I won’t deny that I've looked in the mirror before and thought about giving myself a redneck face-lift with a little duct tape. I smooth my skin back from my nose and mouth carefully to not affect my eyes. “There, that’s what I used to look like.” I can imagine being at some function and having someone say, “Hey, you've got a little piece of gray tape stuck behind your ear”. Worse, having one side come loose and not the other, causing innocent bystanders to think I've just suffered a mini-stroke.
Vanity really isn't my thing and the older I get, the less I care what other people think about me. Family and friends, mind you, remain important feedback. I sometimes do hear that my shirt has cat hair all over it or my hair is a bit frizzy or I have a wild hair growing from my chin. All duly noted. I try to maintain a little standard – basic make-up and deodorant, but lately, well, occasionally I’ll find I was so wrapped up reading that research paper, that I ran out the door without mascara! Gasp! And then, I’m like “screw it”, who is going to care what I look like anyway?? Kind of freeing, that.
I seesaw between embracing the older woman I’m becoming, and despairing. I don’t recognize myself sometimes because inside, I’m just a stronger and smarter version of my younger self. And then I go to Walmart and “Gary” asks to see my ID for a case of beer. I laugh. You’re so sweet to pretend, I tell him even though I find that kind of flattery annoying.
“No, really, I must see your driver’s license to purchase beer.” Seriously? Gary, it is quite obvious I am not under 21 years old. Really. Gees. (And my driver’s license is in the car.) I tell him what a dumb rule that is and that they don’t card old women at restaurants. But at Walmart…well, an employee was fired last week – didn’t card an undercover policeman. See? I tell him to keep his beer.
Today, I was prepared and Chelsea was given my driver’s license before she asked. She said she thought it was silly to card anyone over forty, but then told me she would have carded me because I look under forty. I decided I didn't mind such flattery after all and kept my receipt to take the online survey to report what a good cashier I had today. Perhaps I retain a bit of vanity after all.