Thursday, April 26, 2007

Giving Up the Ghost

I wouldn't consider myself vain. Others might, but I don't see myself that way. I don't wear makeup. I tried to, for awhile, but I wound up breaking out and that kind of defeated the purpose. I don't spend a lot of time or money on my hair. It's gonna wind up limp and stringy anyway, and I think an extra five minutes of sleep is worth the tradeoff. As for fashion, well, I'm no Sex in the City gal, that's for sure.

But there is one thing I'm pretty vain about -- my body. Maybe it comes from 19+ years of dance. Staring into floor to ceiling, wall to wall mirrors clad in nothing but pink tights and a black leotard three days a week for your formative years might have that affect on a gal. Maybe it's because I wasn't exactly what you'd call popular in school and I suffered under the delusion that I'd go away one summer, do the swan nee duckling routine and BAM! be popular come September. Maybe it's because there was a time, not too long ago, when I was wearing a size 10 and it was snug. (For those gorgeous size 10s out there who are reading this and saying, Hey!, I submit this -- I'm 5'3" and not exactly big-boned. Size 10 means about 30 superfluous pounds on my frame...) So I'm proud that I can still dance and kickbox and do yoga and cycle and hike and everything the way I do. And I'm proud that those things have the side effects of leaving me with a fairly decent physique.

Which leads me to last night. It was my last kickboxing class with the crazy-pregnant-awesome-fun instructor. So I wanted to make it a good one. I was kicking. I was jabbing. I was (jumping) jacking. I was sweating and panting. And, at one point, I looked at the clock and realized there was still 20 minutes left in class. OH MY GOD! For a second I actually thought, "thank God I have to take a break from this stuff for a month. I need the rest!"

Because, you see, I'm probably the oldest person in the class. But heaven forbid I take it easy, allow my kicks to be anything but the highest or my squats the deepest. It might just be competitiveness, but I think it's probably vanity.

Now, today, I walked up to the courthouse to file my application for a new passport. If you don't have your old one to turn in, you have to re-supply all your documentation. And I didn't have my "long form" birth certificate, so I got turned away. Annoying, right?

The thing is - I have my original passport. I know where it is. I could easily avoid all this hassle by just turning it in. But I really - REALLY - don't want to.

Because it's the only good picture I've ever taken.

In the photo, my hair is long and blonde. I am tan. I am smiling. I am young.

It comes down to this. As I prepare for this ridiculous procedure which will force me into a month of relative relaxation and as my 32nd birthday looms off in the distance, I must not only come face to face with my vanity, but also my age.

No matter what they say, 32 ain't the new 22. No way, no how.