Come Here, Go Away: A guest post by Mimi Krumholz

Posted on January 24, 2013

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Mimi, the author of Waiting for the Karma Truck, has asked me not to include her words about the karma truck in her bio, here. But, because I am a ten-year-old boy at heart, I am doing exactly that:

“What do I want to tell you? I guess the same thing I say to everyone – the karma truck rolls up everyone’s driveway. Believe me. You may not be there to see it, you may never know it arrived definitively – but it’s on the road and it has the correct address. At the risk of sounding terribly hokey, you have to trust in the universe, God, Lou – whoever. That truck is on a mission and it hasn’t missed a delivery yet.”

I’m not an expert on karma, but I must have been doing something right to have discovered Mimi’s blog. She is unfailingly wise and literate and clever. And I will follow her karma truck anywhere.

*****

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone” — Andy Rooney

While my husband is happily reliving his boyhood fantasy of being a professional baseball player, I’m enjoying the luxury of solitude and trying to creatively clothe myself in enough layers to stay warm in these arctic temperatures. I spent a ridiculous amount of time yesterday reading the February editions of ‘Vogue’, ‘Elle’, ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Allure’. I am loathe to admit that I now spend more time on the articles than the fashion (isn’t’ that what every guy used to say about ‘Playboy’ magazine?). I have lived long enough to see that sartorially, there is nothing new under the sun. Most outfits which look interesting on a heavily Photo-shopped teenager with thighs no wider than her upper arms will undoubtedly look bizarre on me. The appropriateness of photographing girls who have yet to graduate high school, and intimating that they represent ‘every woman’ is a subject for another day.

One magazine has a section titled “Fabulous At Every Age” which features different looks and color palettes for decades spanning from the 20’s through the 60’s. I think I get it – I’m at the age where I shouldn’t wear super short skirts, transparent blouses or an abundance of sequins (I’m particularly bummed about the sequins). I also shouldn’t wear red lipstick without blotting it first (so that it doesn’t get caught in any wrinkles around my lips), nor a shade of pink that screams ‘old lady’, and a ‘nude’ lip doesn’t offer my face any ‘life’. The implication is that my eternal search for the perfect jeans, blush and lipstick will continue without any considered guidance. And I’m thinking that leggings and a long top is ok, as long ask it doesn’t scream ‘Chico’s’ (though there is nothing wrong with Chico’s).

It’s also safe to assume that despite the dearth of any relevant fashion suggestions for boomers like me, there is a virtual plethora of articles directed to those of us who engage in a daily debate with gravity. I guess this is how publishers have determined they can best appeal to every demographic. Pictures for the younger woman and articles written in the smallest font possible for women like me. I read a myriad of articles about the newest and most amazing innovations in skin care and cosmetic surgeries developed to smooth, lift, firm and sculpt. I wasn’t particularly sculpted as a kid, so the thought of someone re-defining my shape now strikes me as a little disingenuous, unless it occurs through exercise and in the occasional vial of Restylane. I’ve had too many non-elective surgeries to choose to have one for cosmetic purposes. For those who have been fortunate enough to have reached their renaissance without requisite cutting and stapling, I can see the appeal. To embrace the possibilities inherent with looking young throughout a long-lived life, while never appearing to get old.

I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to my own ambivalence about this entire issue. I still (heavily) highlight my very grey hair, I continually hope that Renova is truly going to do something incredible and I will wait for the final word on non-invasive techniques for preventing my jowls from resting on my clavicles. Yet, I also shake my head in amazement when I see women who probably need liquid tears because their eyelids have been tightened to the point where they can no longer close, eyebrows that can’t rise with excitement or wonder and smiles that appear as unfortunate grimaces. It is clear that I haven’t made peace with this issue – or perhaps my peace changes from day-to-day. In many ways I think I look better now then I did then – with the caveat that I not define ‘then’. I feel freer in my skin, without any internal parental censor critiquing my appearance. I like going to the gym and seeing what my body can do. I wear less make-up than I did as a young woman, and I don’t frighten myself when I look in the mirror. It’s my expectation that my thoughts on living a long life while resisting growing old will morph and change along with me. But for now, I’ll modestly argue with the physical effects of aging and lovingly embrace the wisdom that comes with being of a certain age.

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