My son begs me daily to dye my hair. Apparently, he is having none of the “aging gracefully” attitude I am trying to embrace and the white stripes which have started to bookend my face verily annoy him. Personally, I think they make me look rakish.“Mom.” he begins, all high-school seriousness, “you HAVE to dye it… You are too young to have gray hair.”
“But, darling,” I always counter, “if I dye it, how will people know that I’m a super-villain?”
“At least stop pulling your hair back, then. It’s not so bad when you leave your bangs down.”
“What?! And cover the temples of doom? Never!”
I don’t know, I strongly suspect that this little plan of mine is going to backfire. Rather than encouraging my kids to resist this hateful world of anti-aging creams and silicone injections, they might just take in their crazy, decrepit old mother and run for the cosmetic interventions as fast as they can, using their college funds to bankroll eye jobs and Botox.
And it’s not as if I don’t understand the impulse. The other day I caught a look at myself in the mirror and realized that cute is on its way out. (Actually, cute might have vacated the premises quite some time ago.) I understood that I cannot count on any sort of residual attractiveness to engender warm feelings in others. No conversations started simply because I looked like a pleasant person.
“Lady,” I admonished, “you had best take up a very interesting hobby.”
The pisser is, I couldn’t think of any! Right now, I have all the hobbies I want– eating, napping and watching tv shows from the seventies on Netflix. I’m too damn tired for anything else. This does not bode well. Especially since time is rapidly running out.
I had breakfast with my peeps the other morning. (“Peeps” being the sort of word I love to torture my kids with– like “totes” and “YOLO.” Children are so intolerant of blatant uncool-ness, even if it is intentional. It makes it easy to torment them. You should try it.) One friend was updating us as to the state of a new, neighborhood cafe and it’s sadly inattentive and careless young staff. Then she mentioned that she had a dentist appointment and I chimed in with a fascinating tidbit about a freakishly dangerous bug I managed to contract, when suddenly I stopped, looked at the table and asked;
“Wait a minute. Have we just been comparing medical problems and complaining about the sorry attitude of young people today?”
Then we burst out laughing.
Holy smokes, that sneaks up on you easily. In the blink of an eye, “Where’s the party?” morphs into, “Where’s my reading glasses?” “I’m gonna’ hurl!” has become, “I gotta’ pee!”– which, when I think about it, is probably a lateral move. If I’m going to become the sort of interesting, wise and tough old broad I aspire to, I need a plan and fast! Quick! Before that cruise ship has sailed.
So I need a new hobby, is what I’m saying. I need to be an expert at something other than cheap red wines and Gilligan’s Island trivia. Less along the lines of the care and feeding of house cats and more like giant metal sculptures I weld in the back yard. Or Bollywood dance, which I am seriously, seriously considering. In a pinch, I could always fall back on super-villainy. I’ve already got the hair.