Hell Yes I’m Vain and So What
I am irked. In fact, I’ve been irked since Saturday night. The fam-bam was at my daughter’s house for Father’s Day dinner. She and her husband had prepared Spud’s favorite meal; baked potatoes (with a nickname like his – what else), with ALL the toppings – butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon, chilli con carne and coleslaw. And for dessert was do-it-yourself-sundaes with ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge and a selection of lollies.
In addition to these potatoes was a slab of sliced French bread and a plate of golden butter to smear on top, sitting on the table, calling me. Taunting me. Damn.
I was conflicted but stoic.
You see, I had blown out on calories the last couple of weeks having had a few events on including a lunch, a party and a huge session devouring all manner of snacks and pizza during the Mayweather fight and I had been struggling to get back on track.
I had been good All Week Long. Like, really, really good and those extra kilos had slowly been coming off; 100g here, 300g there. I was getting there. And then these dinner choices were set out in front of me.
So with steely resolve I grabbed one very small potato, split it open and put ONLY chilli con carne and coleslaw on top and went and sat at the table. Everyone else had their bowls stacked to the ceiling with all the toppings. Their serves were huge, dripping with butter and mounds of sour cream. I was sitting next to my son James and across from his wife Danielle.
They immediately began to mock me. “OMG, is that ALL you’re having”? “You’re being ridiculous”. “What are you even DOING”! So I explained, quietly, that I had been good all week and I didn’t want to wreck it. That’s when the eye rolls started and then they both said “Why do you even CARE?” “Who CARES!!!”. They told me repeatedly I was crazy.
I responded to James and said “well excuse me, but who was the person just last year that lifted up his t-shirt to show me his imaginary stomach (of which there was none) and complained how fat you were getting, how you had to hit the gym, and then proceeded to wipe out his cupboard of all junk food”. (He even started eating wholemeal pasta and lecturing us on the benefits of flaxseed oil).
Danni laughed and said “Well, we had our WEDDING”.
And yeah, so – “I’m going to Hawaii in a few months and I’d like to look half presentable on the beach, thanks very much”.
They continued to shake their heads and roll their eyes like I was some sort of vain-ass lunatic. Do they think I’m too old to still look after myself? To care?
Which brings me to the question: At what age are you supposed to just stop giving a shit about the way you look?
My grandmother (my mother’s mother) cared about how she looked until the day she died at 89, just shy of her 90th birthday with nary a wrinkle. And she LOVED trying out new makeup, always wore earrings when she left the house and loved to go shopping for new clothes. She became my mother’s role model. My mother quotes herself as being on the wrong side of 77 but do you know that she was dieting, exercising and weighing herself everyday for weeks just before her last doctor’s appointment to get to her goal weight of 50kgs? Because she still gives a shit.
And she never leaves the house without a full face of makeup, hair done and outfit put together. She has a wardrobe to rival the stars; full of top brand, designer labels, handbags, shoes and accessories. And she loves it too.
Maybe it’s generational and it’s just in my blood but I am exactly the same. I fight like hell to get into my skinny jeans every winter and still wear short shorts in summer and I’m turning 53 next month.
And I will battle every damn sign of ageing whether it’s botox, hair colour or killing myself lifting weights and watching what I eat for as long as I damn well please.
I don’t do it for my family. I don’t do it for my husband (although he’s glad I do). I do it for MYSELF.
It’s just one more thing that women get judged for. That it’s somehow silly to keep on trying after a certain age. Which is what? 30? 40? 50?
Well, guess what? I’m not giving up anytime soon and pretty sure that what I do has zero effect on anyone else….. Just sayin’.