Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Face, baby!

I am so excited. As I write this, I am still coming off a high I just experienced. It is Sunday night (I know that this blog won't be published 'til Tuesday, but I can't wait), and I just got the greatest compliment in the world.

Tonight I was at the supermarket doing the weekly groceries with my son. My hair, unwashed, is up in a banana clip, exposing my face and neck. I am wearing a pale blue sundress -- halter style -- that I live in, the way our grandmothers used to live in their muumuus . Granted, the dress is far more exposing than any muumuu, body skimming and with a severe dip in the neckline, but still... 

Someone behind me heard me shopping the aisles with my son, and asked if I was his full-time nanny. "Nanny?" I questioned. "No, I'm his mother." Shocked, the shopper said to me, "Wow, you look too young to be his mother. I was going to ask if you'd come nanny for me part-time. I mean, really. Wow."

Now, I haven't felt like the youngest of ladies, lately. While I know that I am still quite young, I'm noticing changes in my skin that I didn't really expect. Things that show signs of age. 

"Thank you," I replied. "That's very sweet of you." 

The shopper asked, "So you're how old?" And I, "Just about 40." Then she looked at me, paused, and said, "You look like that and not a stitch of make-up, huh? I thought you were in your mid-20s."

It made my night. Here this woman, about my age, thought I was younger than she was. 

What makes this difference? I think it's partly genetics, of course, but also, it's the life choices that I make. I drink tons of water, exercise regularly, and try to eat lots of fruits and veggies. I snack on nuts, and hummus, and the only really bad thing that I do is lie in the sun. I used to smoke religiously, a pack a day, but gave that up ten years ago.

My son and I, when we are bored, people watch. Sometimes we play a game and we guess who smokes. We can tell, because they have different skin, and lines around their lips and eyes. Somehow, and I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but the habit of smoking shows on your face. Even on women in their 20s. Their skin looks deprived and sad. And baby, it isn't pretty.

The reality is that I don't really look like I'm in my 20s. Not even my late 20s. But the compliment still made me feel good, and it made me realize that my Amy's Spinach pocket and bottles of water just may be part of the key to my fountain of youth. 

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