Monday, February 3, 2014


You haven't changed a bit!

(Other versions: You haven't changed at all! and You still look the same!)

How many times did I hear this lie greeting at my husband's high school reunion! The former classmates were so excited to see each other that I think they actually believed what they were saying, and believed hearing it when the lie compliment was directed to them.

What does the phrase really mean? Does it mean that, even though you're older, you're still attractive? Or maybe it just means that you still... uh... have the same look?

If it's been several years since I've seen someone, I don't say that phrase. First of all, I'm not good at recognizing people who I don't see often. Very much a "live in the present" person, it's a wonder that I, at least, know you're someone I've known, even though I can't exactly pin you down. And if I do recognize you, I see that - you've changed.

Remember that adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all." So if after 30 or 40 years, I can't say, "Oh, you're still so cute... or handsome... or fashionable" etc, then I stick with, "It's good to see you again!" which is better than saying nothing at all.

At Darling Husband's class reunion, after the third time hearing "the lie," I thought, "I hope he's (random person) changed, because if he looked like that as a senior in high school... well... hmmm..."

I don't know anyone - let's say over 40 - who looks the same as when 18, 21, or even 25 years old.

People age. For that matter, everything ages... I think. (Any scientists out there?)


Hair gets thin. Hair loss occurs. Hair color changes. Skin wrinkles. Skin sags. Skin spots. Skin cracks. Chins disappear. Backs bend. Heights lessen. Teeth shift. Hair grows in new places. Waists thicken. Bellies protrude. Hips spread. Cellulite gives you dimples. Under eye dark circles or bags increase. Crow's feet widen. Eyelids droop. Other body parts droop. Bat wings jiggle. Muscles atrophy. Fat accumulates. "And so forth and so on," as people in the south say... old people, that is.

So maybe you're lucky and most of these things don't happen to you.

You still don't look the same! Get over it! It's okay! You're breathing!
...however, keep that plastic surgeon's number handy.

Happy Monday!
Who's that girl?

How are you handling the exterior effects of aging? ...unless of course, you look the same as you did in high school.

(What's going on inside the body is a whole 'nother blog post.)


joeh said...

I haven't changed a bit...I've changed a lot, fortunately Mrs. Cranky likes'em old.

From the pictures you have posted, you have changed a lot as well, but, and as I am an old fart I feel safe in saying this, you're still cute!

Funny thing, some of the girls in high school who were really cute and now not so much...doesn't matter, I still only think of them as they were...cute!

Rob-bear said...

Yes, we all change. And not always for the better. But, in some ways, I think we stay the same.

I've never been to a high school or college reunion, because i live a long way from both. I don't think off it as a loss — it's just life.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Stephanie said...

LOL I don't look like that same girl from High School and I'm happy about it! I have far more confidence now and I think that shows through. (although I do wish I weighed what I did way back then!) :)

Judy Thomas said...

Gray hair? Bring it! Wrinkles? Bring 'em.! Jowls? Sure! Thick bifocals? Thanks! This is what an aging woman looks like and I don't much care if anyone does not like it.

Judy Thomas said...

And, Anita, you show your years with particular beauty and grace.

Shelly said...

My husband's and my high school reunion is this summer, and I'm already thinking about what to say to people. I like what you say- it's good to see you! Truthful, and not hurtful. And girl, you are beautiful! Love your pic.

Mari said...

From what I see in the pictures here, you look wonderful. I've changed - the wrinkles and age spots don't bother me so much, but the weight I've gained does. I think it's because it's something I should be doing something about!

Jen said...

Turning 30 was tough. By 40, growing older didn't bother me. I know I'm much more confident and happier now, which is worth having a couple of wrinkles.

yonca said...

Same positive face,Anita! More confident and more beautiful:)
I don't really miss my 20's. Not even 30's. I feel happier today:)

Bryan Jones said...

You've thoroughly depressed me now, Anita - I think I ticked most of the boxes for that long list of signs that one is ageing. When I met an old friend a couple of months ago his first utterance was:'Goodness gracious, you've gone grey!'

Interesting post.

Hilary said...

The scary greeting is "Oh hi.. I didn't recognize you!"

I think what most people genuinely mean when they say that you've not changed is "you've not changed a bit to me. You're still attractive to my older eyes and you bring me back to our younger days." Or something like that. I think it's meant as a sincere compliment and though not precisely truthful, it's still genuine.

Your check list of items.. now that's just plain depressing. Thanks a LOT, Anita! ;)

Abby said...

I laughed out loud at "... I hope he's (random person) changed, because if he looked like that as a senior in high school... well... hmmm..." Right?!

Thanks to facebook, there are people I haven't seen since high school that now pop up. Some, I KNOW I would not recognize if their names weren't sitting right next to their faces (and bodies).

As for me, yeah "stuff" has changed, but I don't want to go back even to have my 17-year-old body!

YOU, however, haven't changed :). Still have that ageless smart and friendly look!

Mage said...

I don't look like I did at all. If I ever get my extra 100 pounds off, I will just be a mound of ruined skin and wrinkles. Love that picture of you tho.

Cathy said...

You know what I miss most - my waist!

I knew my face would never stay the same but when I saw my mother looking at me in the mirror I did begin to worry.

How do you feel when you look at that beautiful graduation photo of yourself? Do you mourn for the 'pretty young thing' or do you think it was the start of something big and beautiful?
Take care

fiftyodd said...

Actually, I had a friend visit whom I haven't seen for 30 years. She looks exactly the same! No surgery.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

An interesting post. We do change, especially with age.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Margie said...

I know I have changed , a few more wrinkles in the past few years but I can accept that.
As long as I 'stay young at heart' I will not mind growing older.

Anita, you were beautiful back then and beautiful now, embrace that beauty .

ShadowRun300 said...

I've changed a ton on the outside, but I still feel like the same young girl on the inside. I'm sometimes shocked when I look in the mirror because what I see doesn't match how I feel. (I am in much better shape now, however.)
I guess I usually tell people they haven't changed if I can recognize them. But most times I just tell people how good it is to see them again and don't comment on their looks at all.

Barb said...

What the heck are bat wings? They're the only thing I might not have! At my age, just looking presentable to go to the grocery store is sometimes a challenge. I'm still vain though - I like to wear my wrinkles with pizzaz! Hope you're not freezing back East, Anita - we're literally buried in snow here in the mountains of CO.

fsmum said...

Oh, the pure honesty of your post made me chuckle!!!

fsmum said...

I've changed loads over the years mostly because my weight yoyos so much! As long as people can still recognise me, I think I'm doing ok though. There are some I know who bear NO resemblance to their younger selves now. I'm almost 48 and the only thing I hate about aging so far is that it's harder to compete with younger people for employment and some thing I'm old to have a six year old child. Oh, and because I'm aging so is my mother. She's eighty now and I dread the day she says goodbye.

Anya said...

since I just past a milestone birthday - I've had aging on the brain for sure. No doubting it, I'm spotting grey hairs, and my unlucky 11s (you know those lines between eyebrows) are getting unluckier every day. What's a gal to do, though.
Really, the most annoying part is when I mention any of the above to friends it seems that they feverishly deny it. Why? I'm not fishing for complements -- just tellin it like it is. :)
My brains are still decent, though, and I play Beethoven with more passion than ever. So all is well. :)
Love your blog as always!

Rebecca S. said...

This was very funny :)
When people tell me I haven't changed I actually feel a little insulted! Crazy, I know. I want to have changed since I was seventeen, and I know they are lying. If they aren't lying then they are patronizing me, which is even worse in my book.
You were a cute kid, though...

TexWisGirl said...

lol! when i look in the mirror these days, i see my older sisters or even my mother. still shocks me. :)

thanks for stopping in!

Unknown said...

I have to say, though, I do have some friends who look like they haven't aged a day since high school. I mean, stick them in the same school uniform and it'll be like back in high school. :)

InSeason Mom Cynthia said...

What a beautiful high school picture! I think it's important to appreciate EVERY season of your life. Looking back should help us appreciate how much we've grown!