February 02, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall... Who's that Middle Aged Broad?

It was cold on Saturday and I was doing my checklist of errands, so I threw my hair into a pony tail, put on make up (powder, eyeliner, and lip stick), threw on a ball cap, put on my flight line jacket to keep warm, and wearing jeans and clogs, made my way out to get it all done.

On the top of my list, after stopping by my mechanic's, I had to go to the department store and buy some foundation. I ran out weeks ago and have just been using a powder.

At the counter I met a really nice young woman, probably in her late 20s. She had a lot of energy, wasn’t superficial in the least (surprise) and was new on the job. (I’m not sure she’ll last as she didn’t have that ‘attitude’ the rest of them get. She just seemed too nice and down to earth to be working a cosmetic counter.)

I told her I didn’t know what shade I wore as I was switching back to their brand and I couldn’t remember.

She enthusiastically grabbed the colors she thought I’d wear and she put lines on my face, trying to match my skin tone to the foundation.

Then she handed me a mirror…

… and that’s when I realized it has happened.

My grandfather used to talk about not feeling his age, looking in the mirror and wondering who was standing before him.

As I had been talking to this young woman, with the young smooth skin, the young taut skin, the skin with the glow of youth, I’d, in my mind, become her age.

I was looking at her, thinking we were the same.

But when she handed me the mirror… we were not.

I think there was nearly an audible *GASP!* as I looked in the mirror and saw, not the fairest of them all, but a middle aged woman, the skin of middle aged texture, more of a dullness to it, the youthful shine gone, the skin becoming more saggy around the jaw line, the fine lines around the lips…

She looked at me, at the look on my face, and said, “What’s wrong?”

And I replied to her, “I didn’t expect to see the 43 year old me. Talking to you… I expected to see the 20 something year old me.”

She looked at me odd and I continued, “Don’t worry. When you’re my age you’ll understand.”

It was the first time, and will not be the last, that I was surprised by the woman in the mirror.

And it solidified my thought when I walked into the mall… I am so much more comfortable at the garage and with my mechanic, than I am at the mall at a cosmetics counter.

That part doesn’t have anything to do with age… it just is.

Posted by Boudicca at February 2, 2009 10:14 PM | TrackBack

I get that every morning when I look in the mirror. I know what you mean!

Posted by: PeggyU at February 2, 2009 10:36 PM

I am sitting here at this moment with a towel on my head, with my new routine of coloring my own hair...because gray cropped up, plucking chin hairs...

I have been having this reaction for at least 3 years now....

do I feel 38....? no, but I do look it.

My new job? I work with lovely young women...all of them, with a youthful glow, shiny hair, no chin hairs...

the mirror, is an amazing thing...

Posted by: awtm at February 2, 2009 10:51 PM

I hate chin hairs. What can I do to make them go away? They freaking SUCK! I'm always with a tweezer in my back pocket.

Posted by: Erica at February 2, 2009 11:50 PM

I don't remember being young and youthful looking. When I was young, I had young kids and I was exhausted all the time. Now I'm way farther along than you are with the skin thing. If I didn't have my hair colored, it would be nearly 100% gray... Oh well. Such is life... about the time I get to the point where I would be able to enjoy things - everything goes south. LOL.

So I work on the only thing I can - the rest of the body - trying to keep it from freezing into a non-moveable blob. Don't know if I'll be able to do it or not. Look for me soon in the nearest nursing home... Heh.

Posted by: Teresa at February 3, 2009 12:17 AM

OK, I didn't put that, but that was the worst.

I was sitting with the mirror, aghast at the woman looking back at me and I noticed this little black chin hair that I'd evidently missed, and in the mirror I was thinking, 'HOW did I miss THAT?' and then I noticed a few next to the end of my lips... where the top and bottom come together and I started to freak.

I wasn't freaking because they were there, but because I'd missed them and I was wondering what this young woman was thinking.

I got home, pulled out the tweezers, looked in the mirror and... couldn't find them. I had to SEARCH.

It's those daggum 1000X mag mirrors. I shun those now... they make us look that much worse. Gah!

Posted by: Bou at February 3, 2009 06:49 AM

Ok, now you're getting a 'tiny' peek into the world I live. Here's my theory to combat the inevitable. Buy a variety of shoes! Yep, this way people will be drawn to see what you're wearing on your feet. I figure at the rate skin falls it's all going to end up around my ankles sooner or later...yikes! A body puddle :p

Posted by: mom at February 3, 2009 11:06 AM

LOL at Hubba. That is too funny!!

I might only be 27, but I have the chin hairs of a 90 year old. I welcome any miracles!

And I agree about the 100x mag mirrors. I have a 10x and I think I might get rid of it....

Posted by: Sissy at February 3, 2009 11:44 AM

Why in the hell would they make a 100X mirror? That's just sadistic! As bad as those 3D mirrors with the cadaverous lighting they put in dressing rooms. You'd think if they wanted to sell clothes, they'd do something about that!

Posted by: PeggyU at February 3, 2009 01:17 PM

Bou, as I approach my 71st birthday next month I wonder if I will see it when I look at my self in the mirror.

I look like I live in Auschwitz...

Getting old is easy, staying old is hard...

Posted by: jerry at February 3, 2009 01:34 PM

Bou - You're still a babe!

Posted by: Denny at February 3, 2009 02:12 PM

How come I'm still so good-looking? Try being in my shoes.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at February 3, 2009 08:47 PM

Has anyone ever mistaken you for your child's grandmother? (Joyce was not pleased.)

Posted by: Bob at February 4, 2009 12:16 AM

Bob- No, but last year when I was buying clothes as a baby gift for someone, the sales clerk asked me if I was buying for my grandchildren! I think that counts in the horror department...

TN- Heh!

Posted by: Bou at February 4, 2009 07:01 AM