Aging is NOT for sissies

Written by Hollye Dexter

December 20, 2011

While I was in Pennsylvania, Amy and I went out for a nice dinner after a productive day of work. We were all dolled up, out on the town looking pretty cute, I thought. We were enjoying a glass of wine and some great conversation when the waitress stopped by the table to check on us.
We told her we were visiting from out of town and loved Bethlehem.
“So what brings you to our town?” she asked.
“Her husband is the guitar player in Wilson Phillips…” Amy began to say when the girl gasped and turned to me wide-eyed, “Oh my God, are you Michelle Phillips?”
I laughed but then realized she was serious. “No! Michelle is Chynna Phillips mother.” I said indignantly, certain she mixed up their names. But her expression didn’t change. 
I continued, “I’m Chynna’s age!” (okay, full disclosure, I’m five years older but still…), “Michelle is almost 70 years old…”
To which she replied, ‘Oh I know, she’s an old hag now!” (which she is not– she’s still beautiful) 
My mouth hung open for a moment. “…and yet, you just mistook me for her.”
She shrugged, apparently oblivious to the fact that she had just insulted us on a myriad of levels. “You really do look like her, though.” She smiled and walked away.
I turned to look at Amy, who was equally horrified, “Oh. My. God.” she said.
I put my head in my hands, “Time for botox.”
Michelle Phillips – still gorgeous.
Aging is not fun, and like Bette Davis said, it’s not for sissies. Gone are the days when people expressed shock that I have a grandchild. I blame 2010. For a good ten years I looked 35, and then 2010 hit me upside the head. The stress levels were off the chart and my body took the hit. I tried my best to combat it; ate healthy, did yoga and ran on my treadmill, tried to meditate, used my Dior skincare religiously…but still, stress is one bas-ass mofo. The wrinkles and gray hairs attacked me at a dizzying pace.
So I had to suck it up that night, and take the punch. I’m getting older. People may sometimes mistake me for a seventy-year old woman. It happens.
I’ve never done anything to my face- no botox or fillers or surgery. I hope I don’t feel the need to as time goes on, but I don’t judge it. Mostly, I just want to stick to my guns about living honestly, and that includes my face. My face tells my story. I have lived forty eight years, raised three kids, a grandkid, survived the ups and downs of a passionate but at times tumultuous marriage, and had my share of hard knocks in life. It’s all here, in these lines…in the circles under my eyes, in the gray around my temples. I have four scars on my face from basal cell skin cancer, a reminder of the teen years I spent baking in the sun because I wanted to look like someone else.
The truth. Me- no make up, under terribly unflattering light.
I’m aging, and I think it’s nature’s way of saying, “Oh get over yourself.” So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m still exercising and using good skincare, because I want to be healthy and take care of what I’ve got, but not because I’m fighting what is. I’m accepting the journey I’m on now. (Some days are better than others.)
You may think we stiffed that waitress. Nope. We gave her a really generous tip. We figured anyone that stupid is going to need all the help she can get. 

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  1. Anonymous

    Awesome blogpost, Holly. I feel the same way. It's funny when you don't recognize your own face in the mirror. Sometimes I say "Who is that old woman?" Arbonne makes really amazing skin care products, and is probably less expensive than Dior. My friend Greg Wolfson, from your neck of the woods, Has a really great web episode about being your authentic self. It's called BodyCraze, and specifically addresses how difficult it is to live in LA with all of the beautiful people. Don't mistake my recommendations, I think you are radiant, and really enjoy your posts. A beautiful soul always shines through. Yours does. I stress can really do a number on you. But it is mostly reversable. Not doing a spell check. You get to see my mistakes. : )
    Cheers, and thanks for writing this!
    ~Alisa McKay

  2. Hollye Dexter

    Thank you darling Alisa- and yes, I will check out your friend's site. Hey we can use all the support we can get!

  3. Julie

    First of all, Michelle Phillips is GORGEOUS and we should all be lucky enough to look like her at any age.

    Secondly, YOU are gorgeous. In every single way: The ones that don't *really* matter (physically); and the ones that do (emotionally, mentally, spiritually).

    Your kindness, generosity and strength make you truly beautiful from the inside out.

    And for the record, the outside is looking mighty foxy. That's the word we kids in our forties used back in the day, so.

    If what you're doing is aging gracefully, give me a good dose of that instead of Botox.

    Any day.

  4. Anonymous

    I've always found you to be beautiful. You are one of the original "gorgeous three". It was you, Kelly and Tara. At fourteen I remember thinking that I hoped to someday be gorgeous myself. I aspired to be like you lovely ladies. I remember the looks that my dad got in New Orleans, pretty much everywhere he went with you. That "lucky bastard" look! Your beauty is the kind that dosen't fade. Yours shines from your heart:)

  5. Hollye Dexter

    Oh my darling Nancy! What a sweet, heartwarming note to get from you, dear girl. How is it possible that you're no longer fourteen (and Kelly, Tara and I are longer twenty-three)?
    Love you!

  6. Hollye Dexter

    And Nancy- you grew up to be so beautiful – you blew the three of us away! Inside and out. xoxoxo

  7. Debbie

    Hollye – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL … you're even beautiful under terribly unflattering lights. You're beautiful because you care, because you saved a sweet little dog, because you're talented and smart and open and honest and available and because you're a real girl's GIRL. Aging is a bummer but would you trade your experience and wisdom to be 25 again? My guess is you wouldn't. Neither would I. I'll deal with the gray hair, the big belly and the crows feet. It is hard to accept … at first. Then it's cake. Which I eat … LOTS of. smooches!

  8. Deb and Barbara

    Loved this, Hollye!! I am there with you, step by step. And of course, I also think you are beautiful beyond words. Especially because you are so gorgeous on the inside also. PS as gauche as your server was, I don't think she meant you look like 70-year-old Michele Philips, but rather that iconic image we have of her in our minds. And you do too!

    I too am avoiding the botox, filler cycle. But I get awesome facials. It makes me feel like me, but also good!

    xo Barbara

  9. Hollye Dexter

    You are so right. I would never want to go back to my younger self- no way. I love being comfortable in my own skin. But I do miss my jawline sometimes. YOU, my dear are beautiful. It's only a matter of time before Viggo comes to his senses.
    Darling Barb- your facials are workin', girl. What stunners you ladies are. Truly.
    I feel like I'm in pretty good company here. ; )

  10. Michael Ann

    That's you withOUT makeup? Wow, you look great!
    I can really relate to this post. I just turned 47 and am feeling 50 pressing down on me. I certainly don't FEEL "middle aged." Like you, I used to get surprised expressions when people found out how old I was but no longer. Sigh…. Time catches up to us. What gets me is when you think your are looking hot and sexy and then you realize you are NOT looking the same as that 25 year old walking next to you on the street. Ugh.

  11. Anonymous

    Hi. Just clicked over from my BlogHer sidebar, and really glad I did. GREAT post. You are gorgeous! I wish our society would stop placing so much emphasis on youth = beauty! And good for you not stiffing that waitress… now THAT is what I call beautiful.

    Just say NO to botox! I will if you will. 🙂

  12. Hands Free Mama

    I think you are beautiful. What a powerful message. As someone who is about to turn 40, I welcome this message and pray that I can embrace my wrinkles and imperfections as gracefully as you are. Thank you!!!

  13. Hollye Dexter

    Michael Ann, Bearded Iris (love that) and Hands Free Mama- Thank you for your beautiful comments and all of you- WOW- what a bunch of stunners. Are only gorgeous women reading my posts or what?

    Oh Micheal Ann, sometimes I feel that way when I'm standing next to the 25 year olds but then I think- Ah whatever. It's her turn now. I had mine! I had my big 80s hair and my short mini skirts and pogo dancing at clubs. I much prefer my life now- liking myself just as I am, snuggling up with my hubby and a good glass of wine, Quiet, meaningful conversation rather than deafening drumbeats. Yeah, I'm good with now.
    : )

    Yes- let's say no to Botox! Pinky swear!


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