Sixty Is The New Thirty-Seven
This is my Great-Grandma’s (Meme’s) family. The photo was taken on Meme’s 80th birthday in 1951, the year I was born. There’s a photo somewhere of her in that same chair with me in her arms. But it’s this photo that fascinates me.
Standing around Meme are her children. That’s my Grandma on the far right. My father’s mother, a strong-featured woman, and beautiful in her own way. Her two younger sisters are on the left. Grandma’s brothers stand in the middle.
These sisters, Lavina (Grandma), Loretta, and Lillian were my favorite companions when I was a little girl. They were smart and funny, and full of love. They had huge soft bosoms that smelled liked roses. They liked parakeets and soap operas and “Queen For A Day”. They cooked things baked beans and clam chowder – stuff that would simmer all day. They wore aprons in the kitchen and big brooches when they dressed up. They always had a handkerchief tucked up a sleeve. They had permanents. They played cards. They laughed. They sang – “Let Me Call Your Sweetheart” was Grandma’s favorite. Aunt Lil played piano. Aunt Lora wished she could be Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke, running the whorehouse and drinking with the boys.
Now here’s what amazes me: These three sisters are younger in this photo than I am now. Take another look at these beautiful but decidedly old women.
Now here’s me:
It’s not photoshopped; it’s me. Although I admit I had the photographic advantage that my Grandma and her sisters did not have, in that I took quite a few shots to get this keeper. (let’s say more than one but less than two hundred.)
The much greater advantages I have had include an extremely cushy life and the freedom to be unabashedly self-absorbed. I’m sure I spend more on cosmetics in a year than my Grandma and her sisters spent combined in their entire lives.
And then there’s hair color, contact lenses, mousse, blow-dryers, teeth whiteners, skin creams, facials, designer clothes, shapewear, and yoga.
But I’m a natural beauty, down deep, because it’s in my genes. After all, I got those my genes from my Grandma and Aunties. How could I miss?