Don't Let It Go To Your Head
It was one of those waiting rooms designed for women. The furniture, though cutting edge, still managed to retain a softer look - all rounded arms and muted colours. Scattered about, Vogues and Bazaars shot lip-sticked smiles in my direction. Not a Sports Illustrated to be seen. I had come to this spa for a massage, nudged along by a sore right shoulder brought about from too much late-night knitting. Tying my fluffy white robe a bit tighter round my waist, I sat sipping my cup of green tea, wondering how best to explain my shoulder to my masseuse without eliciting a giggle or two. A knitting injury? How many of those does she see in a week?
Fortunately for me, the dear lady didn’t giggle. She merely nodded sagely as I acted out my problem... “See, when I turn my head to the right, it really hurts”.
Then she cocked her head and gingerly asked, “Have you turned forty yet?”
I choked a little on my tea.
Was she having me on?
“I, um... well, I’m a little bit older than forty”, I mumbled.
She nodded at me as one does to a child and said in a conspiratorial whisper, “Well. I’M already forty-five and I can tell you, aches and pains begin to show up then. You just wait”.
Believe me, I don’t remember much about that massage. I only know that I left the spa with not just a much looser shoulder, but a high-flying self-esteem as well. She didn’t even think I was forty yet! That meant she still thought I was in my thirties. Wow! I began to rethink some things. Perhaps I shouldn’t be wearing my hemlines so long, after all. Maybe it wasn’t too late in the game to become a ballerina! Should I give those Twilight books a second look? And why not wear five inch leopard print stilettos and leather leggings? I bet I could pull that off, given my youthful appearance!
The euphoria of this delightful miscalculation of my age continued unabated until this week when a dear reader directed my attention to an article in London’s Daily Telegraph in which From The House Of Edward had been named one of the Top Ten Home and Property Blogs. An undeniable honour and one that sent my spirits soaring and my fingers quickly typing out the website to read it for myself.
Hurriedly glancing down the page I found the entry!
“From The House of Edward, written by a grandmother in the American South.....”
Whoa. Wait. What??
My heart stopped. Cold.
Written by a GRANDMOTHER? What? I read it again.
But with each reading, that word not only remained, but appeared to increase in size until it covered the entire page, blotting out any other complimentary description of my dear little blog that followed. My eyes shot to the profile photo at the top right side of my blog. Oh gee, do I look like a GRANDMOTHER? I do! I look like a GRANDMOTHER!
I stubbed my toe on a dog toy as I ran like a lunatic down the hall to the bathroom where the magnifying mirror sat waiting. Once in front of this oracle, I stared into it like the evil queen in Snow White.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against grandmothers. I know quite a few and they are, on the whole, a marvelous lot. And yes, technically, I guess I’m old enough to be one. Technically. (I mean while we’re at it, technically, Brad Pitt is old enough to be Kate Middleton’s father, which is certainly a rather appalling thought and not something he'd want pointed out in the Daily Telegraph, I just bet.) And anyway, actually Being a Grandmother is not the issue here. It’s having someone just assume you are one and broadcasting that fact to the world! To be fair, when I brought up the mistake in my thank you note to the kind gentleman who included me in this illustrious list, he apologized profusely saying there was something he’d read in one of my former posts that led him to believe I was, indeed, a grandmother. So perhaps his assumption wasn’t based entirely on my profile photo. But, still.
After a few depressing moments during which I sat on the side of my clawfoot tub with my forehead resting in the palm of my hand, I happened to look down into Edward’s worried face.
I could read his thoughts as clearly as if they were my own.....
“Well, you went and did it, didn’t you? The very thing you’re always telling other people not to do. You let someone else define you. Truth is, you’re not in your thirties. You’re not a grandmother, either. So what? Why let yourself get thrown off the track by either false assumption? And anyway, I happen to love you just like you are. So get up and let’s go for a walk”.
So, we did.
And I felt a bit better.
Later when I felt strong enough to actually finish reading the Telegraph's Top Ten List I saw my blog described as “Curiously old-fashioned advice in a very modern package.”
I liked that very much.
But don’t worry, Edward. I won’t let it go to my head.