I know where I was when It happened. I don’t remember the date or time; maybe I was trying to deny the inevitable and erase it from my memory. But it happened, I stopped being “that girl”. No I don’t mean that ditzy Ann Marie from the 1960’s tv sitcom That Girl; I mean the girl who rock stars make a connection; the girl who could garner a smile from a total stranger.The one who the lead singer targeted in the audience.
I was the girl who stood out in a crowd. I am not being conceited because I was far from a strikingly beautiful person. My face was a little too full and I was never a thin person. But my grandfather always made me his photo test subject because I was photogenic. Maybe it was my smile or my blue-blue eyes. Whatever it was, I knew that I could capture the attention of XY gene carriers on a stage. I could feel their eyes connect with mine. Sometimes it was electric. I would smile and that smile was reciprocated. Sometimes their smile was a shy little smile and others an, out there, full grin. And while I could have been imagining it, I don’t think so. Because I remember when it ceased; more importantly, I remember how I felt.
Most times, this happened when my husband was with me; sitting (or standing) right next to me. It made me feel special. I was proud that I could catch the attention of someone other than my husband. No don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and would never do anything to lose his trust. And while this sounds very shallow and women out there may tell me I am demeaning myself, I was glad that I could stand next to my husband and know that I looked good for him and he could feel proud to have me next to him. And… other men knew that he was lucky to have me going home with him. It was nice to know I “had it.”
It was in 2010, the 35th anniversary tour for Air Supply. Kent likes to go to concerts and this was one that he really wanted to see. I agreed, even though I wasn’t readily familiar with the songs tied to the band name. (I am bad connecting song titles to bands. I was/am very familiar with their music. Now it all brings back sad memories).
Kent was excited for this concert. Famous for love songs that caused teen girls to swoon in the arms of their boyfriends. I am sure that Air Supply was responsible for many late night entanglement of arms and legs; you can imagine the rest. How could you not want to declare your undying love while, .“Lost in Love”, “All Out of Love”, “The One That You Love”, “Sweet Dreams”, or “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All”, played on your transistor radio. It was going to be a romantic evening, alone in a crowd, with my husband, I thought.
It was a small venue. We were in a hotel meeting room area at one of the local casinos. The stage was set up and metal folding chairs were parallel from the stage edge to the back wall of the venue. We chose our seats and then chose them again. We kept moving around until we found, what we felt were the perfect seats. We were in the third row, square in the middle of that row, center stage. I was ready for a night of swooning with my husband.
I know it was the 35th anniversary show (I know that because I have a guitar pick advertising their 35th year tour) but WOW, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock looked old. Their faces were fake baked (at least I thought their tans looked fake) and that really brought out Hitchcock’s silver fox colored hair. But what should I have expected from a band that was formed in 1975 and was still on the tour circuit. I would guess it had not been an easy life. Plus they were 60 and 61 years old.
The lights went down; you could feel the excitement, electricity in the air. And then the band came out, full of energy, even though they looked old, playing, singing with the same, smooth sounding voice, playing with eloquence and moving across the stage. And then the time came. It was time for “the contact”. Hitchcock’s eyes met mine. It was just a short glance and then, his eyes went to someone else. It felt like a cold, blank glance. I felt cold, unattractive. No, I felt old! and I was under the age of 50. I had lost it. Even thought the concert was great, the lack of an eyelock, is what stands out in my mind.
That was the beginning of a new era in my life. I was no longer “that girl”. I have been to concerts since 2010 and every concert is the same, I no longer have the same appeal. I am older. I am not the kind of “girl” who rock stars want to lock their eyes with. I am pretty sure that I still cause my husband’s heart to flutter. But I don’t think that men on the street look at my husband and say “What a lucky dog!” I still try to get the eye contact, but it is not meant to be.
I don’t know if I am okay with that, but it is what it is. I have yet to find a natural way to truly hide the wrinkles. I let my hair go natural and while there really is not that much gray, in fact very little, my hair does not have the same luster if I don’t add color. (By the way, after a year of no color, I have an appointment tomorrow). My face is finding gravity; my body is finding gravity. And it is taking more time to keep all that is me, together.
There are many reasons that I am blessed to be married to Kent. He puts up with all of my emotional days; days when it is hard to think positively and my mood comes out in my words. He puts up with my body changes and my, set in stone, beliefs. When my friends tell me that they don’t celebrate birthdays anymore, I say, “Heh, it’s better than the alternative!” I do believe that and while I believe I look pretty darn good for someone over 50, I wish I looked about 40 again, that was a good time for my face and body. So while I may look good for my age, and it is a compliment to hear, I wish I could learn how to naturally learn how to defy gravity and not look so old. I can’t see being so vain that I go under the knife.
I will age gracefully and maybe I will always look younger than my age, but I don’t know if I can accept that all of the things that are impossible to do at my age, are gone from my life.
Or maybe I should not limit myself. I have always said that if no one told me I couldn’t do something, that I could do anything. Maybe I should put that into practice. While I will never have another baby, maybe I could build up my stamina and canoe like I did as a teenager. (Somehow though, I think my all night partying days are over; that doesn’t even sound appealing to me anymore.)
To borrow an old, worn out saying, “You are only as old as you feel”. Maybe this is my inspiration to quit feeling sorry for myself and start feeling younger so I can truly reflect my youthful self.
How do you go about keeping yourself feeling young? How are you working at defying gravity and not needing to ask that question, “When did I get old?”
Now off to work out and start my new attitude! Okay, kidding! I am going to make some coffee, I think a chocolate peppermint latte this morning, and get ready for work.
I can see a change over the years. I don’t know how it happens but it is a reality and definitely better than the alternative.
I guess I should just look at it all and age gracefully.