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Carol Starr Schneider

She appears in a room and heads turn. Just her entrance alone is a thing. The response? So over the top. Applause. Endless praise. You can only imagine. Sometimes she cruises in, sometimes she slinks. She’s in business for herself.


You may get a wave hello. A smile. A nod of recognition. A hug, if you’re lucky. It really depends on her mood and the percentage of beauty sleep. Whether she’s grabbed an hour or a night’s worth of Zs, you’ll find no dark circles here, no creases, no worry lines. What you will find is enough collagen to fill a vat of Anti-Aging Cream.


Envious? Me? Don’t be ridiculous. I’m a grown woman. I’m old enough to – okay fine, maybe I’m a tinge envious of her soft, bouncy skin and all that attention she gets just for clapping her hands. I used to get that kind of attention, too, back in the late ’50s.


But if I’m being honest, I’m even more envious of her clothes. Oh my God, her clothes. They’re spectacular. Chic. Colorful. Stylish. Organic. Animal-inspired. Floral-themed. Stripes. Polka dots. Hip. Sustainable. Soft. Breathable. Relaxed. Mix and match. Wash and Wear and --


Okay, fine. I’ll stop. You get the idea. It’s been a year of wearing nothing but schleppy sweatpants and ancient leggings and obviously I’ve lost my mind. I step into my closet, tripping over clothes I haven’t bothered to hang up, and turn instantly religious. I start praying. Please let me overcome my fear of zippers. Please let me find something that fits. Please let me --


Don’t make me go on. It’s embarrassing. And wrong on so many levels, I’ve lost count. With everything that’s going on in the world, am I really this shallow?


Yes, I am. I mean, why else would I be coveting the wardrobe of my one-year-old granddaughter?

Carol Starr Schneider is a writer living in California.

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