Essays

Aging Gracefully

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Have you ever passed a mirror and wondered–who is that old person?

Carpenter Country’s short one has pondered that question for quite awhile. Then last week, right after she’d blown out all the candles on her birthday cake, the mirror incident happened again.

This time she decided not to wonder, but to do some research. The words “scary phenomena” typed into a Google search turned up–bad eyesight, a distorted image due to wavy glass and a short quiz that began with–have you been drinking?

Disgusted with the lack of results, the short one shut down the computer and took another look in the mirror. Sure enough the old lady was still there–this time with more wrinkles and a litany of complaints. “What kind of a haircut is that? Did your sweatshirt come from the ragbag? Why are you wearing grandma jeans?”

“You sound like my mother,” the short one said. “Quit yelling at me. It’s my birthday and I’m wearing big jeans because I ate too much cake.”

“Well, I hope you have a great day,” the mirror gal said. “But I’m here to stay unless you can figure out a way to age gracefully.”

How do I do that? the short one wondered. She’d tried paint and powder, snipping and clipping, shopping and buying. Nothing worked.

Then she remembered a really bad poem she’d once written titled Instant Facelift.

Spectacles on–what do I see?

The crinkled face of maturity.

Spectacles off–what do I see?

A face that’s almost wrinkle free!

She leaned toward the mirror, pulled off her eyeglasses and presto–the old lady disappeared!

Who’d have thought aging gracefully was that easy.

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