I read an article in The Times Online about Michelle Pfeiffer this morning. I’ve loved her since the first time I saw “Ladyhawke” and now I have more reason to love her. Part of the headline was, “When you’re pushing 50, Hollywood doesn’t want to know,” and I though, “Omigosh, Michelle Pfeiffer is pushing 50? No friggin’ way!”
I forget, sometimes, that I’m getting older. I was 17 or 18 when “Ladyhawke” came out. She was obviously older than me when she made it, and I’m 40 now, so of course she’s pushing 50. (I still have to work through that thought process sometimes.) I guess I was mostly shocked because she looks so darn good. According to the article, when she’s not working, she isn’t glamorous. She works out hard, but she doesn’t get her hair or nails done. Away from the camera, she’s just Michelle, a wife with two teens who leads a quiet life in Palo Alto. She took her role in “Star Dust” because it was a metaphor on aging, about how it’s not pretty, about the destructive things we do to keep our youth. I would speculate that it’s being away from LA that does the trick for her, but that wouldn’t explain all the soccer moms all over the world having ‘work done.’
I’ve always said I’m going to grow old gracefully. That’s easy to say in one’s 20’s or 30’s, but a little bit harder at 40. I’m not afraid of growing old, but I’m at the place where I’m approaching the threshold and find myself hanging back a little, holding on to phrases like, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Shopping for clothes is getting tricky. I’m in another awkward in-between stage, trying to figure out what’s neither too young nor too old. What I’m finding is that we have role models our whole lives. We can look to those fighting age by becoming plasticized, or we can emulate those who are embracing each stage. Frankly, it’s healthier and much less expensive if we take care of what we have and don’t fight the process. I’ve always been practical to a fault with tightwad tendencies, so you can guess which option I’m leaning toward! I mean, really, if getting old was supposed to be avoided, we’d all look 25 until we hit the dirt, right? Where’s the fun in that?