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Column: Welcome to reverse puberty

Forty years ago it was acne cream, now it’s moisturizer

Sometimes circumstances catch one so unawares, it’s impossible to know how to respond.

And so it was just recently, when I was finishing some errands that included picking up overpriced and likely ineffectual facial moisturizer. (All facial moisturizers are, of course, overpriced and likely ineffectual.)

Fun fact: According to, 47 per cent of Canadians spend between $100 and $499 per year on skin care products and the other 53 per cent are men…Er, that’s not right. Eleven per cent spend $500 or more and everyone else spend less than $100.

Standing at the counter with debit card in hand, the clerk leaned forward in a confidential manner and practically whispered:

“Do you really need this today?”

It made me wonder. Was I looking particularly wrinkled and haggish, as if I needed an emergency application of face cream?

Or was the attendant suggesting there was something wrong with my purchase, a left-wing conspiracy, perhaps, pushing the idea that women don’t actually need beauty products to be beautiful.

“It’s only,” she went on, and no longer in a hushed voiced but more of a bellow. “If you are 55 you would qualify for our seniors’ discount, but you’d have to come back later this week, when it’s seniors’ day.”

There are very few occasions when I am rendered completely speechless, and fortunately for all involved this was almost one of those times.

I merely stated that I am not 55, and then left with my moisturizer and as much dignity and speed as possible.

For crying out loud I won’t be 55 until sometime later this month.

And there is nothing wrong with being 55.

It’s just an age that is smack in the middle of a decade full of rapid, bewildering and painful changes in both mind and body for which one isn’t quite prepared

It’s like puberty in reverse.

To the point, 40 years ago I would have been buying acne cream.

About a month ago my family doctor confirmed my body is proceeding in the ordained fashion.

I complained of experiencing unusual muscle pain of late.

She nodded with understanding and said this is when I need to use and tone my muscles as when a woman is PM (that’s postmenopausal NOT postmortem, like I originally thought) she loses one per cent of her muscles every year.

This is very concerning, naturally, as it means by the time I am 155 I won’t have any muscles left at all.

There is nothing wrong with being 55. Anderson Cooper turned 55 this year.

So did Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. 1967 was a heck of a year for the country music industry.

Chef Gordan Ramsay is 55. Julia Roberts, Pamela Anderson and Nicole Kidman are all 55 too.

But I bet no one offers them a seniors’ discount card at the cosmetic counter.

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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