Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Autumn Age

Some of these Dogwood berries are turning red, a sure sign that Autumn is on the way. I'm praying that it's a cool, wet one.

My "autumn" is well underway. I don't have many wrinkles (yet), but things are definitely heading south.

Today an acquaintance of mine, who had a face lift a few months ago, looked at me and said, "Well, you don't need a face lift yet, but you do need to have your eyes done." I said, "Why do I need them "done"? Yeah, the upper lids are sagging a bit, but I can still see perfectly well." She replied in a matter-of-fact tone, "Well, you know. You don't want to look OLD." She was shocked when I said, "I'm not looking forward to it, but I'm not going to do anything to stop it. I've had my time being young and beautiful, now I'm ready to be old and beautiful." She said, "You can't be OLD and beautiful!!" I said, "Yes, you can. It's just a different kind of beauty, and it's too bad that most people today can't recognize it." She looked at me as if I had just said "Watch out! I'm crazy and it's contagious!" and hurriedly walked away.

I don't know if it's as pronounced in other parts of the country, but here in Southern California aging is looked upon as a disease that must be eradicated at all costs, a social "no-no" that puts you in a class slightly lower than a convicted criminal.

Anything sagging? Hurry, get it lifted! Got fat? Get liposuction! Got any horrible, socially unacceptable wrinkles? Quick, get Botox! Lips thinning? Well, what are you waiting for? Get them injected with something! Do anything, any painful, potentially life threatening SOMETHING to avoid aging!


I do have my hair dyed a flaming red (it's naturally black with quite a bit of grey around the front) but I started doing that when I turned 50 as a way of saying, "Yes, I'm aging but I refuse to disappear." When my hair turns completely white, I'll quit dying it. Maybe. Or maybe I'll do what my Mom did sometimes when she was feeling feisty; tint it a temporary outrageous color (pale green, lavender, purple, whatever matched her outfit. She was a strong, brave woman and a quite a character. I miss her more than words can convey).

I have no respect for a society that says I'm worthless because I'm old. (I can't say middle-aged anymore because, really, who lives to be 120?) I have no respect for a society that says I have to have painful, dangerous things done to me just to "fit in." I've never been a person who has striven to "fit in" and I'm not about to start now.

It doesn't bother me when a woman, or man, has cosmetic procedures because they want to have them. It bothers me when they have them only because they feel they're worthless if they don't.


  1. Well put! It seems to me that people who have all this 'work' done are just saying that they can't accept themselves or the reality of aging.

    But, some might say, losing one's teeth is part of aging -- and you just spent Big Bucks on a root canal and a crown. Why didn't you just let Nature take its course?

    It's an interesting conundrum -- I'm in the midst of exploring it fictionally with Elizabeth and her sister ( who is horrified by Elizabeth's graying hair.)

  2. Well...say I let Nature take its course and become toothless and don't even get dentures. That could lead to an early death because I wouldn't be able to eat the foods which give my body the nutrients it needs to pecan pie, fudge with walnuts, white chocolate chunk cookies with macadamia nuts, you know, all the healthy stuff ;-)


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