Friday, July 9, 2010

Just a number

All of a sudden this week, the world seems determined to tell me I'm old. We started watching the hilarious (and dreadfully profane) Louis on HBO, and Louis C.K. was talking about how he's in irreversible decline in his early 40's. An Olay Regenerist commercial on the Weather Channel a few mornings ago urged me to "defy" my age, and the beautiful spokesmodel asserted, "I'm 42."

What are these people talking about? I'm 44, about to turn 45. Yes, the gray hairs have started appearing, and I can look forward to a distinguished coif in a short while. The view in the mirror is going to be really different in a few years, and I'm not sure if I'm reconciled to that after a couple of decades of minimal change.

But old is exactly what I don't feel. Or feel like I look. Listen, I don't want to brag, but nearsighted campus visitors have recently mistaken me for a current student. Who are these people on the TV telling me that I should be buying wrinkle cream and anticipating physical deterioration, if not experiencing it already?

There's no doubt I'm blessed with good genes; my parents don't look their age, and never did. I've been moisturizing with sunscreen for years, I've never been a tanner, and even though I've never been a fitness nut, I've tried to stay in reasonable shape. Nevertheless, the number 45 doesn't fill me with dread any more than 40 did. Nor does 50 sound so bad (although somewhat sobering). I just can't accept the judgment of these cultural voices telling me that I've entered old age, when I feel firmly in the driver's seat of middle age for years to come.

1 comment:

StephanieV said...

Oh, don't get a distinguished coif! I just read in More magazine that most women make the mistake of cutting their hair when they get older but then that makes them look older.

Shoulder length power all the way, is what I say!!! If I need to look distinguished (or feel cooler) I can just put it in a bun.