“Thank you, Anthony, you did a fabulous job today; even the back looks good. I don’t know how you got rid of those annoying cowlicks back there.”
Do you know the way cowlicks form that little circle in the middle of your head, where gray roots make their first unwelcome appearance? A dead give-away to anyone who colors their hair.
But no worries about that today. I looked good, I felt good, and I was ready for tonight’s holiday party. It was a beautiful day, with temperatures reaching the upper 50’s. So warm for December, it makes this holiday feel more like Easter than Christmas. What I feel now is a cross between holiday happiness and spring fever!
I look forward to seeing people from other departments tonight, people I don’t normally run into on a daily basis. It will be fun to catch up with coworkers’ news and wish everyone a wonderful Year of the Snake. That’s what the Chinese Calendar calls 2013. Do they actually greet friends with, “Happy Year of the Snake?” Maybe someone tonight will know.
Onward. I jump home to dress for the party, put on that special dress, the new high heels, grab the handbag, remember the house keys this time, and leave for the big evening.
I’m humming a tune from “West Side Story,” called “I Feel Pretty,” when I happen past a corner shop displaying lovely jewelry in the window. I stop for a moment to get a better look a when something terrible happens: I get a look at myself as well. “Where is that attractive woman I saw back at the hairdresser’s? Why don’t I look the way I did before?”
And where did those circles under my eyes come from? The heels I’m wearing cause me to lean forward instead of stand straight, and the large mirror reflects an image of a shorter person than I see in my bathroom mirror.
So now I feel short, stout, wrinkly and scowly.
Happy holidays and Bah Humbug to all!
This essay was written in response to “Life in the Boomer Lane’s “Guerilla Aging: Navigating the Third Half of Life.”