Aging sounds like such a derogatory term. Yet we have been doing this all along. From the first minute of our birth. To the last. Aging in my mind means I am alive. My grandmother would warn me, "Kathy, don't get old." I would think, even as a little girl, "Then I would be dead!" As we grow up and reach our preteens, we can't wait to be thirteen. The magic number to a child. I couldn't wait and wanted so bad to wear a bra, wear make-up and oh, this was the biggie for me..........to shave my legs! My mother fought to keep me a child as long as possible. Unfortunately for me, doing all those things didn't come at the age of thirteen as I thought they would. Many of the other girls in my class at school were already well developed and wearing bras long before thirteen. Not me. Finally after much begging, my mother relented and bought me one of those "training bras" for my thirteenth birthday. Now I think, what exactly is a training bra, training you for? Maybe how to put it on and take it off? It did not make my breasts develop any faster, so I was a little let down with my new bra. I put it on faithfully every day after that though. I wanted so bad to need it.
Wearing make-up was easy to get my mother to let me do. She always had a job and wore make-up to work. My father gave her a lot of attention and I could tell he was proud of her. As a child, she would give me her old make-up to play with and I could not wait to have my own. She slowly let me use light lipsticks and as I became older, I just kept adding to it little by little. By the time I was thirteen, I was a pro. My mother never used eye make-up. I became quite good at using it. Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton were my new idols. I bought all the magazines targeting teenage girls. Ingenue Magazine was my first subscription and I read it cover to cover as soon as it arrived in the mailbox. I think I was about fourteen when I started using Maybelline's liquid black eye liner. I loved this stuff and used it every day! Whether I was going somewhere or not. Maybe I was like those teenage girls of today with the heavy eyebrows. I don't like the look of them myself, but probably older women were not impressed with my black eyeliner at fourteen either.
Now shaving my legs was another one of those things I was dying to do. My mother put me off as long as she could. My next door neighbor and best friend, Debra, wanted to do it too. Her father was against it even worse than my mother was. I was probably a bad influence on her. I begged and begged my mother to let me shave my legs. I came up with every excuse in the world why I needed to do this. Her explaination was always, that she hated shaving her own legs and wish she never started. I would cry. I would have temper tantrums. Nothing worked. Then I had my very first boyfriend and my mother liked him and he would stop into her office and talk to her. She worked at a the local fuel company and was in the office talking to customers as they came in. Finally he asked her for me, and who knows why she relented because he asked her, instead of me asking? She finally said yes! I set off to our local drug store and bought one of those Gillette kits that included a green razor, extra blades, shaving lotion and body lotion in a drawstring pouch. Oh, I was on top of the world that day coming home to shave my legs for the first time!
It seems over the years, I am almost 66 years old now, I always was pushing for the next big number. From thirteen it went to 16, then 18, then of course, 21. I don't know if anyone is really thrilled to reach 30. But actually, my age has never bothered me much, not even today. I feel no different than I did before, until I look in the mirror. Aging does bring health issues that if they are not taken care of immediately, you will pay for, as I am doing today. Hopefully, I will get through this and get on with my life. My life, the way I see it and want to live it. Mom meant well, it was tough having a teenage girl in the sixties, as times were changing fast. I know I was a handful for her, but here I am.