I am entering into a new 'stage' of my life - that stage when you're just a little smidgeon past middle age, but not quite 'senior citizen'.
These things happen - if you're lucky.
(You know what they say about the alternative).
Unlike most women I know, I totally enjoy this new phase of my life and can give you so many reasons why these are the best years of my life - but that's for another article.
What I'm not 'digging' is the way people - especially women - perceive me at this stage of my life and the fact they verbalize that perception.
Oddly enough, it all started with a discussion of 'hair'.
Someone asked me if I'd ever had long hair.
To prove that at one time in my life I actually did have hair, I showed her the following pictures saved on my iphone:
1996 at Mrs. America with the mayor of Las Vegas
About 2 months after the above 2013 picture was taken I got tired of coloring my hair and decided to go au natural. Most of you remember that I got a buzz cut to get rid of the color so now I am a salt and pepper gal.
Below is how I look now.
2015 photo shoot
Anyway....back to the 'hair' photos.
When I showed the pictures, this person was absolutely shocked at how beautiful I used to be....how wonderful I 'used' to look.
'Oh my - you were really something!'
I think she went on for 10 minutes that this 'old gray mare' just ain't what she used to be and all the while thinking she was complimenting me because I 'used' to be great-looking when I was 'young'.
How the heck do you respond to that?
Thank you - I think?
That same evening another woman introduced me to friends as
'Miss Missouri 1968!!'
I smiled, shook the hand of the person I was being introduced to and somehow through gritted teeth managed to say, "Thank you so much, but it's 1996."
I didn't bother correcting her that it was Mrs. not Miss and that I was actually 4 years old in 1968.
But, oh wait, folks. It gets even better.
There is a restaurant in our downtown that I frequent quite often. Upon entering this establishment I sincerely complimented the waitress that, as always, she looked very pretty.
And I swear these exact words left her mouth:
"Oh, I just hope I can look like you at your age. You look so good for an' - wait for it - 'old lady''.
I think ( I hope) she meant 'older lady'.
Anyway. I let it bother me for about a day.
Now, I'm over it.
My salt/pepper hair may age me and that's fine.
I have no plans to change it.
I am not going to rush out and have surgery.
I applaud any woman that chooses to do that and have given support to my friends who have, but it's just not for me.
I refuse to do botox.
I will not buy expensive wrinkle-erasing creams.
I refuse to chase youth.
What I will pursue is good health so I can continue to do the things I love - speed-walking, bike riding, horseback riding, hiking, dancing....and the list goes on and on.
I will continue to pursue experiences that challenge me. The last two weekends I was in a play.
It was the first one I'd done in 20 years.
I will keep writing - hopefully I have another book or two in me.
My passion for clothes, shoes and accessories isn't going away anytime soon. Neither is my love for antiques, decorating and socializing. Especially socializing - I LOVE people and making new friends.
If I am fortunate enough to live to be a ripe old age - and I sure hope I am - I won't have any need for a rocking chair.
There is still so much to see. So much to do.
So much fun to be had.
I hope you'll continue to stay with me and read about my adventures as I venture into 'old age'. HA!
The only question? At what age do I become 'too old' to be called "Hillbilly Debutante"?
Never mind. Like Scarlett O'Hara 'I'll worry about that tomorrow'.
Right now I have to go upstairs and put on my cowboy boots.
I'm goin' dancing.