Suddenly I flashed back 30 years, when I met my father’s then-girlfriend for the first time. I came home and told my mom all about her, stressing that while the girlfriend was much prettier, my mom was much nicer. As if that were a god thing! How could I have been so dense? And so blind? As it was, this chick wasn’t nearly as attractive as my mom. And I’m not just saying that in hindsight. (Or because she’s my mom. And there’s a family resemblance.) No, I’m saying it now because it’s true. The girlfriend’s long gone now, but memories of her tiny mouse-like face and curling-ironed hair still remain…
As does the fact that my 5-and-a-half year old thinks I’m ugly. UGLY!!!!!! I may not be a supermodel but I’ve been known to turn a head or two. And with 3 babes and 40 years under my belt I may not be at my peak but I can say with certainty that I am not, I repeat, NOT ugly.
Or at least I wasn’t…..
Maybe this is some kind of intergenerational, cosmic payback. According to my eldest, I’m a hag. What the f&ck?!?!?!?! Aren’t your children supposed to see you as the epitome of all that is good and beautiful in the whole wide world? When my second son socked him for insulting me (yeah, he does that), my bigger boy explained through his tears that I looked ugly because my skin looked a little bit green. Green!
Now I know I’m coming out of a pasty-faced winter, but I tend to be more peaches and cream…OK, white… rather than green. Hence the sunburns. If I were green…olive… I’d bronze like a goddess. Or my husband. But no, according to my five and a half year old, I was green. Ish. That said, he did watch the Wizard of Oz recently….
Perhaps. Or not. Maybe I am green. Maybe I do look the wicked witch of the west. Or maybe I’m just, gulp, getting old?
There’s been a lot of talk about aging lately. “Lately” meaning I’m the one talking about it with my people. Is that what happens when you enter your 40’s? Suddenly, I find myself checking out the surgercized chicks with more wonder than cynicism. I’ve been contemplating growing out my bangs but think that maybe now’s the time to keep ’em. That or botox. I’ve become invisible at the cheap ‘n trendy shops, yet a star in the pricey ones. All these older women keep checking me out. Or are they older at all?!? I notice that I don’t often spot people my own age in the streets and on the town….because maybe, just maybe, all those oldsters ARE my own age?
But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?
Luckily for me, my second son thinks I am all that. He likes my toes – painted or plain. Doesn’t mind me in glasses, and likes pony tails. And when I wear red. Which I never ever do, but that’s what he says. I’m thinking it’s ‘cuz Elmo is red, but I’ll take it. Anyhoo, he tells me I’m beautiful. Daily. And that he’s going to marry me when he grows up. OK, so maybe he’s the kinky one, but still. They all seem to know what they like. Or like what they know. Whatever. My biggest boy cried when I got my hair cut (“you don’t look like my mommy anymore!”) My middle one likes jewellery. The more the better. Even my 9-month baby seems to have a fetish for high heels. Literally. He sits in my cupboard and sucks on them. So the particulars and preferences obviously start young. And they tell it like it is.
Which can be a god thing too…Because I got all spiffed to go out the other night and both of my big boys looked at me like I was a movie star. They actually gasped. Told me I looked nice. Reeeeeally nice. A princess-y dress would be better, but in bad-guy, Darth Vader black, I was beautiful. It made my night. Even coming from the under-6 crowd, hearing you look good never gets old.
Unlike the rest of me….