Women’s magazines are filled with articles whose theme is that it’s never too late—to develop a new hobby, become physically fit, revitalize our skin, take up a new religion, or make new friends. But there are some things to which I can rightfully say “Absolutely too late!”
Among items on my too-late list are going to graduate school, entering a marathon, and having a nose job. Now I know I could probably take a stab at going back to school, one course at a time, or practicing five days a week with a trainer. The truth is that I don’t want to. Not now, not for the foreseeable future, and probably not ever.
As for the nose job, I just don’t have the guts to go under any knife. But I really do believe that if I can’t accept my face at this age, there’s no hope for me. I do accept my face—most of the time. But recently, I saw a candid photo of myself in profile… Do noses really grow longer while the rest of us shrinks? But it’s too late, and if I’m being honest, I had no desire to go through that surgery 20 or 30 years ago either.
My husband recently finished a two-year stint with metal braces—rubber bands and all. Now that they’re off, he has a purple retainer to wear day and night. Although I didn’t think he needed to do this, I respect his desire to fix something that has, apparently, always bothered him. I give him credit for putting up with the sore gums, the inability to eat taffy apples, and the need to share the orthodontist’s waiting room with teenagers. He looks good, but most important, he feels good about his smile.
I couldn’t have put up with all that suffering for such an extended period. But those who know me probably remember that, several years ago, I had massive dental work, spanning a couple of years and including seven implants, a sinus lift, a bone graft, three root canals, and various other procedures, much of it under general anesthetic, and all of it followed by days of pain. I’m glad I did it, but when I think about going through that now, it seems impossible. What’s changed? Is this the same inflexibility I used to find objectionable in the older generation? If it’s my turn to take on that can’t and won’t attitude, I hope that somehow, somewhere, they forgive me for my scorn back then.
If a new hobby, friend, or low-impact fitness program comes along, I’ll go for it. Just don’t ask me to do anything painful, complicated, or risky. You’re too late.