I had a friend, many years ago in Ontario.
She was older – old enough to be my mother. She was warm and generous and fun.
But she looked odd, sometimes, in public.
She wore mini-skirts with polka dots, and other clothing not necessarily complimentary to her body shape. Her choices were definitely not typical for her age group, and they often appeared almost girlish.
(Reality check: who cares? To judge a woman by her appearance or attire – speaking from experience – is horrid and sexist and mean, and could possibly result in physical injury of the offender.)
When I was really little and attended church with my family, I sat every Sunday morning behind an elderly couple of great standing in the community.
They were both nice, but Mrs. Fraser fascinated me because I mostly just saw the back of her head, and she had the most amazing hair structure.
A chignon bun, that’s what it was called, very popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
I could stare at it for a whole hour, and often did. It looked so…solid…as if whacking it with the Book of Common Prayer wouldn’t have even made a dent.
It worked for her. She wore it all her very admirable life.
Remembering causes me to reflect now, now that it’s not the ’80s.
There’s a credible theory that proposes women, as they age, attempt to re-create the fashions they relied on during the times they felt most attractive to men.
And then I consider my own hair.
In fairness, I’m not interested in salons, under COVID, and it’s now lengthy enough to entertain the hot rollers recently purchased from an on-line bidding site.
Pretty much looks like my Grade 11 year book photo. (This would be the only thing that does, of course. And yes, there are touch-ups to the colour, now that I’m in my 50s. Naturally.)
Over the weekend, I came across a thought provoking quote, attributed to Donna Ashworth:
“Don’t prioritize your looks my friend, they won’t last the journey.
“Your sense of humour though, will only get better.
“Your intuition will grow and expand like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
“Your ability to choose your battles, will be fine-tuned to perfection.
“Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment, will blossom.
“And your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
“Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time, will grow and flourish like ivy on a castle wall.
“Don’t prioritize your looks my friend, they will change forevermore, that pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
“Prioritize the uniqueness that makes you you, and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
“These are the things which will only get better.”
As young feminists, we bemoaned the fact that men weren’t interested in our fabulous minds.
Then most of us spent the rest of our lives getting plucked, waxed, polished and preserved, in a desperate bid stave off the inevitable.
I never furthered my education.
I didn’t pursue the writing path I truly desired.
My spiritual inner beauty is something easiest improved by a vodka cocktail.
It was a point of interesting discussion with Mr. DeMeer. I railed on the expense and futility of trying to hold onto things that are going to be lost no matter what, while ignoring what really matters.
He touched my curls, cupped the slightly sagging curve of my cheek, and said, “Don’t worry so much dear. Some day your mind is going to go as well.”
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