I spent a lot of time in the company of my dear grandmother Mattie Fern when I was growing up. I was allowed to just be - the good, the bad and the ugly. And as far as I can recall, I was rarely bad, if ever. The flood of memories of her old farm house exceeds even those of my own family. Grandma was way cool before I ever heard that term!
Though everyone had electricity and televisions by the time I came along, the old time hucksters and snake oil salesmen were still thriving thanks to advertising in little weekly newspapers and a steady avalanche of fantastic offers for miraculous and amazing items of medicine, tools, plants, lotteries, and assorted grand ideas that arrived via the United States Postal Service. The little newspapers went into the wood burning stoves as fire starters but the bulk mailings went into a single drawer in the old chrome and enameled kitchen table. These were the "important papers" and any child was welcome to sort through them, draw on them, cut them up, or otherwise spend unsupervised time with them. (This may have foreshadowed my cube farming career...)
The reason I recall the "important papers" (and therefore my grandmother) this morning is because I just signed on to Face Book and was assailed with the same hucksters and snake oil salesmen of bulk mailings from sixty years ago! There was an amazing secret that will take 30 years from my face - just click here - beckoning beneath a headline: Is Sixty the New Thirty?
Well boys, let me answer that for you. Absofuckinglutely NOT!
If you are rich like Cher and Joan Rivers, and not opposed to constant suffering and pain and have the best makeup artists money can buy, you might be able to sometimes give the illusion that you are an attractive, in a pickled sort of way, timelessly mature beauty. But inside you would not be thirty years old. I was still somewhat innocent of the ways of the world when I was thirty! (Yes, I had been around the block a time or two by that age but some things about my fellow man still shocked and upset me.) How aged you look depends on so much more than the wrinkles and freckles and baggy eyes. Frankly, I would hate to still behave as if I were thirty at my present age of sixty. Did I not learn anything in the last three decades? It better be showing up on my face!
Now, if they really wanted to sell me some snake oil, they should talk to me when I am ninety - ask me then if ninety is the new sixty. I might be willing to fall for it by then.