Thoughts Akimbo

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Sparkling over the hill

I just bought a lip pencil with glitter in it, sparking a bit of a midlife crisis.

I only bought the lip pencil because I wanted something that was (a) really portable,  so that I’d have it handy whenever I felt a little too pale, and (b) really, really cheap. I found it in the part of the makeup aisle where they have the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen cosmetics, which should have given me a clue.

I decided in the car that I was a little too pale, so I opened it up and swept it across my upper lip. Bling! That was the lip pencil, which is impregnated with tiny bits of something really sparkly. I don’t need that. I know that we basically end up eating our lipsticks anyway– not out of the tube but one lip-lick at a time — and I don’t think I need any additional titanium dioxide (or whatever) in my diet.

The new lip pencil went into the bag of stuff I set aside for my daughter. It went in there with the top I bought that turned out to look too young, the CD I thought I’d like that turned out to be too young, and the hair color that turned out to look too young.

Perhaps you notice a pattern.

I’m a “woman of a certain age” now, perhaps, but not old enough to use a Jitterbug phone. In fact, I made my kids promise me that, should I ever need a Jitterbug phone, they are to put one in a sock and beat me over the head with it until I die.

I may be Red Hat age now, but I refuse to actually buy the hat. I first saw the Red Hat merchandise on the same day a shoe salesman suggested a pair of lace-up, sturdy, cushiony oxford shoes for me. It was not a good day. Then a Red Hat tote bag turned up in my pile of birthday gifts a few weeks later. I thanked the giver, a Red Hat-age woman herself, and put the bag way in the back of the closet. Then I filled it with things to give to Goodwill and gave it away.

My daughter, whom I birthed just a week before my 30th birthday, says this could be the best time of my life. They said that to me when I was a teen, too, and they were wrong both times. I think this is something she picked up in her Developmental Psyc class, but I listen patiently.

“Mom, your kids are grown, and you’re still young and healthy. You can do anything now.”

Actually, SHE can do anything now. I can only do the things I’ve been doing all my life, and I’m struggling to do them as well as I once did. I’ve begun to fear looking ridiculous, again (after giving up that fear years ago). I fear looking like someone who doesn’t realize that she’s no longer young, who won’t admit she needs the Jitterbug phone now.

My greatest fear now is not that I’m getting old and will die. It’s that I won’t find true happiness until 10 minutes before I die. Then I’ll get distracted by something on television and miss the whole thing.

When I die, and I know I will, I’ll do it gracefully. But if I have to go, I’m going out with dignity–without a Red Hat and sparkly lips.


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