TGIW: The looking glass of the hourglass

by Libby Sternberg

I watch soap operas, okay? I admit it. Well, I actually only watch one–Days of Our Lives. Back in the day, I also used to watch Another World.

That's Deidre Hall back in the day with her on-air love.

That’s Deidre Hall back in the day with her on-air love.

And now, a word from our sponsor: Another World had a feisty character on it, a redhead who dressed funky and made wisecracks and who ended up with the hunk (for a while, at least, before story demands meant heartbreak ensued). Her name on the show was Frankie Frame. I liked Frankie a lot. And that’s why I named the heroine Frankie in my romantic comedy My Own Personal Soap Opera (Sourcebooks 2010). (Subliminal message: Buy. The. Book.)

Back to our story...Days of Our Lives, like many soaps, or the few that are left, has some characters who’ve been with the show since it sputtered to life. Deidre Hall is one of these actors. She plays Marlena Evans Craig Brady Black, the resilient, much-loved, much-afflicted and actually bedeviled (yes, she was at the heart of an exorcism story at one point, a dazzling piece of storytelling that took one’s breath away, and yes, I’m serious) mother of Sami and Eric Brady, Belle Black, and stepmother to Carrie Brady and Brady Black.

Deidre Hall, like many leading actresses, is beautiful. Blond hair, fair features, gorgeous skin and figure.  The same is true of another soap heroine: the Young and the Restless’s Nicole “Nikki”  Reed Foster Bancroft DiSalvo Landers Chow Sharpe Abbott Newman played by Melody Thomas Scott.

Deidre Hall today

Deidre Hall today


I don’t follow the Young and the Restless, but I occasionally flip to it during commercials of Days. I hadn’t done so in a long time, so you can imagine my shock, my absolute horror, when I flipped over to Y &R and noticed that Nikki had…aged! I flipped back to Days and couldn’t ignore the truth–Deidre Hall has also aged!

It was like looking in a mirror and seeing what time hath wrought! If they’re getting older, then–egads–so am I!

Let me expand on this. It’s not that I think of myself as a spry, young thing anymore. I’m a Woman of a Certain Age. I like who I am. I’m (reasonably) comfortable with what I look like, even if I could stand to lose a little weight and exercise more. And there’s the rub. I keep telling myself that with a little more work, a little less-fattening diet, I can do it, I can be fresh-faced and firm-toned. I just need to get around to it. And I will, oh, yes, I will. You can count on it. I will get around to it some time…tomorrow.

But seeing these beauties show their years means it’s simply not possible to get around this aging thing. Forget the toning, the dieting, the botoxing. The Ravages of Time will find you faster than Vincent Price in a B horror movie.

Before you get the wrong idea, let me point out that Ms. Hall and Ms. Scott are still stunningly beautiful. They are really lovely to look at. They’ve been blessed with great features, and they’ve taken care of themselves. When I say they’ve aged, I merely mean that they look a bit older. They probably look a good ten or more years younger than their actual ages, but they still look older than the new young ingenues on their shows. And they have grandchildren now. Or rather, their characters do. (I have a grandchild, too).

Melody Thomas Scott caught in an unfortunate pose

Melody Thomas Scott caught in an unfortunate pose

But there’s no denying that taut facial features are a little softer now, and that high-necked blouses and scarves might be more about camouflage than fashion. I hope these ladies don’t have to struggle too hard to maintain their luminescent looks. When I see some of the anorexic gals in younger roles on their shows, I despair for the more senior cast members. Unfair, young nymphs! It’s easy to be skinny when you’re just twentysomething. You could stand to put on a pound or two.

Melody Thomas Scott in her yute.

Melody Thomas Scott in her yute.

My advice for the Actresses of a Certain Age: start leaving cinnamon buns and chocolate cake in those younger gals’ dressing rooms. Swap out the Splenda for real sugar at the coffee bar, the two-percent milk for heavy cream. Plump them up, while you breathe easy.  You’ve served well. Do not go gently into that good night.

Libby Sternberg is a novelist. Buy her books so she can eat (low-fat) chocolate cake and cinnamon buns.

When You are Old

by W. B. Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15526#sthash.wTrZLpZO.dpuf

When You are Old

by W. B. Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15526#sthash.wTrZLpZO.dpuf

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s