Monday, May 12, 2008

And this birthday's resolution is to grow a year older.


It’s a 6 hour flight from Sydney to Singapore. And on it, there’s 87 movies, 106 TV programs, 180 CDs, 12 radio channels and 60 interactive games. The amount I been traveling these past 6 months, I know the in-flight entertainment programs of most major airlines like the back of my L’Occitane moisturized hand. Back home of course, I don’t know how many TV channels we subscribe to – but that’s a different story.

There’s a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer called ‘I could never be your woman’. In it, this beautiful older woman (Michelle Pfeiffer, duh) falls for a funny, insanely talented, much younger man (Paul Rudd). The rest of the movie is shit and one long whinorant – which btw is a cool word and something I just made up so I’m gonna hang on it on account of its coolness. But it’s not the flat storyline, or tired plot or slow pace that turned me off. There’s just too much old in it.

I used to worship Michelle Pfeiffer. She was the paragon of beauty. I watched Ladyhawke when I was growing up as a pudgy preteen with bad eyesight…

- Look at me now, beeyatch!

(Ahem. Ok yes I'm done.)

Truth was, I marveled at her ethereal beauty. I thought she was more perfect than a sugarcube. But watching this movie and the jowls of loose flesh hanging off that once taut jaw-line… I'm sorry, I couldn’t pay attention to the dialogues cuz every time she appeared on screen my brain would scream: HAG!

What is it about getting old that we dread so much?

My friend is 26 and she’s got a jar of anti-wrinkle cream that she religiously applies every night before turning in. She also wears elbow cream, foot cream, a face pack, hair curlers, under-eye gel, anti-cellulite cream, shea body butter and an exfoliating mask every Thursday night, before she goes to bed. Here’s news for you, the anti-aging and beauty industry is $72 billion with a growth rate of 9.5%. That’s a shitload of money made from assaulting unsuspecting otherwise healthy women with images of Andie McDowell applying L’Oreal Anti-Wrinkle cream. Yup, there’s big bucks to be made from making regular middle-classed women feel insecure about their looks.

Most of the moolah, of course, eventually finds its way into the pockets of the board of directors – average age 60 – of a huge multinational cosmetic giant, money, which will eventually trickle down, after his alimony payments to his three ex-wives each born a decade after the other, to his latest 20something pneumatic beauty, who will ultimately blow it on botox injections to her left nostril. Hurrah for modern economics and breakthroughs in cosmetic surgery. Can’t pay for the loan you took on the house you can’t afford? Screw it! Lets all go inject poison into our skin that’ll paralyze our face muscles. That way, you cant tell if I'm lying when I say, I feel your pain, you poor Lebanese baker sonofabitch who’s out of a livelihood thanks to the growing wheat prices set off by the US Subprime mortgage meltdown. Eat my shorts, Adam Smith.

My other friend is 28 and she’s a dancer. She’s also the hottest chick I’ve ever met. Ever. She’s got a body that’s built to drive men – and some women – insane. Add to that, insane amounts of brilliant mad talent, childlike charm, a genuinely great personality and the face of a Disney angel, she looks like she was spit out by Pixar’s PerfectAngelFaceMakingMachine ®. She eats well, sleeps well, keeps fit, dances for joy, lives for love, is with a younger man and that’s pretty much all I think she needs to fall out of bed looking like a bombshell. Next to her I look like the pigeonlady in Home Alone. With a couple of grey hairs.

But really. Why do we all fear getting old? And why do I always feel this way just before my birthday? Somehow at 23, I get the sinking feeling that it’s all gonna go downhill from here. What’s even more tragic is that I'm depressed at the prospect of being depressed in the future. Is this some sort of annual PMS thing that women go through? If there’s a God up there I’d like to tell him… Dude. I know the bitch ate your apple but give us a fucking break man.

But I digress. Back to the movie. The annoying thing is not so much the fact that Michelle Pfeiffer is old, but that she insists on rubbing it in your face. Ok lady I get it, you’re a few years closer to dying, your ovaries are prunes, you have so much loose skin they could make an entire range of Louis Vuitton luggage out of your hide, we get the point, enough already, Jesus!

Sigh.

One day I will be old. I know that. By 25 I'm probably gonna run out and buy my first anti-wrinkle cream, or turnaround cream, or freshness cream, or jar of formaldehyde or whatever euphemism they have for these skin-searing acids. I miss the good old days when I laughed as I watch Jerry dip himself into a tub of vanishing cream and walk invisible into the kitchen and scare the living daylights out of Tom. Oh to be as timeless as a cartoon.

- Lisa Simpson! Is that a beard? It’s probably the menopause hitting you, dear, those hormones can be a bitch.

But yes, the thing with getting old is we’re all gonna get there anyway. Heck, you’re getting there right now. Right. This. Second.

Wait.

Listen.

You can hear the sand-grains of your dying youth slipping away into the abyss of decaying decrepitude and eventual death. Pop goes the braincell. Cant change that. What you can do however is decide if you wanna hit old age kicking and screaming, or wear it with grace. Like Cher. With cans of industrial strength hairspray.

I'm prepared. I have a plan. And it is genius. My plan is... *drumroll*... I intend to get fat.

Ok, hear me out here before you write me off as a neurotic insanobitch! (Um. Ok, hear me out here despite you already writing me off as a neurotic insanobitch.) Think of all the gorgeous, delicious, beautiful woman you remember or see everyday. Marilyn Monroe. Scarlet Johansson. Sophie Dahl. Even the older ones, the ones that got old, and still stuck around in the public HighDefinitionTV eye. Nicole Kidman. Julia Roberts. Catherine Zeta.

Here’s what I noticed. Thin young chicks look hot. They’re hotter than hot. They’re sex on toast. Thin old women, look like dried out vultures that the earth spat out cuz the grave couldn’t stomach so much botox and skin. When you’re 45, your beauty’s come to a screeching halt anyway. Might as well fill out the wrinkles with all those hateful fatty-cell demons you’ve been staving off with that chainmail armour. Remember all those calorie-counting years in your 20s where you put your advanced knowledge of arithmetic and Laplace transformations to good use? Yup, don’t need it anymore. That last spoon of death by chocolate? Go ahead. Heck, buy yourself a whole new cake. And a bakery.

If there’s light at the end of the tunnel, it’s this. At last, you finally get to stop sucking in your stomach everytime you pass a man, and start turning into that sweet old lady in the oversized floral pants who's always fishing out chocolates from her purse to give the kiddies. Starve all you want for the whole of two decades between 20 and 40 cuz face it, you’re never gonna look as great as you look now. That whole deal about woman aging like fine wine? Yeah, I don’t buy it either. Women age like fine wine the way fine wine gets menopausal and neurotic and flatulent and wears orthopedic shoes and granny pants.

A friend of mine put it all into perspective one day during one of my dark moods. Do you know a woman looks the best between the age of 21 and 27, he shrieked. I nodded. Do you also know what an absolute dearth of hot Indian chicks we have, he screeched. I nodded. Then fuck woman, he screamed, if you’re thinking of killing yourself you sure as hell better be ugly.

Amen.

But really, you’re gonna hit an age anyway and start looking like shit. Might as well make the most of now. And when you do realize the inescapable truth the morning you wake up and you get to the bathroom before your tits do, dragging on the floor, you can think to yourself… well, those were some good years and some great pushup bras. And then reach for the chocolate cake.

What’s the point at 40 of looking like an anorexic twig whose sole comfort is that she still fits into the same jeans she bought back when Madonna was a virgin. Inside every thin woman is a fat woman waiting to get out. Be that woman. Eat that cake. If you’re gonna get old, you might as well look like you’re happy you got there. Like a giant benevolent Mrs SantaClaus, all smiling and red-cheeked, with her fat-pig arms permanently hidden in a cooking pot, cooking up a storm for all those hungry little bastards at the north pole. Ho ho ho, mofos.

As Rocky Horror would say… Give yourself over to absolute pleasure.

Ho.

Ho.

Ho.