Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Funny, you don’t look that old.

A relative of mine recently expressed her dismay at how she believes I've given up the noble fight of the aging process.  Truth be told, I think I may start telling people that I'm ten years OLDER than I really am.  It'll take a lot of pressure off.  If I'm lucky, folks will start telling me how good I look for my advanced age.  I think it's a brilliant plan, really.

Adding a decade to my age makes a lot more sense to me than trying to convince anyone that I'm a decade younger, that's for darn sure.  Over the years, I've known quite a few men and women who've done (and continue to do) just that.  Fearful that their actual age will somehow make them unmarketable or undervalued, these people shave anywhere from five to ten years off their age.  Each time they do, they seem to hold their breath for a moment, possibly hoping they've fooled onlookers into buying their act, but the pursed lips and squinting eyes of the listeners over the years tells me otherwise.

It just frosts my cookies (and apparently my graying hair) that ours is a culture so in awe of youth.  Everywhere we look, the media bombards us with younger and younger models, television, movie and pop stars.  It reminds me of when I was a little girl in the 1960's and the mantra of "Don't trust anyone over 30" was all the rage.  Now, I suppose it's safe to say that anyone over 18 might be considered distrustful — or not worth watching or listening to via mass media, at any rate.

Looking back at most of the photographs of myself, I realize that I might be all gung-ho about this aging business because I spent the better part of my life looking about 12 years old.  Nobody ever took me seriously because I'm of winky stature and chubby-cheeked.  Think about it, even in the animal kingdom squirrels don't command a lot of respect — no matter how old they get.  But, giraffes, horses and those bigger guys?  They don't have to work so hard to get attention.  So, maybe that's why I'm at peace with the crinkled lines around my eyes and the fact that the whole front of my hair is turning silver – you know, looks as though there's some mileage on the car and some knowledge tucked away under the hood.

There are some people in my life who believe in keeping hair the color nature originally granted you back in the day, and they spend years in constant pursuit of the shade only God knows the secret formula to.  To me, I like to think that as we approach the autumn of our lives, we should go through a change in color, too.  If the universal laws of nature seem to work that way, who am I to bicker?

I have really good intentions to not give in to the call of the plastic surgery sirens either.  However, I will fess up right now and sate that the day my eyes have too much baggage for continued carry-on, I might have to reconsider.  It's less about vanity and more about gravity, 'cause my chubby cheeks might not appreciate carrying that extra load.  The squirrel analogy doesn't bother me, as I'd prefer to keep those cheeks and continue to be as bright-eyed as I can.

Besides, there are enough hot-cha-cha grandmas exiting the cafes, yoga studios and botox medi-spas of the world.  It might be fun actually, being part of a minority, especially here in wickedly image conscious Southern California.  In fact, I think my goal is to be one of the silver-haired women with the etchings of laughter on her face and history in her eyes … who looks darn good for her (+10) years.

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