Saturday, March 7, 2009

Younger than Springtime

I just read this essay by Sophie Keller that promises to teach us "How to Really Look Seven Years Younger." To state the obvious, I don't often worry about how young I look. However, with all this recent attention to fitness, I thought it would be worth 30 seconds of my time to pick up some tips on looking younger.

Sophie starts out right away by letting you know hers is not a column about botox and collagen. No, she says she's not concerned with superficial stuff but about looking younger from the inside out. I think her main point is that baldness, liver spots and dry, wrinkly skin don't make you look old. It's the frown on your face that ages you.

I am not sure I agree with her premise. I don't know about you, but I am quite capable of thinking, "That's a very happy OLD person." And when I see a young person scowling angrily, my first impression is not that they look old but that I need to get away from them before they blow up.

Anyhow, I think it's time to compare Sophie's five tips with my five.

Her top tips:

  1. Love people more
  2. Get rid of your anger
  3. Stop focusing on what you don't have and focus on what you do have
  4. Drink lots of water
  5. Strengthen your spiritual life and know that you are not alone

Did you notice how she snuck in drinking lots of water in the middle of all that other hippy-dippy claptrap? It's like she couldn't think of saying the same thing five different ways so had to sneak in a health tip that, frankly, applies to everyone not just older people.

Well, I would like to counteroffer with five tips that will REALLY make you look younger. I think I will do them in reverse order, like Letterman does his Top Ten:

5. Wait until people have left the room before moving. This way they will have no ability to compare your speed relative to, say, a tortoise. In order to pull this off for a long time, it is important that you completely ignore Sophie's recommendation to drink lots of water.

4. Wait until people are looking elsewhere before trying to pick up something you've dropped on the floor. This does not apply, however, if an item of a highly personal nature falls from your body. In that case walk away as fast as possible. Even though this violates Rule #5, you have a better chance of getting away without notice than trying to pick it up.

3. Use your reading glasses in public. This may seem counterproductive, but trust me. It is far better to have a pair of half-frame specs balancing on the tip of your nose than reaching your hand out as far as you can and then squinting down the length of your arm in a doomed bid to focus.

2. Never use the bathroom your guests will be using later. Even if it means climbing the stairs to use the loo upstairs, the effort will be worth it. Otherwise, your guests will soon discover that you are not really younger from the inside out.

1. Hang around with much older people. This is easy and always helps to make you look younger. And that, after all, is the whole point of the exercise.

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