By Evelyn Block
I think young. I look old. A real disconnect. And I am not adapting well.
You can buy a pretty face again, your own but better looking, but you can’t do anything about the crepe-y neck and the thin-skinned blue veined hands. No magic yet available for those. Some of us over 50 bash the people who get plastic surgery while clandestinely wishing we had the guts, money, pain threshold, honesty or whatever it takes to go do it ourselves. At thirty-three I was still proofed entering a bar. Now I can go almost anywhere and be totally invisible. Ma’am? I still look around when someone calls me that! And why do they always think I’m shopping for someone other than myself?
I really, really am thankful that I am healthy.
I recognize how lucky I am. I can be mature and appreciative. I would just like to do it in a younger body; a body that matches the place my head got stuck at.
I’m not being overly greedy here.
Once, when I was in my twenties, I sat in a room where we were all told to close our eyes and raise our hands if there was a part of our own bodies we disliked. I’ve always hated my thighs, so up went my hand. When I looked around, every hand in the room was up. I got it. I get it. I certainly wasn’t perfect then and I’m not seeking perfection now. Just fewer wrinkles that make my mouth turn down and my kid ask, “Are you mad at me”?
Midriff length tops and ass bearing skinny jeans
We know boomer women have the most disposable income of any cohort. Logic says we could drop into a store and fit our expanded hips or wrinkled midriff or crepe-y shoulders into clothes that would drape beautifully and make us look attractive but no, what are the stores selling? Midriff length tops, ass bearing skinny jeans and don’t even say the word “thong” in my presence, thank you. I tried on a pair of those two hundred dollar skinny jeans. The circumference of the thigh space fits my calf. And stops there, goes no further.
My head, you see, hasn’t morphed sideways from the middle the way my middle has. And my head likes cool fashions. Designed for me, not a teenager.
My sister, at sixty-plus still admires herself in the mirror wearing a bikini.
I think I know her problem. Cataracts, How else to explain it? Yes, she still has a good shape, but really, old is old. What she doesn’t yet know is that as soon as her eyesight is fully restored, she’ll see what the rest of us have been looking at. She’ll think all those wrinkles appeared overnight. We see them now. Not so pretty, get a one piece, girl.
Yes, in many ways I am more comfortable with myself than I was at 20, 30, 40, or even 50, but damn it, I want that face and body back!
I’m so vain, I bet you think this article’s about me.
“Oh, god, she is so vain,” is probably going through your mind right about now. Not so. Maybe so, I don’t know. I think I’m expressing what a lot of us feel after 50 but we know is not politically correct.
And the brain inside the head, not exactly the same, either.
Whose kid hasn’t turned to them and said, “Do you have Alzheimer’s.” or, as my son used to call it, “Old-timer’s?” We forget. Get over it. Too much information to carry around when we’re busy obsessing about looks, numbers, passwords, shopping lists, and more passwords. And thank you, but no; I don’t want to play a Nintendo Wii game created by some teenybopper to exercise my brain. It is what it is.
Missing life already lived
I read a really great line recently. It said, “Homesickness is not missing home but missing life already lived.” I think that may sum it up. I want to go home to my younger body. But, as Thomas Wolfe once said, “You can’t go home again.”