Ah, aging. If you have hit 40, possibly even your late 30’s, then you are familiar with the feeling of dismay that comes when a new sign of aging appears. These signs come in a variety of ways, both physical and mental. Gravity kicks in. You lose your tolerance for Rap music. Hangovers last a minimum of 2 days. Your kids start having theme parties based on the decade you graduated from High School. The list is endless really.
Then there are the “old lady eyes”. You know, the day you realize you can’t read the name on the bottom of a bottle of nail polish. Or you send a text to someone and you haven’t successfully typed one actual word. This is the aspect of aging hitting me the hardest, (well maybe tied with the 2 day hangover). I have become that person who needs to keep drug store reading glasses EVERYWHERE. I have a pair in every room of my house, 2 in my purse, 1 pair in the car and 1 at work. I even have a special pair for applying eye makeup, with a lens that flips from left to right. Even worse, I had to change the font size on my iPhone to ginormous, prompting a “Mom, why is your font so BIG” from my son.
I will take the “old lady eyes”, because I have thankfully avoided my biggest aging fear…wrinkly, bad skin. I have always been determined to keep this from happening. I don’t know why, possibly because my maternal Grandmother and Mother never had a wrinkle and I blessedly inherited my skin from them. Or maybe it was those Oil of Olay commercials I remember from way back, “I don’t intend to grow old gracefully. I intend to fight it every step of the way.” I think I started using my mother’s Oil of Olay when I was in fifth grade. Skincare and beauty products have always been a bit of an obsession. (I’m passing this on to my china doll-like daughter. One of her first words was “moy”, she was saying “moisturize”.) And luckily, by the time I was 17, I stopped “laying out” on the roof of my house, covered in baby oil, with a tinfoil lined “Grease” album cover reflecting the sun onto my face (c’mon, if you are over 40 you know you did this too!). As an adult I have always spared no expense on skincare, finding the best products and getting regular facials. When the EX would complain I would always say “You will be happy when we are 80 and your wife looks 40.” Well my genes and diligence have paid off and now it’s more like, “I’m happy that the EX looks 10+ years older than he is and I look 10+ years younger than I am!”
I don’t normally say nice things about myself. But the one thing I will say is, the name Snow White sort of suits me because I really do have great, VERY fair skin, and I do not look my age. Aside from my kids, this is one area where I will happily “humble brag”. I can go without makeup no problem, I actually haven’t worn it to work in 2 weeks. My skin is also the “key to my vault” so to speak. If you want me to follow you anywhere, compliment my skin or tell me I don’t look my age or old enough to have a 19 year old.
I’m serious, I think it must be some sort of syndrome. If they ask for my id when I order a drink, I will fall in love with them, even if I am somewhere that they are required to ask everyone. I took my son to Red Robin a few weeks ago and the 30-something waiter carded me, said I looked under 30 AND proceeded to flirt with me the entire time we were there. Thank Goddess my son was with me, because there’s a good chance I would have gone anywhere that waiter wanted to take me. (My son even said last night, “Mom we should go back to that Red Robin and visit the waiter who likes you.”) I have gone out for drinks after work with my new co-workers twice. Both times, guys approached me and were shocked that I am old enough to have a 19 year old. Both times, we wound up following them all over the city. The first time we wound up travelling in a white taxi van to one of the guy’s apartments. Thankfully one of my best friends, who has requested to be called Hope Rising here, maintained enough composure to get us out of there once the guy started telling stories about his brother in Oklahoma accusing him of murdering one of their friends! And the other time, well, let’s just say Hope wasn’t there to keep me out of trouble. I didn’t wind up at the apartment of a potential serial killer, but I did behave very out of character. Even this past weekend, when I attempted socializing for the first time in 2 weeks, a guy I met was shocked I am old enough to have a 19 year old, and he was totally up for going to my favorite dive bar to visit the bartender I have a girl crush on. Thankfully I was in no mood to even be out, or who knows what would have happened. Maybe this isn’t actually a syndrome and it is just some form of mid-life crisis; or at the very least regression, not aging.
I’m still falling victim to the other signs of aging. Gravity is not being very kind, and I am seriously considering a boob lift so that I can wear cute strappy tops without needing a medieval undergarment. And my hair is doing very strange things. All in all though, I am certainly living up to that Oil of Olay commercial from long ago, I am definitely NOT “Growing Old Gracefully”!