The Young and the Foolish

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When I was a child I overheard a grown-up conversation my stepmom was having with a friend at the kitchen sink. I had been shooed away but the muffled sounds and urgent tone brought me back to silently stand outside the kitchen door.

“But she’s almost half my age,” my mom’s friend sobbed into the starched collar of her white dress.

“Let him go for now,” my mom said. “He’ll be back.” It never happened. It took my mom’s friend twelve years to build another life apart from what she had known.

And it took me an instant to resolve that no one would ever turn me into a wreck and that I would never allow growing old to play me for a fool.

Ahh! Neither happened but the young are foolish anyway.


Pop culture celebrates their perkiness, their helium filled cheeks and skinny frames. And the ones who cry next to the kitchen sink, slightly grey, slightly plump are ignored.

Beauty companies don’t make it any easier.

Earlier this week in New York, I walked into the magic cosmetic kingdom. Sephora, and there was a glorious poster of a model who looked like she had just stepped off the Victoria Secrets runway. She was showing off an anti ageing eye-cream, supposedly for woman who were twice her age.


I confess that when I saw the poster I felt a sense of regret. I thought about my mom’s friend and how screwed she must have felt. But I also felt very brave, like the girl who stood outside the kitchen door. I am very resolved in how I intend to grow old. I accept the creased lines on my face knowing that more will form soon enough. I embrace life while trying to remain healthy and rooted in love. I know that disease or an accident can robe me of resolve at any time. There are no guarantees.

Still I am not alone in my pursuit. Women are living 20-30 years past their grandmother’s age. Hollywood too has caught up with the fact that we actually like seeing actors like Patricia Arquette, Viola Davis and Julianne Moore on screen.


Their presence may be accompanied by a gazillion makeup artists and a budget for constant red carpet looks but we love seeing them, if only because they make us shrug the invisibility cloak we are used to putting on once we pass 40.

Showing 2 comments
  • Yolande dick

    Great read, after turning 40 my low self esteem got higher, I think it came from the fact that I have made it to this point just the way I am so that must be a good thing. I love all of my full figured self, I have my own style and trend is not in my vocabulary, I wear comfortable clothes that speaks me, beauty has become so complicated which is sad. I think I have become sexier at this age because of how I see myself. Loving yourself and being true to yourself is the most beautiful thing ever.I can rock a front cover magazine too, just watch me lol. I am Forty Foward Woman ?

  • chris

    I love how this was written.

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