2000-08-12 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter
Woman To Woman

This week's column is dedicated to The Wave readership who are women. Sorry guys! You'll just have to turn to Howie, James Conway, or the G-Man! Or better yet, go down to the local pub, preferably the Palm Garden, and have yourselves a cold one. This week is entirely "chick-chat"!

Some of my fondest memories of growing up are the times I've spent with my mother in the fitting rooms of Bloomingdales, Bergdorf, and Bendel. Trying on clothes and giggling all the way! At the time, I could not delight in nor think of a greater heaven on earth than the fitting rooms of Fifth Avenue! My mother always wore "it" well. Not just her style of clothes; but life in general. Then there was this one time while on one of our blissful excursions that I noticed for the first time that she just didn't seem to enjoy the feminine experience of trying on clothes and dancing in the mirror. For her, it wasn't an "I feel pretty" experience anymore. My mother had turned 40! It was as if she felt she just didn't fit well in that fitting room anymore, and she began to retire to those big cushy fitting room chairs content to simply watch her daughter's reflection dancing in the mirror.

I remember asking her what was wrong, and she'd so graciously say, "Oh, one day you'll know."
I don't know quite exactly when it happens. It's as matter of fact as you wake up one morning and find that your "get up and go" has gotten up and went! And all of a sudden you're a M'AM! It's perhaps one of the most horrific feelings! When the world reflects your age back to you and you realize it and see for the first time what "they're" seeing.... and you "look good for your age!"

It's quite a scary experience! I've always been a terrific athlete. Despite my awful habit of smoking, I could still swim, ski, and rollerblade. The hours of rigorous dance training were always easy to me. Then one day a few months ago, Owen and I had rode out to Atlantic Beach. He on his bike and me on my blades. As we rode through Far Rockaway, I remember these guys standing around on the street corner on Seagirt avenue and rather than the usual whistles that we chicks pretend we hate, the comments were, "You go, girl! You still got it girl! Don't you care, you still got it!" Well, I nearly dug in my blades to stop and say something like whatchoo mean "still"? It's not supposed to go anywhere! Then it hit me. It already had.

I was meandering around and trying on some things in Bloomingdales the other day when I heard in the fitting room next to mine, a young girl ask her mother, "What is it like to be your age?" I looked in the mirror, saw my mother, and smiled. Now I know.


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