Hello Beautiful People!
My grandson, who is six at the time of this post, quite often asks me how old I am, and I tell him that I was 39, however, he questioned my answer because his mom is 38. He could not understand how a 39-year-old could have a 38-year-old daughter! Go figure! So I just tell him that I am actually 100 years old. He seems to accept that answer for some reason. At school, he tells everyone, “My Mimi is 100 years old! So I have to take care of her!”
I have been very aware for quite some time now that people associate your actions with age. Recently, I watched one of my favorite shows, Grace & Frankie with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, (a really great show). It was the episode where Grace was working in her skincare business that she had handed over to her daughter, Brianna. She had decided to come back to work in the business because Brianna was having some difficulty making it profitable. Because she had such rapport with the staff, she was just being herself by taking charge of her assignment. To Brianna, she seemed to be taking over not only with her charisma, but her business savvy, and quick wit. After all, the business was originally hers before passing it on to her daughter. Brianna felt a bit perturbed and became envious of the relationship and camaraderie that Grace had with the staff. Mind you, Grace had never divulged her age, so Brianna, being petty, decided to give Grace a surprise 80th birthday at work! People began to treat Grace differently…like she was an old lady. Their whole demeanor changed to make situations more ‘comfortable’, for an old lady. Grace was furious! And I was furious on her behalf!
I could certainly relate. When I had my first salon, I was in my mid-thirties. However, the rest of my staff were all in their twenties. I was like the mom or big sister. However, even as young as I was, I was still older. They called me Rose (from Golden Girls) behind my back, especially if I forgot something. And they didn’t even know my exact age!
I wrote a blog a few years ago called ‘My Age Not Your Business’. I wrote it because the age thing has always irritated me.
There were times when my staff tried to guess my age. Maybe to other people, it’s no big deal. However, I have decided that my age is nobody’s business but my own. Sometimes people try to associate forgetfulness with age, not the fact that you have so much on your plate that if you don’t write it down you just forget. If your back hurts, it is because of your age, not because you have been standing on your feet all day. At any rate, I decided years ago to stop counting my age and stop telling it as well.
Even clients would ask my age and I would tell them in a playful way, “If I tell you, I have to kill you.” I say the same about my recipes. Some things are just sacred, you know. Like some people might ask me, “Is that your real hair?” I would say, “I could ask you, Are those your real teeth? Are those your real breasts?” I won’t, but I could. So, If I say yes or no, would you love me more or less? Just curious. Is it really important for you to know? I mean, if it is, I will tell you.” Of course, by now they are embarrassed that they asked. I mean, really, what does it matter if a woman looks good…just say “You really look fabulous, or you look amazing, or beautiful.” I think that should be sufficient.
For years, I didn’t even think about my age…I just knew I had birthdays. I was too busy running my salon, taking care of my children, being a wife, and living my life. I remember one day having a conversation with someone who asked me how old I was. I immediately said 32…and I meant it. It had been so long since I had acknowledged my age, it just came out of my mouth. I continued to talk and in the middle of my sentence, I realized that I had lied…not intentionally but just the same I had lied. At the time, I was 39. I stopped talking, took a deep breath, and realized that I was not 32. Out loud I said, “No…I am not 32, I am 39. I can’t believe that seven years have happened and I had not noticed.” That was a scary moment for me. That age thing is not what I wanted to address. I also realized that this age thing was not what I wanted to define me. And yes, I am grateful to have lived as long as I have and to be in good health and all of that, but when I am 90 and hopefully looking like I am 70, I will gladly tell the world my age. UNLESS Essence comes along before then and wants me to do one of those issues about women looking fabulous… Well, I can dream can’t I? 🙂
However, no matter how good you may look, people may judge you because of your age. Good employees are passed over because of their age. I know of a situation where the promotion was given to the 26-year-old who had worked for the company for 13 months instead of the 59-year-old who had been in charge of the company for 3 years while the owner was out of commission. It was a huge blow to her for sure. By the way, she did not look 59 or dress the part and was obviously capable of taking care of the business for the three years, however, It happened. They wanted young blood to lead.
Just as the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, age happens. Some people notice, and some people don’t. I decided I would be one to make a conscious effort not to give it much thought. One of my sisters recently celebrated her __th birthday recently (aha! you thought I would slip and tell, didn’t you?) If I tell you her age, you may then guess mine…NOT! Well, she was going around telling everyone how proud she was of her age because she knew she looked good for her age, yadda, yadda, yadda. That is fine for her, but then she goes on to say, “Now my sister Bee is older than me.” Now, what does my age have to do with her conversation? Just leave me out of it thank you very much. My sister loves me and would never knowingly hurt me. But she knows now that I am serious about her keeping me out of the age conversation.
In the meantime, I intend to take care of myself and slow down the aging process. Thank God we’ve got great genes, but I have to meet those genes halfway. I still have to do my part. I have to eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, drink lots of water, and pamper myself. If I don’t, who will?
What I don’t understand is why some women who are younger, some older, are just allowing themselves to wither away. Ladies, we have a duty to ourselves to be diligent in taking care of ourselves, whether married or single. I am passionate about self-care so we have lots to talk about in these blogs, don’t we? The way I see it is, with all of the tools and resources these days, no woman has to look unattractive. Like the old Home Depot commercial said, “I can show you how.”
Well, I have blogged enough about age for now. Got to get started on my way for the day. Until the next time…Stay beautiful!