try me in the dark with the light behind me

I will try to stay awake long enough to check in. here. I had a haircut today, a good one. My friend and mentor, Richard, says I look like Louise Brook. (Look her up.) Not me, the haircut.  My friends who took me for dinner tonight as a “waving from the banks” gesture, say I look YOUNGER.  Not really.  It’s trompe l’oeil, is all.

 (ORIGIN French, literally ‘deceives the eye.’)

 And that makes me think of all the ads on TV now trying to persuade women to use their product to reduce wrinkles.  No, not to reduce wrinkles, rather to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It’s pretty subtle but the wording protects them from an accusation of false advertising.  They all do it; it’s smoke and mirrors.  Don’t look. Don’t look now but those are pearls that were her eyes, or whatever. 

I remember reading a cute line by a stand-up comic who was mocking female cosmetics, that a thin layer of Crisco would achieve for the skin what all the sheep’s embryos and mare’s urine promise to do. Yes, well. Hard to absorb – not the mare’s urine but the implication of the comment – for a woman who has been persuaded that her only value lies in her (youthful, beautiful) appearance.  We’ve all been psyched, to some extent, and we’ve bought it .  The comic, BTW, was male.

I had good strong skin and it lasted pretty well.  As I aged and people kept saying I didn’t look whatever age I had achieved by that point, I was cheered by  Gloria Steinem who, when she reached 40 and said so, parried the protests that she didn’t look 40, with the great line, “This is what 40 looks like”,  meaning that women over 40 and even over 50, kept saying they were 39, and of course, they didn’t look it. Sixty isn’t the new 40 nor does it look like it, ever.

As a semi-public (meaning not very well-known) person, I have always let my publicist, when I had one, tell my age.  I backed into a scintilla of fame and had no choice before it was too late. So what? I aged, not in leaps and bounds but in a series of evolutionary plateaux. I think you go along looking much the same for four or five years and then wham! it’s like snakes and ladders and you slide down a snake into the next pit- old age, well, older age. Somewhere along the way, I decided that it was easier to try to be pretty than to be young. For a while, anyway.

Too late now.  Neither pretty nor young, Great haircut though.

Tomorrow I fly to London. I have to go to sleep now. Tomorrow is another day.