Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

On Growing Old

Now, before I start, I need to stipulate that this post is not a compliment fishing expedition. So, no body needs to come to the comment section of this post telling me how beautiful I am (that means you, Mom!). I'm just sharing what's on my mind.

And, what's on my mind these days is my ever-multiplying grey hairs and the hints of wrinkles forming between my eyes. This year - later this summer, actually - I'll be turning 30. This monumental number does not frighten me. It's what tends to come along with it that gets on my nerves. Now, I've been turning grey for years (well before my time). It runs in the family, and armed with a box of Clairol, I can cope with it just fine. Besides, I get to go from eggplant to dark auburn on a whim, which is always a bit fun.

What really irks me, though, is the other little things that start to show up or that begin to come up missing. Things missing, for example: I no longer catch men glancing my way. Granted, it may have been that before they were only staring at the large glob of snot dangling from my nose or the gob of green parsley peeking through my pearly-whites as I threw a coquettish smile their way. No matter. I felt pretty.

Then, I had children. Love 'em. I really do, but I haven't felt like a woman since. To sooth my feminine ego, I try to tell myself that I don't fit the French standard for beauty (you know, stick skinny with a year-round-Mediterranean-olive-skin tan). Surely, in some place on this planet, men's mouths would gape (but in a good way) at my ever-rounding curves and gradually drooping dairy-air. Not here, apparently, but surely somewhere.

This brings us to the "things starting to show up" part. Along with the rounding curves and drooping backside, there are the wrinkles. I know they come with the territory, but in my mind, I'm still 23, which is why looking too closely into the mirror can sometimes be a shock. I actually like wrinkles on other people. My husband, for example, has great laugh lines around his eyes. Laugh lines are wonderful, actually. They can soften an otherwise hard face, but that's not what I see creeping up on me. I've got the evil-lady crease between the eyes. This is no doubt the fault of my children (after all, it wasn't there before they came along). I am apparently in a constant state of frustrated concern or downright anger, which is where the crease comes in. And, of course, creases have the opposite effect that laugh lines do. They can actually harden an otherwise soft face, which I was at least hoping I had.

All of this, of course, brings me to one question: How fair is it that at the age of 30, I have the acne-prone skin of a 15-year-old and the wrinkles and grey hair of a 35 to 40-year-old. Someone is surely cackling down at me from above.