Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On age...

I've been saying for a really long time that I'll probably live to be 140. Chalk it up to the lack of smoking, partying, having wild sex with strangers, just a little drinking, and being a relative hermit for the last three years, but I think it might actually happen. This is wishful thinking of course, but it keeps me thinking that there's plenty of time yet. No rush to actually get back to dating, get married, have kids, actually attempt some kind of career, still time to get to Paris and Buenos Aires, and to clean out my bedroom closet.

We live in a funny time (not funny ha-ha, funny strange) when it comes to age. I still get carded whenever I bother ordering anything stronger than a coffee. Some youngin's at my work orientation thought I was about twenty (yes!) even though there's increasing fine lines around my eyes that I'm growing a little paranoid about. My younger sister (by only eighteen months, but still younger) often passes for older than me. And I have always, always thought my mother looks about ten to fifteen years younger than she really is.

Someone my mom works with just turned thirty-eight. At her birthday dinner, the waitress guessed she was twenty-nine. The co-worker took it. Some time later (I'm guessing days by the story I was told), she was with her young son at Burger King where the woman (not kid) behind the counter told the little boy to have a nice day with his Grandma. She was irked and told her that the boy was actually her son.

My response to this is that we live in the age of Botox and Olay Regenerist. No one knows what 20, 40, or 80 is supposed to look like anymore. We make guesses and try to undercut what we suspect might be the actual age to make the recipient of the compliment feel good. But then there are those who look remarkably younger than their age, to the point of wonder. Is it lifestyle? Is it genes? Is it that great dermatologist you see ads in your mail for? Who knows anymore. Perhaps we should just tell each other "Hey, you look good" and leave the age thing alone. Our society dictates that our supposed youth dictates so much of our self-esteem and, in a lot of cases, our social standing. In ages past, it was the elders that were revered. What happened to that? It's nice to listen to people with wisdom talk about things they actually know about. How refreshing. Wisdom? Forget youth and beauty. That's my aim in life. (Okay, I'm really aiming for it all, but I figured I'd say that to make myself sound evolved.)

I'm only thirty now. What does 50, 70, 90 look like? It's not that far away you know. But as visually oriented as I am, I'm a bit more concerned with how I will feel. Will I be lucid at an old age, or should I be concerned about the amount of aluminum canned soda I've consumed? How about the fat "experiment"? How will that affect my health and mental state? It's nice to look good too, but there are more concerns than that.

Age - just a number? I don't think so. Apparently, it's part of a greater symbol of something else.

Want to live to be 140? Check out this site I just found. Interesting, but true?

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