“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me, And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves, And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter” – Jenny Joseph
I’ve known for some time that I would likely have to deal with getting old. (You know, once I realized I was a superhero and thus unable to be killed. *pause to listen for ominous horror movie music indicating imminent flamboyant death scene…*) Most of the time I am able to achieve complete denial about it, though, through an elaborate combination of avoiding mirrors, heavy drinking and dating men younger than myself.
But the other day, I got sick of looking at my profile picture on Facebook and changed it to the most recent one I had of myself, one that was taken just a month or so ago. It was a test for myself, a part of an attempt to include my own face in my appreciation of ‘good’ wrinkles on other people.
Don’t get me wrong. I know I have wrinkles. I mean, thanks to Olay beauty products (yes, I will plug them, because I just love them that much), I’m better off than many who have spent as much time in the sun. But they are there. But most of them are small and easily ignored by one as easily deluded as myself.
But check it out:
Do you see it? Right there between my eyes? The ginormous furrow??
So, I am getting older. Which is a bit of a surprise, because in my teens I always assumed I would die young – probably of something sordid like a drug overdose. In my twenties, I figured I would be murdered by a jealous boyfriend or something. For most of my thirties, I’ve maintained this line of thinking, but figured it would something adrenaline-related, like speeding in a car or a parachute malfunction.
Well, I’ve begun laying down Plan B.
I am not going to age gracefully, I’m telling you right now. No way.
But it’s a fairly safe bet that if I don’t start thinking about this, I run a high risk of dying alone and having my face eaten by cats. So my best friend and I came up with a plan. I have to admit, I was somewhat snotty to my friend about this at first, because she has kids, which I presumed would leave one immune to the cat-face-eating fate. However, she is pretty sure her particular kids would be more than happy to leave her to this fate as well, so we have come up with a solution that makes us both happy.
However we have to make it happen, we are going to end up in the same nursing home/retirement village/mental institute. (We can’t really figure out why some old people cause such a stink about this. We can’t think of anything much better than having someone else cook and clean for us.) We will proceed to hang out on the patio in the sun all day, every day, drinking what people will assume is coffee (it’s not – it’s Kahlua). She will knit (what look like afghans and mittens but are actually beer bottle cosies and fingerless gloves). I will work on ‘crafts’ (custom shadowboxes filled with slightly macabre displays created from items left over from various medical procedures). We will commandeer the community rooms for weekend mosh parties. We will feign early dementia in order to get away with telling people exactly what we think of them.
It’s gonna be awesome.