mardi, avril 08, 2008

I'm wrestling with vanity tonight---and vanity is winning.

Two generations ago, it is fairly safe to say that most middle-aged women would not worry about looking toned and fit and hot enough to attract male attention. Unless they were movie stars, they probably would not have even expected it. After all, if you weren't married or living in what was termed a "Boston marriage," you probably weren't looking for amorous attention.

Now it seems that women, whether married or not, are supposed to be sexy enough to attract male glances, even if its a sideway look at the Acme. So we get radiated and injected and whitened, trying to stave off the time when age wins.

I haven't been injected or radiated-but I am still pleased when men notice me, as a few did tonight, or find something in me that makes them want to know me better. Stunning, one emailed me tonight. Stunned, more likely.

My mother was Lesley Caron, Audrey Hepburn beautiful (which I am not). Although her hair got grey and she gained crows feet and laugh lines, men would still cluster around her at dinner, wanting to hear her stories and catch the reflection of her joyfulness.

At Dad's service this weekend, a friend called her "the incomparable Paulette." Her inner fire lit her up like a torch, daring us all to shine more bravely.

But I know that even my mom had her moments struggling with the alteration of her natural beauty.

Eventually, perhaps soon, I will have to look into the mirror and accept that I am losing, as we do, the battle against wrinkles and grey hair and a stomach that is not what it was before two children. Aging with grace may be a matter of grace.

But more than an unwrinkled countenance, I crave that inner glow that comes from the soul...the light that comforts you even when you sleep alone.

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