I usually bop around the planet feeling young as a lamb in springtime. That said, there are some days when I feel positively ancient. I call those days "dinosaur days." Dinosaur days tend to coincide with moments when people post candid photos of me on Facebook, or when I fail to get carded buying alcohol.
Last weekend I was having a dinosaur day. I decided the best defense was to go shopping at Ulta for beauty supplies. Not only would it cheer me up to buy new lipstick and eye shadow, my face powder compact was wearing down and I needed to replace it.
I took the old face powder compact with me to the store. As anyone who's bought makeup will tell you, you have to be really careful when you shop for replacements or you'll grab something almost the same but not exactly.
When I walked down a narrow side aisle toward the face powder section, the light was so dim I could barely read the label of the old compact. I refused to rummage in my purse for my reading glasses, since that would make me feel even more elderly, plus I knew if I could just get more light on the compact I could see the product information. As I walked along turning the compact this way and that in my hands, I almost collided with a woman who was walking the other way down the aisle.
"Sorry," I said, looking up at her.
The woman appeared to be of a chronological age slightly older than my chronological age. She was small and wiry and dressed in neat, fashionable clothing. Her hair was cut short in one of those styles which require high levels of mindfulness to maintain. She radiated intelligence and competence.
The woman shook her finger at me. "That's what happens when we're looking at our cellphone instead of watching where we're going," she said. She frowned and shook her head as if to say "You kids these days" and stalked off in a huff.
I thought about running after her and explaining to her I was looking at the side of the face powder compact, not a cellphone. I thought about engaging her in a conversation about how there are too many damned choices when you buy anything from face powder to nylons to soda pop. I thought about telling her I agree that people should be more responsible about how they use their cellphones. But I didn't. I was too busy enjoying my role as a stand-in for the irrepressibly madcap younger generation.
I never found a replacement for my worn-out face powder...but I didn't need it any more.