Monday, May 7, 2012

When I'm 64

Will I be wearing this
when I'm 64?
In just a month I and my big mouth will be... gasp... FIFTY YEARS OLD!! What’s up with that?! Do I like it or hate it...?! Or some of each...?? Yeah, that’s it – some of each. 

For instance, despite occasional hiccups, I just get happier every year... the more years I live... well, you get the picture. Also, I’m getting closer and closer to heaven. Yes, sweet, sweet rest in the Everlasting Arms will be mine someday. I have no death wish whatsoever, but I am kinda looking forward to being where there is no more sorrow, no more night!

On the other hand, the aging process pretty much sucks. My body is falling apart... psoriasis, torn muscles, perimenopause, an addled brain, failing memory, high cholesterol... not to mention the more superficial changes: liver spots, wrinkles, skin tags, grey hairs... I’m a bit vain, so the decline in my already mediocre looks is kinda painful... especially with the focus the media put on beauty. My own upbringing involved a great emphasis on appearance, so that kind of thing does tend to stick out in my mind.

... or this?
If you know me, you will doubtless say, “what?” Because I don’t wear makeup, I don’t diet, I have a great head of shaggy hair, and am just generally kind of sloppy. You’d think that a person who thinks about appearances much would make some attempt at tarting herself up. But... nah. I’m too lazy, and, frankly, don’t have the time.

I am not interested in wearing makeup or dieting or any of the more radical youth extenders like Botox or plastic surgery, but I have always been interested in fashion. Well, not fashion in the sense of what is on the runway or being sold in stores... but style. Personal style. So one of the biggest questions I have as I grow old is... what do I wear? Both now and when I am truly elderly...? Occasionally I think, someday I’m going to have to start dressing my age... My next thought is, “Nah...” Like Simon Doonan, whom I’ve quoted before, “I loathe the idea of growing old gracefully. I fully intend to grow old eccentrically and dramatically. Brace yourselves!”

... or this?
So my “style” continues to be a mixture of basic and whimsical pieces in a mixture of styles: punk, preppy, hippie, vintage, quirky, athletic... I value comfort, but also love to catch eyes. I will wear my Catskill Mountain Moccasin boots with just about any outfit. They are comfortable, and being custom made, they are unique. They recall another time, which, as a history buff, I am all for. Other times, I like to channel my inner Joey Ramone and sport black Chuck Taylors. With a frilly dress. Because that’s me. 

How 'bout this?
But how will this look when I’m fifty? I’m guessing it won’t look much different than it does now, since fifty is just around the corner for me! So if it’s going to look ridiculous, it already does. And how will it look when I’m 60? 70? 80? You know what? From what I hear, the older you get, the less you care. (Of course, those who say this never met my mother!) In any case, if this turns out to be true for me, I might look ridiculous, but my concern will decrease proportionately. 

My other silly, superficial question is this: should I dye my hair? Right now that shaggy mop of hair is a nice chestnutty brown, with only the occasional grey hair popping up, and even then you have to look really carefully to see it. I always have a little debate with myself when I see one - to pull or not to pull? But what about when I start to really go grey? Will I look like an old hippie woman? Should I braid it to minimize the impact on the eye? Should I finally give myself a shorter, more becoming cut? Should I dye it and look weird with a wrinkly face but no grey? Maybe this, too, will be something I am unconcerned about. That would be nice. 

Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away!
So there you have it. It seems that my goal as I age is not to work harder on my appearance, but to care less, while continuing to have fun with my own personal style. Of course this only addresses the superficial aspects that trouble me. But that’s the kind of crap I think about. And, really, the other stuff doesn’t bother me. I’m honestly looking forward to my old age unfolding before me, growing old with my husband and friends, watching my child grow up... getting to know God more and more as I am buoyed higher and higher toward heaven by God’s eternal grace.

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