SL 680

Hi, gang! Here’s what people are yammering about my twitterfeed this morning:

Jacob Levy’s essay, “The Defense of Liberty Can’t Do Without Identity Politics”

TNC’s Essay, “My President Was Black” Also watching him on the Trevor Noah Show.

David Graham “The Bait and Switch President

I’m off to the hair salon. I need a trim and a little something-something to cover up the white hairs on top. Redheads go white, not grey.

Question of the Day: What will you do/won’t do to deal with the depressing effects of aging? Where have you drawn the line?

28 thoughts on “SL 680

  1. What will you do/won’t do to deal with the depressing effects of aging?

    Bathing in the blood of young people or vote Republican.


  2. The effects of aging are possibly not as depressing for men as for women. I don’t dye my hair. (One of the paralegals told me my gray hair looked “distinguished,” thereby assuring herself of the maximum raise at review.) I do have to work out more than I used to, just to maintain the same physique and level of fitness. Also, I have to use the light on my cellphone to read restaurant menus. (Once upon a time they used to sell tiny flashlights to old people for this purpose, but the i-phone obviates the need for that.) I haven’t noticed any mental decline yet (I’m 59), but we’ll see.


  3. y81 said:

    “The effects of aging are possibly not as depressing for men as for women.”

    I can think of one that is.


    1. Modern pharmacology has ways to combat that one. I have no intention of making any revelatory personal comments, however, and I doubt that anyone else will, even anonymously.


  4. My dad was very grey by his mid 30s and I was starting to get a few white hairs in my early 20s, so I’m delighted to be early 40s and just getting progressively mousier.

    I would be willing to dye, BUT a) I need the time for maintenance and b) I need the disposable income to do it often enough c) I am not going to be doing home chemistry projects on myself d) I want a subtle effect. So I really don’t see it happening in the next several years.

    Any plastic surgery around the face makes me nervous. I think we can all think of some examples…

    If I were to lose a lot of weight and wound up with a bunch of excess skin, I think I would consider plastic surgery, but probably wimp out. All it took for me was to read a description of bariatric surgery, and I wasn’t interested anymore.


  5. For the physical effects of aging I see a trainer twice a week and try to spin 1-2x a week. Like Y81, I have to work that much harder to maintain the same level of fitness. My trainer: 30 + an ex-soccer coach + still plays soccer competitively + super fit + physiotherapist = someone who kills me each week but knows enough to not cause any damage.

    For the losing touch with pop culture/life outside my bubble effects of aging I have an 11 year old plus try to read as diversely as I can (both fiction and non-fiction/news sources).


  6. sandrat212 said:

    “My trainer: 30 + an ex-soccer coach + still plays soccer competitively + super fit + physiotherapist = someone who kills me each week but knows enough to not cause any damage.”

    That’s really good.

    My husband has been getting into really good condition by doing the college climbing wall (yeah, the much maligned college climbing wall), but he’s got a rotating series of injuries and he shouldn’t do it more than every other day or 4 days a week (he alternates with lighter activities). But it’s amazing what hauling yourself up 1,000 vertical feet does for the cardiovascular system…

    I’ve got peroneal tendonitis in one foot (@#$%^&* elliptical machine!) that flares up from time to time, so I’m taking it pretty easy right now. When I’m just a smidge better, I’ll get back to my routine, which is watching Fixer Upper on the recumbent bike. I’m afraid I probably miss the nuances of the design choices while biking, but it’s very motivating to stick with it until the big reveal. (I typically do not watch Fixer Upper or other HGTV type stuff off the bike.)

    For a while I was alternating the recumbent bike with Wii yoga, which worked really well. Initially, C helped me with the yoga–she’s like the world’s meanest 14-year-old yoga instructor–like Romanian gymnastics coach mean.

    I suspect I’ll get back to it over winter break, if only out of sheer boredom.

    Baby T has an October birthday and is only in 2 days of parents day out, so I just don’t have a lot of time to work with.


  7. I am too lazy to do anything about the effects of aging (well, except, potentially cognitive decline. I’m willing to challenge cognitively and I think that’s one step). But even there, I’m not doing some of the things I should (i.e. exercise).

    I’m not willing to dye my hair because I’m lazy and not willing to spend time at salons. I’ve been bad about what used to be nearly perfect teeth and am now paying some of the consequences (though I always justify myself that they could have happened anyway. Statistically, I am right, but that shouldn’t prevent me from using the odds properly, which I haven’t).

    I still look pretty young, but that’s partly because I never had a past where I looked like a supermodel with angled jaws and abs.


    1. “I still look pretty young, but that’s partly because I never had a past where I looked like a supermodel with angled jaws and abs.” Yeah, this helps me too. I always think aging is much harder if you were a really attractive youngster.

      I have great genes with regard to hair. My parents are both in their late 70s and neither one is entirely grey. I have very little grey so it’s hard for me to know if I would dye or not. I’m inclined to think not, because I can barely get myself in every six months for a basic haircut.


  8. I don’t dye my hair. It’s annoying enough to go to get it cut every few months. I’m looking forward to going entirely silver gray. People will tell me I have “hardly any gray,” which is not true. It just looks like highlights; much of the gray is on the underside, which is fortunate.

    I would not do surgery. The funny thing is, people are often surprised when they learn my age. I think it’s because the things people do to combat age, such as surgery and hair dyes, don’t read “young.” They read, “has had work done, therefore, old.” Surgery doesn’t change the way skin thins as we age. Sadly, extreme tanning in our youth (remember when baby oil was a tanning aid?) leads to accelerated skin aging. I never did tan, after establishing that it took a lot of work to become mildly tanned.

    So, to combat aging, I’m currently trying to get enough sleep, moisturize my skin in winter, take long walks, and wear sensible shoes.


  9. “They read, “has had work done, therefore, old.”

    Yes, I’ve definitely noticed this, especially in actresses, and in 40+ year old women in my own social circle. They seem to have work done that might make them look younger in a properly processed photograph, but makes them look older in general.


    1. It’s also true with some teens 20-something celebrities. The Jenner girls look a good 20 years older than their actual age, mainly because they started plastic surgery around age 16.

      I have the same thing, people think I’m much younger than I am and I think it’s because I never wore daily makeup or did anything to my face beyond washing it and moisturizing. I never had great skin, but moisturizing daily from age 20 and otherwise leaving it alone has minimized wrinkles. In the past year, I bought a retinol cream that I put around my eyes and forehead whenever I remember. When I do remember to use it daily, I see subtle improvement in my eye wrinkles.


  10. And, if all you’re after is looking young in a properly processed photograph, that can be done in photoshop with less needles and blood.


  11. “It turns out that 18-year-olds seized of the conviction of their own righteousness are prone to immoderation and simplistic views. ”

    Love this line from the Levy article. I stumbled on a FB discussion on abortion rights in the thread of a 16 year old friend. Mostly boys, probably virgins, discussing abortion. It was worth following, but also a pretty good reminder that 16 year olds are pretty silly (though we still have to figure out how to listen to them and talk to them about important issue).


  12. Genes are huge! I’m lucky to have my mother’s skin so fewer wrinkles than my same-aged peers.

    I do some blonde highlights to hide the grey that’s starting to come in. Just partial highlights so I don’t get caught up in monthly maintenance.

    Wardrobe can be a challenge – trying to avoid looking like “mutton dressed like lamb” while also avoiding any frumpiness. And all tempered by needing footwear that’s walkable for the poodle and the girl.


  13. “.. will you do/won’t do to deal with the depressing effects of aging? ..” We have been talking about middle to late-middle, and fending off the slights of others. Mutton dressed as lamb, yah.
    And then there is also my ma, she is a 1922. It was a good model year, but there are not a hell of a lot of ’22s on the road, anymore. And she is not on the road, she is in a power wheelchair, and can barely see because of macular degeneration. Hears well, still sharp. With a bright light and lots of peering she can sort of play Scrabble still. Lots of workarounds. Sock-putter-onners and depends and help coming in in the morning to make her breakfast. Slip-on shoes. House coats. You do what you have to. There’s a ’14 at the place where she lives, charming and friendly and teaches a bridge class. An inspiration to all the rest. Seventy women and ten men. The men get together for lunch once a week. One day at a time.


    1. Grandpa is a ’21. He’s doing very well, but he has had a couple misses the last few years. There was some bad stuff involving a second round of hip replacements (around 87 years old?) and then some heart stuff a couple years ago caused by fluid on the lungs.

      Grandma (’25) is very small and has the macular degeneration so grandpa does a lot of stuff she used to do. They live on their own so far.

      Enough of my kin live to 90+ that I realize that I don’t have the drop-dead-at-60 out for not taking care of myself. I’d better do it, because I may have to deal with me for a good long time.


      1. My back of the cigarette pack knowledge confirms that the length of your life is genetic but you can greatly influence the quality of that life by how healthy you live.


  14. It was only after grandpa’s fluid-on-the-lung episode that he discovered that he’d had a heart attack back in his 50s and not even known it at the time.


  15. A benefit to light blonde hair is it hides gray/white very well. My mother just looks like she’s getting progressively blonder, she’s in her mid 60s and about 50/50 blonde/white. I’m in my mid 30s and have a shock of white hair somewhere in the middle of my head that is very hard to find.

    I’m not that old, but I’ve found that even if weight is relatively stable my parts are just a bit saggier and jigglier. I’m not doing much to prevent it, except trying to walk 10,000 steps a day on my fit bit (I average around 8,000) and sporadically lifting 10 lb weights and doing pushups at home (like, 1x a week, or 5x a week for 1 week and then nothing for 2 weeks). I should be doing yoga every day to work on stiff joints (I’m worried I might have mild arthritis in the hips, and I definitely have bad shoulders and neck), but I really don’t do formal exercise unless I have a friend to make me, and my yoga buddy moved away. I can take free classes on campus, so no excuses. I’m lucky in that my weight has been stable at a relatively low number with minimal effort, but it’s taking more effort than it used to and I know that pretty soon I’ll have to start actively watching my diet.

    My dentist told me I need braces, and my teeth have moved enough that it actively annoys me on a daily basis. They went from being reasonably straight in my teens and 20s to noticeably less so, to the point I wouldn’t really call them straight any more. My teeth are also stained from years of coffee and red wine and whatever rural China does to teeth, and I will probably get a professional whitening at some point in the near future. I used to have shockingly healthy teeth (at 22, the dentist had all the hygienists in his practice gather around my mouth so they could see what ideal healthy teeth looked like), and now I have a dead front tooth and just had my first root canal this summer.


  16. “But it’s amazing what hauling yourself up 1,000 vertical feet does for the cardiovascular system…”

    Damn but I miss having mountains nearby. I didn’t often haul myself up far, but walked up a bunch of them. Carrying a kid was a good workout, too.


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