“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Friday, September 15, 2006

Approaching 50: reflection on chin stubble

Ok, I won't actually be 50 until February. But I am already thinking about it. My husband, who is younger than I by10 months, will turn 49 in Dec., and then wammo, I turn 50. At this moment, the aspect about turning 50 that most consumes me: those hairs, the coarse stubble growing on my chin.

Eleven years ago, when I started seminary, I first noticed these hairs. One here or there, usually under my chin, an area approaching my neck - almost impossible to pluck those hairs out....Now they grow in clusters on one side of my chin. Coarse and sharp and a bunch of them all at once. I could wax them off, but first I'd have to tolerate their growth until they were long enough to wax....And when I pluck them out more are just waiting to grow in...plucking these determined little hairs is harder than one would imagine. They cling to their little follicles, or what ever it is they "grow" in, and refuse to give up that space. Tenancious little hairs mocking the fact that the rest of my skin is becoming soft and losing the firmness of youth. I don't mind the wrinkles on my face, I earned them all. But the hairs serve no purpose I can discern except to annoy me. And of course I am further annoyed by the fact that my eyesight is going, so, while I can feel these hairs, I usually can't see them. OK, I could go out any buy a magnifying mirror, that might help. However another aspect of turning 50 is increasing forgetfulness...I simply don't remember that I want a magnifying mirror when I am out working or running errands. I'd worry about this forgetfulness being something more serious, but all the women's web-med sites assure me that it is a common symptom of menopause (or in my case perimenopause)....

Someday, maybe, I will remember to add "magnifying mirror" to my shopping list and I'll get one. Or I'll be in the mood for some impulse shopping and just happen to be in a store that sells magnifying mirrors and see one, then I'll buy it. Or maybe I'll see it and remember, but decide that spending money on a magnifying mirror is too vain, then I'll just continue plucking-by-feel.