“I bet she was a beauty in her day.” Words uttered a few years ago by a man after our introduction.
He said it to a friend. Upon relay to me, I laugh aloud. Laughter comes from the fact that he is only few years younger than me and the knowledge that not all my best days are behind me. And that someone meanders about the world with such bad manners. Asshat.
Meeting with a new chick; she tells of dating horror stories. We know that men, in general, feel better about themselves as they age in comparison with, well, all of us chicks who fret over wrinkles, stretch marks and sagging everything. Except when we don’t.
She tells me men our age, out in the dating world, look for girls of the twenty to thirty set. They evidently aren’t interested in women with a little life on them. I laugh as I share the words of the guy a few years ago.
She calls later. She feels bad for me. That man’s words must have stung. She adds that I was, probably, beautiful when I was young. I tell her I never took his words to heart. When she says she, too, was lovely when she was young, I realize how conditioned we’ve become.
She cannot see her loveliness now. She does not see the beauty in her golden hair, her sparkling blue eyes and her spontaneous conversation. Has she fallen down the well that says beauty is locked in youth. Is it men or have we, as women, accepted as fact women of a certain age are not attractive?
I run it by Miss V, hair goddess. She gives a giant “Pfft” and agrees the most stunning woman in the room is the one who owns it; and that girl is rarely twenty-five. That girl hasn’t had enough life to walk in and wrap the crowd around her experienced finger. She has not used her wiles on a man, or men, for over twenty years. She has not raised children and ridden the roller coaster that produces not only wrinkles but wisdom.
V says at a recent wedding, she could not keep her eyes off a woman swathed in St. John, hair swept up in perfection, head up, back straight. Every eye in the church was mesmerized. At twenty-five, none of us could pull that off. Her secret? Her knowledge of life, of love, of disappointment, of sex, mastery of this thing called life.
Some beauty only comes with age.