Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, July 18, 2013


So, anyway, some folk obsess about how they look, you know, wanting every hair in place, face scrubbed and smelling like a spa dream come true.  Not vanity, but a way to be well-groomed.  I am that way; well-groomed, that is. 

Whilst most people are careful about their appearance because, well, it is just a nice thing to do for work and generally being out in the world.  I do it because I am ugly.  I have never made anyone run screaming, nor have I scarred children or caused senior citizens to faint, but I am not attractive by any stretch of the imagination, anyone's imagination. 

So, it is in my best interest, being out in the world quite often, to take care with my grooming.  Clean and shiny hair that is tamed just enough to reduce my crazy old babe mostly-grey locks.  I wear makeup whenever I leave the house.  My clothing is not new, but it is clean and I take excellent care of what I have; my youngest garment is more than ten years old.  I really could use some new big girl panties, but that is anther story.  Most of my bras self-destructed a few weeks ago, like it was a simultaneous death wish or some sorority hazing.  I have three new bras and I cannot express how deliriously happy they make me.  Seriously.

But, I am not anywhere near cute or anything in that direction.  There have been plenty of people in my life who made sure that I never forgot what I look like, but, you know, I get to see myself at least twice a day when I wash up and brush my teeth.  Seriously, you are not telling me anything new, and whether you mean it or not (and you most likely do mean it), it hurts to be reminded.  Only meanies would do that, so you must be one of them.

I know what I look like and the truth is that I have always, like absolutely always, wanted to look better.  I wanted to be cute or lovely or adorable or something.  I wanted to be beautiful.  But, I am not.

I tell myself that all of my beauty is on the inside, where it counts.  Still...

That changed today.  I clicked on the avatar that an on-line friend has on FB.  Truth is that we would be real, dyed-in-the-alpaca-wool friends if she did not live in another hemisphere.  I feel that way and hope that she does as well.

This is what she wrote:

I was always too thin and very plain BUT my family loved me, my children adore me, (insert name of choice) calls me beautiful, my grandies call me the best nana ever...I finally count as something.

First of all, whist she is a skinny old thing (yes, she knows her age) she really is not plain.  Her features are more than pleasant, heck, I agree with her spouse, she is beautiful, especially her eyes.  The wisdom that you can see there just blows me away.  As pretty as she is, she is even more beautiful inside, you know, where it counts.

She is.  

I am writing about this because I do not actually dwell on my appearance, or the fact that I am fat.  I just get all well-groomed and get on with my day as best I can.  If I bought into the concept of self-esteem...which I do not..., I might say that I have low self-esteem, but I do not.  

This goes back to the part about being unattractive.  It is one thing to be that, it is an entirely different thing to be reminded of it.  You know, the whole meanie thing.

I am taking so long to get to this, the part where I had a moment.  

I am not ugly.  I am plain.  Like, really plain, and that is great.  The thing is that whether or not you are truly ugly, it does not do you any good to be reminded of it.  And, I can let go of all of that because of what my friend wrote.  I am plain and it is a nice thing.  I knew it as soon as I read her posting.  And, more importantly, there are other people who have embraced their plainness.  Although, not my friend because she is lovely. 

She is.

More...if she thinks herself to be plain, and she clearly is not, then maybe this change in how I think of myself can bring another change and there may be a time when I can look in that mirror when I am brushing my teeth or scrubbing my face and think, gee, if you had eyebrows you would be really cute.

If I had self-esteem, it would be significantly higher than it was an hour ago.

It would.

I love you, S.

I do.


  1. But this is exactly how I see you, gloriously radiant with humour, mischief, compassion and always yearning and searching to make sense of our at-times crazy old world.
    Who is quoted as saying, "A woman's best beauty feature is her smile"?
    PS eyebrows are over-rated

  2. Thank you. I really cannot express how important it was for me to read what you wrote. I even wrote it down and took it to therapy so that I could share it and how it helped me today.

  3. There are very few women in the world (considering how many people there are) who are beautiful, truly beautiful or so they tell us, the media, magazines and all that bollocks. I don't consider myself beautiful, I don't think I'm ugly but I was feeling very unattractive before I realised just how much weight I had piled on. I've lost a fair bit now and although I'm still very overweight I do feel a lot better about myself. I get into smaller clothes, again which makes me feel good about myself. When someone tells me I look nice or slimmer or whatever, it gives me a real boost. Getting a compliment of any kind does wonders for your self esteem and self worth, shouldn't we all take the time to say something nice to someone everyday? Those that always find something negative to say to someone,well they are ugly, ugly inside, it doesn't matter how good they look on the outside.
    My opinion of you through reading this blog is that your are strong, very caring and willing to do good for others. To have come through what you have and still have the capacity to care so much to me makes you truly beautiful.

  4. Hi J, thank you for your comment about how cultural references are meant to be appropriated! I completely agree, and was kind of daring someone, whom I had seen have a rant about said subject recently, to say something...but they didn't!! I appropriate anything, not just cultrual references when they speak to me!
    Npw, this is a wonderful post, beautifully written, and about something that should be as clear as they sun in the sky, but we all need reminding about this. It's so easy to get caught up in the bullshit.Thankfully I am not,a nd I'm glad you're not either. XXX

  5. Quite the honor to have you here. I have been reading your blog for a very long time, and I have to share that I have gained a lot of strength from what you share.