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Aging: Friend, Foe, or Frenemy?

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I recently celebrated my (insert age here) birthday and a long-ago physics lesson finally made sense. At last, one of those aha moments Oprah talks about! The force of gravity is in ferocious fight for first place on my list of enemies.

Lately, gravity has begun to mount an unprecedented and unprovoked attack, taking on a whole new meaning in my life. Oh no, I’m not talking about some random object falling on me. The object and target is my body! Why on Earth have slouching and stooping become my natural postures … as if I’m not short enough already?

How about going out dancing? I loved it, still do. Not so long ago I got down and back up in one swift move. I could spend hours shaking it, following the DJ’s every lead, but nowadays at his “Get Low” command, my muscles scream back, “I dare you. Do it and you are staying down!” And the laws of gravity are only happy to oblige.

The other thing with the force of gravity is that it is beauty’s rival. Sure, my mature self says beauty is found within your soul. But if that’s true, why are my skin and my eyes systematically lining the wallets of Olay and CoverGirl shareholders with Benjamins?

Girlfriends, you know what I mean. Here’s the scene, you are at Walgreens or CVS picking up a prescription and you wander over to the beauty aisle to stock up on Olay Regenerist (lately you’ve been running out of it at speeds that put Usain Bolt to shame). While you are there, you add a “sample” night cream to your basket, which you secretly hope works better than the last one you purchased! All the while thinking, Damn it, those pesky FDA standards. Botox is still unavailable over the counter! (FYI, Botox is a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Note to self: call Barack and ask if this poison migraine medication will be covered under the health-care bill.)

And ladies, let’s not shy away from talking about the twins. Have you noticed that in the not-so-distant past, they held near-perfect grapefruit shapes but more recently (without your authorization … shame on them!), they have reshaped themselves into zucchinis (aka, squash … just stew on that for a moment)? Yes, some of you are/were breastfeeding moms, but what about the rest? What excuse do we have? Much to my dismay the twins’ gravity-defying power has been conquered by a magnetic force and attraction to the earth, kick-starting an alarming race to the waistline.

Then you remember that Oprah said something about getting a bra fitting and so you psych yourself to get fondled by some chic at Victoria Secret or JC Penny’s. Once you muster up the courage to go, you google the farthest store location from your home (reduces the odds of running into said fondler in your neck of the woods). Upon arrival at the store, a bubbly sales associate is happy to assist you. What starts as chatty conversation to ease the tension turns tense. Her expression tells you she is about to deliver some bad news. You think, “Oh, oh, what is it? … God I hope she did not feel a lump. Spit it out for God’s sake!” … then she says, “Mama, I’m sorry we don’t stock your size. It needs to be special ordered!” Sigh X2! The well-endowed are both blessed and cursed and thank God no lump to report. In the meantime her suggestion to use a push-up bra suddenly no longer seems sophomoric. In your mind, you have in fact “repurposed” it as a stop-gap measure; a temporarily solution to the twins downward drift! Hurray! You saved the day. Earlier that day you could have sworn you heard the twins whisper to each other, “If we don’t get some support soon, people will think we’re nuts.” (I stole that line.)

Age is a state of mind—unless of course you are wine, cheese, or an antique.



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