She's been needled, she's been wrapped
She's been polished like a stone
She's been dyed, she's been painted
How very strange she's grown!
She's been lifted, she's been sculpted
She puts up a real good front
She's been suctioned, she's been molded
She's been real messed up!
"She's made herself so freakishly grotesque, I was mesmerized," he said. "I couldn't stop looking at her."
My friend was right. Mrs. X is, indeed, freakishly grotesque. But she's not a natural born freak, but rather, the kind that is achieved only after considerable cost and effort.
I don't know what all kind of work she's had done but she's the only woman I know who looks like a big plastic mannequin with a curiously striking resemblance to the half human Dr. Spock.
Like every other mannequin, Mrs. X appears neither young nor old, but rather, inscrutably ageless. She could be an overgrown child with unnaturally wide, blank eyes or an ancient crone with flat, dyed dark hair. But as it happens, I know her approximate age: she's in her fifties.
I wonder what drove Mrs. X to get so 'messed up.' I pity her, though I suppose my pity would make her angry. However, I can't help but feel sorry for anyone who is so embarrassed by her natural appearance that she transforms herself into a freak.
There are values and rewards to youth and they are, admittedly, sexy, flashy, beautiful and exciting. How well I remember! I reaped them all.
But for those of us who are lucky enough to live long and grow old, age has its own quiet rewards, among them self acceptance, understanding, and, not least of all, near invisibility.
"The first forty years of life furnish the text, while the remaining thirty supply the commentary: without the commentary, we are unable to understand aright the true sense and coherence of the text, together with the moral it contains." Schopenhauer, The Ages of Life (1891)
I'm well along into the age of commentary, on the cusp of 63, white headed with a wonky knee, a wonkier mind and a wonderful sense of freedom that allows me to unabashedly go to the pool at the gym where I work out in a Good Will bathing suit without bothering to comb my hair or even shave my legs, relieved at long last, to have been rendered nearly invisible by the gift of old age.
Be Well and Good Luck,