Age Appropriate Ingnorance

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Age appropriate ignorance—none of us concerned about wrinkles. (Sisters Ilana and Sharon, Maya in the center.)

I recently celebrated my 43rd birthday, and it just so happened that on that same day I took my daughter to a doctor’s appointment at the dermatologist’s office. We sat in the waiting room for an hour before being called inside the examination room, and this gave me plenty of time to look around and absorb my surroundings. It was nothing like the scene that I was accustomed to seeing when visiting the dermatologist in LA, where the list of names was always covered up with tape to maintain privacy, and the people sitting around almost always exhibited a “look” that definitely cost them a lot of money. When it was our turn to see the doctor we were led into the examination room where once again we remained waiting, this time for another fifteen minutes. My daughter focused on the textbook that she brought along, while my eyes were almost immediately drawn to the display of facial rejuvenation pamphlets that decorated the room.  This was the first time that I was confronted with this type of material since deciding to put an end to my ongoing quest for rejuvenating my appearance by getting Botox injections.

These were the sort of pamphlets that would bring a smile to my face, and provide me with comfort and reassurance that there was indeed a “cure” for wrinkles, a way to battle those unwanted lines, and as such I would be able to maintain that youthful look for as long as I wished. This time, however, things were different. I actually looked at those pamphlets with an air of superiority, as though I had become enlightened and no longer adhered to any of that pointless material. I looked at the image of a woman on the cover of one of those pamphlets and she looked flawless—not one wrinkle in sight—you know the look I’m referring to. It was a hurried glance, that’s it, and not one that evoked feelings of disappointment or regret for the different road that I have chosen to take—the one that looks beyond today’s popular perceptions of good looks and beauty.

maya in NY

So happy and unaware of the types of silly concerns that engulf women as they grow older.

I focused my attention on my daughter and watched as she read a chapter on Sparta, reviewing material before her test the following day—so innocent and unaware of her surroundings, or the turmoil inside my mind.

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Maya’s curls have been her biggest concern growing up, hopefully she’ll learn how to embrace the curls one of these days, and finally feel free—until the next age-appropriate complaint.

It’s funny, this little life of ours, how every age draws different concerns and how much impact current popular culture has on the individual. At 15 years of age, my daughter’s concerns are for doing well at school, getting the next role she auditions for—and as far as looks go—it’s the hair that has to be perfect. As much as I laugh about the hair issue and the rogue curl that manages to revolt against her desire to straighten it out, her concerns at the end of the day are all to do with age appropriate ignorance. At forty-three yeas old, I can easily confess to suffering from age appropriate ignorance when I first noticed the beginnings of crows-feet around my eyes and wrinkles stretches across my forehead.

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When I first started noticing the changes in my face. I look back at those photos and I see absolutely nothing.

There’s a sense of balance and comfort when you’re older—who says that there’s no joy in getting older—when your focus changes and there’s a tendency to see things in a different light, a wiser, more reasonable perspective.

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