Friday, January 29, 2010

Desperately Seeking a Little Bit of Youth

Writing can be therapeutic. I write these posts not knowing if anyone really wants to read them. But boy looking over them, I sure see my insecurities clearly. They actually leap off the page at me. I knew I needed to get a life. But I had no idea how badly.

A direct result of my writing brought me to a beauty salon where I had my eyebrows waxed and my hair cut drastically. A change is what I needed. And it really helped. It has given my a little lightness in my step.

When I walked around San Francisco the other morning I noticed both men and women smiling at me. Was it the much needed sunshine lighting up everyone’s moods or was it the “sunshine” in me?

It seems impossible but I threw my clothes on that day with a little care and I even applied make-up. I covered up my old age spots with foundation. I even applied make-up to the dark circles that now underline my eyes. How long would this feeble attempt at youth last I wondered? Do I need to think I look good in order to feel good?

I went marketing that same afternoon, one of my most hated chores. But with the cabinets bare and everything devoured from the fridge I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. So I pushed my cart along the produce isles looking for basil when a man appeared and asked me if I was Italian. No, I told him. He continued talking to me and it took me awhile to figure out that he was flirting with me. Now that hasn’t happened in a long time. Should I rush back to my hairdresser and give him a bigger tip. Has he recaptured my youth with the sheering of a few split ends?

I bid my admirer a cheery “ciao” and a “graci” and off I went enjoying the rest of my marketing a little too much.

This innocent rendezvous got me thinking. Is it the make-up and new do really the reason for the newly acquired and much needed attention. Or is it how I feel about myself with the newly adorned accessories?

Could I carry around the same self-confidence when I look like crap? I knew I had to try. Fifty-two and I can’t count on superficial things to make me beautiful. I’m old enough to know I have to cherish the beauty within and hope for the occasional approving nod to get me through the cold, hard winter of my life.


  1. I think one of the nicest things you can do is compliment a stranger on their appearance because it is truly heartfelt. You have nothing to gain from throwing roses at their feet. You dont want anything from them (except maybe the market guy did) -- and will probably never see them again. SO, if you see someone who you find attractive in some way -- tell them! It totally makes their day. "I think you have the greatest haircut" or "That coat is so attractive on you" just spreads oodles of sunshine around. And a woman complimenting another woman is even more powerful because we can be so petty. And Im sure you looked terrific!

  2. You go, girl! That's all I gotta say.....


  3. I love your questions in this post: "Is the make-up and new do really the reason for the newly acquired and much needed attention. Or is it how I feel about myself with the newly adorned accessories?"

    As a mom of two wee ones, my daily uniform consists of yoga pants, an ill-fitting shirt decorated with spit-up, and a ponytail. No make-up, no jewelry, no effort. But, like you, I notice the difference on the days when I do try a bit. And I think you're on to something: it might not be that we look so much better, but rather that we've temporarily elevated our opinions of ourselves.