Each year I get older, I avoid more mirrors and delete more camera images. All I can see are wrinkly necks, chubby middles, and jowls. This is nothing new to the human condition, but it is new to me, just as when I was having a baby (not exactly the first of my species to do so), I couldn't believe that such a level of pain was even legal.
I've got a two new knobs on each side of the last knuckle of my right pointer finger. It looks like the beginning of arthritis, but it doesn't hurt - it just instantly ages my hands by twenty years. If not to cause pain, then what is their purpose? I'm beginning to believe they are a there to remind me full time that I am heading for haghood.
This subject always reminds me of salmon. Once salmon spawn in their home riverbed, their DNA turns violently against them and they morph into humpback, hooked-nose freaks and summarily die a humiliating death. Like salmon, women's DNA starts to throw out grey hair, thin skin, wrinkly faces, and pudgy middles, which makes them head out into the forest to make scary stick figures with twine and dance around a pile of soggy leaves. (Right?)
As a petite, pixie-faced type of young woman, I always counted on my looks to illicit some level of sympathetic helpfulness in people that seemed to be missing from non-face-to-face interactions, such as telephone calls. In fact, I avoided phone calls because I was unable to use the one interpersonal skill that I possessed - my face. Now, as a less petite, more salmon-faced over-50 woman, I still instinctively reach for that interpersonal weapon and am disappointed to find that it is no longer there. Where as before, I had what you might call a functional level of shyness, my descending haghood has threatened to push my shyness level into unprecedented hermithood.
I won't be coming out of this chrysalis a butterfly. This chrysalis is genetically set for decrepitude. If I don't get over myself, I will be bound for a life of cats and plastic bag hoarding. So I am attempting to say yes to social exchanges and say hello more often. I will step right into my new hag mask and wear it around town like a flowered hat.
I guess the point of this post is an attempt at eliciting empathy on behalf of all of us ladies of a certain age. Give us a break. We didn't make ourselves look this way. Our salmon DNA did it, and we are not happy about it.