It starts with that first grey hair, sprouting near your forehead and taunting you in your rear view mirror on the day, (the very day!), of your 30th birthday.
Over time you notice your once toned and tanned legs seem soft, rippled and.. are those speckles? It’s then you see your legs have the color and consistency of the underbelly of a trout.
Your breasts have changed, too. Well, there were surgeries of course: to make them bigger and then smaller then higher. You’re the damned Goldilocks of boobies.
One day on the Paris subway you regard your own reflection in the glass and your sister sounds the Look-at-me-I’m-an-American alarm by exclaiming in her outside voice, “Your forehead look like Dad’s!” I respond in a louder voice, “You mean OUR dad? Dad, who could hold two pencils and a Sharpie in his forehead grooves? THAT dad?” “Yes,” she’s says now quietly comme les français, “That dad”. Naturally, Botox is your first stop when you’re once again stateside.
You used to settle for Oil of Olay off the drug store counter but now you drive an hour in the wrong direction to the fancy salon to buy the $200 deep-lifting, skin-tightening, sun damage-defying designer stuff in the jar so small the TSA doesn’t even call if a liquid or a gel.
You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on making your hair lighter over the years only to spend hundreds more now coloring it darker. Your grey hairs don’t look like the soft white ones your mom had at your age. Yours look like a Jack Russell’s; perhaps a homeless one.
You do all this only to have your seven year old grandson say, “Sonny, if you and Papi did that Age App to make you look older, you would look exactly the same as you do now!” You briefly consider tearing the treat you just handed him away but his parent is there. The parent who is the very person you helped raise. And he’s laughing. So you show them your picture (and Papi’s) from the Age App and they both visibly shudder at the sight of the creatures the Russians say you’ll become someday. In that moment you think about a murder/suicide mission because these old people; the ones the app created, must never ever walk this planet.
Later, when you are readying for bed before dark because it takes time to slather and massage your old parts, you look to your spouse with concern pondering whether to disinherit the ingrates but then you affirm to each other, “Come on? We look AMAZING!” drawing out the MAZ part for emphasis. And you go to bed knowing you are old but that’s not going to stop you from fighting it. Every. Damn. Day.
Or is that just me?