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May 27, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Seasons...
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.


honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

Accepting aging gracefully...
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 old.
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.


EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Lost and found...
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.

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