The desire to be older was a main feature of Sara’s childhood. As soon as she discovered fractions, she was seven-and-three-quarters instead of seven. She actually wished for more poundage, as more poundage meant bigger, which meant older.
When Sara hit the age of ten, she began begging and angling for parental permission to use makeup, a grown-up privilege she coveted intensely.
The makeup came in handy during the teenage years, when zits showed up along with frizzy hair and fat cells. She intuited that EIGHTEEN was the way out of this dilemma. Somehow, coming of age would empower her to conquer these horrors and finally be attractive.
Once eighteen was reached and Sara was still battling PMS pimples, hairdo challenges, and dieting, she knew that twenty-one was the answer. Then, she would have passed the awkward stage.
But at twenty-one Sara’s problems persisted, and worse, she got the distinct feeling she was not being taken seriously as an adult. She traded in her strawberry-flavored lip gloss for a department store makeover. She yearned for just a few more years; then, the full battery of her encyclopedic knowledge of life would be respected.
At twenty-five, Sara took a well-earned pause, a satisfied breath, and basked in a fleeting moment of oneness with existence. She hadn’t had a single pimple for months, a new diet was working wonders, and she had a job with a really impressive title.
At this precise point, the Einsteinian Relativistic Age Reversal Phenomenon occurred: Sara stopped wishing to be older feeling as though time was dragging by at an impossibly slow rate, and actually started getting older at an alarmingly fast and inexorable rate.
Twenty-six hit and Sara was on the downslide to thirty. Each year brought her closer to the reckoning: What WAS she going to do with her life? Her low-paying job as a level-three platinum-member team-leader management specialist really had nothing to do with her degree in journalism.
Twenty-nine . . .
Sara found a gray hair. It gave her a rush of goose pimples. She became dizzy and almost fainted. With a vengeance she promptly plucked it out, fervently hoping it was a freak anomaly.
Wannabe wrinkles were trying to etch themselves into full-blown existence on Sara’s forehead. What was she going to do? She was falling apart and she hadn’t even figured out how to be attractive yet!
She was being hurled in the wrong direction by the Einsteinian Relativistic Age Reversal Phenomenon. Her appearance was out of control and her youth was being flushed down the toilet into the sewer of long-lost memories.
She was shopping one day and spent hours in the dressing rooms with no less than five items each time. She came away with nothing but a depressed feeling, hunger which she satisfied at the mall’s gooey cookie counter, and the horrific knowledge that her elbows were wrinkly thanks to side and rearview mirrors.
Sara searched the Internet for plastic surgery with no downtime and a payment plan. She joined the gym but kept finding excuses not to go such as, I’ll start tomorrow and go every day. Then she bought a treadmill thinking she might do better if exercise didn’t include a driving distance. She sold it at a garage sale six months later.
Each year added horrors she could not have imagined. She had tiny flaps of useless skin called skin tags hanging from her armpits. She found a floating hair an inch long springing from her right eyebrow like stray fishing line. The only reason she saw it was because she tried on a pair of reading glasses surreptitiously in the dollar store and looked at her focused reflection.
Sara woke up sweating one night from a nightmare that scared the crap out of her (not literally). She was in a pharmacy shopping for adult diapers, peering through inch-thick magnifying glasses, picking her way around the drugstore with her walker, leaving clouds of old-age fumes wafting in her wake, waiting for the pharmacist to announce that her varicose vein medication was ready.
Sara’s screams echoed as she emerged from the clutches of so horrid a fate, but she soon realized it had only been a nightmare. She experienced relief she hadn’t felt since liposuction was invented. She didn’t really know when liposuction had been invented, but at some point it had become known to her and that was a good day.
She looked in the mirror disheveled from sleeping, but wide awake from the pharmacy nightmare, and she saw . . .
No varicose veins, no curtains of wrinkled flesh hanging from her neck, no upper arm flaps, and no gray roots showing. A little smile curled her lips up to an impish angle. After all, she looked quite fetching this morning in her Victoria’s Secret jammies with her recently colored bed-head hair. She hadn’t had to wear diapers to bed, and she was still ambulatory.
Einsteinian Relativity slowed down a little that morning. It’s a good thing too, because Sara was really fed up and about to kick its ass.