Lately whenever I look in the mirror or get dressed I think about 3 thing– looks, money and old age. Remember when you’d run a comb through your hair, dash some lipstick on and you were done? It seems like every year adds another series of maintenance tasks. Now it takes me half an hour just to get to the baseline.
Do you suppose Medicare will include a provision for hair and body maintenance or will those of us unlucky enough to be poor have to look like an Aesop witch with one long hair growing precisely out of the middle of our chins?
Who will do for us when we can’t do for ourselves? Without getting into the realm of Too Much Information, think about daily, weekly and monthly maintenance tasks: –shaving, plucking, filing, coloring, bleaching, moisturizing, masking, pumicing, blow-drying — various body parts. What happens when we can’t reach our toenails? Do they grow into curving yellow claws? Can you think of someone who’ll take care of them…for free? Maybe some of you lucky enough to have willing & able daughters or…who?
Do we really want to be at the mercy of overly-busy nursing home attendants or a kindly student intern at the senior center? Or maybe we need to make sacred pacts with our closest friends: I’ll do that (too-personal-to-mention) task for you if you’ll do it for me. Instead of saving for a dream vacation home or a spiffy car, we should be putting money away for a personal assistant, and not a digital one.
But then I read John Mortimer’s obituary in the NY TImes and it quoted his bookThe Summer of a Dormouse: A Year of Growing Old Disgracefully and this really struck me:
“The aging process is not gradual or gentle. It rushes up, pushes you over and runs off laughing. No one should grow old who isn’t ready to appear ridiculous.”
Which leads me to another way of thinking about this—-maybe we just won’t give a crap: “Hey, I have a moustache–live with it.”
What do you think?