Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ma'am and Madam

My friend P was distraught. She just had to share this in our private FB group:

Hi mothers, just wanted to share. 

At the garden center, I was talking to this guy I judged to be about the same age as me. But throughout our conversation, he kept saying 'po' and 'opo' which made me realize he probably thinks of me as SIGNIFICANTLY OLDER! 

Redeeming moment at the supermarket today, when a man who looked to be in his late 40s called me 'Hija.' 

Who here has been thinking a lot about aging lately? Because I have! Anybody know how to stop the clock?! 

"Maybe he is just being polite?" some of us surmised.

"You can go to a college campus and still fit in.", K chimed in.

"The first time I met my brother-in-law's ex-GF, she said "po" and I was so pissed! And ending was, she turned out to be older than me!", shared J, with obvious hugot.

"I get surprised when somebody calls me 'Madam'!", P added as an afterthought.

"Come to think of it, I get called Madam a lot! Nakakainis Ang Madam! Parang matrona!", I vented out

"Feeling ko inaasar ako pag Madam, hahaha", K said. 

"I get called Madam a lot too, naiinis lang kayo because a true donya would be offended!", jabbed P, who must have recalled this from Tita K's insightful Facebook status post on true donyahood.

"When I think Madam I think big helmet hair na alajada!", I explained. Visions of Imelda Marcos and her Blue Ladies, plus Meldy Cojuangco and her Forbes Park amigas come to mind.

But nobody followed my train of thought, and the topic shifted to gardening and the possible death of plants.

Which left me still pondering on P's anecdote and my personal experiences as of late. 

When I look in the mirror, I see that no amount of Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum will take care of the wrinkles that appear when I smile or squint my eyes, the way that Botox can. And I refuse to do Botox. (Kids, don't make it a habit to rub your eyes, it loosens the skin around your eyes, and unfortunately for me, I cannot turn back time)

I have toyed with the idea of having my lids done though, because my eyelids droop in a way that resembles a hoodie. 

When I look at the skin on my tummy that has been stretched thrice, thanks to my three beautiful children, I remember the times when it was taut and trim, and woe is me that I never even bothered to have photos taken to prove it.

Worse, I go to a photo shoot and the models call me Tita. Tita!

In a year and a half, I will be 40 years old. I remember when my Mom and her friends were 40. They seemed so old. And a lot more mature than I am now. But this observation deserves a post of its own.

I remember her friends who would say how offended they were when they were called, "Tita" and I would think to myself then, "Well, you are a Tita! What else would you be called?". But because I was taught to keep my opinions to myself, I would just smile politely, out of respect for my elders.

Uhm, I guess that's me and my friends now. The sort of folks who would get curious stares from the kids hanging out in the cool clubs, should we even dare go to Palace Pool Club or wherever it is millennials go to now. And that the pretty girls of our time now look like the moms that they are, and the sleazy guys of our generation are now the official Dirty Old Men. Hahaha.

I guess we will just have to accept aging gracefully, lest we be the ones who live out our glory days way past our prime.

In fact, there's this old couple I often see at church who look like they are dressed for a Grease themed party. Lola with teased curly hair, tight jeans and heeled slides, and Lolo with greasy pomaded hair and his short sleeved shirt folded just like John Travolta's.

They actually look cute and can get away with it, and I often think of how they must have had a great time in the 70s and 80s that they identify with the look of the era close to 40 years later.

Ahhh there goes 40 again. That said, I will hold my bottles and jars of SK-II close to my chest, and keep Coco Chanel's words, in my heart.

Then again, Coco Chanel calls her perfume Mademoiselle instead of Madame.

So f*ck it. While I think I am doing a decent job with my anti-aging routines, I may need more intervention down the road.

Because here's one scary fact: In a study of 100 Japanese women aged between 22 and 55, scientists from beauty brand SK-II discovered that while 'skin power' - the ability to protect itself from UV exposure and pollution, and to renew and regenerate itself - steadily declined, it went into free fall at 35.

Support group na ito! Fellow Ma'ams and Madams, tips please?

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