Today I’m guest posting on Kludgy Mom. You so want to read The Best Blogging Advice I Ever Got. Go read it right now!
I first discovered other people thought I looked like my mom when I went to church in her home town. I was sixteen and visiting Granny and Papa in Gallatin, Tennessee. As I walked down the center aisle after mass, a middle-aged woman saw me and gasped, “Patsy, you look amazing!”
I stuttered that I wasn’t Patsy (age 44 then), but Patsy’s teenage daughter. She probably believed me. I was mortified. Did she think my mother looked 16, or did she think I looked 44?
Since then, I can tell when I meet one of my mom’s old friends. Always the same pause, double take, and gasp. I suppose if I thought my friend looked exactly the same as she did 28 years ago, I would be really surprised too.
Since I do look so much like my mother, the future doesn’t hold much mystery for me as far as what my older face will look like. Mom looks great for her age, whatever that means. I witnessed this myself at family event two years ago in her old hometown. All her friends from high school we saw looked and acted every one of their seventy years. Mom looks and acts a decade younger, at least. I’m happy to ride that gene train.
For me, aging well is very tied up in appearance. I’d be a liar if I said I just wanted to be healthy and active and nothing else mattered. I want to look good! Mom has kept her hair long and dark auburn. No silver granny perm, like her mother had for the last half of her life.
For a long time, I encouraged Mom to go natural and “age appropriate” with her hair. After hitting 40 myself, I get it. She gets to determine what looks good on her. I find myself telling my embarrassed teens this as I lace up my Converse sneakers.
I get to say what is appropriate for my age. Instead of a red hat, perhaps it will be a red thong. Instead of the mink stole or tennis bracelet that were the middle-age totems of success for previous generations of women in my family, maybe I’ll fly a plane or have a rainbow of Converse sneakers in my closet.
I imagine that when I’m 70 some 98-year-old lady will roll past me and gasp, “Patsy, you look amazing!” And I will smile and say thank you.
This post on aging gracefully is part of the GenFab monthly blog hop. GenerationFabulous.com is my new web site that just went live. Please check it out!
I, too, look a LOT like my mother. Or she looks like my older sister. MY actual sister had a fit over that one. I’m looking at the positives.
I’m also making an appointment for hair color this week as I looked at my mom the other day and said *under my breath*, “Dang…*I* have more gray showing than she does.”.
My mom has no stretch marks. That seems so cruel. *This* is how I get to be different?
WOW! I wasn’t sure that was a picture of two people! Pretty amazing – do any of your kids look as much like you?
I know right? I’m the one on the left. I think.
Yes, all my kids look just like me. My older daughter is my mini-me!
What a wonderful legacy. I confess, I’m a bit jealous – I do look like my mother, except she was dark and I’m blonde, and I think she was beautiful, but her gene history isn’t nearly so fabulous. However, HER mom lived to 99, and was active and sharp until the last few months, so maybe that part’ll skip a gen.
The bad part is hearing her voice come out of her face, except it’s you.
Her dad also lived long and in great shape, so hoping I get some of those genes too. Greedy!
I look a lot like my mom too, and she looked a lot like her mom. It is reassuring. Reading through all of these Blog Hop posts, I’ve noticed how many of us talk about our hair. Do we let our hair go out grey? Do we let it stay long? So happy to read your blog. I look forward to reading more.
I feel like my hair is one of the biggest parts of my self-image. We don’t have good-butt days, though maybe we should!
Wishing you continued great genetics!
Mom never had PMS or hot flashes, so I’m 1 for 2 on that!
Amanda Fox says
I look very much like my mother as well. I hear you about meeting your mother’s friends. “Oh my gosh, do you two ever look the same.” LOL
And I love the part about the “silver granny hair”. Both of my grandmothers had that. Please no, don’t make me have it.
Great post Anne!
Thanks, Amanda. It’s like my Granny turned 40, started getting sausage-roll curls and rocked that same hairstyle for the rest of her life. Not for me, I say!
Amanda Fox says
LOL I can relate to that. Me either.
Barbara Coleman says
Your post really tickled me! I could really relate to it….not because I look like my mother, but because my daughter looks just like me….she’s been fighting that same battle her whole life. When she was in high school and her first love was hanging out at our house all the time, I came stumbling down the staircase after a week long bout of the flu and being bed ridden….Her boyfriend looked up at me in horror and I told him to get a good look at it, because she was going to look just like this in 18 years!
She should be so lucky!
Personally, I love being a cautionary tale. I’m like Jacob Marley in stretchy pants.
Ginger Kay says
I wear a pair of Converse that my eldest outgrew nearly a decade ago. I’m sure we both look fantastic in them.
Converse are the little black dress for your feet.
Ginger Kay says
I just wish they had some arch support.
Cat McMahon says
OMG(goodness)! I thought I was the only one in the whole world who looked like my mother! I’m not alone in this? Funny thing is, mom and I are complete opposites in almost every way, but looks. We even deny we look like each other!
People say it, so it must be true. I actually think my mother is much better looking, but I am funnier.
Oh, how I love the red thong comment. Yes, sign me up for the red thong society. Great post Anne!
I want an annual conference for the Red Thong Society. Frozen drinks and cabana boys for everyone!
Anne, you look amazing!
Thanks, Lois, you magnificent creature!
How fortunate that your mother looks so young…or looking just like her might not be so fun huh? I love the idea of replacing the Red Hat with a Red Thong!
Yes, it could be way worse. Though I think a cautionary tale might be motivational to put more effort in on my appearance.
Caryn/The Mid Life Guru says
I am blessed to look just like my mom too. I have always considered it a compliment when people told me I looked just like her, just like when people say that about me and one of my kids. Like you said, there will be no surprises for what to expect as the years move along.
Thank you for admitting that we really associate aging with our outward appearance…I think that is what most women think of first. I color my hair…it is gray underneath…but it makes me feel better about me…and I will probably do this for a long time. You and your mom are so cute!! But I understand how you feel about the comments…my daughter has been told since a young age that she is Debra Messing;s twin…that has always horrified her since the actress is quite a bit older. I keep trying to tell her it is a compliment!!
That is an amazing genetic connection, mother/daughter twins. My daughter looks nothing like me, in fact we laughingly call me the adopted mom because people find it hard believe when we tell them we’re mother/daughter. That is until we start to talk, then they see that we have the same mannerisms.
Wow, you had me from the first paragraph. Wonderful story! I like your writing style.
Yay to being forever young! And I met you and can say with 1000000% certainty you look FAB for any age. 🙂
San Diego Momma (Deb) says
I look exactly like my mom. I remember my mom looking forlorn in the mirror and wanting a facelift and buying HSN serum after serum to…look younger? I’m not sure. I do know I thought she was beautiful and recall a lingering sadness that she felt she wasn’t. She passed away at 56, and her friends and family stare at me to get a little piece of her back. I’m glad I can do that for them…
And you? You look fabulous. And so does your mom!
Hey girl — well I finally got my ass over here after all of the loving support you’ve given me. It’s always about mememememe. And I have to say I love your site. It’s warm, funny and inviting just like you. And I know you’re only 30. You can’t fool me!
Thanks! I am in such a slump though. I need to perk up and write more.