I see old people.... 11:57 a.m. 2005-01-29

Every morning this week, I have gotten up very reluctantly. I blamed Monday's sloth on the fact that I had over eaten and "over"-imbibed (on Prozac, even my one margarita turns into 3 - apparently...). I went to my bathroom mirror, and put in my contacts. What I saw was NOT pretty:
-I apparently need to touch up my hair color: the gray is showing through
-My eyes are TINY - my eyelids droop and I have well-defined circles under them

If you read my journal yesterday, all I had up there was a quiz I had done called What Age Do You Act? I came up with the age of 30. Here is what it said:30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

Well, the person looking back at me in the mirror did NOT look thirty-something this week.

Still, I lugged myself out of the house dutifully each day, and even perservered with my one New Year's resolution: to wear make-up to work each day. Usually, I don't "make it to make up" until after second period because I have class almost as soon as I get there. So my first period group of students does not get the full makeup version of me.

Tuesday, however, I got to school a little early, and decided to apply makeup before school. I almost made it before all of my students got to class, but not quite. Most of my class politely ignored me at my desk, applying eye shadow, but one of my Marias said something.

Now, I am going a little deaf (another part of the aging process, I am sure!), but Maria mutters, so when I thought I heard the word "cow," I didn't react immediately. A few minutes later, I stopped what I was doing, looked at her and said:

"Did you say I looked like a COW?"

Maria said, "No, Mees, I said you look like a CLOWN!"

Oh, that's so much better! Luckily for her, I was in a relatively calm mood, because all I said was that SHE was not leaving the class without full makeup...

Another Maria arrived late to class (as usual), took one look at me and asked slyly, "Do you have somewhere special you are going after school?" - in other words:

"Hey, Ms. Williams, you usually look like crap when we see you - what is UP with today?"

I explained calmly that I was working to establish a new standard of excellence in my work attire and presentation. I thanked her for noticing. JEEEZZZZ!

That's not all! We were watching the 1959 movie version of The Diary of Anne Frank - which I had never seen. If you have never heard of Anne Frank, I won't explain it to you, but there is an older single man named Mr. Dussel who has to share a room with Anne.

After the movie was over, I solemnly read through a timeline to let my students know what happened to the people in the Secret Annex after they were captured by the Germans. When I was done, one of my students asked, "But what happened to Mr. Dussel?"

Only he didn't say "Dussel" - he said something that sounded like the name of my paraprofessional - who doesn't help with this class. I looked at my student, perplexed, and said, "who are you talking about?"

He answered with what I swear sounded like "that man on the announcements." (My parapro is often called to cover classes in a pinch.) Then he said, "You know, the OLD guy."

My voice turned acid, "Mr. (parapro) is NOT old. In fact, he is two years younger than I am (you young whippersnapper...)."

My student persisted,"Well, he looked about fifty or so."

Wherein I snapped back, "Well, you look about two!" (I know, but you don't deal with middle-schoolers on a daily basis, so don't judge) "And, Mr. (parapro) has NOTHING to do with this film!)

Suddenly, it clicked - he was talking about Mr. DUSSEL - the old guy in the film. Oy vay!

I told this story to my faithful assistant, and to his wife as well. They got a hoot out of it.

Here is my FreeWill Horoscope for the week:

"Boobs: I wish I had them. Not enough to buy them, though." So testified skinny actress Lara Flynn Boyle in the Globe, rejecting the idea of getting silicone implants. Take your inspiration from her clarity in the coming week, Leo. Identify one of your half-assed desires--a vague wish that chronically floats around the back of your mind--and renounce it forever. If necessary, have a no-nonsense conversation with yourself in which you discuss all the reasons why the satisfaction of that longing is not at all crucial to your happiness or well-being, and why, therefore, you will never again indulge in a serious fantasy about it.

Even after all of this trauma, I still felt like I was doing a good job with my appearance. I have been wondering what "fantasy" I needed to give up. I know that I have gained some weight, but I still consider myself thinner (okay, less fat) than many... so, hell, why not give up dieting? Or the fantasy that I will ever be as thin as I was while walking the streets of France and riding horses every day?

Thursday night, we (my husband and I) attended a school outreach to Latino parents, held at a local apartment complex. My husband was kind enough to photograph the event.

Okay, and this is the last thing I will say...

When I saw the pictures of myself, I know that I cannot just let myself "go". As much as part of me would like to let my hair go gray, let my face and body do what it wants, and embrace my matronly role - my thirty-something self is not ready for that just yet!

Bring on the Weight Watchers, SlimFast, Dr. Phil - whatever!

But not until I have finished off the cake mix in my pantry.

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