Self vs Self

Years ago I was amused when my 83-year-old mother said, “I walked by the mirror and wondered what old woman was looking back at me.”

I understand better now.

Still I amused myself today.

As I was approaching the grocery store I saw a “mature” woman turning back to her cart, having finished loading her groceries into her car.  I smiled and offered to take the cart.  She thanked me graciously.

As I pushed the cart I was internally prancing a bit at being able to do something nice for someone her age.  It’s hard to describe the time warp of my feelings.  I was 15 years old being nice to my mother.  I was 35, helping my husband’s mother carry food out to the patio.  I was even 55, lugging my best friend’s (she’s ten years older than I) suitcase up the stairs of our Paris hotel.

I was young.  I was vital.  And then suddenly I was laughing at my silly self.  That the woman was probably 15 years younger than I.

This inability to see myself as I am probably explains many of the awkward moments in my life, i.e. at entryways when I insist on holding the door.  It explains my slight discomfort at offers to carry my packages to the car.

Because in spite of those mornings when I look in the mirror and see my collapsing cheeks, sagging jaws and chicken neck, I can still use my increasingly soft-focus vision to retain my personal image of myself. I’m able to see what I expect to see: the gradually changing face,  which I’ve grown to accept.

Meanwhile, my inner self doesn’t change.   I’m the girl I see clutching my dog in old family photos.  I’m the 40-year-old, laughing from the picture.  I’m the dark-haired woman sporting white shorts against tan legs, clinging to the sail; her face caressed by the tropical breeze.

My Mom would probably look at me now and think, “Who is that *(   ) woman?”


* I’m too young to use the “old” word.  LOL


  1. you have always and ever been beautiful and still are! So is Sharon! What a joy and delight to meet up with her again! And Ron has always and ever been good looking as well and still is! What a wonderful couple you have been and still are!


  2. Classic. I have you in me…without a doubt 🙂


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