For most of my life, I’ve tried to look presentable. When I go to Walmart, I dress so that no one takes my picture (with private body parts exposed) and posts it on the Internet.
In the very early morning when I’d be in a robe, I’d make sure the coast was clear, no cars coming either way on our busy street, then dart out on the driveway to grab the newspaper and dash back for cover. Or I’d run for the paper in a trench coat even in hot weather.
Now I wear Jim’s old green terrycloth robe (full length on me with sleeves rolled up) to bring in the newspaper, and I don’t care who’s on the street or how I look with morning hair. I just take my sweet time sashaying down the driveway to get the paper. On my early morning walk, I stride through the neighborhood without makeup.
Years ago, probably a couple decades ago, I was either dropping off or picking up one of our sons in a neighborhood with older homes and wide front porches with white rails. Sitting on one of those porches was a woman in a duster (my mom’s version of a robe). She was reading a newspaper, and on the table beside her summer-cushioned chair sat a coffee cup.
What a life, I thought. I want to do that. But of course, at that stage of my life, I was too busy. Had too many things to do, too many places to be, too many meals, too much laundry, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Is age all that has changed me?
Now I think this is who I am. Take it or leave it. Oh, I look presentable (I think) when I have to go somewhere, but I take each day as it comes.
Yesterday I knew I was not going out, but I put on makeup and even painted my fingernails a bright red. Today I’m not going out, either, but after showering, I decided it’s a no makeup day. After all, my only critic is the gal in the mirror.
It’s true that friends might drop by. That’s true any day, but old friends don’t look at us. They see an image from long ago. At least I do. If asked to describe a good friend, I’d have to think hard to remember if she wore glasses or not. Instead of a person, I see a personality. I notice if she smiles or has worry in her eyes, but that’s about it.
I’ll never be that woman on that white-railed front porch since my front porch is tiny, but I have a huge screened-in back porch. I’ll sit there come good weather and read the paper. Right now with the temp in morning winter digits, I’ll just sit at the kitchen table in front of giant windows and read the newspaper. If someone doesn’t look at my house as they drive by, I’ll be invisible. But I am no longer hiding, even when I wear my green robe.