Saturday, September 20, 2014

The “Mane” Thing About Getting Older

Earlier this month I turned fifty-five. Yes, I know, it’s amazingly hard to believe, considering I’ve been lying about my age for years. According to the Jane’s Domain calendar, this year I should have turned, oh, let's say, "forty-two."

But sadly, we can no longer fib about our age and get away with it. Former classmates with whom we went to grade school and who are now Facebook friends will out us in a second.

But I’m not really serious when I say I lie about my age. If someone has a “need to know” I will come clean with the correct decade of my birth.  But if someone guesses that I’m younger than I really am all bets are off. My standard response is, “Why, yes, that's exactly my age. How ever did you guess?!”

And then I change the subject.

But I’m seriously trying to come to grips with the fact that I’m no longer young. I understand that I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me. And it no longer startles me when a store clerk or server calls me, “ma’am.”

Things that looked okay on me in my 20s would look just plain silly on me now. I may have (barely) gotten away with the hot pink pants I wore back then, but now? Please.

And as for that dramatic cat eyeliner that made my baby blues pop when I was young? Nowadays – even if I could see in the mirror well enough to apply it correctly – it’d start melting into the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes before I left the house. This is partly due to the wrinkles themselves, but has more to do with the dreaded hot flashes that have started plaguing me lately.
When I neared my 40th birthday, I remember my mother telling me the “rule” that required that women over 40 had to wear their hair short. I believe she was quoting the “Official Old Lady Handbook” but she has never given me a copy, so I can’t be certain.  And for fifteen years I’ve been happily ignoring that rule. But lately I’ve been wondering if I don’t look a little silly with my long blonde hair.

So for the past month or so, I had been mulling over the idea of cutting my hair. Nothing as drastic as a pixie cut or anything, but just something a little lighter that requires less time to manage. And it would be, as my mother would say, more “age appropriate.”

So I looked up some hairstyles online that I thought I could live with. I copied and pasted them into a file that I could show Alissa, my Hairstylist Extraordinaire.

And yesterday? Well, we did it.  Okay, so Alissa did it. I pretty much just sat there. When all was said and done, I believe she cut off about 19” of hair. No, not really. It seemed like it, but 3-4” was probably closer to reality. Alissa then expertly wielded the hair dryer and flatiron and – voila! – I had a fantastic new hairstyle.

That was yesterday. 

Today? Well, today, I’m dealing with shorter hair that I can’t seem to style to save my life. Currently, I have it pulled back. So, clearly, there is a learning curve here.

So I think I’m glad I made the decision. Vince was complimentary, but he’s a smart guy. He knows I can’t glue the hair back on and it will take a while to grow out if I don’t like it. 

So I’ll have to work with my new style and I’m sure I’ll get it figured out. Yeah. Probably around  the time I decide the heck with the “Official Old Lady Handbook” and decide to grow it long again. Maybe I’ll even try to find a pair of hot pink pants and experiment with that cat eyeliner look again.

Not really. While I’m not ready to completely concede to Father Time, I’m also not willing to make a complete fool out of myself.

After all, forty-two-years-olds do develop some level of maturity. 

Heh, heh. ("Why, yes, that's exactly my age...")

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