Bonnie Henry: I'm getting happier all the time - at least, the pros say so

2013-08-11T00:00:00Z Bonnie Henry: I'm getting happier all the time - at least, the pros say soBonnie Henry Special to The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Where do they come up with these studies? The latest to be bandied about asserts that we are happiest at age 23 and again when we reach 69.

The findings, published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, came from a survey of more than 23,000 people ages 17 to 85.

No word on where these folks lived or what their economic situation might be. But I can venture a guess that a 69-year-old living in, say, a golf retirement community in Florida might have a rosier view of life than a 69-year-old living in Detroit.

Same for a 23-year-old grad student at Harvard, as opposed to a 23-year-old supersizing our fries at Mickey D's.

Quibble, quibble. Naturally, journalists seizing on this information settled on two obvious icons on either end of the age spectrum: Mick Jagger and Taylor Swift.

Ms. Swift, at 23, certainly slots into the right age category, but one listen at her vast catalog of love-gone-bad tunes might question her happiness.

As for Sir Mick, he slyly slipped from 69 to 70 during all the hullabaloo, thus escaping this latest typecasting, if not the usual snarkiness about how he's looked 70, oh, since the late '90s.

Never mind, Mick. At least you didn't submit that famous face to the knife the way so many of your male counterparts did over the years. Robert Redford, what have you done? And why do men with face-lifts look so strange, compared to women - Joan Rivers excepted?

Perhaps it's because we expect women to be powdered and painted into a state of artificiality. Or maybe it's because we just don't expect men to be as vain as women, though some obviously are.

One who comes to mind is a friend of mine who even jokes about his metrosexual tendencies. I recall a conversation we once had about a certain car that looked good on the outside but wasn't so nice on the inside - the upshot being if you drove it around, you wouldn't enjoy the experience as much as onlookers would on the outside.

"Ah," said my friend, laughing. "I would drive around looking at myself and the outside of the car in the side mirror."

Many years ago, I witnessed and wrote a story about a woman having a full face-lift. No detail was omitted, leading my editor - who no doubt had read her share of gruesome crime stories over the years - to declare how happy she was to have come to the end of my article.

Nip and tuck it was not, leaving me to resolve that I would grow old gracefully. These days, I am not so sure about the gracefully part. Ever try to pluck your eyebrows wearing bifocals?

Funny thing is, while the rest of me has, um, seasoned over the years, my eyebrows look pretty much the same as when I was 23. And yes, 23 was a very good year for me, a young wife with a toddler in tow and no idea what lay ahead.

Knowing what I now know, would I want to be 23 again? Not on your life. As for age 69 - I'll let you know when I get there.

Bonnie Henry's column runs every other Sunday. Contact her at Bonniehenryaz@gmail.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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