I shared this piece “Woman asks herself, ‘Why am I becoming a grumpy old man?'” to our bloggers group the other day. It’s funny but Jennifer Overton also hits a serious note when she talks about no longer feeling at ease in the world and her desire to withdraw.
Overton writes, “Not feeling at home in the world comes with a serious side effect. As the youngsters would say, My FOMO has become my JOMO. My fear of missing out has become my joy of missing out. I’m not as disappointed as I used to be when a friend has to cancel lunch. I’m happy to find an excuse to miss fitness class. I prefer to work from home. And any change in the weather is a valid reason not to venture out and mingle with the human race. The truth of it is, I have developed an intense longing to withdraw. And I don’t mean to my living room. I mean to the woods. The deep woods. Far from the madding, the maddening, crowd. I long to live in a quiet, slower, simpler place. A place where I can relax the cramp of anxiety about the state of the world, and maybe even regain some trust in its course. “
It made me laugh but frankly, I’m not that grumpy in midlife. It’s true I have a very low tolerance for drinking and pot smoking. And I like my 8 hours sleep but I rarely complain about “young people these days.” I think the world has changed in lots of wonderful ways. Mostly I try to understand and adapt. I talk about a feminist commune but I’m not retiring there anytime soon. Anyway, my commune aspirations aren’t a desire to retreat from the world. They are much more about community building and sharing resources.
But then this came through my newsfeed, Why does everyone have fake fancy teeth? And I think I actually growled. Grrr. My dentist tried to sell me fancy teeth some years ago. No.
I know why my dentist tried to sell me fancy teeth. I had braces in my 30s and so I think that marked me as someone who cares about the way their teeth look. But he didn’t look closely enough at my file. I got the braces to correct molars that were falling over and would need either straightening and having bridges and crowns put in to fill spaces, or taking out the lot of them. Benefits covered my braces and although I looked better with my newly straightened teeth, looking better wasn’t my motivation.
Veneers are also expensive. This is from the “fancy teeth” article linked above: “Although veneers have been used less glamorously for decades to help non-famous people with serious size or shape problems in some of their teeth, they can also be used to perfect someone’s already-nice smile beyond the capabilities of traditional orthodontia. Veneers start at about $1,000 a tooth, and for top-tier aesthetic dentists such as Apa, they can easily hit $3,000 to $4,000 apiece.”
I nearly left my favourite hair salon a few years back when they started having Wine and Botox nights. There’s two things on my no-go list at one event. It’s true, of course, I can just say no but I’d rather get my haircut (spend my money) at places where that isn’t in the air. Hair salons have always made me nervous that way. Like when they asked if those were my natural eye brows. “Whose else would they be?” I thought. They often offer to remove the peach fuzz from my cheeks saying that it must get in the way when I apply foundation. “I have an answer for that,” I thought. “Just say no to foundation.” I want to say yes to good haircuts and colour and no to the rest of it.
There’s weird beauty related upselling going on these days. When I shared the ‘fancy teeth’ story, a friend commented, “The ob/gyn who delivered my first opened a medi-spa wrinkle cellulite etc type service in the same office and they talk to you about it when you show up for a Pap smear!”
.Another friend said, ” I am so done with being cool. If this is what cool is, they can have it.”