Time. (Did I ever tell you that I can play The Time on the piano, courtesy of lessons circa 198something?) Of course this mind set is best served to the young and not, say Sartre who said that things are entirely what they appear to be and behind them there is nothing. Dead philosophers claiming we are spirits clad in veils, and that you cannot ever unscramble an egg.
Wha--? I mean, this is all well and good, not to mention true. Someday I will look back at this post and laugh at my silly self, she of the fine lines who only had to get up once during the night to pee. But not today. No, today I am experiencing a convergence of crap: my 20 year high school reunion this weekend, my 38th birthday next month and then this latest news that women are at the peak of beauty at 31. 31! Which puts me, of course, on the south end of that slippery slope slide into une femme d'un certain age. Jolie laide, the French do have the best expressions for prismatic beauty. (Mon dieu, I just hope I am never referred to as a handsome woman.)
I don't think you are supposed to talk about such things really, beauty, like money, spoken quietly behind the powder room door. How pretty am I? Not the prettiest nor the ugliest, not the oldest or the estiest. But sometimes I yawn while sitting in my car at red lights and notice that the person in the car next to me is looking. Then the light changes and the stranger zooms off, forever knowing me only as a woman who looks like this:
But wait! I want to say. That's not me! But it is, of course, me: big pores and crepey eyelids. For all I know I might get that thin spittle thread stretching from my top to my bottom teeth and strangers look away, disgusted.
When I was little I would wonder when I would be my prettiest. This was before I knew the lyrics to Que Sera, Sera, and so I would question if it would be when I was 20, 25, though 30 always seemed too old. I forgot that I used to think about that, and now I wonder--when was it, that single frame moment when I was my most beautiful? Because they say it already happened.
Who was I at 31 that I missed the supposed prime of my beauty? A girl who didn't feel comfortable referring to herself as a woman? A girl who very likely felt too old to be beautiful and too young to know better?Well, apparently I was a girl who lightened her hair waaay too much, because here I am in Vega$, luck be a 31 year old lady waiting for cherry! cherry! cherry! Sinking her hopes into something over which she has no control in a room with no clocks.
Dead philosophers say that with age comes wisdom, or maybe it's dead humorists who say that. Who am I now? A girl who still feels funny referring to herself as a woman, 7 years past her prime, a girl of an uncertain age caught between harshly-lit reflections in store front windows and the feeling inside that what I was waiting for and what they are writing about--that it is all happening right now.