Terry Marotta: Some tips for the ladies, for keeping cheerful after 50
ONE, never, absolutely never, look at your face in the mirror on your car’s flip-down sun visor It is far too close to you and will make you look to yourself like a huge and scary monster. With a mustache.
TWO, never under any circumstances try on a bathing suit in the fish-tank fluorescence of a department store dressing room without first taking the proper precautions. By that I mean, should you chance to even find a suit you would dare wear in the glare of sunlight, ask the sales person to set it aside for you, then go elsewhere in the mall and buy the darkest sunglasses you can find and only then return to the store to try the thing on.
THREE, laugh at all emerging white hairs. Laugh, and then pluck the little devils — provided they arise in regions where you can pluck them. Plucking a white hair from your eyebrows is easy enough but be warned: At a certain age you may well lose those eyebrows altogether and then you will be faced with the choice of either looking like a hairless Teletubby or setting out on the path of drawing them on every day which brings the risk of looking like Count Chocula.
Some women have their eyebrows, and even some eyeliner tattooed on, which you can also consider doing if you have tons of money and you don’t mind a needle 2 centimeters from you corneas.
FOUR, if you start to get as white in the head as the Ghost of Christmas Past and this bothers you, do not be afraid to get out the dye. At some point, my own hair went from its original raven’s-wing black to the color of the used charcoals on the old-time grill you just saw at the dump. Accordingly, I have now put myself into the hands of a just-out-of-beauty-school colorist who last month brought out the Clorox, rendered layers of my hair broom-bristle yellow, and then put on the modulating substance known as “toner,” restoring it to its signature charcoal-color-with-hints-of-rusty-bicycle-chain orange. I do have a friend whose hair went completely grey in her 20s and gets hints of her original black put back in — sort of under and around her now-snow-white hair, in the process known as “low-lighting.” She looks amazing, like Susan Sontag with saucy hints of Cruella Deville. “Is a possibility for me?” I wondered, giddy with a sense of adventure after seeing her again this past weekend. “Maybe I’ll do with my hair what Connie does with hers,” I said to my mate, who had the same reaction he did the time I told him I wanted to take up skydiving. In other words he maintained a judicious silence.
Which was fine.
Approval from the guys isn’t the kind of approval we over-50s want anyway. So what DO we want? We want the kind of approval we get from other women, who, upon on seeing us in whatever state will hug us tight and then exclaim, “You look fabulous!’’
— Contact Terry Marotta at terrymarotta@gmail. com and visit her blog Exit Only at terrymarotta. wordpress.com.