While I applauded these celebrities’ willingness to face gravity’s heavy embrace, I chose to duck into clouds of delusion. Enjoying gasps from acquaintances who expressed disbelief that I could be the grandmother of 10, I thought I was successfully dodging Time’s plundering depredation.
But then the day came when I joined the madding crowds clamoring for friends through social networks. Unless you choose the anonymity of such sites’ blue silhouettes, it is necessary to post an image of yourself to accompany witty or sage comments.
At first, I thought I would remain incognito and choose a caricature of sorts. So I perused the galleries of Flickr.com to find a facsimile of Jane Austen, donned in clothes worthy of a trip to Bath. Her facial features, however, were not far removed from those of the blue silhouettes.
Next, I stumbled upon the likeness of a romantic Victorian lady writing, but I could hear echoes of my sons’ guffaws at my choice as they asked, “What the freak????
Eventually, my search for the perfect picture led me to my driver’s license, issued in 2004. Yes, that’s right – my DMV glamour photo! By a stroke of luck, a decent camera angle, a pretty good hair day, and a limited number of pixels, I have a picture ID to be proud of. And I don’t miss an opportunity to show it to any checker at any grocery store or any security attendant at any airport! I’ve even requested that the photo be published along with my obituary when that need arises.
In the meantime, I scanned, cropped, and uploaded the photo onto my computer and pasted it everywhere: My Google profile, my 3 Ning accounts, and Facebook! When long-lost friends found me on FB, I loved reading, “Cute picture!” or “You look fantastic!” I even laughed when my boss, who sees me every day, accused me of cheating because I used a glamour photo.
But then the proverbial “moment of truth” came when my daughter-in-law “tagged” a current photo of me, taken at my grandbaby’s recent birthday party. I knew that anyone viewing that picture would know I was suffering from the “Oprah Effect” – no matter what the day-time diva looks like on the TV screen, Oprah remains svelt and ageless on every cover of O Magazine.
So, in the spirit of Jamie Lee, Nora, and Susan Boyle, too, I decided to publish pictures that reveal the real! Friends, please don’t think I’m feeling sorry for myself or seeking reassurance that I “don’t look that bad” because that’s not the point of this post. I am merely laughing at with myself for a variety of reasons.
Moment of Truth #1: Profiles don’t lie. In spite of 20 lost pounds, the double double is still hangin’ around! And I thought the new hair-do was flattering. Let’s rethink that one! At least there’s a cute guy sitting on my lap!
Moment of Truth #2: Cap sleeves don’t cut it after age 40. In Utah, 70% of the women call arms like mine “Relief Society arms,” named after the women’s organization of my church. (I wonder if Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and Methodist women nick-name these appendages “church-lady” arms)
Moment of Truth #3: You’re not experiencing a hot FLASH; it’s a freakin’ heat WAVE!!! FYI: The onset of global warming coincided with the advancing ages of millions of female Baby-Boomers. And for heaven’s sakes, Girl, don’t wear pink blush! In this condition, YOU DON’T NEED IT! (But isn’t that baby adorable? Awww!)
So, that’s it! Oh, there are many more pix in the mix, and I really have to chuckle at how I see myself when I’m NOT looking. If I truly examine these photos, I’ll pass by the pudginess and see the playfulness; I’ll see joy, not jowls; and I’ll look at the love, not the love handles. Besides, in 20 years or so, I’ll sort through this collection and say to myself, “And I thought I looked OLD in those pictures!”