Friday, February 18, 2005

On Aging: Seeing Spots

As another birthday looms near, I find myself approaching my mid-thirties, which, according to my friends, is the time when we finally stop focusing so much on the things we want out of life, and begin convincing ourselves that we never really wanted them in the first place. But for me, each new birthday signals a changing of the guard, of sorts. A time for me to try to pass on something I have learned to a younger generation, so that they might benefit from my squandered youth.

With that in mind, I launch my new feature, On Aging – a series of brief observations on what it means to watch your body fall apart before your very eyes. Enjoy.

Along with an uncontrollable urge to cry at any sports-related movie – even though I hate sports-related movies – my thirtieth year also gave me the gift of vision. Before I turned thirty, I never looked for physical signs of aging, which I suppose is partly because there weren’t all that many to be concerned with.

But magically, as though given the sight of the Oracles, the day after my thirtieth birthday, I looked into the mirror and saw through the mist of youth, revealing colors and lines in my face I had never before witnessed. Recently, I was discussing this phenomenon of self-observation with my friend, Vivian:

“So, this is weird – I thought I found liver spots on the back of my right hand yesterday.”


“Yeah. But then I licked them and realized it was just some melted chocolate.”

“Jenny, why in god’s name would you lick something you suspected to be a liver spot?”

“On the outside chance that it might be chocolate.”