Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ah, youth

Since I'm now smack-dab in the middle of my thirties, I am thinking more and more about aging, both physically and emotionally. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that my motto is that growing older is mandatory, but you can be immature forever. That is to say, I believe that you're only as old as you feel.

When my grandmother was ninety, she told me that in her head, she was the same person she'd always been. It was hard for her to believe when she looked in the mirror that the old woman staring back at her was actually her. The body ages, but who you are at your core never changes, from the time that you're a little child in diapers to the time that you're an old person... also in diapers. Of course, soon after that conversation, Grandma's dementia worsened and she started calling me Doris and getting dressed and ready for church in the middle of the night, every night. But whatever.

I've never had a problem with aging, but maybe that's because I wasn't showing any actual signs of aging, physically, until recently. I consider myself lucky to be alive at all considering my reckless and rather misspent youth and a pretty serious health problem that I overcame early on in my adulthood. I'll tell you about that someday, but not today; it's too nice out and I'm just not in the mood to go there. Just know that I've always felt glad to be alive and have welcomed each year with open arms.

Then the gray hairs started popping up along the part in my hair, and I said, "So, what? That's why they invented hair dye!" I started dying my hair about 3 years ago to cover those 3-4 strands that irked me so, but I'd go every 8-10 weeks between hair appointments, because they just weren't that noticeable. Now I go every 6 weeks and the little devils start showing up after a month, but I ignore them. I thought about plucking them but realized I'd quickly go bald or have a 2" wide part if I kept that up, so I decided against it.

Then came the "smile lines." I know we are our own worst critics, and my friends kindly tell me that my fine lines are hardly noticeable unless you get up very close to me, but... they're totally there. Not just the lines around my eyes, but two very distinct ones on my forehead, a result of having the same general hairstyle for my entire life. I even experimented with full bangs to hide those little lines, but it wasn't for me. I'm a creature of habit, and I just can't do it.

Now, I have been moisturizing faithfully for my entire adult life, I wear sunscreen, and I purposely wear giant sunglasses with UV protection. However, I love sunshine, I love laughing, and my mixed pedigree of all-fair-skinned nationalities pretty much dictates that I will not go through life unblemished. But I try. I cover up, I seek shade. My next step is a burka, and I WILL ROCK IT.

Yes, I'm getting older. My body bears the scars of a lifetime of love, laughter, and hardship. I'm grateful to it for all that it has done for me, including bearing two healthy and robust children who have contributed to the graying of my hair more than anything else.

The good news is that I still feel young, and I intend to keep it that way. I still love a good time, I still love getting out and seeing new things, I still love hitting water slides with the kids and being able to race them to the car. Oh, and lately I keep getting carded when I buy alcohol, which totally rocks! Last night I got carded at a restaurant, and all last week I got carded every time I bought a bottle of wine or beer for my husband. Clearly, these teenaged waitresses and store clerks weren't leaning in close to peer at my fine lines, and that makes me very, very happy.

"We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"
(that quote is for Cary, who loves that movie.)

Gotta run... the sun is shining and I am going to take my boys out and do something fun. Wrinkles be damned!


Frank Irwin said...

I like Groucho's comment, "You're only as old as the person you feel," but I'm not sure what that means for me, as I'm not feeling anybody at the moment. :-(

I'd rather my hair go gray than fall out.

Word verf: chris

Organic Meatbag said...

Mid 30's??? Hell, I thought you were 18! ;)

Stacie's Madness said...

I am amazed to see the wrinkles on my face, sun and smoking have done me in.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

My wife was commenting on my lack of wrinkles.

Then she bemoaned the fact that she has one in her forehead.

MtnMama said...

The alternative, as far as I see it, is to start looking (when you're around my age) like a scary mannequin from all the pointless attempts to stay "young looking". I've always agreed with the concept that we end up with the face we deserve - in other words, the smile lines, etc., are from smiling! And the grey hairs are from our kids, which we wouldn't trade in a million. It IS character in our faces; thank goodness we have some!

Love you just the way you are, babe.

Frank Irwin said...

Well, in that case, MtnMama, I have way many more gray hairs than I deserve!

MtnMama said...

Frank: well, it isn't ONLY kids that will do it (although in my case, they didn't start coming in until I passed forty, and then they were white, not grey) but it seems like kids are a guarantee of bringing them on.

You can come up with some alternative reason, I'm sure! ;) I can attest to your graceful aging.

Bev said...

Frank - Aww, hang in there, buddy. I'm sure Big Pancho won't be riding solo forever. ;)

OM - Ding ding ding! YOU WIN! Best. COMMENT. EVER!

Stacie - Yep, same here. All the fun stuff takes a toll on your skin. Boo.

mjenks - men don't seem to get wrinkles like women do. Also, forehead wrinkles = hot, right? RIGHT?!

MtnMama - Love you back, babe!! And yes, I don't mind smile lines so much, and I definitely won't be doing Botox or any other freaky deaky proceedures like that, so I guess I need to just get used to my "character lines."

Frank & MtnMama - You're both hotties, and I want to hump your legs. I mean, have you SEEN Frank on his bike? He's in better shape than I've ever been in. Ever.

calicobebop said...

Lol - I love that movie too.

Yes, aging is a little scary when I face it in the mirror, but on the whole I'm like your grandma - I feel the same!

Still, I have to go every FOUR weeks for my roots. I'm over 70% gray at this point and I can blame my daddy's gene pool for that bullshit. Grrr...

Mr. Condescending said...

You'll be fine, I love the sexy 30's women!

Courtney said...

You look fantastic Muffin!!!!

dana said...

I always KNEW that I wasn't going to age. At least not like the OLD women. I kept my act TOGETHER!

p.s. Save your money on the moisturizer. You'll only end up with very soft WRINKLES. They come! They really DO! I was positive that it wouldn't happen to ME. No sun. No frowning. Moisturizing in the middle of sex. And still it happens.

Wait til you have to pull a wagon behind you so that as you're walking down the street you can pick up those perfectly good body parts you've got now. The good news is that cats start finding you extremely interesting.

Samsmama said...

I found it very hard to concentrate after reading about your grandmother calling you Doris. I know it's wrong, but I laughed really hard. My grandma was the same.

Ya know those photo booths you can go into that will show you what your skin really looks like? (That amazon Brooke Shields has that commercial.) You couldn't pay me to do that.

And, Dana? Moisturizing in the middle of sex? Am I missing something? I've been told that jizz is good for your skin, but thought surely it was a scam. And I wasn't about to fall for it! Again.

Bev said...

Calico - Ugh, every 4 weeks? Jeez, I'm hosed. It's comin' for me!

Mr. C - *blushing* Why, thank you! Women in their 30's ARE hot, aren't we? YUP.

Courtney - Thanks, girly! Back at'cha, hottie!

Dana - Welcome! Ok, so you must elaborate on the whole moisturizing DURING sex thing. Also, you look fantastic, so I'd saw whatever you did worked.

Samsmama - LMAO! You kill me! Ok, so I've never been in one of those photobooths, but I have had facials. Not that kind, ya perv.... The real kind. During a good facial, they'll put you under this special UV light and hold a mirror up so you can see how hideous you are. I used to think it was just another way to sell product, but now I know that they speak the truth.

Don't look at me, I'm heeeeeeedeous!

Frank Irwin said...

Why, thanks, Bev, you can hump my leg anytime (you, too, MtnMama)!

Yes, I'm in better shape than I was in my teens and 20's. I exercise more, and eat less.

MtnMama said...

Frank: NOW you tell me! What about when I was three feet away from you at dinner?

oh yeah, my kid was there...

good call.

Frank Irwin said...

Well, MtnMama, the original plan was to get Brian to take M out for ice cream, but I didn't know if you'd go for that...

Frank Irwin said...

There's always this kind of facial. (Actually SFW.)

Bev said...

Get a room, you two!

Or don't. Samsmama likes to watch, I hear.


Samsmama said...

Somebody gettin' it on?

Cary said...

The grandma story made me think of Steve Miller:

"Some people call me Dor-ees

Grandma is right, though; I always feel like I just got out of college. But then I look in the mirror. And cry.

But you, my dear Bev, are a stone cold fox and totally porkable, so carry the signs of aging with pride. You wear it well.

Mala said...

You look maaahhhhhhvaaaalous! Darling! Seriously, one practically needs to be in a lip-lock, WITH EYES OPEN, to detect any of these fine lines you speak of.
And you are all cracking me up with these comments.
Mjenks - I think we need a picture!!

Brooklyn ML said...

Please send me a picture when you rock your burka, I want to be jealous.

Bev said...

Samsmama - I LOVE YOU. You come a'runnin' 10 minutes after I say you like to watch. I bow down to you, madam.

Cary - sigh You're sweet. And funny. And you have a head like a duck. I'm pretty sure you're the perfect man.

Thank you! oxo

Mala - thank you, but as my BFF I think you're contractually obligated to say that. ;)

Maeghan - Heeeee! We always did share similar styles. You can borrow my burka anytime.

Kate said...

Maybe you should get a purple tie-dyed burka!

The only time I have not been carded in my life was my 21st birthday and I was buying like 6 cases of beer and lots of liquor. I was almost indignant. I stomped my foot and shoved my ID in his face. Now, at 33, I still get carded every time.

And I'm with Mala, you look MAH-velous!

Cary said...

My head's not the only thing that looks like a duck. Just for the record, I mean.

Cary said...

Oh, and thanks for the shout-out. I do love Treasure Of The Sierra Madre.

And I ain't got no/don't need no/don't have to show you any stinkin' badges

Bev said...

Kate, you do look young! And hot, I might add. ;)

Cary - Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of, duck-dick?

Oh, and you're welcome for the shout-out, and thanks for setting me straight on the actual quote.