Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Laughter and Old Wrinkles

 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'.
No problem.
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
and this:

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 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.


Kelly said...

Great post, Kathie! I giggled while reading it. Yes, you looked beautiful as Miss America in 1968 :) and you still are beautiful. I hope someday we meet in person and maybe some junkin' together! I know some great places in Tulsa.
Keep livin' your happy life!

Deb~in~Denver said...

Love this post! My bet is the young woman at the restaurant wishes she looked as good as you, right now! You could also teach her class and grace! Thanks for the giggles!

Mona said...
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Leiah said...

What is up with the thinking that we're only beautiful/lovely/good-looking when we're at what's considered young? I too was four years old in 1968 so it's nice knowing another member of the 50 and Fabulous Club.

Farrah said...

I heart you, Miss Kathie.