Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Benefits of Aging

I'm heading rapidly toward the big 5-0, and while everyone says 'age is just a state of mind', there are unpleasant physical ramifications, too!, from creaky knees to a sagging jaw line. I've discovered that when I smile, it lifts my cheeks enough to prevent me from looking like a jowly Marlon Brando (which explains why I look so weirdly cheerful all the time!) - but I've also decided it's time to try to find the positive aspects of aging.

1) You're more comfortable in your skin - granted, because said skin is considerably looser, but oh well, looser is more comfortable!
2) You start tuning out those judgmental voices in your head, what therapists call 'negative self-talk' or 'inner critic', or what my friend Danielle calls 'Radio K-FUC', or what I call my most recent phone call from my mother.
3) You care less about what other people think. (One day at school pick-up, I was wearing my typical loud bright colors, talking to a group of 4 women all of whom were in dark, dull tops, khaki pants and flipflops. One of them sniped, "Gee, Lauren, I need sunglasses to look at you today", and without thinking I quipped, "Well, I guess I didn't get the wardrobe memo." And it felt good!)
4) You realize that growing older beats the alternative.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yee Haw - County Fairs in the suburbs?

Last month, I achieved a career milestone; I got invited to perform at the San Mateo County Fair. It was pretty exciting, even though I wasn't on the headliner stage, which was reserved for the really big name acts - like Billy Ray Cyrus and The Village People. But it was thrilling to see myself listed in the ads (the small print section, "Plaza Stage Acts, featuring The Lucho Libre Masked Mud Wrestlers, Harold the Hip Hypnotist, and Others"; yep, that was me, "Others"!)
Then I got my confirmation letter, directing me to report to the stage immediately adjacent to the pig races. Hmmm . . . . I didn't realize anyone here in the 'burbs raced pigs. (Frankly, the closest any of us come to agriculture is going to Half Moon Bay to pick out halloween pumpkins, so the whole idea of a suburban county fair seemed sort of crazy to begin with.) But pig races are even popular here - When I got to the fair, I saw that my stage and the racetrack shared a set of bleachers, which were packed for the race before my set. (It looked like a close one between "Natalie Porkman" and "Kevin Bacon", but the surprise winner by a nose - by a snout? - was "Lindsay Loham".) Whatever, the crowd was all fired up, but then right before I went on, they announced that Lindsay Loham's mother was over in the livestock tent giving birth, so naturally the bleachers emptied.

I can't compete with a baby pig - I ended up doing my set for my family, a couple of truly saintly friends, the hypnotist's dad (who got the times wrong but didn't want to hurt my feelings), and a mom with a large brood of kids. I figured, well, she's a fan and a mom and obviously needs the entertainment, but apparently, no, she just needed a place for them all to sit down while she nursed her youngest. Very openly. In fact, my two teenage sons couldn't tell you a thing about my set . . . or in their words, that's not the set they were watching. But in fact they want to go back to the county fair every year, they found it so educational!, and meanwhile, if I ever get a swelled head, just direct me to the bleachers by the pig races . . . .