Sunday, February 22, 2009


What is it about women and age?

What is it about women who lie about their age? Don't they know that if they are 45, but tell people they are 30-something, they would only seem to be like a very old 30-something? A very badly aging woman?

No matter how good you look for your age, you are meant to look your age. Although your behaviour and general outlook in life does help in making you look younger, there are subtle changes in a woman's features that will differentiate her from the other women in the different decades of their lives.

My mom is 63, but when she dresses up and makes herself up, she looks 50 or even younger. She never lies about her age. As a matter of fact, she would always be delighted to make people guess how old she is, usually younger than she really is, before finally revealing it to them to see the reaction on their faces. I am actually proud that my mom really does look good for her age. Well, she never had any HRT and she does not go to spas. She just doesn't look her age.

As for me, I know for a fact that I don't act my age. Even though I do admit that the energy level is not the way it used to be, not for a very long time, but it had not been at the worst. I don't dress like a punked up grubby little punkster, but outside of work, I keep it simple for the most part, usually T and jeans. I have had my fair share of people mistaking me for someone younger. I guess being a happy, carefree, immature woman has its merits. Huahahaha!

The truth is, age had never been a big deal for me, whether it is other people's or mine. I don't see getting old as a bad thing. In fact, I can't wait to be 4o and see how I will be at that age. I honestly do. My teens and twenties were OK but not up to my expectations. My thirties, I hope will be better.

I even like men who are older. Can you see how being old or older does not mean anything negative to me? The way I see it, people hate getting old, because of the youth-worshipping media, biological clocks and simply because they will shrivel up, lose a lot of control over their physical self and eventually die at the end of it. Sure, no one can see the bright side of that other than making room for the next generation, but hey, if you have done the best you can while you were alive and made all the contributions you can within your time limits, what is there to complain about? Leave with your dignity still intact. Isn't that how it is supposed to be anyway?

But the fact is, we have to be patient. We all have to be patient when it comes to age and ageing. Including me.

However, it is extremely insensitive of me to not realize that not everyone can share my sentiments on this issue.

Here's the thing, I like saying "Yelah, sejak dah tua ni... bla bla bla...". I joke about my age. I joke about the perils of growing older and shriveling up into an unappetizing prune of my former self (Even though I am totally aware how gebiew I am no matter how people associate getting old with wrinkling up. Being a fatty does have its merits, see?) because I truly don't mind growing old and don't mind people saying I am old.

So there I was, last Friday, joking with an older colleague of mine whom I totally respect, about her being older, simply by saying "Orang tua ni...." in front of some strangers. If I were her, I would have just said "Budak gemuk ni..." right back at me. But she is not as quick-tongued as I am, and she is the prim and proper and private type. She keeps most things to herself, unlike me whose life is an open book. She just laughed it off. Later in the afternoon, I got a text message from her telling me how hurt she was from my remark.

There. I have hurt someone's feelings again. Just because I was comfortable with her, that was no excuse to embarrass her in front of some strangers. That was so insensitive of me. I have apologized. I know how it feels like, even when you know that the other person is just joking. I do have a sensitive part. So I totally understand how hurt she was when I said that, especially in front of strangers. Even if you'd like to think those people don't really care about what they heard, because they probably thought we were a bunch of selamba people who doesn't get beat down easily by these things. Still, she is a colleague whom I have great respect for and whose feelings and opinions I value. I am glad she had the guts to say it to me even via text, rather than say things behind my back because that way, I could correct myself and apologize for my mistakes.

I'm very sorry, kak. Like I said, I can't promise because I have a foot-in-mouth disease. But I promise to try very hard not to do that again.

The moral of the story is, you know the moral of the story.

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