Saturday, December 6, 2008

Something Fishy in the Fountain of Youth

Working on the Upperish West Side I’ve caught Barbara Walters and Anthony Kiedis lunching al fresco--not together. I’ve spotted a very dazed Jeff Goldblum stumbling around Columbus Circle in a porkpie hat.

One not fun sight is a species of woman I call the rich fish lady. Rich fish ladies are that rare breed of older women who’ve “kept it tight” way beyond menopause. I see RFLs every day, swimming upstream on Broadway for a hair appointment or a light lunch, wearing size 24 Seven jeans, clutching handbags that could pay my rent.

Their hair, an exuberant blonde, is perfectly coiffed, framing a taut face that looks like something out of the fucking Twilight Zone (see episode “Eye of the Beholder”). Mothra-sized designer sunglasses shield bulging eyes that peer over emaciated cheekbones. Then, there’s their mouths. Their fucking mouths. Puffy, protruding, all spackled with gloss, taking up 57% of their total body mass. You’d think with faces that cartoonish these women would have animated expressions, but they’re capable of only mild anger or irate surprise.

I know I’m not breaking new ground here. and its ilk have been around since Al Gore invented the Internet. I just don’t understand how any of these RFLs think that having a puffer fish face equals a “fuck you” to aging.

Maybe it’s easy for me to be all preachy, since I’m a genetically blessed older-than-she-looks twenty-something, but what’s wrong with looking older when you’re, well, old? Yes, our culture values youth over the aged, but there are benefits derived from getting old and wizened.

Being a little old lady guarantees a seat on the subway. Younger people look to you as a sage, and if they’re really nice they’ll carry your stuff. You are no longer obliged to follow exhaustive pop culture and current events (who cares! You’re dying soon anyway!) You can be kooky like Edith Bouvier and no one pays any mind ‘cause you’re an old bat and if you want to venture outdoors wearing support hose and a housecoat it’s totally cool.

If you’re an old lady, chances are you have some grandkids. Everyone loves their grandma! Unless, that is, you have one of those mean, VC Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic kind of grannies. If that’s the case, I’m sorry.

I was lucky enough to have a grandma’s grandma. Loretta baked cakes from scratch for dessert every Sunday, slipped $20s in birthday cards and said stuff like “bless her little heart.” After a visit, she’d stand at the window and wave to you as you drove away.

She passed peacefully in her sleep this past October. At the funeral, my family displayed photos spanning Loretta’s 90 years. As a young woman, she was movie star gorgeous, like a brunette Carol Lombard to my grandpa Lester’s Clark Gable.

It was a revelation to see her young, vibrant and gorgeous. I’d always known her as cute lil’ grandma. It confounded me even further as to why the rich fish ladies of the world are terrified of aging as gracefully as Loretta. Wouldn’t it have been grand to see Dolly Parton age into a sweet old lady like June Carter? Dolly’s my fucking homegirl and I’ll never disrespect her ‘cause she’s a precious angel sent down to the Smoky Mountains straight from heaven, but damn, girl, your face belongs in an aquarium.

–Megan Metzger


Anonymous said...

Great episode

Keanon said...

Trout pout makes me want to buy a gun. I love my white beard hairs.

Lo said...

This cracked me up, especially the half-hearted and apologetic diss on Dolly.