We live in an ageist society . It’s been said before and I am saying it again. Maybe forever 21 came up with their slogan on a whim but today it’s the widespread norm.
There was a time when the formula youth = success was limited to the Fashion and entertainment industry. The ordinary, everyday people took aging as a natural phenomenon and went about their daily lives and jobs unaffected.
Neither was older than 20 something need not apply was a box that needed to be ticked on a job application .
However in the recent years this obsession with youth has trickled down and become mainstream in our society and culture. Every where you go , you are bombarded with the latest in anti aging innovations , ranging from high tech skin care, makeup, supplements , gadgets , surgical procedures and the last I checked anti aging water and even drinkable collagen !😕
It doesn’t matter where in the world you live or which ethnicity you belong to. Once you cross the 20 something threshold you are guilty of committing a grievous sin.
Owing to circumstances beyond my control it was well into my late twenties that I had the opportunity to start crossing items off my dated and yellowing bucket list.
Little did I know I was ineligible for over half the things on my list since I no longer fit the 15-20 age bracket anymore.
I remember signing up for dancing lessons and considering penciling in the 25-30 age box myself in exasperation.
For me at 16, finishing homework and passing exams was the limit to my ambitious thinking. What I learned that day while attempting to blend in with the other 18 year old somethings , was that life goals today are not only planned out but close to being achieved when you hit the 20 something age mark.
As I stood there , I realized that I had completely missed “The young and The successful” boat ages ago. I remembered the time when our mothers would lie about their ages out of sheer vanity and getting older meant becoming wiser , smarter and more graceful.
As I crossed out the 18-20 age box and handed over the form grudgingly I realized lying about my age was going to be more out of necessity than of vanity.
Ever since I was a teenager I was notoriously bad at crossing the street having invisible blinders strapped to either side of my face which enabled me to look straight ahead not on either side and therefore step brazenly albeit dreamily right into incoming traffic read mad, speed happy, crazy, graffitied rickshaws, taxis, buses and motorcyclists who were forced to brake, holler and shake their fists in mid air in order to startle me from my reverie.
Today years later I happened to be walking to the supermarket with my dad and just as we approached the busy street and waited to cross Papa immediately clasped my hand firmly and guided me across the street all the while chatting nonchalantly about this and that and didn’t let go until we were safely on the sidewalk.
The fact that my incredibly busy and seemingly unassuming father took note of and remembered this habit of mine years later made me feel ridiculously happy , incredibly touched and left me a wee bit misty eyed which I attempted to cover under the age old got a speck of dust in my eye alibi.
I as a daughter may or may not remember his quirks and oddities but I hope as a parent I will be as mindful of my kids as my parents are of me 💕💗💖💓❤️.
Although I love long hair as much as rapunzel , I have to say when you are an old fossil like me it tends to tack on a few hundred years to your already ancient facade…with that in mind I decided it was time to chop off a hundred yards Based on a friends recommendation on the spur of the moment I called up the salon expecting to be told they had no opening till the next century but was pleasantly surprised that they could accommodate me in the next few hours. A color and cut will only take an hour or so I was informed politely. I looked dubiously at my mane that for the moment was in its customary “i don’t know how the hell to style this Amazonian bush ” bun .
Once I was seated in front of the mirror clutching my valet ticket nervously after being assured by the receptionist they would validate it and save me the 50 or so in parking fees, I found myself attempting to explain the look I was after to the stylist a ethinic guy with a cautious look on his face.
Anything like these I ventured showing him a half a dozen pics of flowing locks being sported by airbrushed to perfection models on my phone.
Aah I understand … Came the customary reply .. I have heard a gazillion times before any hair cutting disaster. With the exception of my one dear stylist who I had to bid adieu back in California I have generally had very rotten luck almost everywhere when it comes to my hair. I cannot recount the no of times I have bounced from Salon to salon to be asked where I got my hair done since it was a total botch up and needed to be redone from the scratch
So how long will it take I asked as he started to free my hair from its messy bun , “about an hour”.. Aiiiyee! This is lot of hair! The stylist exclaimed as the Amazonian bush finally free from its captivity proceeded to drape over the chair. “4 hours!” He said firmly and beckoned over an assistant , apparently the hideously never ending task at hand required reinforcements.
To cut a long story short at the end of 3.5 hours when both my feet and my butt had given up and fallen asleep and the stylist whose name I had finally thought of asking made the dreaded comment…”who cut your hair? It’s done all wrong!” And proceeded to snip away using a pair of viciously sharp scissors and a multi tooth blade with which he sliced and hacked away at my hair with fervor.
When I finally dared to open my eyes the stylist Sergio was done blow drying my hair and was attempting to put in barrel curls apparently under the impression that I was off to a swanky event and needed to be primed to the nines. I didn’t have the heart to tell him after 4 hours that the only date these curls were having after a round of pick and drop from school was with a defrosted chicken and a packet of Shan biryani masala. ☹
So I let him plough on ,” where you from ?” Sergio interrupted my sad contemplation of my impending fate. Apparently he figured after wrestling with several pounds of unruly hair for four hours he had the right to get to know the owner of this mane of torture. “California” I proffered ,
“But You look like a Latina!” He exclaimed! I assumed he was reffering to the after the hair, color and blow dry me. The me who came into the salon 4 hours earlier could have been mistaken for none other than a worn out, unpaid, unappreciated maid which lets face it is what I am most of the time Either that or he was reeling from a mixture of exhaustion and inhaling the fumes from the hair color.
I took the comment in stride and attempted to stand on my waking from sleep in pins and needles legs . After exclaiming over the finished product and tipping my new bff generously I wobbled over to the reception where I was presented by a whopper of a bill which I paid flinching ever so slightly . To be honest I’m used to being charged outrageously given the amount of hair I present to the hair dresser ….oh well atleast I got free parking I guess this expensive cloud did have a silver lining after all 😇