Someone I’ve been friends with for 30 years or more, (I wish I could say we were infants when we met, but we weren’t), and I were talking about the good old days and now. Now being the optimal word. We both were very attractive when we were young and like most of us, were blindsighted about aging. We never thought our days of fun and freedom would end. We thought time would never gain access to us, but it did.
It is the wisdom of all those years that lets us open the window to see the possibilities of what might have been. We were convinced at this point of life, we would still be married and have at least one child. Two if it included a tummy tuck. We thought we would live in a big house and have a summer home where we did lots of entertaining with friends and family who loved us and couldn’t wait to be together again. We thought we wouldn’t have to work our asses off anymore. Now we could just coast and live our passion. I would write, she would design fashion. We thought we could work out at the gym a few times a week and still splurge on chocolates and champagne with strawberries at Sunday brunch and not gain an ounce.
We thought our hair would stay thick, shiny and vibrant. We thought our husbands would adore us and still want to cuddle while watching TV or a movie and we’d make love 3 times a week, at least. No headaches. We thought of driving cars without payments, shopping on credit with balances paid in full at the end of each month and mortgage free homes. We had no concept of illness, chronic pain, diminishing eyesight or skin losing elasticity. That was the worst for me. What the’ f’ ‘ happened ? I used to be tight as a drum without exercise. We never thought of mood swings, depression, hot flashes or death.
But time has a way of wearing you. It shows up between the brows, unless you have the money for Botox every three months. Lips fade from that deep pink color of youth. A color that contrasts so well with your skin tone, it now becomes your skin tone. I wish that fad of white lipstick would come back. And if the lighter color isn’t enough to deal with, your lips also get thinner. Really. They get flatter and start to diminish. I’m glad I had a running start and was born with full lips. The only person I know who will never have to worry about this issue is Angelina Jolie. That bitch.
Years ago someone told me that your nose and ears never stop growing. So I wonder, do you think lips are really getting thinner or could it be an optical illusion because your nose is covering half of them. Thank God I was blessed with a little nose and so far, I have enough hair to cover my ears. Can you imagine if we lived to 150 ? Jesus, I wonder if the author of Pinocchio wasn’t on to something.
Root touch has become as valuable as toilet paper to me and to most women I know. I feel insecure when I don’t have at least two spare of each in the house. My fingernails began to thin and break when I first hit a certain age. I was told about porcelain nails, so for two years became a slave to them. What a pain, not to mention the upkeep and cost. Then I discovered a vitamin that helps grow strong hair and nails. My fingernails are much better and I haven’t had fake ones for years. They are nothing in strength however, to my toenails, which even though they have remained untouched, can actually challenge one of those heavy stainless steel trimmers. They don’t stop growing and when they do, you can barely cut them.
I never knew any of this crap and why would I ? Was someone going to tell me ? Was Cosmopolitan going to warn us ? All in all, when I look at the age span of women 5 to 7 years older and younger than me, I’m in pretty good shape. I still have a good head of hair, my fingernails wear polish nicely, the body tone is holding up and thank God my skin has always worn itself close to the bone. My lips ? The small line between my brow ? The toenails ? Well, they’re pretty much what I described, but not on a grand scale. As far as the looks category, men still find me very attractive. My oldest childhood friend would wait for me to bring home gorgeous men. I used to date stunners when I was younger. But now, we’re all a little more mature. So they don’t look like a young Richard Gere anymore, but he doesn’t look like a young Richard Gere anymore either.
If I knew everything back then, that I do right now, would it have made a difference ? Would I have forfeited all those trips to Europe, Greece, Asia, Central and South America and Mid-East ? I had valuable, spontaneous and rich experiences. I had various jobs that led to careers. I’ve traveled extensively throughout the world and met fascinating people who invited me into their culture for a while. I’ve had some intimate relationships I thought might be long-lasting. Instead they gave me inspiration to write. I have patience today for certain things. I do not have to survive a marriage as many people I know seem to do. I’d rather wait to live one. Knowing what I do today, which sometimes forces me into loneliness, I wonder if I could rewind the clock of time, what I’d do. What I do and have always done is what I know. If I went the conventional route, then I wouldn’t have had these experiences. So either way, it ends up with you having to give up something. It just depends on what that something is. How much it means. When I look in the rear view mirror, I don’t know if there’s much I’d actually change .Maybe one or two things if I could. But other than that, for the most part, I probably wouldn’t change a damn thing.