It’s a dilemma. My mind is that of a woman of 40, maybe even less, but my body tries to betray me whenever I’m not looking. I’m not looking because I’m appalled at what is happening to it, with wrinkled and droopy skin, veined hands, and other signs too personal to discuss here. (Yes, there are things that even I won’t talk about.)
My dance instructor wants me to incorporate sensual hand movements at certain places in a routine and all I can do is giggle. Yes, I can still giggle like a girl but don’t ask me to do that with my arms in a rumba, OK? It’s not “seemly,” as my grandmother would have said, probably when she was the age I am now. If I laugh at it, I can just imagine what those on the dance floor with me are thinking. And, let’s face it, my instructor is not even 40, with an agenda that requires him to encourage me to do such ludicrous things. Cute, but unaware on a personal basis about what many of his students are facing either now or imminently.
I have a fear of not recognizing a boundary between the way I feel and the way I look. I feel young, probably younger than I felt when I WAS young. Transformation can happen at any age, and it did for me about 15 years ago. Not sure what prompted it, but let’s face it, I used to be boring. Smart, but not much fun. Today, I’m a hoot, but it’s a dilemma for me to be this really young soul entrapped in a body that betrays me on a regular basis, even though I take good care of it.
It’s not bad for a woman in her mid-60s, but no one but me ever sees ALL of it anymore. I know what’s under the clothes and those shape-shifter things that merely push skin into strange places and requires great strength to peel off. Needing to use a restroom while having one of those things on is a recipe for disaster. Believe me. Another betrayal.
I have no solution for this dilemma, one that I’m sure many women face, at least if they are interesting, vital people at all. Where is the line between staying young and presenting oneself as ridiculous? It is a great fear for me, and I’m not sure there is anyone I can trust to be brutally honest about this. We live in a society that reveres youth above all else, with little respect (or actual disrespect) given to anyone over 50 or so.
To maneuver between the two worlds—aging and a youth-drenched society—is a minefield. I don’t know where all those landmines are hidden, but I know they are there, just waiting to explode if I make a misstep. It won’t be pretty.
Older women know who they are, and that makes them more beautiful than younger ones. I like to see a face with some character.
I want to see lines. I want to see wrinkles.