I found myself nose to nose with the mirror again (or is that just "nose to mirror?"). I was inspecting the eyebrows that I have decided to stop plucking. Not horrible. Nothing a little toothbrush with hairspray can't tame. In the next moment, I was holding the small package of fake eye-lashes I recently purchased, cursing the fact that they didn't come with the glue and digging through my tween daughter's play make-up drawer to find leftover lash glue from Halloween. I guess I was lucky the glue was dried up since I can only imagine the long fake lashes tangling with my newly, unruly brows.
More recently, I was at the bathroom mirror again (I don't even own a "skinny" mirror so I don't really know why I spend so much time in front of it). This time it was to stare at my natural hair color that I have decided to allow to shine through. It's about 3-4 inches into its natural shine. And I use the word "shine" as if the definition is "dull and mouse-like highlighted by white wires." I don't know why it fascinates me to watch the unveiling of my aging. But it grabs my attention every time my face is three inches from that ol' looking glass. In the next moment, I was digging through a box of wigs from a "rock star" themed birthday party, trying to find something fun and a little weird to wear out (in public).
I comment too often on the fact that my hands are puffed up from fribromyalgia or dry and cracked from living in an area where, even though there is constant moisture in the air, we run the heat 8-9 months out of the year. Yet I just painted my nails black, fully aware that I was embracing my middle-age digits and proudly flashing my cool on 1/3 inch of non-manicured nails.
I've become quite...what's the word that means "slightly less than obsessed?" That's what I mean. I've become quite <insert word> with the dichotomy I have going on these days. The fascination with my aging and need to reveal my natural physical self, and then the desire to go over the moon to disguise myself. Bushy eyebrows above fake eyelashes. Gray wiry hair pulled back with a sequin & feather chartreuse clip. Months worth of unshaven legs under fishnet stockings.
It goes deeper than the superficiality of it all (it has to, right?). I think that as I get older and, dare I say, mature...I'm realizing that my limits are my own creation. I think I'm testing myself to see if I'll follow the commonly accepted guidelines to aging. Dress your age, settle down, grow old gracefully, become complacent, etc etc. The fact of the matter is that my growing older has made me anything but content. (And I realize that I'm not exactly elderly at 42, but I'm rounding a corner that does make one assess things a bit.) There are a few things I once always assumed I'd do or have that I understand will never happen in my life. I will not have a singing career. I will not be in the Peace Corps. I will not be a foot model. (The foot model concept is the least possible option than the first two. I don't have good feet. But I once did.) But I seem to be getting some bigger (at least different) aspirations and am allowing myself to evolve. I am starting to like the idea of being the middle aged woman with some clever skills, cool experiences and a lot of moxie. Some days I'm a working mother trying to portray a sense of normalcy to these people I'm raising, and other days I may focus on that magnum opus I've been concocting. Some days I may be mousey-haired and other days I may be sporting glittery false eye-lashes. There's really no limit in what the next moment may bring.
NOTE: I wrote the above entry several weeks ago. I'm not sure why I didn't post it. But I wanted to add that today my "hair chalk" arrived in the mail. So I stood in the bathroom following the directions by wetting the front of my hair, then wetting the blue chalk, coloring in the strands I wanted colored, and securing the color with a "heating device." And there...in my typical place in front of the bathroom mirror I stood and saw that I literally was a blue hair. Might go with pink next time.