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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Will Be Very Old in 5, 4, 3….

Let’s skip straight to it, shall we?

I’m getting older.

No, no, no. Don’t argue with me.

There are visible signs.

Anything less than seven hours of sleep produces a visage that encourages strangers to approach me with concern in their voice, as in “Honey, are you okay? Is there someone I should call?”

The laugh lines have taken to moving about my face in order of hilarity.

I have scars that are old enough to get into certain movies on their own.

The majority of my friends are anywhere from three to 20 years younger than I am. I don’t know why that is, but it is. So as you can imagine, I am sometimes invited to so-and-so-is-turning-30 parties, in which I go along with the mock-horror of turning 30 but am secretly pilfering their beer.

I first noticed my age just a year or two ago. I went to a how-horrible-that-you’re-30 party held at the bar where the Birthday Boy bartends – in “Dinkytown”, an area near the University of Minnesota campus. There’s nothing like a college bar – really, what was I thinking, accepting this invitation? – to make you realize just how not young you are.

I was fine until I went into the bathroom. And there, hanging innocently but lying in wait, was the mirror.

What the hell happened there?!

There it was. There was no denying that that was me. Those were my glasses, after all. But my impression of myself did not match the impression I was getting from that mirror. Me? I felt great. But the woman in the mirror? She was very, very tired.

Problem was, I wasn’t tired. I’d had one beer, had not smoked, and yet this haggard old woman – at least by college-aged standards – stared back at me from the mirror.

You could see she was sorry for being the one to bring me the bad news.

Honestly, it’s not her fault.

And now, yesterday morning, while waiting for the bus, the garbage man, whilst emptying the garbage from the bus stop into the back of his truck stared right through my “good morning” smile, opting instead to goggle at the young and inappropriately-dressed-for-the-season woman also waiting.

Stilettos at the bus stop. Sheesh.

I took comfort in the fact that she completely ignored him. Ha!

You know, I don’t mind being older. (As my father says, it beats the alternative.) But it’s the looking older that bothers me, primarily because I look like I need a nap. And a tan. In that order.

Tomorrow's Blog: You Call That Music?! Why, In My Day… and other ways in which I complain about things I can’t change…


darsden said...

You are so funny Pearl. "I have scars that are old enough to get into certain movies on their own." That is one of the funniest lines I have heard in a long time.
O la la Stilettos, you didn't hear me whistling at you Pearl. Com'on now if you would just quit running, Ya know I'm gonna catch ya at the next bus stop. ;-)
I have mirrors all over the mole hole and manage Never to look in them You Young whppersnapper You!

Jess said...

NOW I know why the keg ran out (200 beers) at my roommates 30th birthday party...it is you old ass people trying to drown their old asses in beer. OMG! Old people ARE smarter! GENIUS IDEA!

Douglas said...

You are merely a child. Fresh as a daisy in springtime. I am old. But I have found a secret, switch friends to ones who are 5 or more years older than you.

And ignore those who call you "ma'am".

Braja said...

You're not getting older you're just getting bitter. Er, better. Better.

The Retired One said...

Oh for God's sake, quit your whining. (LOL) I have socks older than you. (and probably have more wrinkles). Aging isn't for sissies! Buck up, girlfriend and hang on for the ride!

The Retired One said...

I meant my SOCKS have more wrinkles than you. I KNOW I have more wrinkles than you. Hell, my wrinkles have wrinkles!!!

ICKY said...

Pearl, your a beautiful smart woman.

Vic said...

My old students (from when I taught junior high!!) are now showing up as faculty members on campus. They get all giggly when they get to call me by my last name.)
How does that happen so fast?

Vic said...

I meant "first name". Oy.

jackba said...

Oh Pearl say it aint so! Your not secretly pilfering beer! Why young lady that is the veritable definition of age related criminal activities. Yes, as we age, we tend to engage in more and more simple crimes...stealing beer is just the beginning. Soon you will find yourself draining the gasoline hose AFTER you shut the pump off! GADS! And cruising by the supermarket merely to sample the free goodies...pinching a grape from the veggie section...and able to look that worker right in the eye as you sample the frozen pizza....give her the look like "of course I'm going to buy one" while secretly planning your route to the front door.

Whew...wait till you get MY age...just ask Icky.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Well Pearl,

As my Grandma would say, "You ain't too hard to look at."


adlibby said...

Well said Pearl! I'm right there with you... I keep looking at that stranger in the mirror and wondering where the hell she came from? And seriously, I need a nap and tan, in that order too! Maybe a trip to a nice warm restful beach is in order. I could so go for a week of reading and sleeping in the sun. But then there would probably be girls in bikinis and that would be annoying. Hmmmm. Well, let me know what you figure out! ;)

SweetPeaSurry said...

I tend to nap in the tanning be. Speaking of which ... I have to find myself a tanning salon.

I've been using the mineral make-up, which I love, as it looks more natural and makes me look luminous. You should give it a try.

I think we all fear that we look older and atrocious. I think we're our own worst critics. :)

I think you're lovely!

Protege said...

Ah, I so share your sentiments on this one; I feel exactly the same. Pictures of me taken just a couple of years ago are like light years different from the ones taken recently.:P
It is funny, as the aging is not gradual, as I expected, but it comes in these big jumps and it is scaring the living daylights out of me!;))
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post!;))

Michelle said...

Pearly-Q what are you like 14????

For real, how old?

Your so pretty and I don't see wrinkles in your face!

Are they elsewhere???

Love ya!!!

darsden said...

Michelle, step away from Pearl, she's mine! You haven't seen me following her?

Rachel Tamed said...

I think you will stay plenty young, so long as there is beer to pilfer, and people gasping about 30 to pilfer it from.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Well, I must confess I love crows feet on people's faces. To me, they are the ultimate proof that person laughs a lot. I think aging is pretty cool. When we are really old, (like DEAD) we won't care how we look...for now, wear it like a badge. It gives you authority to tell the people on the bus to shut the heck up and sit down. Use it to your advantage sister!

Steve said...

Speaking as someone who is approaching the big 4-0 (shush!) this year... the best thing about getting old(er) is reaching a state of "I-really-couldn't-give-a-shit-ness" about everyone and everything. Plainly you're way too young to have reached that just yet. ;-)

Red Squirrel said...

Nothing wrong with being old Pearl. The young students may have it, but they haven't got a clue how to use it.

fingers said...

At your age you need to be realistic about things, Pearl.
Those halcyon days of seducing the neighbourhood garbage men with just a smile are over.
The good news is that soon you'll be a cougar and schoolboys will start hitting on you at the bus-stop...

Pearl said...

Darsden, we definitely have to have a drink, you and I.

Jess, you should invite me over some time.

Douglas, you know what bugs me more than “ma’am”? Being called “young lady”. I know, I know. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, but I am definitely not a “young lady”.
And you’re right. I need older friends!

Braja, go on! Keep talkin’! I’ll be seeing you in less than a year!!

Retired One, yes, I imagine ten years from now I’ll be remarking on how young I used to be just ten years ago…

Icky, you were always one of my favorites.

Vic, faculty?! You know, I HAVE noticed that my dentist is younger than I am. It’s irritating. Some day, EVERYONE will be younger. What will that be like?

Jackba, how are you?!
Now you have me worried. It started with me bumming cigarettes. I know – so typical. I get away with it because I’m a helluva dancer. Next thing you know, I’m letting myself into your fridge, drinking your beer, checking the expiration dates on your condiments, doing keg-stands in your garage with the young ‘uns.
I should be ashamed, but I’m far too amused.

underOVR, thank you. And thank your grandma, too. Some days, I need that.

Adlibby, I’m diggin’ the tan and the beach. But you are right about the young gals in bikinis. Maybe we can get someone to “work the door” for us? “You must be at least this old to be on this beach”?

SweetPea, that’s very sweet. And yes, I nap in the tanning salon, too. I’ve thought about the mineral make-up…

Protégé, I completely agree with you. It’s not gradual – it suddenly just leaps out at you. Something you never saw before is now there, full-time…

Michelle, I just turned 48. And while I’m a decent 48, I think I’ve “peaked”, if ya know what I mean. Anyway, I’m mostly joking. Mostly!

Darsden, I knew that was you back there!!

Rachel Tamed, ah, so you’re saying I need to concentrate on the positives? Pilfered beer, people without a wrinkle on their faces freaking out about turning 30, watching people do shots at 2:00 a.m.?

Sweet Cheeks, that’s what I’m hoping for, honestly, and you are absolutely right. There’s a shift coming in my life – and I am very much looking forward to the stage that comes next!

Steven, the I-Don’t-Give-A-Shitness of it all has yet to reveal itself, but I can tell you that I’m a whole lot more relaxed than I used to be. Let’s just say that if I had been a star at any point in my life, there would be all kinds of footage of me acting like a complete idiot.

Red Squirrel, and THAT’S the truth – and frankly, it’s hard to watch their suffering. I know that sounds kind of silly, but it’s amazing to watch/listen to them, when you know just how temporary things are…

Pearl said...

fingers, it's funny because it's truuuuuue!

MuseSwings said...

Why is it that I look okay and normal in the mirrors here at home but when I'm at the mall I get shocked every time I see my reflection? Do I somethow think that I lose 30 years on the drive over?? Anyway - I know what you're talking about here and thanks for stopping by!

Kavi said...


This was wonderful !!
I am taking the fight right up to the front gates. Yes. Wherever those gates are !!

LOL !!!

Gadjo Dilo said...

"You Call That Music?! Why, In My Day…" Lookin' forward to that one!

Warty Mammal said...

Dang. And here I was thinking "hey, I'd take that face".

I have perfected the art of automatically, unthinkingly contorting my body as necessary so I won't get a rude shock when I look in the mirror. I don't want to know what I look like in real life, especially from the side or the back.