My friend Julie is a knockout. We have been friends for over twenty years since we both lived in Charlotte. Our daughters became friends when their family had moved from Connecticut, and Julie and I followed suit. Twenty years or so later we are still close, and Julie is still beautiful and looks as if she has just stepped out of the pages of Vogue.
On Monday Julie and I met for lunch at her club. I was dressed as usual, in a multi-colored, shapeless top swimming over some black leggings accenting my scrawny legs. My hair needed cutting and coloring, and my face, sans make-up, looked like a pudding.
The day was gorgeous and we sat gabbing and nibbling our food, alone on the sunny patio. After a while a very handsome man sat at a table near us to drink a beer. We could see him glance our way frequently, and Julie whispered, “I think he’s eavesdropping, but I don’t know him so who cares?”
Some time later we stood to leave, and the man said, “You two are so cute.”
We had to walk by his table to leave, and he continued, “So are you mother and daughter?”
I exploded. “What an idiotic thing to say! Please don’t tell us which one is supposed to be the mother! We don’t want to know.”
As if he hadn’t dug himself a deep enough hole, we went on. Addressing me, he pronounced, “You look like you have shrunk.”
Apparently I was the mother. “You nitwit! I haven’t shrunk. I’m just short. And why would you say we were related? We don’t look anything alike!”
“Well, you kind of do from the profile. And you get along so well.”
“ We are good friends who obviously get along well. And No. We don’t look alike even in profile,” I responded. And we stormed off.
Julie was nonplussed, but days later, I was still stewing. Julie and I are close to the same age, which means I would have to be in my nineties to be her mother. I decided that I needed to take a bit more pride in my appearance if I didn’t want to look like a nursing home escapee, shrunken and pale.
I called Michelle, my friend and hairdresser, and told her I needed a makeover. She cut my hair into a cute, short do and colored it shades of magenta. I even put on some make-up. The result is questionable, but I believe improvements have been made, even though the person I see in the mirror is much older than the one I see in my head. Ain’t that the truth!