Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aging Like A Fine Cheese, Please

There are some women who are in it to win it, and by some women, I mean Anjelica Huston. What is with her? She's a stone fox, solidly past the change of life, and I pray to God I look that good when I'm 56, or 72, or however old she is, because seriously, I can't tell.

What is it? My mom looks fantastic at her age (which I won't divulge), but she also runs, does aerobics and vigorously paints rooms as a hobby. Presumably, she also has some secret tonic hook-up with virgin's blood or nun's tears, because my mom looks preternaturally good. As does my dad. My parents have maybe signed some pact with unsavoury types, because people in their fifties (whoops) probably shouldn't look so good.

Hopefully my parents are using fancy face cream made from, I don't know, organic kelp and the withered dreams of the obese. Otherwise, it will emerge that aging gracefully and attractively equals work, and I am lazy.

Not that I don't want to age well. On the other hand, it's really hard to picture myself as anything except Right Now. Which is natural, obviously, but it's also tough to put aerobic money in the bank of My Fifties when snorfling Doritos off the kitchen floor is a fun and rewarding hobby today.

Plus, it seems like as the Boomers and the close-on-their-heels next generation from which GOOP sprang are deeply invested in looking glamourous, world-wise and freshly scrubbed: both youthful and take-me-seriously mature. It's a heady cocktail of toned leg muscles and swearing to have "only a little" Botox when the time is right, which, frankly, is an option that hasn't been overly popular in my neck of the woods. Hollywood-as-role model is always something teen girl magazines seem to get hysterical about, but who's monitoring InStyle to make sure semi-depressed Midwestern women aren't getting self-concious about crow's feet and neck wattle?

Aging gracefully is tough. All you need to do is take a look around (first, leave Yorkville) and admire the huge variance on aging encountered in the real world. You've got your stringy older women, your always-thin-and-sunned-and-looking-good older women, older women who Might Have Had Some Work Done, fat ones, tall ones, ones who never learned how to apply eyeliner, and Liza Minelli. Women who lucked into the genetic lottery, and women who swear by colonics for the same effect. Women who wear elastic pants and women who wear Spandex pants.

Long story short? Winning the genetic lottery (please please please) is no easy feat. It take work. Dedication. Legwarmers. Angelica Huston and my mom make it look easy, but as I ease towards thirty (holy shit!), I'm starting to realize that, as enjoyable as scarfing down a 128-oz bag of Cheetos is today, I'll still be paying off the interest in my sixties.

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