YOU CAN’T TRUST YOUR MIRROR


I have always felt that the mirror takes advantage of our gullibility. For instance, when I pass a mirror, I see a middle-aged blonde woman, who at one time, if not exactly pretty, is at least interesting.

mirror2

The word ‘interesting’ is interesting in itself. It’s a word people often use to comment on something, rather than telling them what they really think. If they don’t want to insult the artist’s latest effort, which they hate, it seems kinder to tell them it’s interesting.

Some years ago while we were at a family gathering, while watching a cousin across the room, a relative said “You’re not attractive, and I’m not attractive, but she’s attractive. To show that I don’t hold grudges, I am still speaking to her.

But back to the mirror, I was shocked to find from a photograph, that my hair is silver! Everyone else had told me it was, but I chose to believe my mirror. In the 70’s, when hippie clothes were in style, I bought a long denim dress, which I thought was quite cool. But when I saw a photograph of myself wearing it, I looked just like a mushroom in a long blue dress. The mirror had lied once more.

****************************************************************************************************

I don’t obsess about my clothes, but I must confess that I do have a fixation about my hair. Along with so many other things that youth steals, I truly miss having good hair. Throughout the years I have invested in numerous wigs and hairpieces in a variety of colors, and it has always been fun. I was greeted by a fairly close acquaintance once at a large dinner party while I was wearing a very cute wig, and she asked to be introduced. What is true is that I am older than I look, and the hair on my head is exactly where it should be given the hard life I’ve given it.

At one time or another, I have been a blonde, had various shades of brunette, or a combination of the two, and for one luau we gave, it even became black. Later instead of actually dying it, I bought a black wig. This was after seeing the movie “Chicago” with Katherine Zeta-Jones dancing her way through killing her husband.

I was astonished to discover that the nice woman who cuts my hair, is wearing a wig! You just never know.

I always wanted to have red hair, since so many people in my family have it, but the only time mine became red was an accident. I gave myself a home perm, and instead of following directions and waiting a certain amount of time, I put some brown coloring on it. It immediately bunched up, became brilliant red, and looked exactly like a Brillo pad, or Harpo Marx in drag.

It would have been OK except that a widower friend of ours brought a new girlfriend to dinner that night to introduce us. She was a pretty and much-younger natural redhead with long flowing curls she had a habit of tossing around during dinner. Worse that that, she arrived accompanied by an unannounced Schnauzer dog, who snarled at my two dogs, a German Shepherd and a large Dobermann, who did not snarl in return. It was not a happy occasion. However, it did put the lie to the old saying that people look like their dogs because she did not look at all like a Schnauzer. And they did not marry.

So what I needed to tell you is not to believe anything your mirror or your friends tell you about your hair. If you think you are a willowy 5″8″, and blonde, then you are, and in the real scheme of things, why does it matter anyway? It’s OK to believe whatever you wish.

GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED


Broke and heedless when young, not so broke and somewhat more careful in our present lives, we’re mostly invisible to the young who are battling their own storms. We have reached the stage of life where ambition, like promuiscuity, is most pleasant when experienced vicariously. Case in point: I can’t remember the last time in my life I found myself truly fascinating. Don’t laugh. That is sad stuff. You should be able to look in your mirror and see someone you might at least like to get to know.

Of course today my nose is red and dripping, and I feel miserable. I could blame my cold on the plane ride, because I have been known to catch every germ known to man on an airplane, but I prefer to think it is because of all the people I kissed at my youngest daughter’s wedding last weekend. Much nicer to think you caught it from people you love instead of fellow passengers you will never see again.

But this is supposed to be a guide to aging, for which I am well qualified, due to my long adulthood.

We learn from Kahlil Gibran: “I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind—-” Never stop learning, it causes the brain to explode into a real mess, and life is hard enough as it is. Pick up on all those old and perhaps dead mentors, you might actually learn something. (If only to keep your mouth shut.)

If you think someone you know has not faced adversity, you simply do not know them well enough. Everyone has something and it is likely to be worse than yours. At any rate, no one likes to listen to all your aches and pains and medications. I can’t stress that last part too strenuously. Old people love to tell you about all their nicks and bumps. Just smile and change the subject.

If you receive an invitation, even if it is to accompany your husband/wife to the gas station, GO! And if you don’t get invited anywhere, go by yourself. Try not to miss out on Life, the dance is over too soon.

Many years ago, I met a charming woman in her 80’s who was so interesting I told my husband that that was the kind of old lady I wanted to be. In typical Dr. Advice fashion he said “You’d better start now.”
Very good advice. Practice charming, or at the very least congeniality.

Lastly, never miss an opportunity to say I love you.