My daughter may have my genes, but I don’t want her jeans
I know the nice sales lady was just trying to be helpful. Really. I’m sure she was.
But when a woman of a certain age goes shopping for a pair of jeans, she doesn’t need to be reminded that she doesn’t have the body of a 25 year-old. Really. She doesn’t.It doesn’t matter how many power walks Mom does at 5 a.m., how many triathlons she runs, or how many yoga sessions she attends, she is still at her Pilates-toned core … Mom. We moms wear the title like a brand, proud and certain in both duty and love. We just don’t want to wear it like a bad-fitting pair of jeans.But apparently this is what I was doing when I walked into a store recently in search of a hip pair of jeans that wouldn’t be slung so low or squeezed so tight as to publicly disgrace myself. I quietly rummaged through the rack of jeans; a sequined pair here, a low-rise pair there, a sweet little pair marked “hidden tummy-tucker!” that I categorically decided I was not ready for. Really. I’m not.As I turned to leave empty-handed, the sales lady approached.
“Not finding what you’re looking for?” “No. Not today. But thank you,” I said politely, heading for the door.”Well, stop back in a few days; we have a whole new shipment of ‘Not-Your-Daughter’s-Jeans’ coming in.” “Not-Your-Daughter’s-Jeans?” I didn’t want to embarrass myself by asking aloud exactly what these were, since clearly she assumed I knew what she was talking about. Was this a brand name I should know? A hip new line of 40-something women’s clothing? A secret society of women against muffin-tops?
Now, I know I am not my daughter. I’m not even my daughter’s baby sitter or favorite grade-school teacher. But do they have to name a line of clothing just to put me in my place?I muttered my thanks and escaped outdoors, suddenly aware of every middle-aged flaw illuminated in the midday sun.But with age comes wisdom, and I can’t harbor negative thoughts for long, so in the brief moments it took me to walk (strongly and with the confidence that comes with maturity, I might add) to my waiting car, I shrugged off the comment. So what if my genes are showing their age? My jeans don’t have to. After all, it’s up to us to take care of the bodies we have, flaws and all. And there’s a lot more to good health than simply looking good in a pair of brand-name dungarees. (Did I just say dungarees? Maybe I am getting old.) Aging well is about taking responsibility for our own health and well-being, eating right and exercising. Time marches on, and so must we – straight to the hairdresser and keeper of our roots. And that, my fellow moms, is wisdom gleaned only from experience and the passing of time.Charla Belinski’s columns appear every other Sunday in the Post Independent. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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