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I jumped up and down to the beat, smugly congratulating myself on my smooth moves.
Attending a new hip hop dance class at our gym, I was almost keeping up with my daughter—until I wasn’t. One minute smug, the next, still bouncing around, but in an effort to keep off of my left foot, which had, with a small “pop,” announced it was through with hipping and hopping.
Over the years, my body has gifted me with all kinds of sounds. When I was young, they tended to be cute—squeals of delight, giggles—and I made them willingly. Now, however, it’s decided it wants a soundtrack of its own, independent of my feelings on the matter, and has contributed gurgling, rumbling, cracking and other disturbing reverberations to the mix. But the “pop” was a new one, leaving no interpretation but that my foot, and the rest of me, wanted out of my ongoing delusion, which would be the one where I insist on thinking and behaving as though I’m way younger than I am, all in an effort to stave off the aging process.
I’ve long been an advocate of thinking young. Why give in to a simple number, especially if you feel good? Eat right, exercise, get enough rest and a body should be able to do just about anything, right?
My body, which previously cooperated with my demands, has decided to assert itself. It told me, in no uncertain terms, to back off. And to make sure I get the message, it’s given my left foot a few weeks vacation, effectively guaranteeing me time to determine whether my body or my vanity is more important.
I’m still having trouble deciding.
Witness the fact that even though my foot injury literally kept me from walking, I refused my mother’s offer of a cane. A cane?! Me? I’d sooner crawl, which I did, up the steps, when no one was looking. My mom persisted, bringing over a jaunty black number which she decorated with glittery elastic hair ties, to ease my pain, both physical and emotional. I thanked her and promptly hung it on the back of a chair as soon as she left.
This isn’t the first time my vanity has won out. I never leave the house without some makeup, even if it’s just a swipe of lip gloss for a morning run. Of course, I say it’s for protection from the sun, but it’s really just in case I happen to see someone I know. I shower and do my hair before going to the gym, making my daughters crazy. And I research wrinkle creams like it’s my job, which I kind of wish it was, because then I wouldn’t drop a boatload of cash on stuff that doesn’t work.
But maybe it’s time to ease up a little. After all, who am I trying to impress? My husband is always complimentary, but I think he offers niceties to make me happy, or rather, to keep me quiet. Plus, all of this work just to look good is exhausting, not to mention it’s obviously wearing out my body parts.
So, I guess I’ll relax for a bit and let my body heal. I’ll use the respite to realign my priorities and think of better ways to spend my time than indulging my own vanity. Besides, there are plenty of things to do that don’t require walking. I could whiten my teeth, dye my hair, get a manicure, scour the internet for wrinkle cream deals, the list is endless. By the time I’m healed, I’m pretty sure I’ll look awesome, just in time to head back to the gym for the Zumba classes they’re starting next month.
Are you fighting your own battle against the march of time? Share your tales of woe below!
First, She Shell, I can’t keep up with anyone either–witness the cane! So I just stand in the back and jump around. Then I find the one person in the room who is worse than me and feel superior! Not nice, but it gets me through the class.
Now, Jo, I love the stand-in idea! In fact, I’d like to hire one for 3/4 of my life. That said, the part about being unrecognizable isn’t a bad option either. And by the way, you looked FABULOUS at your daughter’s wedding–and very recognizable!
This comes under the heading: If I were younger would it bother me so much?
In advance of my daughter’s wedding my well-intentioned friends huddled with me about my mother of the bride look. One friend from Maryland packed up a satchel of jewelry for me to borrow. My good friend from Florida shipped to me two different wraps to wear over my gown. My daughters encouraged me to get a make-up consultant and fake nails for the wedding day. My hairdresser gave me unsolicited hair and make-up advice. Even a woman I had never met, whose son had been invited to the wedding, recommended I spray tan before the ceremony, just to give me “a little color.” I decided that if I wore the borrowed jewelry and wraps, the fake tan, nails and makeup-up my own family might not recognize me. That led me to the brilliant idea of hiring a stand-in for the day. I have plenty of actress friends—maybe one of them could be me as mother of the bride and then I could just go to the reception as a guest and enjoy the whole shebang. Of course I’d only ask the most attractive of my younger actress friends—I may be old but I’m not stupid.
Your message hits close to home for me also. I’m 63 YO and have given up the 12-mile hikes but taken up dancing–Carolina Shag, ballroom, etc. I am too embarrassed to try Zumba as I’m afraid I can’t keep up with the other dancers.
I sure do have my own tales; and they’re up on tomorrow’s blog!