Now here’s an interesting question from Fandango and one which is very much based on who you were at various times in your life.

I have to think far back into my life to remember how I felt about my “self-presentation” when I was a kid. It wasn’t very good. I such a total bookworm, I had few social skills. I used big words the other kids didn’t understand and I didn’t know they didn’t know. I wanted to talk about books. Books about dogs and horses and volcanoes. Late, more about psychology, literature — Russian, English, and anything written by Thomas Wolfe. Angelique and historical too. I veered wildly in a literary way until I bloomed into a busty young lady and hormones rose.

I still had no idea what impression I made on people except that I was considered sexy. I didn’t think I was sexy, but the boys did. I supposed “sexy” was better than unattractive — which I what I saw in the mirror

1970 – Twenty-three, five years married AND a mother (phew)

A friend took this picture because he thought I was a wonderful study in shades of brown. Married at 18, a baby born at 22, and I was about to get serious about work and career after a year of full-time mommy-ing.

This was the year I started to ask people what they thought of me because I had a strange feeling that I was completely out of touch with who I was. So I asked: “If you were describing me to someone else, how would you describe me? Please, be honest. I really want to know.”

I got answers describing me as Catherine the Great (with a horse?) and other female power symbols. I thought I was shy and retiring. Go figure I had to do a major mental readjustment.

Returning from Israel twenty years later, I had to do a lot more readjusting Having somehow become very popular before I left, it turned out old friends don’t wait for you to come back a decade later. Except for Garry. He waited.

Portrait of a great Uxbridge photo team

So who am I now? I have no idea. I may have passed the point where I care what what other people think of me. I may have stopped caring what I think of me. I endure. I’m cranky. I’m tired of cooking, cleaning, and wife-ing. I’ve come a long way from the kid who wanted to be loved and later, be respected.

I never meet anyone new these day. Which means I have no way to judge what anyone thinks of me. The people I know and who know me are all in our age group. The last thing on their minds is what impression they make on other people.

This unconcern with ones popularity
is the true gift of aging.

Past a certain point in time? You mind is not on your relationships. It is much more about your credit score than your relationships. Life moves on.

It’s more about figuring out how to survive in this bizarre world and praying that the people you still care about are healthy and not going to up and die on you.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #117

Categories: #FPQ, #Photography, Anecdote, Fandango's One Word Challenge, housework, Humor, Provocative Questions, senior citizens

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13 replies

  1. You’re absolutely right about age giving you the gift of unconcern about the opinions of others about you. You’re great person, witty and humorous and a great photographer


  2. I have always tried to be a nice person, but this last year has revealed a slightly bad-tempered shrew. Someone I suspect was always in the wings waiting! Seriously hoping this is temporary…


  3. I couldn’t agree with you more. I hope the impression (if anyone should actually meet me since \I am housebound) is a pleasant one. Having said that, after a certain age, it doesn’t equate as vitally as it once did. Healthy, able to do stuff, talk with old friends, and make new ones – like you and Gary, you have made my day week month and year.


  4. It depends on the person, Marilyn about how important maintaining a public image is. Think about movie stars. They find it impossible to let the limelight go and keep trying to get back into it. It’s not a bad thing to not worry what people think of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think celebrities are in a category all by themselves. My husband was one, but hasn’t been in more than a decade. People still recognize him, but they are old, too. The rest of us are glad enough to be alive and reasonably healthy. The death rate among our groups has gone up a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have had a wonderfully productive life and deserve some down time now. Try to keep chores to the minimum. A lot of stuff we used to fuss about really needs less attention now. We do practically no cooking now, eating fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and no meat. We do have a gardener, a friend we pay to take care of our California native plants and the trim the night blooming jasmine and plant vegetables. We have several trees that take care of themselves, including a peach tree and a lemon tree. My daughter was the original gardener, but her wonky back prohibits that now. The main structure that needs replacing now is our 8-foot backyard fence. That is going to cost some money as I need a replacement that will outlast our lives. That’s not hard to do with mine, but my daughter will need it after I’m gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We managed to get through the worst of COVD and come out alive and not living on the street. All we need now is an infusion of enough money to rebuild the deck. Well, a bit more would be nice too but at least we are nominally solvent.

      We can’t afford to pay anyone to do anything that isn’t urgent and fresh food isn’t cheaper around here. Different climate. The food prices have skyrocketed here, especially fresh anything because it’s all imported from some warmer place.

      I wonder what they think is going to happen to seniors who are still living on SSN that pays just a few pennies more than it did a decade ago? Does anyone care?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’ s scary living on Social Security as the only income, and that is what my daughter and I are doing.I assume you are dong the same.Because I taught for 41 years at a Catholic all-boys’ private school, I don’t get any income from them the way I would have if I had taught at a public school. Being inducted into their Hall of Fame, the second woman in fifty years to be accorded that honor, was a delightful evening, but all it afforded me was a free dinner . The consequences of my life are the result of my choices,so I have only myself to blame. I inherited my house from my uncle. Before that I was buying a condo but sold it a few years after I inherited the house. The main expense is the property tax that is high and keeps rising every year. I just hope I can still keep paying it and my daughter after me. The only other solution is to borrow against it since I have no mortgage.
        You mention the high prices of fresh food. The prices in California are also high. Some stores charge more than others.It’s a balancing act to shop.


        • I changed jobs a lot, but usually because I worked for small companies that went bankrupt frequently. Or just disappeared, taking their software elsewhere — and of course, I was in Israel for nearly a decade which meant that when I was re-entering the market, I was already in my late-mid 40s. And Garry was a better spender than saver AND he didn’t expect to get ditched 5 months before he pension vested. interesting how popular age 59 is for ditching employees — after 31 years at Channel 7. So he has two tiny (really tiny) pensions from AFTRA and Channel 7 that don’t equal what he would have been getting from SSN had they not ditched him before he was old enough to get it It was an ugly ending.

          Between one thing and another, trying to keep this house from decaying has taken any money we managed to have. I don’t think Owen will be able to manage it after we are gone, but one of us would have to live a lot longer than we currently seem likely to live Meanwhile, I think you are reminding me that we need to write a will, because he can at least make a little money from selling the place.

          It’s kind of depressing to live on so little money and we DO have a mortgage AND taxes which have tripled in 20 years. I try not to think about this a lot because all it does it upset me and doesn’t solve any problems.


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