Monday, June 16, 2014

Unhand Me, Greybeard Loon

Today, I pulled out one of those stiff chin hairs with a tweezers and--whoa!--it was white. This and the weird little growth I had removed from my cheek last November, which turned out to be a wart, and I may as well start building the gingerbread house and perfecting a hideous cackle. It's not that we post-menopausal women hate young people, it's that, over time, the way everyone, younger and older, ignores us drives us bat shit crazy. And then they were right, we are nuts, and we do hate them, but not a priori. It's for a reason.
In my case, this is nothing new. I was invisible while young as well. The recent fuss about cat-calling on the streets has always been a non-issue for me. Even in high school, where the jocks called out numbers between one and ten as girls passed them in the halls, I was not rated. You can be sure I'd remember my rating if I'd heard it. Anyway, it hasn't happened to me yet, and I'm pretty sure it never will now. I feel bad for those it does happen to, but the assumption that the experience is universal is just as ridiculous as the assumption that it is harmless. Possibly the only thing worse than being objectified is being treated as if you don't even exist.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This Face--it's a Curse

I don't feel bad about my neck, but I do feel slightly negative about my chin. I used to have one. Now it is a notion buried in wattle or dewlap or whatever you call the sagging of cheeks to chin line. The collagen that's failing me now makes my face begin to resemble a frowning bulldog. And I have the canines to make this passing resemblance something a little more than fleeting. Pictures of my Cooney relatives in their 60s had this chin, this downward arch imprinted on their lower faces whether they were frowners or not. It's an old wives' tale that making certain facial expressions will make your face stay that way. You have no choice which expression you'll be staring at in the mirror decades from now. I knew I'd never have the pursed lip cinch of my grandmother. I intended never to be so judgmental, and I haven't been. But there they are, little lines around the mouth that when I'm not smiling make it look as though I disapprove. Of everything. Of you, your idiotic fashion statement, your favorite movie, your best effort at poetry. My face betrays me every day. I do not feel what it constantly shouts at people. This face--it's a curse!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Domestic Architecture

Your new apartment (new to you!) has a tiny bathroom with two mirrors facing each other. Now as you step from the bath or sit on the toilet, you are faced with the ever-increasing dimpling of your thighs. In the past, you were younger, thinner and better able to steel yourself before taking this in. Now it is thrust upon you each day like subliminal scare tactics. At the same time, your ability to truly care what kind of figure you cut has eroded. If this extra padding were health-neutral, you wouldn't give a fuck. But lurking in your genetic die roll is a tendency toward Type II diabetes and you can't say you don't know what that means. Strict diet, needles, declines on all fronts--incremental at first, then with a sharp downward slope. Best not to let it begin.
You cut carbs. You walk fast. Faster. Time is chasing you. It speeds up as you slow down.