You can be 35 or 55.  It doesn’t matter.  We either die or get old.  It is, however, feasible . . . in this youth centric society we have evolved . . . to forestall the obvious signs of aging for an indefinite period of time.  I mean, really, have you seen the 60+ ladies in the “Lifestyle Lifts” commercials?  These “old babes” are putting the 50-year-old Bowflex hottie from a few years back to shame.  Don’t get me wrong.  I believe in doing anything that makes you feel better about yourself.  Kudos to these with the means and the balls to fight off the ravages of time for as long as possible.  Still, no matter how much we workout, nip, tuck, plump, lift, cover, “yada, yada, yada” . . . there are still a few sure signs that “maturity” is settling in. 

“Submitted for your consideration.”

  1. You find it necessary to negotiate with your beautician or barber the percentage of gray hair you have.  A dear (and younger friend) was recently informed that her tri-foiled locks were — if left untreated — more than 50% “arctic blonde.”  If you are among the uninitiated, “arctic blonde” is the new “PC” term for gray.  How bad is it when we can’t even call it gray hair anymore?  Still, it is a true sign of encroaching age when you are confronted with being grayer than you think or can possibly accept.  Girlfriend reached a compromise with her stylist settling on an “arctic blonde” ratio of only 25 to 30 percent.  Hey, I’m not gray . . . those are arctic blonde highlights! 
  2. You don’t mind that couple of extra pounds, if it means your butt don’t sag.  If you’re there, you know what I’m talking about.  I never gave it any thought until happily losing some unwanted pudge, I caught a horrifying glimpse of my backside.  Sure, you expect some things to “go south,” but really?!?  You struggle to keep the “junk in the trunk” to a minimum only to one day realize the “junk” is all that’s propping it up!  Thank goodness we live in the 21st century.  All it takes is a pair of Booty Pops to make everything right with the world.  Wonder bra . . . check.  Booty Pops . . . check.  William Shatner-style girdle . . . check.  I’m never taking my clothes off again!
  3. Cheaters!  Not spouses that are fidelity challenged, but those cheap reading glasses.  You can’t deny them.  You can’t disguise them.  There is a distinct correlation between qualifying for AARP membership and the cumulative length of time they are on your face in combination with the number you own.  Mine once served more often as a hair band, less as a visual aid.  Now I can’t function without them, so it’s a pair in each room of the house, the car, my purse, the computer tote, the garage, even a couple in the miscellany drawer.  Of course, I’m not old enough to go to the optometrist to get bifocals.  God forbid!
  4. Hair that grows where it shouldn’t.  This affliction differs person-to-person as well as between men and women.  The universal indicator of encroaching decrepitude is, however, the unruly eyebrow hair.  I believe they spontaneously appear and aren’t visible in the privacy of your own home, but you get out in public . . . you will see it in any reflective surface you get near.  It’s generally half inch longer than the rest of your eyebrows, the consistency of wire and sticking out at some bizarre angle.  It will also be impossible to discretely pluck.  I have found long bangs to be the only sure method of hiding one until it can be ripped out with a stout pair of pliers.
  5. Last, but not least . . . your off-the-cuff references mystify those still in possession of their youth.  You qualify as an oldster if any of the following apply.  You remember when Johnny Depp was on 21 Jump Street and Tom Hanks was on Bosom Buddies or Sean Connery was 007 and Roger Moore was The Saint.  You used aluminum foil to improve TV reception or 8-inch floppies in your IBM XT.  You owned an Atari, Commodore 64 or Apple II.  You ever did the watusi, the hustle or the twist; Moonwalked with Michael; Cloned with Molly; or Superbowl Shuffled with the Bears.  You can see where I’m going with this, right?  “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” 

All of that said; I reckon knowledge is power.  Thus empowered, I figure with constantly changing beauticians, meticulous personal grooming, proper foundation garments, never reading in public again and keeping my big mouth shut . . . I’m good for at least a few more years of being one of those women of undetermined age.   Well, that’s my plan for now . . . maybe a consult with the “Lifestyle Lift” people . . . of course, I don’t need one yet . . . perhaps just a little resurfacing or Botox . . . was that an anti-aging cream ad in the sidebar?

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