Guess who’s back? And I’m even older and more busted than ever. LOL How’s quarantine treating you? Scary stuff, huh? Speaking of scary, have you met the real you yet? I mean, of course, uncut hair, undone nails, no facials and whatever other treats you do for yourself on a daily basis. There is nothing wrong with this, nothing AT ALL, but. . . a lot of us have had to face the mirror and see a stranger. Actually, a lot of us is ME. I’m “a lot of us.” Looking at your quarantine self is one thing. Loving your quarantine self is another thing entirely.
The first time I looked at the flat gray hair, the wrinkles (oh, the wrinkles!!!), the droopy eyes and the rest of it, well, I ran for the makeup drawer and threw on a metric ton. That was okay for a while. But one day it was, like, “Why bother? You’re not going anywhere. Your husband, daughter and grandson (fellow quarantiners in this house) have seen you in worse shape. Just be you. You’re old. Get used to it.” Easy to say. Not so easy to do.
The Yucky Mirror
The first few days. . . I’m lying. . . weeks were tough. Who was that old lady looking back at me in that mirror? I mean, yeah, my hair has started to gray but this old broad was doggone near totally gray with wrinkles all over the place, discolored skin and. . . hey, did you get the number of that crow that stomped all over my eyes? Being perfectly serious for a moment, I was really shocked. Was I that good at using makeup to hide all this stuff? Did Mother Nature hate me all THAT much? Apparently, the answer to both those questions was yes.
The Selfies From Hell
After I got used to looking in the mirror and when I could stop crying, I started taking a few selfies here and there. Think you look bad in that dastardly mirror? Wait until you see what your damn phone does to you!!! At first, I erased them all. I wasn’t having it. There was no way on this earth that I could look THAT bad. Or could I?
Acceptance Comes Slowly
As the days dragged on by and the selfies piled up, albeit slowly, I started getting used to what I saw in the mirror AND in the camera. I didn’t like it. Was I going to go back to the old me and just keep using the makeup for no good reason except to delude myself? I wasn’t sure. I put some on here and there. And then it went to just a lot of moisturizer. And then it went to. . . me. The real me. The me that is now. The 67-year-old me with wrinkles and crepey eyes, turkey neck and a myriad of other unflattering accouterments. And then it didn’t hurt so bad. And then it didn’t hurt at all. And then? Well, hell, it’s me. I earned every single one of those wrinkles. I earned every one of those damn gray hairs. I earned every sagging part of me. And you know what? It’s just. . . me.
Well, I’m back to learning to love myself, which is where I was when this plague took over the world. Would I like it better if I looked like I thought I did with the war paint on my face? Yeah, I would, but guess what? That’s not really me. Me is the old lady looking back at me with all the imperfections, yeah, the ones I’ve earned over a long and pretty decent life.
And when all of this is a memory, will I start with the makeup again? Will I try to alter the me I’ve become and learned to love? I want to say, “Hey, this is me and this is what you’re getting from this point forward.” I want to say that. If I do, will I mean it? I’m honestly not sure. I mean, yeah, I always want to look my best, but if this IS my best, well, I guess I’ll have to accept that. But if part of loving your quarantine self also includes a little powder and lipstick, count me in!