The Hag Lag

As men get older, or as their social circles enlarge to include women of various ages, they’ll encounter a particular breed of aging beauty who at once provokes pity, annoyance and fascination. She is the eternal ingenue who has aged out of her most intoxicating years, but hasn’t aged enough to realize it. That window of time when awareness hasn’t yet caught up to reality in the Ingenue’s mind is what I call the Hag Lag.

There isn’t a man who has lived a day in his life who won’t recognize the eternal ingenue, or that moment in time when she is stricken by Hag Lag. At her prettiest and most coltish, she weaves allure like Rumplestiltskin did gold. Flouncy, bouncy and announce-y, she knows how to make an entrance, cast an entrancement, and devise an entrapment. She is usually petite, lithe, and ultrafeminine, so few men can resist skipping the LP on their mental pabulum straight to the triple X track the ingenue wants them to hear. (Naturally, she will deny deny deny ever inciting men in this way… it’s just her being her!)

Her female friends hate to love her. They envy her super female-ness and the ardor with which she expresses it, but they love the side benefits of being around her (more high value men). Her taken friends are especially cautious in her company. They see the laser eyes their boyfriends make in the ingenue’s direction.

It’s high drama until, one day, after something relentlessly wicked has crept up on her, the ingenue’s antics assume the maniachromatic tinge of undignified desperation. She has aged, and the graceful lines of her face, so delicately drawn with the sole intent of arousing men to stupendous idiocy, crater against the onslaught. She has none of the physical fortitude of earthier women to withstand even the first ticks of the tock. Her surrender is quick and merciless.

This age of Wall approach roughly corresponds to the late 20s-early 30s, give or take a few five-mimosa brunches in her past. The ingenue parties hardy, and swoons ecstatically, so you might say she has a fast strife history.

But, mentally, she doesn’t know it, or accept it. The eternal ingenue is nothing if not self-confident. Many years can pass and mock her as she struggles to cope with the loss of her only, definitive, power. This is what makes the Hag Lag a concept in tragicomedy. There she is, still doing her early 20s act, but the body and face betray the ruse. She dances and prances, kicking Klieg lights in her direction, and the wet joyous eyes once framed by delectable plush skin now strain in sad sockets, sunken, dry, and a little deranged.

She will eventually come around to her loss, but not before she has humiliated herself to the delight of romantically settled friends. God save her. She bears this punishment as penance for her short, glorious stint filling the world of men with desire and longing to merge with her larger-than-life feminine soul.

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