My mother never divulged her age. As everyone around her was sworn to secrecy, I had to practically hire a WikiLeaks staffer to find out her actual birth year. When I confronted her with the date, all I got were angry denials and protestations.
I could never understand this because my mom was a young mother and supremely beautiful. Like model beautiful. Who cares how old you are, right? You look great!
So wrong. It is precisely these lovely creatures who struggle with aging. Every little age spot or line is a blot on what used to be a perfect canvas.
But my canvas was always flawed so I wasn’t going to have that problem. I was going to be cool. I was going to be a MAVERICK, belting out my age on the Palisades bluff. Think Julie Andrews in the opening shot of “The Sound Of Music” except older, plumper and slightly dizzy from all the spinning. Or that’s what I used to tell myself and my friends when I was in my twenties and thirties.
Cut to: Me. Mommy. 40-something. SOMETHING being the operative word.
My two girls constantly asking: “Mommy, how old are you…really???”
It turns out, I ‘m as much of an age pussy as my mom. I’m actually worse, ‘cause I lie. Bold facedly lie to my kids. I shave off a few years. The weird thing is that to most of my friends and colleagues, I shave off only a year. One year! I know, what is the POINT OF THAT!?! If you’re going to cheat on your diet, eat a mega slice of blackout cake, not a bite! If you’re going to rob a house, join the Bling Ring and pick Paris Hilton’s.
Why not take off a decade? I could probably just about swing it. But no, I skim off only one year. I get to feel oddly sneaky and yet, not so guilty. It’s not a white lie, it’s crème fraiche. It’s not a traffic violation, it’s a California stop. It’s not an undecided vote, it’s a hanging chad.
Technology is aiding and abetting us in these lies. I have a friend who only takes pictures using an app on her phone that erases all the lines on her face. Not to mention all the digitizing that goes on in our media. Why can’t we just be PROUD?
I actually fess up to my age when I meet another person born the same year. It’s like I’m in a confessional, talking to a priest. The truth just word-vomits out of me. I get flushed with excitement like “OMG, you’re as much of an alter kaker as me! We’re TWINS!”
I know, I’m a sick pup. But there you have it. And since there is no 12-step program for us age-challenged folk, I’ve opened the forum.
So, be straight up with me, girls. Are YOU getting any older?