“You don’t look old enough to have a son who’s almost 30,” the radiation tech told me yesterday when I went in for a repeat mammogram.
I would have hugged her, except I was pinned to a machine. They were definitely the best words I’d heard all week.
(OK, the “all clear” from the doctor afterwards was pretty nice, too.)
My question is, why does it matter so much? We–I–pay lip service to the politically-correct and mentally-healthy stance that looks don’t matter, that the aging/aged face and body is as beautiful as the youthful.
But do we mean it? Do we mean it when we’re looking in our own mirror?
“Aging well” should refer to how physically active and independent a person is as they approach whatever number we now define as “elderly.”
But don’t we usually mean the person looks young for their age? Is wearing well? Is maybe a tad less wrinkled and saggy than expected?
Given that many of us in this well-nourished country may well live into our nineties, don’t we need to think hard about what we’re going to look like as we get there? And appreciate that? Because who wants to spend the remaining however-many decades comparing the face in the mirror to the one we had at 18? Or worse, to the faces of the twenty-somethings we see on television or in front of us at the grocery store?
I think I’m declaring this National Celebrate the Wrinkles week.