I worry a lot about aging but more so about the damage it is doing to my inner being than the crow’s feet and wrinkles on the surface.
This worry, I think, stems from reading a book that suggested that as we age we sit like fruit in a bowl gradually rotting from the inside out. What a depressing thought. If that is true, I must take action.
After much contemplation, I eventually became convinced that if we can prolong surface beauty through cosmetics and surgery, there must be something we can do about the inner rot. Surely if we are so adept at making the ‘look of forty’ stand still until we are well into old age, we can do something about keeping the imagination and optimism of youth stabilized within. And obviously, having given it some thought, there can be no debate over which is more critical.
Granted, although surface beauty is initially compelling it is not what attracts us to others who are sincere, considerate, respectful, and fun to be with. Beauty of face does not validate the things we most long for. It is not what draws us to others and others to us. It is not what provides the sweet, comforting relationships that make us grateful every day for those special people that are part of our lives.
So as I sit in this fruit bowl, aging, ‘rotting from the inside out’, what I want is a cosmetic routine and re-constructive surgery that hits the problem area. What I want is a salon well equipped with antidotes for the withering at the core of my being.
Maybe we can start with anointing my optimism and shaving away those errant growths of cynicism. And after that I want a profusion of emollients and balms that will keep my emotions moisturized, my feelings silken, my dreams lustrous, my hope ruddy and glowing, my appreciation of life, massaged, and I know, I know…my imagination trimmed down to a reasonable size. And after that, I’ll move to the O.R. for nipping and tucking of those ragged edges of disappointment and fear. I’ll need vacuuming of that puffy flesh of self-ego, and bypass surgery of my opinionated gut. And just below my withered breasts, an implant of tolerance and a size 42D implant of faith.
Now, bring me the mirror. How do I look?