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Reflections November 2015

Laverne's View

Get with the Program

By Laverne Bardy

I glared at the arrangement of brown spots on my hand and noticed that if I squinted, it looked like the Big Dipper. I examined, with amazement, the similarity of the skin on my upper arms to that on my alligator wallet.

My daughter phoned me the other afternoon from her cell phone, in her car. She was in a state of panic. 

"What's the matter Abby?" I asked, fearing that some horrible thing had happened on the road.

"I just found a grey eyebrow hair," she cried. "A grey eyebrow hair!"

"You did this while you were driving?"

"No, Mom, Darrell's driving. Did you hear me? I found a grey eyebrow hair."

I laughed. "I heard you."

"It's not at all funny, Mom. You don't seem to understand; I want to have another baby."

"I fail to get the connection, honey."

"But, now I'm too old."

I laughed harder.

"I promise that you have nothing to worry about, Abby. In fact, I heard a news report just this morning stating that scientists have proven conclusively that contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between grey eyebrow hairs and a woman's ability to conceive."

"But Mom," she pleaded. "It's proof that I'm getting old."

"Honey, did you forget who you're talking to?"

She had caught me sitting in front of a high-powered magnifying mirror plucking chin hairs; some as long as an inch, mostly all grey. Several of the remaining dark ones had actually smirked at me.

"Don't worry, Sweetheart. It doesn't mean a thing. Women much older than you are having babies today."

The thick Jolene bleach I'd applied on my upper lip had begun to dry, crack and fall onto my lap. 

"Besides, I promise you, age is just a state of mind. You know how strongly I believe that."

"I know. I'm glad I called you, Mom. I feel better now. I love you."

"I love you too, honey."

I was glad she felt better. Now who could I call for the same quick fix?

I hung up and sat quietly inspecting the increasing number of laugh wrinkles (What half-wit had decided to name them that?) around my eyes, and the soft jowls that had altered the once-oval- shaped face. I checked out the isolated strands of grey that, like weeds on otherwise lovely sod, had managed to push through my recent bleach job. I glared at the arrangement of brown spots on my hand and noticed that if I squinted, it looked like the Big Dipper. I examined, with amazement, the similarity of the skin on my upper arms to that on my alligator wallet.

When Abby was six years old she had said to my mother, who was roughly my current age, "Grandma, how come your neck skin looks like a turtle's?" My mother had smiled, but I knew she felt bad.

Despite what could be viewed as negative changes, I felt so lucky. Not only had I survived and passed hot flashes with honors, but I was fortunate to be my age at a time in history when aging is fashionable.

Just look at television commercials. Grandma and grandpa are no longer rocking and whittling; they're jitterbugging, jogging and even kissing. We are not viewed as sad victims of aging but as valued individuals with experience and wisdom. We are embracing, laughing at, and even thumbing our noses at the aging process.

Notice the various T shirts you pass on 50-plus women in the mall. I saw one that read, "I'm out of estrogen and I've got a gun." And the next time you're in a book store, look at some of the titles, like Boomer Babes, and Menopause Madness.

My daughter is still too young to value the benefits of aging. I hope that when she reaches my age she will recognize and appreciate the revolutionary road that my generation has paved for her. And, above all, I would like to believe that she will get with the program and dye her eyebrows like any 50-plus woman worth her weight in estrogen would do.

 

Laverne's book, "How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?" is available at amazon.com and other online bookstores. Website: www.lavernebardy.com - E-mail her at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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