At 48 and a half I have decided I am no longer trying to not be my mother. I am now trying to not be my grandmother. Yesterday I plucked a quarter-inch long, black, spikey hair from my chin. I do not have black or spikey hair. I have no idea where that sucker came from, but I have a feeling he'll be back. And he's going to bring friends.
The hair on my head still looks pretty good - of course, I've been highlighting it since I turned eighteen, so I'm not sure I would know if it was changing color. But it still grows in with dark roots, so I think I'm OK. As for any other hair, fortunately, my formerly flat (yes, even after two c-sections) belly now sticks out just far enough to make any other hair invisible. Besides, my eyesight is shot, so I'd never be able to see anything that far away anyway. The crow's feet are close enough to my eyeballs so I get quite a nice view of them. Having a son doing crew team at the High School means 4:15(AM!!!) wake-ups and that puts the facial wrinkles in stark relief.
This week I've been going through old pictures to put together a greatest hits album of all our adventures and it made me realize how old all my clothes are. This isn't out of any sort of frugality or noble reasoning - it's because I steadfastly refuse to buy clothes in a size that fits me. I'll go to the store, try on something cute, realize the only size that fits is one I won't wear and put it back. I'll go back to the store a month or so later to see if they have anything decent in any size under double-digits, but until they do - I'm not buying. Did I mention I' currently unable to run or jog because of bursitis in my left hip? Does anything sound older than bursitis? Maybe my bunion does.
I now know why Chico's marks all its clothes 1, 2, 3 and 4. It's to baffle you into not knowing that you don't want to wear something that big. Who know what sizes those actually translate to. Is that an 8? Recently all I've felt is chubby, old and wrinkly - not like me, but like some alternate universe version of me. My mother.
This was my general mien today when I had to make a quick stop in Marshall's today to pick up a decent pair of dress shorts for my son who is going to need something to wear to regattas. The line stretched on and the women in it chatted to pass the time. I was at the short end of the line in between a young mom with an adorably grumpy toddler in her basket and a grandmotherly type holding a couple of baby and dog toys. Our talk turned to the crazy weather - as it often does in a crowd of strangers. It was a typical March day today, 45 degrees and pissing down rain - but the beginning of the week had been mid-70s and beautiful. I lamented my daughter's wearing of shorts to school this morning and how she must have spent the day freezing. We all cooed over and agreed the toddler was lovely in his grumpiness.
The woman in front and her toddler moved up at the call of "register 6 is now available" and the grandmotherly woman and I were left alone. "How old is your daughter?' she asked. "Sixteen." I replied. She looked genuinely shocked, "Really, you don't look...I thought you were talking about a young child...." And at that moment she became my very favorite person on the planet.
Maybe becoming a grandmotherly type isn't so bad if it allows you to see the middle-aged woman in front of you in line at Marshall's as an elementary school mom. I might not want to drive too close to her, as I think she might be badly in need of an eye test, but I am ever so pleased I stood in front of her in line. Now all I have to find is a magic eye cream. And a team of old ladies to stand nearby.