Friday, September 09, 2005

How Old is (S)he?

This was the question that we pondered while waiting in line for the BodyWorlds exhibit last week. The person in question was tall and bleach blond, with hair pulled into a high "I Dream of Jeannie" ponytail. She wore a lot of make-up, inartfully applied. Her skinned was too tanned and somewhat leathery. Her face seemed tighter than her neck, her nose was unnatural and her breasts seemed too round and high, even with a push-up bra. Her somewhat thick body was clad in somewhat tight, out-of-style jeans and a sleeveless motorcycle t-shirt. She looked as if she wanted to be noticed. Her companion was a yuppish-looking man in his mid to late twenties -- we couldn't determine if they were a couple or not.

I offered Paul two theories:

1. Forty-five year old woman, desperately trying to retain her youth and beauty, at museum with son; or
2. Sun-damaged, prematurely aging, late-twenties woman with boyfriend or friend.

He added a third:
3. Cross-dresser or M to F transgendered, with either friend or lover.

Margaret, Paul's sister, overheard a snippet of this whispered conversation and said, "I know who you are talking about!"

As we slowly moved through the cattle-style line, we examined our evidence. We agreed that she was:
overly make-upped,
plastic surgery: definitely her nose, probably her face and boobs, too,
used to being the 'pretty girl' that people looked at.

I wanted to ask her, but Paul and Margaret seemed mortified by this idea. (previously I embarassed them by making sheep noises as we stood in the unmoving line, so I didn't want to make them uncomfortable again -- does anyone else have this urge to make barnyard noises when they are faced with these cordoned off, back and forth lines?)

Instead each time we passed her we tried to gather more evidence. Her hands were somewhat large, but she was tall and they didn't look particularly mannish. Her make-up was garrish and clumsily applied. She and the man stood close and chatted familiarly, but there were no overt romantic gestures. Nor did we overhear them address each other with terms of endearment or 'mom'.

I think the most likely conclusion is that she is an older woman who is unsuccessfully trying to retain her youth and beauty. This explains the outdated clothes, leathery skin and garrish make-up. The nose-job, boob-job and probable face-lift also fit with this explanation. It also explains the 'look at me' attitude she had. I still don't quite understand the relationship with guy, though. He was cute, clean-cut, khakis, untucked button-down shirt.

Paul clung to his M to F transgendered theory. It also explained the clothing, plastic-surgery and poor make-up skills. However, she seemed mostly female to me. The guy didn't look like someone who I would expect to be comfortable hanging out with a transgendered person, much less possibly dating one.

Very perplexing. I totally should have asked her.


At 3:36 PM, Blogger Sascha said...

You totally would have hurt her feelings. There's no need to be down on people like that for no good reason. It's one thing to laugh about it with your friends. But it's entirely another to walk up to someone and ask them a question like that. Obviously she's already oversensitive about her appearance. How are you helping her?

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Frick said...

Tempted? I regularly make sheep noises when I find myself in a situation of blindly following people.

As much as I am in favor asking random strangers questions about things rather than just talking behind their back, I generally only think its a good idea when the subject is one they enjoy talking about. Asking their age would be incrediably rude.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger George said...

I see folks like that every day where I work.

I don't understand the whole plastic surgery thing unless it is used for something like a cleft palate or such.

If you were that curious, ya should have struck up a conversation with them- you never know........they might have had an interesting story to tell.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger annie said...

I say she was paying the guy. Young hot women hang out with old skeezy men, why can't it be the reverse if the price is right? (okay, I just grossed myself out. ew.)


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