Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Becoming Old and Ugly

We used to be young. When we were young, we were cute.
That was then...

It is a great deal of fun to be young and cute. Strangers pay you compliments. People do favors for you, unasked. They give you things. They flatter you and humor you. They make allowances for you.

We are no longer young and cute... and it couldn't have happened a moment too soon. Stripped of the twin weapons of youth and beauty, we've become better people.

When we were younger, we could afford to be cold. When others continually make the effort to reach out to you, you don't learn how to reach out to others. We could also afford to be cruel, believing the extraordinary attention and favor we received made us in some way superior. We were vain, mistakenly thinking that our transient beauty made us, in some way, more deserving than others. We doted on our own appearance, intelligence, talent and wit, oblivious to those same gifts in others.

It can be difficult, sometimes, to reconcile the face we see in the mirror with the face we still expect to see. Letting go of our “mirror time,” though, has given us more time to spend face to face with others.

Today's exercise: Pity the young. Envy the aged. Embrace your better self.

Next: The threat of a preview of my next book still looms large, unless I get a better idea. Suggestions?


  1. Wait, what? No way, I'm still young and beautiful! And since I'm older than you (a year? two?) that means you're young and beautiful too. Some of us are just destined to ALWAYS look young and beautiful, we merely have the experience that comes with age. ;)