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Sep 6

You look good … for your age

Posted on Monday, September 6, 2010 in Aging, Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Self image

Mia had a goofy little smile on her face when we met for coffee before work the other morning.

“What’s with you?”

“Nothing, why?”

“Did Rex rock your sexy little world last night? You look pretty damn pleased with yourself.”

“Oh, ha! No, this guy in my yoga class was shocked when he found out how old I am. He told me I look 10 years younger.”

“Well, you do. Yeah, when I told a gal how old
I was the other day, she said I looked great for
my age.”     

“Ugh, I hate that ‘for your age’ thing. It’s like such
a backhanded compliment.”

“Me, too. What exactly does my age look like?

Do you know?

“For your age” is not something you hear when you’re in your 20s and 30s, the decades of youth and assumed beauty, although, honestly, I’ve seen a lot of not so-attractive 20- and 30-somethings.

Then, at some point around your 40s, you enter
that particular subset of beauty — the  “for your
age” subset.

I suppose it’s a compliment, but again — what is
a middle-aged woman “supposed” to look like?
Damned if I know, but I’m certainly not going to
turn to the world at large to help me figure it out.

Some women my age are wearing Lane Bryant
size 18s. They’re overweight and under-exercised, and they’ve let themselves go. Compared with them, you bet I look great! Is that what my age is “supposed” to look like? No thank you!

And then there are the women my age who’ve
turned themselves into living Barbie dolls, adding or subtracting body parts like Mrs. Potato Head, injecting chemicals and fillers to smooth, boost and erase, re-creating themselves into what they want to look like and not who they really are. Is that what my age is “supposed” to look like? God, I hope not!

OK, sure — there are many people who think those women look a lot better than I do. Maybe they do. But beyond my minor beauty sleights-of-hand — highlighting my hair (which is not permanent, BTW), a little lipstick, eyeshadow and mascara and keeping the aging wolves at bay by moisturizing like hell — I’m just not interested in putting my body through that.

And, I don’t think it even think it looks good. It looks fake.

I don’t have some secret-to-youth beauty routine. I don’t do anything extraordinary, certainly not anything expensive. In fact, I’m pretty shocked — and very, very thankful — that all those years of my “youthful indiscretions” and of blowing off my mom’s warnings about sunscreen and moisturizer before I got with the program didn’t damage me for good.

Perhaps my “looking great” is genetic. Maybe, I should thank my mom and dad although I didn’t think like that when I was younger.

I was part of the “hope I die before I get old” generation, so I used to look at my parents and think, “You’re just so old!” There was nothing about them that looked or acted youthful.

Yet when I looked through an album of family photos recently, I was blown away by one of my mom taken when she was around my age, maybe a few years younger. Her lips were lush and red, her tight shirt displayed her ample bosom and tiny waist, her face was vibrant and sexy. My mom was a babe! A middle-aged hottie. How could I not have seen that when I was younger?

I guess our vision of what middle age looks like is still being guided by our impressions from when we were young and flawless. We saw wrinkles, saggy arms, veiny legs. And, you know, most of us do start looking like that when we’re “old” old — although who knows if people in their 70s and 80s see it that way. I’ll let you know when I get there.

So, I’m neither flattered nor upset when people tell me that I look great “for my age,” whether they mean it sincerely or whether it’s a backhanded way to point out that I’m old … or at least older than they are. Instead, I just thank them.

Inside, though, I may snicker.

All that really matters is that when I look in the mirror, I honestly can say that, yeah, I’m looking pretty good. I care enough about myself to care for myself; how can I expect anyone else to care about me if I don’t do it myself? And, really, that attitude looks good at any age.

  • How do you decide if someone looks good, or do you judge it by his/her age?
  • Is it a compliment if someone tells you that, or …?
  • What’s your beauty “secret”?

Photo © Angelika Bentin – Fotolia.com

Jun 21

Girl talk: It isn’t all about feelings

Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010 in Honesty, Men, Relationships, Women

The dinner party was shaping up to be like so many others —  eventually, the women gathered on the couch and the overstuffed chairs around the coffee table and the men hung by the counter with the booze and food.

I have no idea what the men were talking about, but I was in very familiar if often boring and exhausting territory — kids, homework, teachers, grades, chores, SATs, men, clothes, diets, work-life balance, juggling, Botox, yoga. Aka, the world of women. 

I looked over at the men. They were animated
and laughing, while the gals mostly had furrowed brows — well, except
the Botoxed among us, whose brows had their perma-poker faces on.

What the hell are they talking about, I wondered.

But, really, what the hell were we talking about?

“Why are women always talking about men and kids?” my friend Dan asked me weeks after the party as we sat at Sam’s, soaking in the sun and a few beers.

“That’s not all we talk about!” I said a bit defensively, holding back from throwing out some snarky line about what guys talk about.

Not to betray the sisterhood, but he wasn’t totally off the mark. Sure, science has debunked the myth that women talk more than guys, even though we do use a few more words than they do: 16,215  a day to their 15,669. But those 546 words — as well as a good part of the rest of them — couldn’t be more Mars-Venus.

Honestly, when was the last time you heard a man say the word “empowering”?

Exactly.

As any guy will tell you, women spend way too much time as a “Sex and the City” episode, talking about relationships, feelings and shopping. And, as any woman will tell you, men talk way too much about sports and techie things like weighing the pros and cons of the iPad versus the iPhone.

Not to say that we’re all like that — we’re not. But, if we are, is that so bad?

I don’t think so … unless, of course, we’re trying to talk about those things with members of the opposite sex. Honestly, I don’t think guys really want to hear us obsess about our kids and school. I’m absolutely positive they don’t want to hear us obsess about our weight and our feelings — especially if it comes off as insecurities. And, as much as I can get excited about New Zealand’s tie with Italy in the World Cup and Freddy Sanchez’s first homer of the season, it’s not that big a deal to me; I’m not going to remember it much past this week. But I can accept that Sean, The Kid and a lot of other men in my life will.

Women tend to be people people and men tend to be things people, and you know, I’m totally cool with that.

I’m just not cool when we get judged for that, or when someone thinks that’s all we’re about. Because it’s not.

Even when it seems like it is.

Like this weekend, when Sara, Mia and I had worked up a good sweat on the trail, not only because it had some kick-ass elevation, but we’d gotten into a pretty intense discussion about the BP debacle — which somehow morphed into analyzing Mia and Rex’s recently fight. A logical thought progression …

And that’s just when a guy sprinted by.

I know exactly what he heard — and thought. It was totally incriminating girl talk. We must have sounded like a bunch of middle-aged women freaking out about a small thing that a decent guy no doubt wanted to fix while some insecure woman wanted to turn into an “issue.”

“Humpf!” I heard him mumble under his breath as he passed by, shaking his head.

No, no, no! I thought. You should have passed by a few minutes ago!

I always feel a bit embarrassed when we gals are busted for being so emo.

“Why are you looking so pained?” Sara asked me.

“That guy. He passed by just as we were obsessing about Mia and Rex.”

“So what? His wife’s probably somewhere right now talking about him.”

Probably.

But if she’s smart, when he gets home, she’ll shut up.

  • Does girl talk bother you?
  • Are man and women fundamentally interested in very different things?
  • Can men and women communicate well?

Photo © A_nik – Fotolia.com

Dec 1

Kat unleashed

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 in Kat

sketch-v.1If you’ve found me from my old blog on the IJ, I hope you like my new “home.” If you’re just discovering me, welcome.

So, if you’re wondering why I’ve unleashed myself, well, it’s as simple as this:  I’ve decided to take my blog in a new direction — more posts, shorter posts, edgier posts (meaning I might talk a little bit more about masturbation and porn) — and I wanted the freedom to do that (without making a bunch of biddies get all bent out of shape). You know we kitty kats just hate to be tied up (except when want to be, of course)

You may also notice that I’ve had a few, uh, nips and tucks; hey, the blog is two years old now, and it was time for me to update my image. I’m not getting any younger, after all. But I refuse to Botox or otherwise augment artificially my humorous and thought-provoking (well, I think they are!) musings on dating, parenting, midlife, work, society, singles, men and women, and, of course my favorite subject, sex.

But here’s another thing that hasn’t changed — I blog because I want to get a dialog going, so I hope you’ll stop by and comment. After all, I don’t bite; just a few nips.

****

So, what do you think of my new digs?

***

My first few thoughts here:

I don’t want to enter the fray over Tiger Woods and his, what shall we call it, mishap; I feel sorry that the Woods family has to deal with, well, whatever they’re dealing with in the aftermath of Tiger’s early-morning accident and whatever might have come before. But I’ve been wondering about all the fuss over Tiger’s wife. The question being posed by many bloggers/columnists is, who the heck is Elin Nordegren Woods, anyway?

There isn’t much to read about her! they complain (which speaks well about her, if you ask me).

“We’d like to think the best of her, but we simply don’t know much about her,”

But what are they really saying — that if we read about her in Vanity Fair or People or OK! or see her on Oprah that we would know her? Do we really believe that what we read about a celebrity — or his/her spouse — is the truth? Isn’t it the version of the truth they want us to believe, or that we ourselves want to believe? Would knowing more about Mrs. Woods than the little we “know” — that she had a brief modeling career, grew up in Sweden, has a twin sister and is the child of divorce — make us “know” her,  and would then somehow explain what went on last week? That we could “think the best of her” (and why aren’t we thinking the best of her?)

What do you think?