It all started at work. Many exasperating topics start there for me. I work mostly with women which can also be exasperating. What? It can, believe me I know because I am one of the exasperating women. It was over lunch. One of the older women at the table said, “You know what my son told me the other night? That I look old. Sunni, I need you to take me shopping. I need a makeover.” Now before I tell you what I said, I want it to be said that this woman looks great and she’s beautiful and sweet. But I said the (apparently) big no no. “Well, but you are getting older. So it falls to reason that you would look older and that does not mean that you need a makeover.” It’s a true statement. It is. What do you want from me?
One woman at the table gave me the hairy eyeball, like I had said something that should never be said. Like I had no manners. Like I was a martian. So, naturally it got me to thinking and made me a little mad. Look, I’m 28, I know I’m young. But to me aging is not a bad thing, which is the very next thing that I said. One of the women piped in with, “But it makes us feel bad when you say things like that.” Inevitably, my next question was, “Why?” “Well you’ll know when you’re older. You’ll feel the same way,” was all she could come back at me with. Will I?
Please don’t feed me these lines ladies, was what I left lunch thinking. I’m an adult and though I may not be able to understand all things, I can understand many things. When was it ever said that getting older was a bad thing? When? Who said it? Why do people, mostly women mind you, feel this way? Is it because we equate getting older with horrifying images like these? Do older women imagine themselves to look, act and behave like Baby Jane Hudson here? Perhaps.
What I know of aging has never been bad. I lived a very full childhood with both sets of my grandparents still alive. And they are still alive today. In fact, two of my great grandmothers died only a few years ago. When I think of aging I think of these beautiful people that I still love and treasure. My grandmother, the quilter, in particular. She’s a beautiful creature with more pep and life than I see in some people younger than me. She’s truly a most remarkable woman and not because she was remarkable when she was young, because I didn’t know her when she was young. I’ve only known her when she was old. She never had to keep reminding us that she was old either. She reminded me with her exuberance and giggles that she was and is still quite in the prime of her life. She always has been because she lives each day to its fullest never allowing a dull moment to escape those calloused stitching fingers. This is what aging means to me. To become even more beautiful, self assured and brilliant with age.
I realize that aging is not the most glamourous thing. It’s hard when disease or even natural hearing and eyesight begin to waver. Still, aging is not the horrible monster our culture seems to have turned it into. At least I don’t think so. What do you think? Afraid to age? Why?
I’m not afraid to age. Aging can be a beautiful opportunity. What could possibly be more magical than a grandma who teaches you to sew? Huh? Or a grandpa that teaches you a few things about your truck? Some of my most cherished memories involve my grandparents and their teaching me something or talking to me about something or giving me something I’ll never forget. And for all that, it felt as if they could have only done that at their age. Now how crazy is that?
Image courtesy Advanced Style
If you haven’t, check out this blog. Sort of the hel looks of the older generation. And aren’t they just chic and sophisticated with as much verve as you could possibly have? I think so. Yes. I do. I’m totally going to be this cool when I’m old.