to do the same thing. If we are crazy, we are crazy together. Let’s own it!
We all show our age in varying degrees. I recently ran into an old colleague I had not seen up close in six months or maybe a year. I was startled when I came face to face with her. I literally winced and then had to play off my surprised look as a twitch or sneeze. Awkward! It’s that quick; this visible aging that occurs after 50. I see it in all my friends to some degree. I see it in them more than I do myself. Until…..I see a picture. Then the gray hairs and wrinkles stare back at me and surprise me. Is that me?
I am obviously not alone in this thought process, not by the looks of the cosmetic industry. I have been a faithful reader of Good Housekeeping Magazine since I was in my early 20’s. The most recent issue gave us readers all the most up to date cosmetics to combat aging and rated them according to whether they do what they claim. I didn’t really read all the claims, only the price tags.Did you know I could spend over $100.00 in cosmetics just for my face? This is the low end, with cosmetics by manufacturers I use like Max Factor and Avon. I didn’t even bother to add up the prices from the company’s whose names I don’t even recognize. What I found so astounding was the number of products that were available to pile on in one setting. There was serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, concealer, bronzer, and blush. Oh and let’s not forget about sun block! Today I am only wearing moisturizer (with a built in sun block) but I may need to rethink this.
There are many more products available to improve my appearance and make me look like the young person that is inside of me, albeit my imagination. I’m too cheap to try all of them but I plan to re read that article soon and purchase one of those products to see if it will help. The next woman I pass might be trying to count my wrinkles and I don’t want to make it easy for her!
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