Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's the Rush?

I am haunted by the skin of ancestors' past. 

The road-mapped visage of my great-aunts, Zeidy's sisters, cause me to blanch in fear. Sure, I may have gotten Bàbi's magnificent epidermis, which remained unlined, devoid of skin damage, glowingly perfect in her 80s. But how can I know until it is too late? 

Therefore, every morning, I carefully apply layers of sunblock. Every evening, I slather on alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, you name it. 

What else to fret about? Of course, the plight of single-hood, and the ridiculous calculation of my child-bearing years. My grandmother was older than me by quite a bit when she emerged from the war and promptly had a brood, despite her barren first marriage. 

Is it just me, or are us girls not enjoying our present as we obsess over our futures?
Carina Chocano wrote an article appropriately titled, "Girls Love Math. We Never Stop Doing It." 

Our age-related hysteria is not based simply on our family-oriented Jewish community. Secular media is focused on the unattached and "elderly," meaning late 20s and 30s. 

I can't understand it when I am on a date with a guy in his 30s, and he slowly and patiently attempts to explain to clueless me how the "shidduch crisis" works, that there are just so many more single girls than guys, blissfully unaware that, um, dude, you're a 32-year-old bachelor, as opposed to my age of 27. We are both single, but I'm the only one in the throes of a "crisis"?

In my own personal experience I actually know of more "older" single men than women. After all, I'm going out with them, aren't I?

In my shul, I am currently the oldest female single, yet the men's side has more than one bachelor male. My high school class of about forty has but five unattached gals, including myself. 

The world likes to cluck over the ticking time bomb that is my supposed obsolescence, and I get annoyed at myself when I believe them.    
For years, I worried that I would be dismissed for being too young right up until the moment when I started being dismissed for being too old. That means I spent a disproportionate piece of my 20s and 30s thinking it was all over. I remember crying to a male friend that my time was running out; that I didn’t think I would be able to squeeze it all in before my built-in expiration date. I was 24. Meanwhile, my 23-year-old roommate would languish on the couch wailing, “I feel like a piece of fruit rotting on the vine!” I look back at this now — at how bad, how ashamed I felt for letting myself turn 29 — and I can’t believe how much of my youth I squandered on feeling old.     
I loved this quote from an episode of Go On, "Back, Back, Back It's Gone!"

Ryan, a widower, is feeling bummed because he would like to start dating again but can't work up the nerve. George, an elderly blind man who is a member of the same support group, tells him this:
Slow down, son. Now, I'm gonna tell you a little secret. People think life is short. Nah, life is long. The next right thing will come to you. Let it. Just be ready.


in the vanguard said...

"Therefore, every morning, I carefully apply layers of sunblock. Every evening, I slather on alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, you name it."

Your bubby never did that, did she. You'd probably be a lot better off were you to use simple, pure soap and the pulp of aloe vera. Together, they are cheaper than any one of the junk you use, and, to be sure, much healthier.

But then again, youth always seem to try learning things on their own and discounting advice from older folks (like myself).

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

What is the proper balance between thinking about the future and enjoying the present?

Princess Lea said...

MGI: I am not sure. Of course one is supposed to think ahead, but not to the point when they are living primarily there and not here.