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Picture of Vera Jane Cook

Vera Jane Cook

OMG! I’m Aging!

liesariverdeep-100I can’t believe this, my skin is changing. It’s got crinkles of some kind. I always thought of myself as a bit of a Dorian Gray. That was my favorite book when I was younger; I wonder why. I had this friend when I was in my late twenties and she was an artist who did a rather nice painting of me. Every day I said to the painting, “Oh, if the picture could only grow old and I could stay young, for that I would give my soul.”

I’ve still got my soul so I guess I’m ageing. Oh, Lord, I never thought it would happen to me. When I look at myself in the mirror I see a very young face but then someone takes a picture of me and I say, “oh, is that me?” Truth be told, I look older than I used to look. That so and so should learn to take better pictures. Then, there was that cute little boy in a classroom I visited not long ago who looked up at me and said, “you remind me of my grandmother, but prettier.” Well, half a compliment.

A lot of my books involve young girls who get older, and hopefully wiser, but I seem to include an older woman now in the books I write. My present unpublished novel is about a girl of fifteen and her sixty year old friend. One of my published titles, Lies a River Deep, is about an older woman looking back. My God, I’ve become an older woman looking back. I see all these old rockers like Mick Jagger and I think, God, he looks old. I mean, how dare I? But then again, I don’t think I look old. I look interesting. Can older people look interesting? Of course, I look like an aging interesting chick, don’t I?

Just the other day I saw a clip on my computer from the Britain’s Got Talent television show and lo and behold, there was a seventy-nine year old woman with some young guy and she danced up a storm, showing off her lovely legs and not even breathing heavy when the song came to a close. Now, that’s an inspiration. I can boogey real well so maybe I’ll go on the show, So You Think You Can Dance when I’m seventy-nine. But then again, I don’t want to be referred to as cute. That’s the way old people are usually referred to when they do something spectacular in old age: isn’t she cute? We regress to being children again, we’re cute. Well, I for one think Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda are more than cute, not that they’re seventy-nine but they are crawling up there. Anyway, they’re both beautiful, just like that seventy- nine year old that danced her ass off and had wrinkles on her skin she could have gotten plastic surgery to remove but didn’t. Personally, I think I’ll remove my wrinkles, when I get them where they can be seen, that is. But I’m not as brave as that spunky little dancer either.

I guess what I’m saying is once you get over the shock of realizing that you’re aging you can still be glamorous, and yes, even interesting. To tell you the truth, I never think of myself as ‘older’ – it’s only when I go out into the world and remind little boys of their grandmother and men my own age of themselves.

Most of my friends are much younger than me, like my main character in Lies a River Deep. I don’t think people my age keep up with me that well. They are getting older and me? I’m just getting better looking. Hey, maybe it worked and my soul belongs to the devil. Nah, I’ve still got crinkles and a bit of turkey gobble but don’t put me out to pasture yet, I can still dance!

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