some lady

OK, OK, I’ll just plan to age gratefully instead


I saw the line queuing up, and I was ready to join. I was going to do it, take that wild, courageous ride. To heck with the safety of holding on tight to what was. I was ready to let it all go. I would ignore the ups and downs of the exhilarating, roller-coaster-like ride. I was going the way of the wind and time.It was the line for Aging Gracefully. That’s right. My hair would gray naturally. Laugh lines? No problem. The life I lived would be etched in my face, and that is how it should be. It would take courage, but I was going to look like the life I’d lived. Forget it. I just couldn’t do it. Didn’t have the nerve. Still don’t. I have given in to every trick, process or phony transition to retain that last incorruptibly, infallibly precious commodity — youth. The viability of deniability, that was what I would depend upon. It didn’t take long. I ran as quickly as I could from the Aging Gracefully line — and it was so long ago, I still could run. I hit every cosmetic and hair care counter I could find. I comparison-shopped hair dyes — what’s better, temporary or permanent? And just how permanent is permanent? Could I still swim in a chlorinated pool? I’d heard stories of green hair, and to be honest, given the choice, gray hair wasn’t that much better. The first gray hair on my crown was discovered while I was in college. During one summer, I baby-sat a precocious 6-year-old named Heather. She gleefully pointed out the gray hair’s existence. I quickly blamed her for its appearance. Other grays joined it. By 28, there was no denying it. My hair was two-toned, brunette and steel. More like white. When I saw a new one in the sunny reflection of my car window one day, I made the leap. “Could you highlight it, please?” The hairstylist didn’t miss a beat. The next thing I knew I had golden highlights. “Did you color your hair?” co-workers asked. “No,” I answered honestly. I’d paid to have it done. Paid a lot, in fact. By necessity of budgetary savings, that’s been replaced by a regular home-dye job. No more highlights, but for weeks at a time, no more gray. Then there’s the process of skin care. Women around the world spend billions of dollars on skin-care products. It’s crazy, but it’s alluring. Fight aging. Look younger. Look your age (from years ago.) I am not proud of it, but I’ve given in. Ahhh, the products. The chemicals hidden in “natural” processes. The packaging. The terminology. Here’s my favorite: Alpha hydroxy. Alpha hydraulics is more like it — that’s what I need. I’ve recently spent many dollars on products that have one thing in common: they have the word “lift” in their names. What nature lets fall, the skin-care world can lift. And tighten. I recently went to the cosmetics counter of an area mall to check out the “gifts” offered when you purchase fragrance or cosmetics. The choices of this particular brand looked similar except the skin-care containers were different colors. The young woman behind the counter tried to explain the difference. Apparently one was to prevent lines and wrinkles and the other to repair such damage. “So which would you recommend?” I foolishly asked. She carefully examined my face. “Do you ever get laugh lines?” she asked. “If so, I would get the Regenerie Microlift.” She handled that so well that if I were in a business requiring tact, I would have tried to recruit her on the spot. So, there’s the answer, I thought. I’ve passed the “retention” of youth line and headed directly into regeneration. Actually, it’s not the laugh lines I’m so worried about. It’s more the frowns that get me. I walked out of the mall with my purchases and “gift” bag feeling a bit more at peace, alarmingly empowered by what I’d just learned. Forget Aging Gracefully. I’m going to enjoy life a little bit more, laughs and all. I’ve got a new ambition. I’m going to age gratefully. That’s not to say, of course, that you won’t catch me in the hair color section of your favorite drugstore one day. If you do, just nod and smile. I’ll smile back. From

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