I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille

Gloria Swanson in Sunset BoulevardAge has been on my mind more than usual lately, probably because I’m 43 and about to have a baby. Because I had children relatively late in life, I’m in the position of being in a playgroup where I’m old enough to be the mother of some of the other moms. They like different music. They have tattoos and pierced noses. I’m the “bridge generation” between the moms and the grandmas in my children’s social circle. Back in LA, where we lived until two years ago, there were lots of moms of my age. There are some in Santa Fe too, I’m sure, but I don’t happen to be friends with any of them.

By luck of the DNA draw, my husband’s hair started graying when he was in his 20s, while I didn’t get my first silver strand until well past my 40th birthday, and am frequently told that I don’t look my age. The result of this is that my husband has been congratulated slyly by other men for “robbing the cradle” when in fact he’s only three years older than I. He, of course, loves this, getting the ego boost of appearing to have a younger trophy wife while actually getting to grow old with the wife of his youth.

Even though I may not look my age just yet, I realize it’s going to happen sooner or later, and am trying not to mind being middle aged. I want to grow old gracefully, not be one of those women who turn into an obscene caricature of their younger selves as they cling desperately to their fading beauty.

Even as I worry about aging, I worry that I shouldn’t be worrying. Inner beauty is what counts, right? Doesn’t being wise and successful and strong and confident matter more than firm thighs and dewey skin? Yes, yes, so we’ve been told. The bloom fading from the rose shouldn’t matter, but does it matter?

You tell me.

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