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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Beauty, my dears....

It is a well known fact that I am not greatly enamoured of myself. physically that is. I never have been, I can remember being 18 and thinking that I probably ought to stay at home with my head bowed in shame because really, who needed see me? I look now, at pictures of me then and good heavens, if I wasn't quite beautiful. I had cheek bones to die for, splendid bosoms and a waist. An actual, honest to goodness waist.
I think back and recall 'friends' telling me they felt sorry for me because Julie and Jane ( my sisters) were so PRETTY and they were such FUN and look how POPULAR they were and then, 'well, then there's you' I'm not kidding, they said that, often and hear something often enough ( or once if you have no confidence whatsover) and you believe it, you clutch those things to your teenaged heart and you hug them close, not always remembering they are there until you almost forget and dare to do something a little brave and daring and , naturally every word comes back to make sure you scuttle back to your hidey hole.
I think back to when the first one left and actually, thanks to THE most beautiful man I have ever seen decided he liked ME....actual me, the one that the first one kept telling was stupid and ugly and even inside was so ruined that there wasn't a hope. THAT me. He travelled long distances to see me and every time I saw him my stomach would flip at his total hotness and physical perfection and my heart would cry because I had no idea who he was or why I was even dating someone when I was supposed to me married and enjoying my third baby. Because of him, ( and he was a '111' you know a 3rd generation 4 named beauty with impeccable manners) I found that I felt quite unugly, empowered even and IN YOUR FACE FIRST ONE! I walked tall and I smiled a lot and I knew that I might not be alone for ever. I knew that Percival Angus Quentin Smythe the 3rd ( so not his name or anything like it apart from 'the 3rd' bit ) was not going to be 'the one' and I was a little sad about that because he really, honestly and truly was spectacular in every way, so much so that my sister, the oldest one who was more beautiful than me and who did actually steal several boyfriends away from me, right from under my nose BECAUSE SHE COULD, burst into tears when she saw him and how he treated me as she was so sure she would never EVER meet anyone THAT gorgeous who would look at HER that way (Ha! Na na na na na!) HE started to talk about 'next year' when we would go on holiday with the children and WHOA...hold on there buddy.....and I ended it there and then because I was still so sad about the first one leaving and knew I needed time to be me and heal a bit. 10 years was excessive I'll give you that but that's how the cookie crumbled and all's well that ends the way it ends.
So, briefly I felt confident and not ugly until the first one did his work and did it better than he ever did any other kind of work and I retreated into my shell and behind baggy shirts. I look of pictures of me THEN and I think "What in the name of all that is wasteful and pitiful was I thinking to believe I was fat and ugly?" and so it goes on and I get older and I still feel ugly and flinch when anyone I haven't seen for a while sees me and comes to hug me and I KNOW I am making them feel as though I am flinching away from them and I get so angry with myself because I love these people, my inside longs to fling my arms around them and squeeze them til they BEG for release but my head murmurs all those old meanesses and whispered asides " You smell, why would I want you near me" ( and today I did hug a friend, very quickly and sort of awkwardly and she said " Oh you smell BEAUTIFUL!" up your bum first one!) " Oh dear, your toothpaste isn't making it, is it?" ( enter an obsession with bad breath, you can ask me for a mint anytime, anywhere and I will have one, or gum. This house is never without at least 8 bottles of listerine, dental floss, many pump dispensers of toothpaste. I have my own dental kit used to remove any and all traces of plaque on those stubborn back teeth, even with all this, if you come too close I will back away, sometimes I will not look at you or speak to you because I don't want to make you flinch with my sure to be rancid breath. Hello, welcome inside my head....pardon? Why? why aren't you staying here? I know, I'd leave too if I could)
I am reading 'Dear Fatty' By Dawn French and it is changing my everything. Dawn is a big, stunningly beautiful woman who makes me laugh every single time I see her in anything on TV, she is big and appears not to give a hoot, she laughs at herself and allows the world to laugh with her. She is so confident and I admire her so much, reading her book I am astounded to learn that she says she does everything by pretending, she pretends to be confident and then finds that she is, she goes to various functions and pretends to be the life and soul of the party and she is. She explains how, being a child of a military man she had to start new schools and be the new girl all the time and how she used her funny to get liked.
I felt so impressed that she 'pretends
' and I wondered how easy that would be, I decided that I would try to today at a wedding. Oh social occasions how I dread you.
I bought a new shirt and ear rings and make up to wear, I was getting ready and giving myself a pep talk about how nobody hates me, in fact so many people really like me, nay love me and bloody hell just BREATHE woman, it's not even your wedding no-one will even be looking at you SHUT UP HEAD!
So, I put my make up on, my new make up and oooh, look, quite nice eyes, that's good.
Isaac "what has happened to you? Your eyes look REALLY weird" *sigh*
I went into Sophie's room and asked her to straighten my hair ( which is usually pretty easy, however when I am going out, to a SOCIAL occasion where I know I will have to talk to people and see people and do that smiling and "How lovely to see you, you look well!" thing, it's a losing battle. No matter how hard I work at convincing myself that this is FINE, get on with it, you are perfectly happy about this....even if my head almost believes the hype, my body isn't having any of it. I sweat and shake and as fast as I straighten my hair, I sweat, it curls. This morning I was sitting on Sophie's floor and as she straightened my hair I sat holding a fan RIGHT UP TO MY FACE, in a futile effort to stop the sweating head thing happening.
I sat on the floor and I heard the front door open and the boy come in "MAM-MAR???? MAM-MAR! Are you? " I replied with my "WOOOH HOOO! " and Sophie's door flew open and there he was. In a suit, my grandson who is 2.
He crouched down next to me and he looked at me, looked again and he said " OH! MAM-MAR ( he always shouts my name, always) OH..izzza fufffffy ssssstieffyder ( which is his own language,) we, obviously, always know what he thinks he is saying and in this case, because he said it in exactly the right tone and as he said it he stroked my hair and his little head was cocked on one side, he was clearly saying " Oh GRANDMA! You look absolutely beautiful!" And, guess what, I totally believed him.

Right through the wedding he was near me and he Mam-Mar'd all day, he lay on the floor under the pew and called me,
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Even when, as we stood for Gemma and Nick to go and sign the wedding certificate etc, he shoved Jordan's leg and yelled " JORD! Move! Tum on! Et's DOE! Tum on! DOE OUT!" and Jordan took him out, even when he wasn't in the church we could all hear him shouting "MAM-MAR! Are you?? MAM-MARRRRRR!"

He sat with me most of the time we were eating
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( Eventually I suggested getting his pushchair, strapping him in it and giving him a phone, iPod, sweets, food of any kind ANYTHING to keep him in one place so that Jordan and Mel could relax for a moment. My mum did say ( bless her heart she doesn't see too much of him) "what harm can he do, the very worst thing would be if he ate all those cupcakes" and so Jordan ( because he is a good boy and he loves and admires HIS grandma) listened to her and let his son run around for a bit, or 3 1/2 minutes,which is how long it took him to espy those cupcakes and make a mad grab for them, so pushchair it was then!
At one stage, after about 2 hours of constant "Mam-Mar" followed by some actual speaking and much baby gabbling and hand expressions I laughed and said to my mum " So, do you think he loves his grandma?" It is so undeniable, even I can't deny his adoration and really, is there anything more honest than a small child? They don't know and have have no clue or care what the world says is beautiful, they know what they know and this boy thinks the sun shines and sets on me.
And,it must be said, the feeling is entirely mutual.
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CHEEEEEEESE!

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6 Comments:

Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Because children see us as we really are. I wish I had a Joshua :)

12:24 am  
Blogger Julie Q said...

Oh me too Helen! :) What a sweetie pie! So cute! And loveable..

2:23 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

Joshua sees what I do!! :) xoxox

6:17 pm  
Blogger Sara said...

Joshua is a very smart boy, indeed!

xxx

1:25 am  
Blogger mom to three great kids said...

How grand the boys look!....the truth does come out of the mouth of babes!!!!lol

9:04 pm  
Blogger mom to three great kids said...

How grand the boys look!....the truth does come out of the mouth of babes!!!!lol

9:04 pm  

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