Fortysomething Last month, I attended a conference in San Jose with a number of my colleagues from Softimage. At our company dinner, I sat with one of our marketing people, a beautiful and intelligent 26 year-old woman. For some reason, the question of age came up and I felt compelled to remind the table that I *was*, after all, 42. My beautiful marketing colleague looked at me, surprised, and said "I want to be Maggie when I'm 42." This was, of course, a great compliment, but all I could think to myself was, "When I'm 42, I want to be like you." Age has been a preoccupation of mine these days. If I had a choice, I'd like to stay, physically at least, in my mid-thirties forever. In my mind, there was even a day--a day!!--when I peaked. It was a day in June, 1994, the day of an Elvis Costello concert. I was 34. I felt fabulous and I think I looked it, too. Stupid, huh? I now know a lot about anti-oxidants. I drink green tea. I carefully research skin care claims. I exercise regularly. I dye my hair. I take more vitamins and minerals than my body can probably process effectively. Still, self-love and self-loathing go hand-in-hand. My friend L. (who just turned 50, though you'd never know it) says that you should never lie about your age because it robs you of your experience and wisdom. I don't lie about my age, I just let people guess what it is. When I was 40, people generally guessed that I was in my mid-thirties. That 5-year grace period is still there, but of course, I *do* look older, so I no longer pass for 35 or 36 but someone now closer to 40 than 30. It's a stupid, losing battle. The face doesn't lie. There's only so much you can do stem the inevitable sagging of the flesh. It can be virtually wrinkle-free and shiny-healthy, but still show the effects of gravity. No exercise can *lift* the jowls of the aging face--no matter what those infomercials try to tell you. Only surgery can do that. I guess I'm trying to have my cake and eat it, too. Witness pictures from my 30th and 42nd birthdays. mellow at 30 mellow at 42 I know I'll get used to this new older me. In the meantime, I'm gonna brew me some white tea and find a 23-year old boy to worship my hair.

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