Thursday, January 28, 2010

Short & Cranky, thankyouverymuch

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Word du jour: Neoteny.

A term found in biology textbooks referring to juvenile characteristics that are retained in adulthood. In most of those textbooks, you'll see my picture next to that definition.

For the record, I can't help the way I friggin' look. It's not my fault. Yes, I do have the following infantile characteristics:
- full round face
- clear skin
- round blue eyes
- snub nose

But damn it, none of those are a good reason for calling me 'hon.' Everybody does it: the woman at the Max station asking when the next train was leaving, the waitress at the restaurant who wanted to write down my order, everyone. The other morning, I stopped at the coffee shop on my way to the Max. The young guy, barely 20 I'd swear, gave me the coffee with a "here you are, young lady." It was all I could do to stop myself from saying "I'm old enough to be your mother, you twerp!"

If I lived in the South, I'd put it down as a cultural thing. But Oregon is pretty far removed from that part of the country, damn it. And maybe it's not supposed to be unkind, but it comes across as condescending.

I realize once I lose a bit more weight, the youthful plumpness will fade (O please God) from my face. Frankly, I'm ready for it. I'm getting older. I accept that. I mean, it's been over a year since someone carded me. Considering that when that happened I was a week past my 45th birthday, I'd say it was about damn time.

The youthful looks thing is partly hereditary. Until a couple years ago, my mother was routinely taken to be about 20 years younger than she is. Sadly, osteoporosis has now rendered her frail, and she looks like a little old lady. She used to be a couple inches taller than I am, but she's shrinking almost daily. It's really annoying her, and a great motivation to make me do yoga more often.

Study du jour: Physical Activity Ups Women's Odds of Healthy Aging

Elderly women who follow a program of exercise are less likely to have falls and can improve bone mineral density compared to their non-exercising counterparts, according to a study in the Jan. 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while another study found that higher levels of physical activity in middle age are associated with better health later in life.

Exercise du jour: Jog 3 miles.

Crap. I can't decide if this is a win or a fail.
Basically, today was an eerie repeat of yesterday in almost every detail, except that instead of not cycling, I didn't jog. Otherwise, virtually identical right down to the long confused attempt to untangle a computer problem involving a software engineer (in Sydney), a project manager (in Quebec), and a French marketing dude -- who was actually just down the hall but was busy with Frantically Important Marketing Meetings and couldn't be interrupted. He mentioned this as he was rushing past for an equally important meeting with the men's room.

I did manage to get five miles of walking in, and indeed as part of that I did jog for half a mile as I tried to catch my train home. (I missed. Perhaps the Max train also had an important meeting.)

Should I put the star up or not?


LaShaune said...

Well Hon, I'm right along with ya! If I didn't know better, I'd say my fella has a penchant for young girls (but I've seen his ex's - OOOGLY, not really - just being snarky) but they all look their age. I look like I'm late teens, early 20s. Frankly, I glad b/c when I'm in my late 60s chasing men in their 30s, no one will be able to tell the age difference.

Celebrate your youngness (is that really a word).

On the Bright Side said...

I don't mind it when people call me "hon". I just don't want anyone calling me "maam". About 10 yrs ago, I was totally flattered when someone called me "maam'. Now I'm mortified!

messymimi said...

I have gray hair, but I am short and live in the South. So I get the two extremes: those who think I am my children are my grandchildren, and those who think I am as young as my height implies.

Sometimes I'm not sure which I prefer.

McB said...

Oh how this one does hit home. Okay, I don't have blue eyes; but the rest ...

It drove me crazy for years, although I did really enjoy getting carded in my early 40s, especially when I was the oldest one at the table. And it tickles me no end that it is my much younger sister, not me, who is going gray. But, yeah, I was really and truly ready to be treated like a grown up. Just in the last few years I've noticed that the jaw line isn't so firm as it used to be, and I've got a few very fine lines at the corners of my eyes.

And I'm okay with that. I can still pass for much younger, but nobody pats me on the head anymore. Not that anyone ever did it twice. With the same hand.

Oh, and when they start with the "hon" and "dear," I've found it useful to respond in kind. "Yes, sweetie?" "You were saying, dear?"

The Merry said...

Nobody ever does it twice. With the same hand.
Yes! Exactly how I feel.

I'll try calling them 'hon' right back and see what happens :)

Dr. J said...

Love that you are doing the word of the day!

Just be glad that they aren't ma'aming you to death, baby face

PS Summer Plummer: I never call anyone Ma'am or Sir :-)

Shelley said...

I hate to tell you this, but I got carded last year, when I was 46, AFTER I had lost about 85 pounds. So you may just be doomed...but have you ever seen someone on tv (a woman on the Biggest Loser last season comes to mind - one of the 4 finalists) where you think they look really old and then find out they are only a couple of years older than you? I'd take the young-looking face over the old-looking one any day, hon. ::ducks::


The Merry said...

Yeah, you'd better duck, Shelley!

[Attempts to give Shelley a mean look. However, since she has such a round, innocent face, no one is fooled]