If you are an older woman, as I am, who believes “you gotta keep it goin’ on” – meaning you try to take care of your health and appearance, and it’s obvious to others you are making the effort, you have probably experienced a snide, “At your age, why bother?”
Give me a break. I don’t care how “old” a woman gets; if her brain is larger than a peach pit she wants to look as good as she can for as long as she can. It’s not vanity, it’s sanity. When you look good you feel good. It’s good for your mental health. Others treat you better when you look better. Simple as that.
Example: My ugly teeth have been the bane of my existence all of my life. As I child I used to look at myself in a mirror and try to figure out how to smile without showing. my teeth. They looked exactly like Cher’s teeth before she got hers fixed. Over the years I have spent a lot of time and money to make them look beautiful but they don’t stay in place without a battle.
I will spare you the details except to tell you at age 84 I still wear a retainer at night, and just recently I signed up for new Invisaligns for daytime use, to move straying teeth back to where I want them. For some reason, they keep wanting to go back to where God put them. I will not name names, but certain individuals in my family think I’m crazy. Sure, they don’t come right out and say it, but I’m not stupid. I get the meaning of the smirking and eye-rolling. To them I say, please, leave me alone and let me enjoy my folly. By the way, they would not have known about the new Invisaligns except that I have to take them out to eat. “Barbara! What on earth do you have in your mouth?” An aside to family with nothing better to do than kvetch about my teeth: Mind your own molars.
Another example: I have had my ears pinned back. It wasn’t easy, according to the surgeon, but he managed to get it done. I couldn’t hear for two days after the procedure but at least those grotesque things sticking out at the side of my head were finally put in their place. Update: One ear has become “undone” so to speak and it’s sticking out again so I plan to get it fixed. No, I’m not going to tell anyone because I don’t want to hear, “At your age, why bother?”
The one thing my family does not roll their collective eyes about is my commitment to exercise. They seem to realize that my bulging biceps mean I am stronger than they are, and not only is it good for me, it’s good for THEM. (I have a don’t-mess-with-me bone-crushing handshake.) When I am finally old in about 125 years, they won’t have to worry about taking care of me. I’ll be taking care of them.
Here is the bottom line, girlfriends. Got an “appearance issue” that bothers you? Take care of it. If you are not yet “at that age” when others would think you are vain or crazy to improve your appearance, now is the perfect time to get it done. Do it now so that later on you will not have to listen to the misguided chorus of hissing harpies whispering and tsk-tsking, “at your age, why bother?”
Copyright © Barbara Morris 2017
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