|As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
Well, I’m looking forward for spring, but when I woke up this morning and
opened the door to go feed the cats and give Son #2’s dog food, whose name
is “Bounce a Little,” but it takes quite a lot to feed him. I have to watch,
or the cats wouldn’t get a bite!
I enjoy fall and winter when Santa comes, but spring is my favorite.
The Last Word: I enjoy them all! – O.T.
View From Here
By Katherine Veno
I always vowed I would age gracefully. I promised I would not obsess over
every single gray hair, wrinkle, brown spot, or jiggle. I said I would
accept my sagging as a badge of courage for a well-lived life.
Women of substance are not supposed to waste their time searching the mirror
for flaws, and filling up the medicine cabinet with potions and lotions
filled with false promises. I am supposed to get older and wiser, not older
and more shallow.
There has never been as much pressure on women to look young as there is
today. It is a world full of body myths and pressure to be perfect. There
are so many ways to fight again and potions to erase lines, injections to
smooth your angry brow and surgery to fix anything that the first two
cannot. The underlying message is that you should be taking advantage of all
the options available to you, and if you are not, you are somehow failing
yourself, and letting yourself go to pot.
I think that wrinkles are so unfair. Just when I hit my stride and was happy
with my job, comfortable and living a good life, my face appeared past its
prime. I found it unnerving because I did not feel old at 55 or even 60. I
was fit, confident and active, but had to resist shopping at The Limited and
Rue 21. I expected my reflection to match my youthful self-image. When it
didn’t I felt anxious and embarrassed that I actually cared about something
so superficial. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wish I still
looked the way I did 20 years ago, and that is the pure truth.
I get angry with myself that I think I should still be a size 5. It really
is not important. I battle with my internal conflict between wanting to look
attractive as possible and also believing that anyone who is overly
concerned about her looks is shallow and self-involved. This makes it more
difficult for me to sort out my feelings toward aging.
Part of the problem is that we have been conditioned to believe that youth
and attractiveness is equivalent to a successful life. Older people are not
valued in our culture, so even though we know better, we feel that as we
grow older, we will become irrelevant. For women who have spent their entire
life working out to be strong, and eating healthy meals in the belief that
they will somehow be eternally youthful and fit, getting older is a scary
period of feeling a total loss of control of your own life. When I broke my
ankle recently, I just felt weak, old, and clumsy, and somehow blamed my own
body for being more frail at 65 than it was at 35. Now that is some sort of
self-punishing stupid behavior. I looked in the mirror and told myself to
knock it off, right now.
I know that the things about me that matter the most are not on the outside,
but the culture tells me otherwise, and when I do not look or feel my best,
I think I am failing in some odd way.
The media just makes it all worse with their fight against aging at all
costs. From actresses over the age of 40 who are buff and injected to near
flawlessness loom down at us from the big screen television and we think
about the fantasies of plastic surgery or Botox.
As women, we compare ourselves to every woman we see every day and to movie
stars. The process becomes more difficult as a woman enters middle age.
Just keeping it real and achieving that delicate balance comes down to
finding perspective and exploring why you feel so anxious about letting your
age show. I mean wrinkles may mean I am aging, but that is a very good thing
when I consider the alternative. Not everybody gets the privilege of growing
As for me, I am gradually adjusting to the way I look today. I still do not
like sagging skin, but worse is a bad attitude. I use a good night crème
regularly and not much makeup these days, but always wear sunscreen. I also
use olive oil in the shower from a spray bottle. I mean if it worked for
actress Sophia Loren, how can it not work for me? My goal is to look like an
older, but still attractive version of me.
By Emily Gail Lundy
Oh, the philosophy of it all. Life is one surprise after another,
some good, others bad, too many uneventful. I’ve tried improvements of
offensive or irritating habits and thought I had made progress with a little
change of direction here and there. No. I’ve given up.
One morning I received the call from a store in Seagoville I had shopped in
recently. Unknowingly, I had dropped my check book with cash in it as I
walked out with my purchases. The caller implied I come for my property
soon, as it would be behind the front main counter.
Passing through Seagoville is not a daily part of my routine. Someone else
is supposed to pick this up for me on his way to work from Trinidad through
this city. We’ll see. Now, I’ve gone to purse snatching.
A friend invited me to her home one afternoon to look through some material
she thought I might want. It was exciting. Sack after sack to look through
for useful possibilities.
After quite a time, I made some decisions, assembled them carefully in one
arm, found my car keys, the only item I had brought in (to keep from losing
or leaving more) and left. About two hours later, a call came from this same
friend wanting to know if I had accidently picked up her purse. Others had
been in her house since I had, and she could not locate the purse anywhere.
She had to call the Queen of Scatter Cells.
I was eating a snack and knew she called because we have identical bags,
bought about the same time. Mine has more skinned up places. When my husband
heard of this missing bag, he immediately went to the car and found a brown
bag among piles of materials I had left there.
He entered the house with a brown purse and handed it to me. “It was in the
back seat,” he said. I looked inside for two seconds, knew it was not mine
as it was too neatly kept. “There’s another like it in the front seat,” said
my husband enjoying himself too much. The woman who wanted her own purse was
on the way to my house. I met her outside. She was laughing and didn’t know
where her purse had been in her house; neither had she seen me pick it up.
This makes me concerned about her. One of us needs to be alert.
Later in the afternoon, still feeling embarrassed and forloned, I called the
same woman and asked, “Do you hate me?”
“No,” she replied, “I love you to death.” (East Texans talk this way.)
I thanked her and said I’d carry my hot pink bag that matches nothing I wear
with me everywhere I went in the future.