Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Mysterious Case of Sarah Button

I got carded tonight at a restaurant.  It’s true!  I’m turning 40 later this year, and I got carded tonight at a restaurant.  This is probably a bit flattering for anyone my age, but let me tell you why it is especially flattering for me…

When I was a teen, my best friend and I baked in the sun for hours every day each summer.  I mean we would slather on the baby oil (forget sun protection!) and lie there without moving until we were blistered and red.  It’s horrible to admit, but it’s true.  One time I blistered really badly … and laid out again the very next day.

Fast forward 15 years.  When I was about 28, the company I worked for had a couple of meetings every year where they spoiled us a bit and paid for a spa treatment.  I always chose a facial, which was a love/hate thing.  I loved facials because they were so relaxing – I always feel asleep I was so relaxed!  Yet I hated them for a self-imposed reason … whenever I sat in the chair and the facialist started looking at my skin up close with her special light, she would always ask, “And how old are you, honey?”  I always turned the question back to her:  “Well, based on my skin, how old would you guess I am?”

Ahem.  I can hardly say it out loud, but over the course of about 5 facials over a 3 year period, every single facialist guessed that I was between 39-42, yet my real age was 28-30.  I was so dejected each time it happened, but figured it was my penance for baby oil and hours baking in the sun.  I figured my skin would never get any better, but I hoped I could keep it from getting worse.  Maybe I would actually catch up with the age I looked!

Well, when I went vegan I read somewhere that the vegan diet gives people great skin.  But when I went vegan, my skin wasn’t at the forefront of my mind, and quite honestly, I was pretty skeptical about that claim anyway.  I truly believed that skin damage couldn’t be reversed.  Yet over the years as I aged, people’s estimates of my actual age kept decreasing!  It didn’t happen quickly, but for sure people started regularly guessing 35-36, then 32-33, then 30, and then … a couple of years ago, someone guessed I was 29.  I couldn’t believe it!  I laughed out loud, but inside I wrote it off as an “older lady’s guess” and figured that since I beat her in singles tennis, it just made her feel better to assume I was in my 20’s.  But it seems I was wrong.  No kidding, I have had at least a dozen people since then guess I was in my 20’s.  No one ever guesses 40 anymore!  It’s like the mysterious case of Benjamin Sarah Button!

As I get older, I am trying to lose my attachment to all things that support my ego, including my looks among other things.  I haven’t found one piece of evidence that our egos do us anything but harm.  But it does tickle me to know that I actually looked young enough to someone that they felt they had better card me tonight.  It goes to show you that there are short-term effects of the vegan diet (weight loss, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, etc) and long-term effects too (better skin!)  Even if you aren’t vain (or are trying not to be,) it’s amazing to know what incredible things the vegan diet is doing for your health.  If, over many years, your skin starts to look a decade or two younger, imagine what is happening to your arteries, liver, kidneys and heart! 

So if you are vegan, be happy about the good things you are doing for your body.  If you are not vegan yet, keep making good choices each meal.  You may not be 100% vegan, but as you get closer and closer, you’ll be doing your body more and more good!


  1. :) Love this... you do have beautiful skin. I showed your photo to a friend a few days ago. He asked what college you went to! <3 Alexa

  2. Funny and familiar...I was carded about 5 years ago when I was in my late forties. I thanked the bartender, of course! I didn't have my ID, so I grabbed my husband, who is 8 years younger, to buy me a drink. They didn't card him. Whenever I'm asked about my skincare regimen, I tell people it's called the vegan diet with lots of fruits and veggies.

  3. LOL, how amazing. When i first met you i would've said you were in your late 20's. No joke. Especially with that young spirit of yours. Another great blog from Sarah Button :-) x