Jul 12 2009
Throughout my life I’ve heard reports on my mom’s aging process.
One thing that has remained constant is her belief that that the younger you are, the juicier you are. Therefore, you dry up as you get older.
She has this idea that we start life as grapes and end up as raisins.
She would point out various parts of her body to illustrate her point. One favorite form of “proof” is comparing her hands to mine: the bones on the back of her hand protrude more, therefore she is more “dried up” than I.
She says, “Look! All the meat is shriveling, that’s why my bones are showing.”
I’m not quite sure how to respond to that.
She says, “You know why older woman have a fuzzy face?”
I say, “I think it’s due to some kind of hormonal change.”
She says, “They are drying up! What happens is that their skin is shrinking so the hairs look longer!”
I say, “Hmmm.”
There is a strange appeal to her juicy/young, dry/old, grape/raisin logic.
The logical side of me is thinking about the aging process: cellular breakdown, loss of collagen, and sun damage.
The creative and emotional side of me thinks that drying up is a good enough explanation of aging as I’ve seen.
You start out as a grape and you slowly dry out until you’re a raisin. Any attempts to make to retain your youthfulness are really attempts to add “juice.”
Mom points out how celebrities add fillers like collagen injections to look juicy. They are trying to plump out the raisin.
Appealing as mom’s logic is, it also drives me a bit nuts.
I don’t want to view aging as a process of drying out. We’re not supposed to be grapes forever.
Besides, how many people do you know who look young but are all dried up inside? And what about all those “old folks” who are full o’ juice?
What makes a person juicy?
- A positive attitude.
- A sense of humor, an appreciation of the absurd.
Dorothy Parker said, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”
There is truth to that statement.
Most people worry about the skin and not so much about what is within.
Anne Lamott said, “Joy is the best makeup.”
I know I’ll become a raisin. But I hope to remain juicy.
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