As if it isn’t already obvious, I have really been struggling with the whole aging issue. That hoary fist must strike most people my age-ish with approximately the same amount of force, but to someone who had depended mostly on looks to get her through life, it feels like a frozen two-fisted whammy right in the titties. As I had stated in an earlier post, my greatest fear is finding myself old and alone, and I think that my kids will probably make sure that doesn’t happen, hopefully, but… who will LOVE me? I mean, whose eyes will light up whenever I walk into a room? Who will gaze at me adoringly and always see the young, fresh-faced girl he loved way back when? I thought it would be Scott, but over the past couple years I’ve started to wonder. I mean, he still tells me I’m pretty, but to be honest, that’s a distinct downgrade from his previous adjective, “beautiful.”
Last night we were watching a show that featured Marcia Gay Harden. Now, I like her as an actor, but I’ve never thought her particularly attractive. I don’t know what Scott’s always thought of her, but last night he said, “She’s actually held up really well for her age.” I agreed, and said, “Yeah, look at her neck. It looks better than mine!,” of course hoping he’d jump right over to my side and tell me, That’s ridiculous! NOBODY’S neck looks better than yours! But he didn’t… Instead, he rubbed his fingers together in the international “money” gesture, as in, She has the money for plastic surgery to make her neck look good. Which of course I interpreted to mean, To make her neck, and everything else about her, look better than anything YOU sport on your ugly, wrinkly old raggedy-ass body. As in: Kelly, hideous Marcia Gay Harden, who’s at least ten years older than you (actually only five), looks better than you. This comment, close on the heels of him answering my earlier challenge that he doesn’t think older women are beautiful, with the opinion that, well, Sophia Loren has still got it, hit me hard. Right in my particular solar plexus of fear.
I’m talking about fear here. Rationality plays no part in my gut reaction, especially when faced with even a nugget of truth. I know Scott loves me, and he really wants to smooth out the rough patches we’ve been through over the last few years, and he can’t read my mind, especially when I’m not thinking but reacting, and it’s not always easy for him to express how he feels…
Nevertheless, to insulate myself against fear, I immediately want to starve my body and begin a stringent exercise program and in six months begin scanning the horizon for a new man who will unconditionally have the hots for my inevitably aging self.
Or give up men altogether and swing for the other side, which would probably be more accepting (since I would be). Despite my Rachel Weisz fixation.
But that’s the wrong strategy. I know that. And even “bettering” my marriage isn’t the answer. No, I have to – HAVE TO – continue my quest to learn to love myself, to be the woman I love. That means caring for myself in scary new ways, thinking about myself with scary new thoughts, and taking scary new actions. Then I won’t be quite as dependent upon what Scott, or anybody else, thinks of me. And maybe my own eyes will light up whenever I look in a mirror. And maybe I’ll be someone whose eyes light up for other people, making them feel loved, and thus end up feeling more loved myself. I have all this unfamiliar territory to traverse, and I’m not going to lie to you, it’s fucking scary. But I’m not going back to old habits. Baby needs a new pair of shoes, and baby really wants to buy them for herself this time. Love! xo