Wednesday, 01 May 2013 16:10

Is that a New Wrinkle?

Article as it appeared in O - The Oprah Magazine. By Kim Garner

Kim Garner asked three experts for quick, empowered responses to the most uncomfortable age-related questions.

Meet the Specialists

For the charm offensive:
Claire Newton, a psychologist, speaker, trainer and life coach, in Durban.

For cheeky one-liners:
Comedienne Tumi Morake, in Johannesburg.

For straight shooting:
Janet Winterbourne, a relationship counselor, in Cape Town.

“l see you’re planning on letting yourself go grey?”

Newton: “Gently and subtly show the person that you’re quite comfortable with who you are. Say, ‘Yes, I’m happy to age gracefully and naturally. Some people take longer than others to make their peace with that, but not me.’”

 

“Why are you still not married?”

Newton: “This question implies that there is something wrong with you. Make it quite clear that there is nothing wrong, by saying, I’m single by choice. It’s only other people who seem to believe that the fact I’m not married is a problem. I don’t see it that way.’”

 

“Aren’t you too old to wear that?”

Newton: “I believe growing older is mandatory, but growing up is optional. Anything that helps me feel younger, more alive and more energetic is wonderful and I don’t worry about what others think. Someone very wise once said, ‘We would stop worrying about what people think of us if we only realized how seldom they do.’”

Morake: “Oh, where’s the age-restriction label?”

 

“Would you perhaps consider Botox?”

Winterbourne: “No, I actually enjoy laughing ...”

Newton: “Do you know that Botox is actually Botulism Toxin, an acutely poisonous substance? Why would I willfully inject that into my face? I think what you meant to ask was, ‘Why would anyone consider Botox?’”

 

“But you don’t want to look old in your wedding dress, do you?”

Winterbourne: “No, I’m planning on looking drop-dead gorgeous, thanks.”

 

“Is that a new wrinkle?”

Morake: “Brand spanking new. Why, how long have you had yours?”

 

“How long are you planning to wait before you have children?”

Morake: “Until I’m ready to invest my money in something that has no guarantee of returns.”

Newton: “‘Until I can tread on a piece of Lego at 3a.m. on the way to the bathroom without wanting to kill the person who put it there!’ This answer works because it allows you not to have to go into any personal information about why you don’t have children if you don’t want to.”

 

“What if men don’t find you attractive after you’ve turned 35?”

Newton: “Say, ‘I worry more about how attractive men who are older than 35 are to me!’ This way, you’ll cut through the stereotype that women are there for men’s pleasure. It says that, as a woman, I have choices to make, too.”

 

“How’s the love life? Still being too picky? You know, Mr. Right doesn’t exist...”

Newton: “I don’t actually know that he doesn’t exist. But I value myself too much to settle for someone who isn’t right for me.”

Morake: “The idea of Mr. Right is so outdated! I’m holding out for Mr. Interesting.”