When I was very, very small, I can remember reaching up to pet my granny’s velvety jowl and tell her, lovingly, how much she reminded me of my favorite animal: the bulldog. I meant it as a compliment. I loved my granny’s face. It was beautiful and soft, and the skin fell into gentle draping folds at the jawline. Granny was tall and lovely, redhaired and lightly tanned, and to me she was one of the prettiest women in the world.
My bulldog comparison hurt her feelings, and it was a long time before I could understand why. I thought bulldog and boxer faces were the best kind.
Fortunately, I still do. Now that middle-age is eroding my jawline into the genetics of that side of the family, I am coming more and more to look like Granny and my old dog, Ella. Ella had the nicest face!
But now, I get why she was upset by my comparison. I also get why she was so upset as her vision started to go, and she couldn’t see to put on her makeup any longer. I am about to head into the need for bifocals, and it was never more apparent than in the past few days, when I was applying false eyelashes, and realizing I couldn’t really see what I was doing anymore.
Youth and beauty are fleeting. Hopefully I’ve built up some personality to get me through old age and whatever happens to my face when I get there.
There have been a lot of new photos posted of me recently, and while I am very adept at posing to make the most of what I have, candids are rarely kind to me. It’s always a growth experience for me to look at candid photos of myself. I breathe through the worst of them and tell myself, “If that’s what you really look like, at least you have everything you are supposed to have, it all works, and it is all in relatively the right order.” Then I get on with it.
But I’ve come to that point where I have to admit that it’s only going to be downhill from here. No matter how much weight I ever lose, no matter how nicely my hair is styled, no matter what I wear, I am quickly coming up on “attractive for her age,” rather than simply “attractive.” It’s the circle of life, and it’s fine. It’s just getting used to it, you know?
I am quickly approaching this (which has strong language, if that sort of thing bothers you):
If I am very, very lucky, maybe one day I’ll have a grandbaby who likes to pat my jowls, and who thinks I am as pretty as a bulldog.