coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

If you've got it


I found a new hair stylist to cut my hair.  She is my daughter's stylist and I like her very much.  She does a good job, charges reasonable fees, and has purple hair.  She also has real artwork by real artists on her walls. It makes me happy just being in her salon, looking at all the colors. Unlike the chrome on white walk-in salons I've been going since I've been in Florida, this seems comfortable, edgy, and welcoming.

She told my daughter that she thought I was adorable. Adorable... I'm not sure I know what that means. It is not the first time I've been described that way by a young woman in recent years (i.e., since I got old). The day of my retirement party I wore leggings, a silky tunic top, and an asymmetrical light sweater. When I asked my younger colleague if I looked ridiculous, she said "No, I think you look adorable." That did not fill me with confidence, but I chose not to care. The party went on as planned.

The hateful old hag who lives deep inside me wants to look for ageism everywhere. She wants to disdain this as a backhanded compliment. The Good Colette, however, is thrilled and wonders how I can make being adorable work for me.  I mean if you've got it, flaunt it - right?

Any ideas?

30 comments:

  1. Obviously, keep doing what you've been doing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Molly. I've been wondering where you've been! Hope all is well.

      Delete
  2. Adorable is fine! It is when they call you “dear” and say , You are so cute”, that you want to smack them silly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahah. I'm glad I'm not the only one who notices those things.

      Delete
  3. By the way, where's the adorable photo?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Of course you're adorable, you silly self-deprecating sausage. Let's have fewer platitudes and more original thought.

    Meanwhile it seems we've been living parallel lives:

    Her recommended stylist, Kylie, had black hair in broken-glass spikes and was pierced with studs, one apparently penetrating the skull above her left eye. Clare said, “You come well regarded but perhaps I’m a little aged. Can you do anything for me?”

    Kylie screamed with laughter revealing a ball of chewing gum nestling on her tongue. “Don’t fancy my spikes, eh? I can style anyone. What did you have in mind?”

    Clare explained the henna experiments, meanwhile appreciating Kylie’s attentiveness and the way she ran speculative fingers through Clare’s hair. She concluded: “It seemed a suitable colour. Perhaps you could take it from there.”

    Kylie said nothing and continued to feel out the contours. Finally she said, “I could do better than that.”

    “Would it be… extreme?”

    “Nah, not that. See, you think you’ve got a thin face, don’t you? It’s really oval. Quite pretty once it’s freed up. But I need to streak a mix of colours - ” She raised a hand to forestall Clare’s quick alarm. “Nothing strong, just subtle highlights. Then I want a sideways line to take away the dull old balance. Tell you what: if you don’t like it pay me a pony and no tip. But you’ll like it.”

    Trying to remember whether a pony was twenty-five or fifty pounds Clare was persuaded by Kylie’s confidence, her topological analysis and the way she conveyed – mainly by hand movements – what she intended to do.


    Gorgon Times. Roderick Robinson. 2012

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good story. Robbie, you are WAY too hard on me. If you are complaining about the "I mean if you've got it, flaunt it - right?" line... I often use tired old chestnuts for fun. In this case, most women of a certain age would find that funny because it is so absurd. Also, commonplace language and colloquialisms have a certain innate power derived from overuse. To use them even AFTER they've become tiresome can be funny. People reading it don't feel talked down to. Instead, they feel like they are in on the joke. And P.S., stop pissing me off.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps Gloria Steinem still has the platform to change the world and wither a critic with a fine sentence practiced over and over. I doubt either you or I do. I know I don't, and I know a certain age swath of young women consider me "cute." If I consider them part of the future, I encourage them to think and act independently. If they are marginal, I call them honey in return. Sometimes it works.
      Flaunt it loud and clear. It will never go out of style, and every woman you show how to be assertive is a victory.

      Delete
    3. And now I don't know whether your last four words were jocular or serious.

      Delete
    4. An hour's reflection and it's clear you're serious. Sorry about that. Pissing-off was not malign, more a transatlantic misjudgement. In fact I've used a similar approach quite recently, complimenting myself outrageously in the expectation - and hope - I will be seen through. Time to contemplate my navel.

      Delete
    5. Always best not to post something better than the blogger's post on their own page. Coming on the heels of what seemed like harsh criticism, it feels like hijacking. And P.S.S. that is not an invitation for further discussion about this.

      Delete
  5. Hmmmmm. I think CHOOSING to see it positively is a good thing...but I can also understand how it seems a bit condescending. As "Starting Over" mentioned above, it's one step away from "dear."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. For some reason people don't always want to afford older people their full humanity. How to react is a conundrum.

      Delete
  6. What she said, Robbie. Just because silly kids think we are adorable doesn't me we don't have teeth and know exactly where the soft spots are to sink them in deep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to see you in your Julia Sugarbaker mode. It's been too long.

      Delete
  7. I agree with Steve, choosing to see that as a positive thing is good. My first reaction was that it was a bit condescending. I know when I use the word adorable, it's with little kids and puppies. So maybe she was seeing the little adorable kid in you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think she saw something she liked in me that she couldn't quite reconcile with my age.

      Delete
  8. I have been called cute more times than I can remember and it has never really bothered me. It probably because I short and have a super bubbly personality. I will take cute and adorable but don’t call me ma’am. Ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am also short (always) and bubbly (at times). I don't mind adorable all that much, really. But I do wish she would have said "Your Mom is so cool." lol

      Delete
    2. Yes. I definitely get that. Well, I think you are cool. Does that help?

      Delete
  9. Difficult one. English is such a tricky language but adorable immediately brings up pictures of puppy dogs, so no. Cool, however, yeah!

    A female friend of mine took a sabbathical earlier this year, travelling for several months through Spain on her own. She was nervous at first but in her second email, she wrote, women over 60 are invisible and it seems I can do what I want and go where I please and finally, I feel free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That freedom is bittersweet, I think. However, better than not having it.

      Delete
  10. An adorable post. Seriously there are so many phrases young people use to be protective of our feelings. It is nice that they want to take care of me but I tool care of them from before they were born. I think I can manage myself for just a while longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to get mad at people who are struggling to find ways to compliment us, or let us know they care.

      Delete
  11. Cool sounds better than adorable but adorable is better than many other adjectives:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I recently went on a wine tasting with my daughter where the rest of the group were twenty somethings. They all started calling me "mom". At first I was a little put off but then decided it was better than being called "grandma". I would definitely take "adorable" as a compliment.

    ReplyDelete

So, whadayathink?