I’m growing old
Yesterday, Dottie and I went to a bridal shower for one of Abby’s best friends1. I’ve known Molly since she and Abby were in High School together2 (I’ve known Bryan, her fiance, for longer than that), so, yeah, that’s definitely a mark of aging. That’s not what motivated me to post this.
On Thursday I accompanied Dottie to the mall while she shopped for her and Abby’s gift, her money, her choices, I was there for company more than feedback. She was putting together a ‘spa basket’. So when the man selling creams and scrubs from a kiosk>3 hailed us we were pleased. He was slick, certainly. He greeted us as sisters (corny but effective) and was otherwise quite charming. Then, while demoing his products he was rather less complimentary, with subtle (occasionally less subtle) digs at my appearance and habits, designed to sell his overpriced wrinkle cream, all delivered in a friendly manner designed to cloak him in the halo effect. It was pretty egregious. It did not make him any sales (despite his proffered ‘special deal’), but he avoided being dressed down in front of everyone who walked by.
Dottie and I discussed it afterwards. I said the pitch was calculated to take advantage of women’s insecurity about aging (at the same time being an example of cultural pressures which reinforce the insecurities). Her feeling (as a Fashion and Marketing minor) was that all cosmetics marketing basically does the same thing (minus the reference to aging). She has a point, but I don’t think it makes mine less valid.
The thing is
I walked into the situation with a level of acceptance of my own aging. If I seriously thought someone mistook me for my daughter’s sister, I’d be horrified. I’m pleased that my hair is turning silver (as opposed to gray). I’m not happy with all the changes my body is going through, because of health implications, but there are some aspects of aging which I look forward to. Peri-menopause does have some downsides, but I’m looking forward to the end of it, not bemoaning the fact that it began.
At the same time, this encounter is still bothering me three days later. Not enough to ruin my day, but enough that I want to blog about it. So I’m making an effort to took for positive and empowering images of aging in America. Starting with aging playboy bunnies, and following up with a song:
Blog Contests and Giveaways
This isn’t really a knitting post, but I wanted to slip this one in before closing. Slipped Stitch Studios is giving away a $50 gift card. Enter today, drawing tomorrow (1 August). I really want to get a Go Crafty Needle Case, but it’s not in budget until the job situation gets better.
Footnotes (because I’m just that geeky)
1 For those playing without a scorecard, Abby and Dottie are both my daughters. Dottie is a Junior in college, and Abby is serving overseas in the Peace Corps. Which is another way to mark the fact that I’m growing old.
2Why, yes, since you ask (and I know you’re asking) I did give her a handmade gift. It’s a merino/alpaca/silk lace infinity scarf. Everyone else gave gifts from the registry, which just goes to show that I’m out of touch with the current customs as well as just being old, but I believe she was pleased with it and will get joy from it.
3No, I’m not going to identify the brand. Instead, I’ll recommend Lush. They are genuinely nice people (who don’t insult their customers) selling quality, ethically sourced products that you should check out.