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Reflections April 2015

The Old Gal

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By Anne Ashley

I used to dress for my public. I used to wear suits and look self-important when I went outdoors. I used to style my hair each day into loveliness. I cared that my clothes were pressed and color coordinated, and I made sure that my shoes were well-heeled and pretty (painful, but pretty).

I’m now at my happiest when I get to slouch around in my sweatpants and oversized t-shirts. There are days in a row where I don’t even comb my hair (the luxury of a ponytail). My socks now substitute for shoes, I brush my teeth while rummaging through the cupboards for breakfast instead of dutifully over the sink where I used to ensure I brushed the correct amount of brushes and rinsed for the correct amount of seconds, and my lip balm now qualifies as a make-up routine.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to dress for my public. I used to wear suits and look self-important when I went outdoors. I used to style my hair each day into loveliness. I cared that my clothes were pressed and color coordinated, and I made sure that my shoes were well-heeled and pretty (painful, but pretty).

But that was then.

Now, at this fine old age of clemency, I’ve long since given up on trying to look like Madonna (or a celebrity that actually makes an effort on his or her appearance). Which reminds me! Another item on my long list of things that irk me is celebrities that go out in public looking like tramps. I mean, it’s all well and good for the likes of us mere mortals to run errands and do the shopping in our torn jeans, make-up free faces and flip-flops. No one publishes unforgivably bad photos of me in sweatpants that used to have “Funky” embroidered across the derriere – but now only the letters F and U on one side and a Y on the other have survived after many many many washings.

My daughter and I disagree over the appropriateness of me continuing to wear such an unintentionally offensive item of clothing. I say it would be worse for a young pretty woman such as herself to walk around with those letters on her bottom as it implies arrogance and judgment. However, for a woman of my age to emblazon such an inadvertent suggestion, indicates the far less offensive giving up on a battle with something or someone of the letter Y.

Anyway, no one is going to be let down by my sad, disheveled appearance in public while I go about my daily customs and practices. I don’t make a squillion dollars pretending to be someone else in movies or TV shows. I don’t have staff that caters to my every whim. Film stars have a responsibility to deceive us that they look glamorous and stunning 24/7. For the money we’re willing to pay to watch them playing at make-believe, they owe us the delusion that they wake up looking perfect in every way! I'm a huge George Clooney fan but if I know he only pretends to be gorgeous as well as pretending to be A Man Who Stares At Goats, I'm going to have to rethink my devotion!

Where was I …?

Oh yes, it’s easier these days to just be carefree me. Well, easier as long as my long-suffering husband continues his journey alongside me, that is. Though, to be fair, he hasn’t had to forgo anything like the maintenance routines I endured for decades in order to look presentable. I mean, a shower, a comb and pressed clothes and the man looks a million. I swear, I hardly have time to draw on one eyebrow before he’s unfairly standing at the door hurrying me along!

While his royal highness might not have relaxed his upkeep as much as I have in our twilight years, he has started to rely heavily on his reading glasses! My delight in his weakness isn’t due to misery loving company, as you might think. Nor is my standing close to him now at all times due to my loving nature and need for his closeness. No, my glee with his far-sightedness is much more practical than that. It means that as long as I'm in the blur-zone, he can’t actually see my decline into haggardness. For all he knows, as long as I remain right by his side, I'm still the fresh-faced girl he fell in love with. I think in today’s modern vernacular, that’s referred to as a failure to upload image

 

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