Author Spotlight: Peggi Davis

Meet Peggi Davis, author of Funny Face. Her second book, Rewind Ranch just released in Feb 2024.

Thank you for joining us, Peggi!

MY JOURNEY: WHEN THE ANGST OF AGING  BECOMES AN AWAKENING

Hello. My name is Peggi. I am 77 years young, a widow, and loving my life. I was raised in New York and retired in the Deep South. A fashion advertising executive by profession, a flower child by confession. During the pandemic, I began to write stories about my untethered and unusual childhood and amazing adult adventures, starting on Facebook, moving to a blog, and finally as a book. My 2022 memoir “Funny Face” was recognized as Reader’s Favorite International Bronze Award winner and the Non-Fiction Book Award Silver winner. I became fascinated with the chapter that resonated most with the readers was an essay on aging, something we face with little information and no guidance. No one prepares you for feeling one way on the inside and looking another way on the outside. So many times my internal response to my passing reflection resonated in my head, Where did Peggi go?

BLOG ESSAY FROM” FUNNY FACE” 

When I looked into the mirror at sixty, I remember thinking, Oh my, I look like my mother. But when I looked again at seventy, I thought, Oh my God, I look like my father! So, for my birthday I gifted myself a facelift. It was something I thought I would never choose, but here I am, with icepacks strapped snugly to my cheeks. sitting in bed, and writing about it. Why? After years of procrastinating and imagining how scary and painful it would be, I discovered it was a piece of cake—birthday cake, as it were. No more turkey neck, no more jowls, no more hiding behind long hair. I look like me again, and I am ecstatic.

All my friends who haven’t taken the plunge are fanatically following my progress, astounded as I am. Nobody believes there was no pain. But it’s true. And nobody believes I don’t look like the Bride of Wildenstein or the Cat Lady of New York. It’s just me—the one I remember, the one I can relate to when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I’ve returned to my body.

It is uncommon for anyone to be educated on what it is like to grow old. We all seemed to enter our “Golden Years” blind as bats. We are taught on television that there are medications for our aches and pains. And lawyers that can represent us for any suspicious diseases as part of a class action suit. And alert systems for when God forbid, you’ve “fallen and can’t get up.” But nobody teaches us what it is like to be invisible, unworthy of generous glances as we walk into a restaurant or bounce down the street on a particularly promising day. No one knows, or cares,that you once had a vibrant life and a voracious appetite for adventure.

But you still do.

That is where friends and family come in … the ones who knew you “when,” the ones who know you best. The ones who see you as they always have. Beautiful you. But we aren’t educated on how to relate to a reflection that is a stranger, the one that conjures up “Who is that person?” It is an identity crisis that we are not prepared to handle when we feel the same inside but don’t look the same outside. Nobody teaches us what’s coming in our “fourth quarter.” Like how to handle the loss of your parents, your spouse or friend, or, heaven forbid, your child. No one teaches you how to move from a home of thirty years to a small apartment or condominium. When everything you own has a story or a memory so poignant you don’t know how to let go. Or how to savor each day as if it’s your last, for it may well be.

Or you can laugh.

I have found that seeing the sardonic side of things can make all this silver-sneaker stuff somewhat hysterical. At a certain point, you don’t really care what people think. You can do or be anything you want. You can dress like a gypsy or cover yourself in couture if that amuses you. What you do is nobody’s business but your own. Years ago, when I moved to San Francisco, dressed to the nines in my designer “dress for success” duds, I inherited a secretary with purple hair. She was a bit older than me and way cooler. I learned a lot from her about enjoying life and just being yourself. It was a great lesson for me, always trying to be perfectly perfect.

So here I am in my mid-seventies, a widow with a dog and a laptop, and on top of the world. I can look into my mirror and see myself on

fire with my newfound passion for writing stories. My life is full, bursting over with creative projects and people I adore. That girl who loves to laugh, paint, draw, sing out loud in her car, and dance around the house with abandon has returned. The pieces match again like a finished puzzle, inside and out, and for me, it is an unimaginable high.

I’m flying.

I know some people may think that having cosmetic surgery is silly, narcissistic, and a waste of resources. Maybe so. But the way I see it, people spend their play money on things that make them feel good … plants if you’re a gardener, paints if you’re an artist, travel if you’re an adventurer. And having elective surgery is more about looking familiar than looking younger. 

Let’s face it, nothing feels better than really being seen or really being heard. Aging isn’t easy on anyone. A well-known social phenomenon called Invisible Woman Syndrome can make it particularly hard on women. I don’t buy into the theory that if you value yourself and have stimulating interests and accomplished friends, you won’t feel invisible. I’ve had all that and more.

I think looking familiar is the real issue, not youth. It anchors you and lets you stand tall. It has nothing to do with age. Look at fashion icon Carmen Dell Orefice. It doesn’t get any more beautiful than that. Snow-white hair and all, she’s gorgeous. And so, my birthday gift to myself was a cosmetic surgeon who saw me. And her skill and sensitivity gifted me the ability to see myself again.

The one I knew.

In South Africa, the people greet one another on the road by saying, “Sawubona.” It means, “I see you.” The answer is “Here I am.” In other words, you are not invisible to me. You are someone unique.

I like that.

My father seldom gave us advice but had a saying I remember: “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.” And I think he was right.

We all possess gifts of significance. Toss yours to the universe like stars. Let them shoot, shine,  and sway others, inform others, invigorate others, and inspire others. When you share yourself, the world becomes bigger, better, and bolder. Withholding your worthiness robs the world of a grand and generous gift. And that gift is your presence. Your beautiful presence.

Sawubona.

This essay became a catalyst for my most recent fiction novel when I began to wonder, Just what if we could change the narrative of how we looked as we aged, and recapture the excitement and exhilaration of our past? “Rewind Ranch,” emerged as an award-winning thriller about four sassy seniors who miss the allure of their youth and embark on a vacation of a lifetime to the Hana Hawaiian paradise Rewind Ranch. The resort promises unlimited cosmetic enhancements, romantic evenings with available suitors, and luxury they could never imagine. Their journey becomes one of hair-raising secrets and situations as they realize something sinister lurks. On their roller-coaster ride of life-threatening suspense and unwavering camaraderie, they ultimately learn that beauty is more than skin-deep and that friendship is the ultimate savior.

FIND THIS SUMMER’S CLBC AWARD-WINNING THRILLER “REWIND RANCH” HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Rewind-Ranch-Peggi-Davis/dp/B0CQKF9JRD/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&dib_tag=se&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.SQiquTjL27D4vRJRIKMYEERzgngy-3ALSx7YIlGJbAg.YPD1KY-y2vyOCLkKHSNx6bLXWkfPa0DveerMTnZ6_So&qid=1714486773&sr=1-1

FIND FUNNY FACE, WINNER OF TWO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Funny-Face-Peggi-Davis/dp/1665705558/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3L561HA1BK4MD&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.Tlm31EYTzrIR3MnJdBvyB8SgwrlNB07G8jTDOQ3Ob3zOOg5o6d0iuYLPCGzS3kJ15k_vW-BIy8OpSTvnHYtw8BKHnowIwDixxcA9Dlf3rCYSVZyL7GQHDUPe5EQXfKUgzdTS4dMuU6Hsr5JzJlOGWQ.KoNn7n_IAYctlqAU6UIpZ8l2BsN3wqUkGgRJTr3pwec&dib_tag=se&keywords=funny+face+by+peggy+davis&qid=1714488454&s=books&sprefix=funny+face+by+peggi+davis%2Cstripbooks%2C106&sr=1-1

LET’S BE FRIENDS! SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG AT STORIESBYPEGGIDAVIS.COM;

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