I will give out divers schedules of my beauty: it shall be inventoried, and every particle and utensil labelled to my will, as: item, two lips, indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth.–Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene 5
I’m not sure if that’s the definitive statement WRT my approach to my appearance, but it’s close. I’m much more interested in my approach to life, which focuses on: Awareness of what’s going on around me. Receptivity to interesting opportunities and new experiences. Openness to change. Loyalty to those I love. And self-confidence in, and affection towards, who I am.
As the Good Book saith:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Most of the time, I’m pretty pleased with myself. I hope all of you are pretty pleased with yourselves, too. Because (IMHO), that–rather than grievance-mongering, enviousness, and incessant shit-disturbing–is the route to sanity, contentment, and a purposeful life.
Sure, some of my hard-coded attitude may just stem from an optimistic and outgoing nature; but I suspect much of it is a result of nurture: Of a loving, if somewhat dysfunctional birth family; of early supportive encouragement in whatever endeavors I undertook; of the refusal to run away from uncomfortable situations; and of the expectation that I’d persist until the end; and of knowing that my family loves me, even when that end results in the occasional failure, which–trust me–it has.
When it came to my married-into family, I lucked out as well. Or perhaps I just made a good decision. Those who’ve followed this blog for a while, or who’ve seen my posts on Ricochet, will know whereof I speak.
And if my reluctance to present myself to the world other than as what, or who I am; if my lifelong aversion to troweling on the war-paint and the nail enamel puts off the sort of gentleman whose self-image relies on other men being envious of his “trophy,” or whose ego is so fragile that he cringes at the thought of being seen with a sane, able-bodied, intelligent, mature and loving woman who’s lived a full life, who’s comfortable in her own skin, and who’s not ashamed to look her age (unfortunately, I think some men feel this way about their actual wives and the mothers of their children, LOL), then I think I’ve done a pretty good job of culling the herd and of winnowing the undesirables, right out of the gate. “There are more fish in the sea than ever came out of it,” as the saying goes. And there are certainly many more worthy gentlemen than not. I’ve been privileged in my life to have known more than a few of those worthy gentlemen and knights-errant. And unlucky enough to encounter only a vanishingly small number of the other sort.
So perhaps my natural (in all senses) inclination, in the long run, makes my decisions, and my choices, all that much easier. And better. It’s worked before. In fact, starting with my dad–he of the bullshit detectors extraordinaire–it’s worked all my life. (Lesson in there, somewhere, I think.)
I call my lifestyle choice “womanly feminism.” I’ll expound in a subsequent post, but, at its core, it has to do with acceptance, satisfaction, and pleasure with who and what I am, with a marvelous disregard for those who can’t get over their own sense of inhibition, resentment, and victimhood, and with what I think is my own purpose in life.
I conclude with a public-service announcement for men of a certain age who think they’ve found the perfect mate. As with life, you shouldn’t be put off by its less-than-spectacular appearance; the video is hilarious, and the song ain’t so bad, either. Elderly Gentlemen, watch your step:
PS: I hope, very soon, to have a guest poster–one I hope will become a regular blogger here–to put the case for feminine makeup, of which I’ve never been much of a fan. (Although more along the lines of “Doris Day” rather than “Raquel Welch” when it comes to feminine charms, I am blessed with what the lady who cuts my hair calls “almost flawless skin,” and I’ve never seen much need to cover it up.) My friend is a younger woman (the older I get, the more of them there seem to be, and the easier they are to find), and I’m sure she’s much more tuned into the modern-day feminine mystique–h/t of all people, Betty Friedan–than I am. I have no idea how much common ground she and I will find, but I’m looking forward to her thoughts on the subject!