The signs of living a long life are many and I’m reminded of this every time I hit a cosmetic counter. Does a cream or serum exist that does not claim to be anti-aging?
According to the manufacturers of these elixirs I need them because I no longer look young (happy birthday to me!). I discussed this anti-aging phenomena with my 92-year-old mother over coffee and a chocolate croissant the other day. As we sipped our coffee, she tore off half the croissant and handed me the piece without any chocolate and then regaled me with a story of how one of my sisters would take her every month to be beautified at a local salon.
Yes, she enjoys the fussing and the women who do her hair and nails but said in a self-deprecating manner, “Really at my age whom am I kidding?” We both laughed because she was making light of herself and on a subject that at times can be taken far too seriously—how we look as we age.
Then I asked her if, at any time in her life, had she ever consider a facelift. She said no because she never had the money to contemplate anything like that. Pressing her on the subject I went on to say, “But what if you did have oodles of money and what if you were 50, would you do it then?” She said, “You do realize there is always a risk to surgery, and if I had the surgery there would be a chance that I would not survive it and we wouldn’t be here having coffee today . . . and in addition, you know how much I enjoy our visits together.”
There it was– the whole anti-aging campaign dispelled over a cup of coffee and half of a croissant. To be alive is to age so why the misguided message of anti-aging? Think about it—to be dead is the most effective way to stop the aging process. Problem solved. Well according to my mother it’s not all bad. When you’re old, you get the piece of croissant with the hunk of chocolate inside and no one can take that away from you.