Tight skin, sparkling eyes and gums that don't recede
By Patty Froese
I'm in my mid-thirties. A few days ago my husband's cousins arrived in Canada from Africa, and we've been going about helping them settle in. They are really delightful people in their very early twenties, all good looking and optimistic.
I remember being twenty and looking at people in their mid-thirties. I thought one of two things. A: "I will never look that old. I will be much cooler." Or B: "I can't even imagine being that old."
Well, here I am! And I realized as I chatted with my husband's young cousins that I'm that "older woman" to them. I'm the one they chat with and think, "I will never get to be like that." It's okay, though, because at the place I am now, I look at people in their forties and think the exact same thing. That will never be me. Until I went shopping for a pair of jeans at Winner's the other day and tried on a pair of "mom jeans..." You know the kind, high waisted and totally comfortable. I didn't buy them, because I'm still determined to be young and hip no matter how much I hate having my rear end squeezed into restrictive denim, but I heard the siren call...
Aging takes us all by surprise. In my head, I still look like a twenty-year-old, and I don't imagine that is going to change much. In my head, I'm also a much cooler woman than I am in person. I have the right things to say. I can cast a scathing look that looks regal instead of just scowly. I'm also about twenty pounds lighter in my imagination.
Novel writing suits me because it encourages my delusions. I was always one of those kids who could live in the novels I was reading, and when I discovered I could write those novels and create whatever reality I wanted to, I felt almost drunk with delight. Of course, back then I kept writing myself older, and now I'm doing the reverse.
Truth be told, I don't want to go back in time. I'm wiser now, and that's worth the price of some skin elasticity. I'm also a better writer now, and that's exciting to me. I don't want to move backwards, I want to keep marching forward, getting steadily better at what I do. And what do I do? I delve into my delusions and drag you with me. It's fun in my head. We say the right things. We're filled with attitude and snappy come backs. We're irresistible and we fall in love again and again. In my head, our skin is tight and our eyes are sparkling. Our gums go all the way down on our teeth, without that sensitive part right at the top...
It's nice in my head.
Patty Froese's most recent novel, Perfect on Paper, was released in April 2012. She's a novelist and a blogger. You can find her online at her blog, http://www.pattyfroese.com, or on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pattyfroese).
Blurb for Perfect on Paper:
Anne Stanborough, a well known mystery writer, inherits her maiden aunt's book store, Perfect on Paper. The lawyer handling her aunt's estate is none other than the handsome Jake Harrison, but despite his attraction to the beautiful author, his painful divorce has made him wary of a marriage between two driven professionals. Anne can't let go of the career she's worked her entire life towards, and he isn't willing to make a second mistake in marriage. It looks like they should call the whole thing off until Anne discovers that her late maiden aunt might not have been so "maiden" after all… A love story from the past tugs this couple back together again, but will it be enough to prove that a love founded in God really can overcome anything?