Vanity, Thy Name Is Woman

April 10, 2010

I haven’t been feeling very good about myself lately.   Although it shames me to admit it, much of my low self-esteem has to do with my suddenly and rapidly aging appearance.  All I see when I look in the mirror are the jowls and sagging eyelids.  It doesn’t help that I’ve also been having bad hair days every single day for quite a while now…

I don’t have a huge ego, and never thought of myself as a great beauty, or anything like that.  In fact, I’ve always been quite insecure about my looks, especially because of my tendency to carry some extra pounds.  However, for a long time, I did at least feel that I didn’t look my age, and was very grateful for that.  But, lately I’ve been feeling like an old, fat hag.

Yesterday I received a compliment from a young man (forty years my junior) that did my heart (not to mention my battered and fragile sense of self-image) a lot of good.   His Freshman Seminar class has been spending a fair amount of time in the computer lab, so we are pretty familiar with each other, and get along quite well. Still, it took me by surprise when Mr. Freshman greeted me with, “Hello, beautiful.”  He took his seat across from my desk and went on to say, “You know, you really are very attractive.”  I could have wept with gratitude.   What a wonderful pick-me-up!  Thank goodness for small favors and kindnesses that come along exactly when you need them most.

Moving right along… Here’s a real beauty.

My baby (Leigh) turned 22 yesterday.  I can hardly believe it.

I also want to post these photos of a bird nest that was built in a butterfly net I keep on my back porch.  The porch (it’s more of a mudroom, actually) is enclosed. The birds were getting in through a gap at the bottom of the door.

Ya gotta love nature.  Enjoy the weekend!

Song of the day:  Vanity by Lady Gaga

“Nothin’ wrong with being just a little bit vain
We need a little pretty ‘cause this country’s insane.”

19 Responses to “Vanity, Thy Name Is Woman”

  1. Kim said

    Wren’s nest, maybe? They love to build in weird places…the mailbox, the upturned canoe…

    I’m feeling the aging, frumpitude, as well. Sometimes the self-facial or the pedicure picks me up. Sometimes, not so much.

  2. Jeanette said

    Nothing like a bad hair day to plummet the self esteem! I seem to be having alot of them to due to the early return of humidity. This is going to be a rough summer for my hair!

  3. mercystreet said

    I feel like I look much older than I am. I hate feeling like that. But you are a very attractive woman.

  4. Bex said

    I thought about sending you a couple of photos I took of myself a while ago, showing how really horrid and old I have become, but I can’t even bear to look at them myself, let along put them out there. Menopause is a nasty little thing the our Creator inflicts on us and I don’t know if I will ever forgive him/her/it for it. It ravages an otherwise normal body. And I can’t really see that men suffer from this much at all. They age but they don’t droop and sag like we do. They seem to age handsomely, for the most part. There must be a devine reason for all of this, but I fail to see it.

    BTW, you look incredibly young and vibrant, in my humble opinion, and not nearly as old and haggard as I look (and feel) at almost 62.

  5. Stefani said

    You sure produced two beautiful daughters – so that must mean something!

    I think you’re very young & vibrant looking, so there!

  6. Alvin said

    Bex wrote, ‘They seem to age handsomely, for the most part.’ (regarding men)That is a matter of opinion I suspect because I think, in fact, I know, men feel the same way about aging as women do. I’m coming on to 60 this May 5th, and there are many times when I see my reflection across the room I have to take a double take and ask myself when did this ‘Me’ get here. I don’t remember getting ‘old’ and yet here I am. Then there are times that I see the lines in the face of my daughter or son. Boy, does that put one on the old wagon real quick: to see wrinkles in the faces of one’s children.
    But what I’m trying to say is that there is an invisible line that most women cross, some cross it in their late forties, some in their mid-fifties. An invisible line that separates a person’s life of what was to what is: And from the side they are crossing over from they are leaving behind; perkiness and a strong argument against gravity. Fading is dreamy skin, sooth supple hands and legs along with numerous other little things that is really not even noticed by the younger set But on the other side of that line into which they cross into, those around them see the transition as a cornucopia of Grace, substance, warmth, they see a lifetime of kindness in that person. And yet once over that line, they still maintain a very strong air of sensuality that is slightly disguised in their dress and mannerisms that cannot be held back or hidden which is so much the case with younger people. Younger people seem to use their looks for advancement and personal gain. Not so, with the line crossover set. And right up front with the new person there is mixture of life, laughter and understanding that flows so freely that it attracts others the way flowers attract sunlight. There is a lot to be said about aging, it’s just that in this society, no one wants to say it.

  7. Okay, so here’s the thing. You’re hot and I’m not! The difference is that as I have mentioned in previous posts, that I don’t care enough about hotness, however I have always admired your beauty which you sometimes wonder if you have. Beauty doesn’t disappear with age and it certainly isn’t something everyone has because they are young. I hope you will find peace with the aging process and stop comparing yourself with your younger self. That ain’t no fair and you know it. You are so immaculate with your appearance. You dress hot,hot hair,hot glasses, face, and figure! Besides, if Valerie Bertinelli can turn fifty which is pretty much unfathomable, then the rest of us can age gracefully along with her, right!! Have a nice day, Beautiful!!

  8. terri t. said

    I think you are lovely too. But I do know just how you feel and think. I seem to consider dying my hair every few days but even my hair stylist says I shouldn’t….I think we just want another chance at using what we had and appreciating it now that it is fading away. That comment from Alvin about fading beauty was lovely….
    and strangely enough, my husband has been complimenting me all day…could it be because it is our anniversary?

  9. yaketyyak said

    I am so appreciative of all these comments, especially Alvin’s, which really gave me something to think about. Thank you!

  10. karenfromphilly said

    Funny you should write about aging. I was thinking how old I look lately! I hate the jowls, baggy eyes, saggy neck skin, (I really hate that!!) varicose veins on my legs, and grey hair showing up,,,everywhere!!!! And I mean everywhere! What the hell is that?!?! Not to mention the stiffness and the failing eyesight. This is when you hang out with older people who think you look great and call you a young lady.

  11. Annie said

    First of all, I think you are beautiful, and wtg Mr. Freshman! I don’t want to hear about any scandals in your school district! 😉

    I’ve been thinking the same thing lately, which is why my facebook profile picture is me 6 years ago instead of now. (lol)

  12. LA said

    I crossed Alvin’s line this year. The babe I was at 44 is GONE. 47 has not been kind. So I do understand. You might still be beautiful to me and vice versa but there’s just this ‘feeling’ of it being gone. Something vital leaks away inside. Sigh… ~LA

  13. Diane said

    You are in your 40’s and complaining???? You guys are beautiful! It’s like looking back on your teen years and remembering how ugly you felt at the top of your game and realizing how beautiful you really were in retrospect. It’s the same thing now! You are great!

  14. Stephanie said

    I WISH I was in my forties! I’ll be 56 in August. :/ Thanks for the kind words, Diane!

  15. So…yes, I’m very late to the party, but I’ve heard my mother say the same thing “Blah, don’t I look old/ugly, blah blah blah!” And I come back with, “What?! GRANDMA (whom she looks exactly like) WAS UGLY?!” She usually has a good laugh at that one–as do I–my great aunt sent a picture of my mother when she was about 8, and I’ll be damned if she didn’t look EXACTLY like ME! I mean in that freaky-ass “Brady Bunch” episode way! Hot damn! If I can look like her 25 years from now, that’s saying something!

    Now put everything I said about me, and turn it around for you–you’re saying your daughter (who…whom? ah, forget it! looks EXACTLY LIKE YOU!) is beautiful, but you’re not?! She must look like the mailwoman then! 😉

  16. Heh-heh! Hang in there,- it just gets better [giggle]…compliment-wise, too! My adult students often tell me I must have been beautiful when I was younger! 😀 (I’m 68 in July.) You know, I didn’t realize it. Oh, Well!

    Hugs from Asia, ~ Sil

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