Aging gracefully difficult goal in a world of anti-aging products
Appeal staff reporter
Apparently, I have reached a “certain age.” I realized this as I was sorting through my daily stack of junk mail (can you hear the trees screaming?) and was immediately stopped in my tracks by a flier for “anti-aging” slippers.
Huh? How can slippers stop aging? As I read on, I realized it’s a way of not having to say, “When the winter cold flares your arthritis, slip these puppies on, and your dogs won’t ache anymore.”
Well, first of all, if my feet hurt I have children who are well trained in the art of massage – one of my many gifts to them. And second, if the slipper folks were really concerned, they’d offer a complete body wrap.
But what surprised me the most is that I even stopped to read it.
Funny how, after a “certain age,” anti-aging becomes such a subliminally ingrained response mechanism.
I see commercials touting the benefits of lifting, ridding, straining, draining away any and all signs of what it is to be one minute over 30.
And I find myself standing in the aisle at the grocery store with a blank stare at the myriad and quite costly, I might add, scrubs, peels and face concrete available to me.
And in despair and overload, I simply leave all of it on the shelf and go home, really not worried about it, until the next commercial hits me between the eyes.
Or until my mother calls to remind my I’m not 18 anymore.
Which brings me to cosmetic procedures.
We now have options that early cavewomen would probably salivate over. All the possibilities for hair removal alone are mind-boggling. And honestly, since I am of Italian descent, I’m thinking a trip to the electrolysis practitioner may be in order before I’m an old woman in a rest home with those three stray hairs growing out of my chin.
Yes, now you know my greatest old-age fear.
What will archaeologists think 1,000 years from now.
“What have we here?” Bob (the archaeologist) asks as he brushes dirt off the bones of what appear to be a woman’s skeleton. “These discs … what do they signify?”
Breaking News: “Of the many skeletal remains unearthed in what appears to be an ancient burial site, an estimated 90 percent of females had been buried with two discs. The discs found have ranged in size from very small to Oh my goodness! Archaeologists wonder what kind of religious or spiritual significance they might have had.
See where we can take this train of craziness? Right off the cliff!
And we’re bombarded every moment with all the things we NEED TO BE DOING to stave off that which eventually will take place.
Which is the graying, sagging, bagging, matched luggage under the eyes, a bit too much around the middle, the ever dreaded age spots and so forth.
And truly, it is not my goal in life (at this moment at least) to be a grandmother who can wear a bikini.
So I’ve made a pact with myself. This summer, rather than slathering olive oil on my face to tan, perhaps I’ll research something with SPF.
And if I can select a brand before hitting overwhelmed, I might actually buy it and, no kidding, use it.
Beyond that, I really am trying very hard to be graceful in my aging. Because I have earned every wrinkle.
I have earned sagging boobs (my children thank me), and men in their generous engineering have devised a solution for that (I vote they wear a bra 12 hours one day so they can fully appreciate this gift they’ve given us).
I have earned that look of sheer exhaustion that I know on some days can’t be removed by all the makeup, scrubs and peels in the world.
And finally and honestly, in the interest of world peace, I believe going gracefully into the next chapter of living is the biggest gift I can give my world. Because I know how unattractive it is when I have to be dragged kicking and screaming through anything.
• Dayton resident Karel C. Ancona-Henry is a reporter for the Appeal.