Life happens: Do your ears hang low?
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By Aprill Brandon
When I was a kid, I had a penpal. Even better, it was a FOREIGN penpal. Every day after school, I'd run to the mailbox, quivering with anticipation, to see whether Penelope's letter had arrived from exotic Canada (where they put gravy on their French fries ... GRAVY).
In fact, there were days I was so excited, I'd sit outside and actually wait for the mailman to come.
Unfortunately, as I grew older, my enthusiasm for my daily trips to the mailbox significantly waned, as letters from the teeming metropolis of Windsor (They have casinos! And Tim Horton's!) were replaced with bills, credit card offers that would only result in more bills and discreet offers for discount Viagra, addressed to one Mr. Brandon Aprill.
That is, save for 12 days every year. As the middle of each month approaches, that old excited feeling comes back as I wait for my Vogue magazine to come in.
Yes, just like so many other women, I love looking at things I'll never, ever be able to afford worn by women who I will never, ever look like as they frolic in exotic locales I'll never, ever be able to pronounce. And the August issue did not let me down. As I flipped through the colorful pages of Chanel ads and coverage of Mrs. Snooty Von Uppity's fabulous party, I was transported into another world for a few hours; a world where the dishes didn't need to be done and the dog hadn't just hacked up some weird green liquid on the carpet.
But then something stopped me short. Nestled in between an ad for Olay's Regenerist cream and some scary-looking device called "Clarisonic," was an article on a woman who was on a quest to reverse the signs of aging.
Ahem ... that is, reverse the signs of aging on her ears.
Oh yes, you read that right. Apparently, this woman was distraught over the fact her droopy and sun-damaged earlobes gave away her age. She even talked to a dermatologist, who told her that Juvederm injections could make them plump and young-looking again and that if she had plastic surgery to fix their droop, they'd be, and I quote, "cuter and perkier."
Now, when it comes to aging, I'm pretty much a realist. For instance, I'm already prepared for what happens to your body after childbirth, considering every mother I've ever known has told me, rather ominously (and in a weird stage whisper), that things "shift" after having a baby. They are rather vague about the details, but I assume that shift is in a general downward direction.
Considering my inherent and instinctual human fear of poison, I also realize wrinkles are a big part of my future, since I avoid potentially deadly injectables like Botox like ... well, poison.
Thanks to overhearing one too many detailed conversations between my mother and my aunts, I'm also prepared for the day I eventually have to pluck the dark, thick hairs from my chin. And I know that studies have shown that once a woman is over the age of 40, they need to exercise at least an hour a day just to maintain their weight.
Thus, I fully intend to come to grips with the fact that having a muumuu as my standard "look" is in my future.
So, overall, I am ready for the day my body becomes a bearded, sagging, chubby, wrinkled, tent dress-wearing shell of its former self.
But now they're telling me I have to worry about my freaking ears aging as well? That body part I wouldn't even know was there if it wasn't for earrings? I mean, I can honestly say that I've thought more about my pancreas than my ears.
And judging by the article, it's already too late for me. I'm 30. Practically dead. Why, here in a couple of years, my wrinkled ears will be dragging the ground, causing young children, with their much cuter and perkier ears, to point and stare in horror.
It's just all too much. Our culture is absolutely obsessed with looking young. And while it used to be the company line that prevention is the best weapon you can use in the fight against aging, (making us all religiously slather on the sunscreen and use our rent money to buy French-sounding elixirs chock full of magical acai berry "essence") apparently in this day and age, if you haven't started using anti-wrinkle cream in-utero and putting sunscreen on your ears as soon as you exit the womb, you're destined to end up looking like Andy Rooney by age 35.
Is it so horrible to look 40 when you're actually 40? To realize that wrinkles and scars and hair growing in random places is all just a natural part of aging?
Can't I just let my ears hang low and wobble to and fro? I'll even throw 'em over my shoulder like a continental soldier to let you kids with your non-droopy lobes pass by without having to step on them.
Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.