I don’t know about you, but when I look in the mirror I see the same face that I saw ten, twenty, even thirty years ago. Maybe that’s one advantage of compromised eyesight: it puts a lovely, gauze-like film over whatever you’re looking at. The effect is somewhat poetic and dramatic, though subtle: an image awash in just a bit of haze, enough to make it look dreamy and quite lovely.
And then, there’s how I actually FEEL. My emotions can easily make me regress to the behavior of a teenager, complete with all the angst, self-doubt and confusion I once owned. So, of course that helps me to feel much younger than I truly am.
Crying at inappropriate times helps, too. And so does sleeping late on the weekends.
Of course, there’s always that stray pimple (or two) that erupts from time to time on my chin/nose/forehead. That’s truly a blast from the past – I thought that was all over once you passed puberty?
But then, certain powerful forces shock me back to my so-called senses and make me realize how old I really am. What forces, you ask?
Okay…I’ll tell you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Fluorescent Lighting: Powerful and blinding, it’ll deepen every wrinkle, exaggerate any crease, point out any microscopic flaw and suck all the remaining pigment from your skin; putting you smack in the zombie-lookalike category.
Magnifying Mirrors: Talk about confronting the truth – plus one hundred. I swear, these things are more powerful than x-rays at getting to the real nitty-gritty. I can’t understand why I even own one. I rarely take it out anymore, though, since the last time I did I got depressed and hid out in the house for two days. Face it; looking into a mirror is like asking a good friend for an honest answer to the question, “Do these jeggings make me look fat?” They don’t lie, and convey truths you may not wish to see or hear.
Standing Next to a Younger Woman: I’m pretty tall; five foot nine (okay, if you have to know the truth, I’ve started descending into the shrinking territory, so at last measurement I was five foot eight – and a HALF). Anyhow, I usually don’t notice I’m tall – until I stand next to a short(er) person. Then, I feel tall. Same with age. I don’t notice I’m old(er) until I stand next to a younger person. Moral of the story? Be a loner and don’t stand next to anybody.
Being Out in Public: The fact is that the more you are out, the more people you will have contact with. And doesn’t it seem like most people you see are younger than you? Well, unless you’re wearing a burka or a paper bag over your face, someone else will see THE TRUTH. And that someone else – someone younger – will inevitably see you as who you really are and call you…M’aam. (Unless that person is much older than you…then they’ll more likely call you something endearing, like “honey,” “dear,” or “young lady.”)
You can call me mean. You can call me stupid. You can even call me ugly. (Not really).
But DON’T call me Ma’am.
That’s even worse than the magnifying mirror.