I really thought I was getting through to her, making her see what life was all about, but then she spoke. She looked me right in the eye, those eyes with crow's feet imprinted on them, with an age spot on the left cheek, and said, "If you don't get me some Botox and a laser peel, sister, you'd better just cover all the mirrors in the house."
Thursday, August 8, 2013
A CASE OF AGE DISCRIMINATION
She and I used to be so close, it seemed like we could read each other's thoughts. We knew all the same people, had the same hobbies, and enjoyed the same books--even our politics lined up. But that was before. When I saw her recently, she felt like a stranger. My first thought was, "Oh my God, you look so old!" I didn't say anything, of course, but she knew what I was thinking, it was all over my face. She looked so unhappy, too. I tried to smile and cheer her up, but she wasn't buying it. Then, I decided to give her a pep talk about the good things in her life that had only come with the passage of time: the long friendships, the deep appreciation for nature, the poignancy of life itself. And how, when she was young, she couldn't understand the connectedness of everything, and how we are here for a higher purpose--to care for each other and lift each other up, to embrace a philosophy of loving kindness and compassion. I explained that age isn't important at all, it's wisdom, knowledge and experience that matter.
So I covered all the mirrors.