I study the little poofy ponytail in the mirror, the same type my hair has made since I was a little girl. The apartment is warm but I have work to do, vanity be damned.
I notice that my once-prominent cheekbones have softened my face into an oval, my dark hair now colored a lighter shade of brown to more effectively disguise the greys. Am I too old to be seen with a ponytail?
Which brings on the questions.
City people walk a lot, so my legs still look ok. But should I still wear skirts? Skinny jeans? Skinny skirts? Sure, especially to work or if I have to be with hostile people.
At what age do we stop dancing? Not just the familial dancing at weddings but those rare, fun nights with friends and strangers on the dance floor. What about the dance classes that always made my back feel strong and limber?
I’m the oldest of many siblings and I often feel like an alien around them. My life references are different. I knew relatives and traditions that were lost to us before my sibs became cognizant. I live a more urban life than they chose. My high school and college music sound quite different from what they grew up with.
I’ve written about it before and I will do it again. This is not my grandma’s midlife. My cooking and sewing skills aren’t as advanced as hers were. At my age she had raised not only her own kids, but some of her grandchildren as well. I don’t own a housedress.
Ageism is not new and it’s not unique. But the nine year-old girl with the poofy ponytail whom some kids were not allowed to play with because of her ethnicity is grown now. The same skills I developed to handle that will serve me well as a midlifer.