For years I've come upon those wonderful old ladies on the trail myself, with their sensible haircuts, sun hats, wrinkled brown knees, and walking-sticks, and I've thought: I hope I can be that cool some day. I hope I don't spend too much time mourning my waning youth.
Thank you all very much for pointing it out, and right you are: my youth is all waned out already. So how pathetic is it to cling to advanced middle age? It's not like I haven't always known that I didn't have it in me to forestall any of this. I haven't even worn makeup since I was sixteen. I'd never be able to justify cosmetic surgery, with the world in the shape it's in and so many in need. Beer, sure. Surgery, no.
|Earlier Murr, with Linda|
Then, quite recently, I turned my attention to other things for a couple weeks--weeding, writing, writhmetic--and then I glanced in the mirror as I was stepping into the shower and FWOMP: there it was. Certifiable, unmistakable, readily identifiable old-lady's body, right there. Textbook case. Little draperies hanging off the armpits, muscle tone out the window, dimples in a doughy shoulder, and pleats of flesh dangling like flounders under the shoulder-blades. Meanwhile, around front, the balloons on the parade stand were now hanging off the platform like bunting. It was riveting. It was such a sudden and complete transition that I couldn't even take it personally. I'd seen it before, on Senior Day in the shower at the Y, on old women who had already traveled beyond the trivial concerns of vanity. And there it was in my very own bathroom mirror. I was actually able to regard it with something like affection, mentally accessorizing with a sun hat and walking-stick.
Well, that's over with, I thought, and was left with only a few questions: how much value should be given to physical beauty in our modern culture? How important is it to face one's own mortality? And, where does the Michelin Man buy his pants?
|When all else fails, keep your arms in the air.|